I have 2 great trainers on the flat, James Burtwell and Ian woodhead, both educate me, push my boundaries and raise my expectations. This winter we have been working on our show jumping. Thankfully I can now get back to some solid training with my old instructor Rob Hoekstra. As most will be aware he has been rather busy over the last few years but now his commitments with British Showjumping have come to an end I hope he will have more time to fit me in!! I need the training!!

FW SJ

This year looks to be a very exciting year. We have come out of the winter with 3 horses competing at 4 star level. Our plan, as I write this, is for one horse to go out to Kentucky and 2 horses to head to Badminton. It will be the first time I have ever flown a horse to an event going out to the Rolex Kentucky CCI, so I will be relying on Lizzie Drury at Saracen who knows all about travelling horses around the globe, she's had enough practice with Carl Hester & Charlotte Dujardin's horses Nip Tuck & Valegro.  It will be a huge learning curve for my team as we eventers don’t do that much flying! Well, not on planes at least...

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Badminton is always a challenge, as last year proved, I have never had a top placing there. In fact it has always thrown me a curve ball... but this year is going to be different! We must make sure of that. A good result here is the aim. 

The fitness is going really well and slowly being increased for the slightly older boys. The dressage is already being worked on and by the time this goes up online I will already be working through my Badminton Test. We must Start early and iron out all the creases!!!

In the roll up to the start of the season we are checking injections, having the dentist in. My old and trusted friend Simon Pratley gets that job. Wow Saddles have been in checking the saddles. Saracen have been going through the feeding programmes for each horse. Tack checked. XC Boots checked, lorry packed…. the list goes on. We have to have everything in place for the season ahead....

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All the best - and see you out there.

Francis

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