The European Championships were nail biting and exhilarating for a number of reasons – but we got Team Silver and Charlotte kept the Gold – Just!
Barney was a complete superstar and pulled out all the stops. He just gets better and grows in confidence each time out. We have to be careful with him as he can quickly go off his food when he is away so Fiona and Alan together with Lizzie Drury make sure he has a great diet with all the nutrients – and plenty of carrots and mints for treats! As he doesn’t get any time in the field when we are away at shows it falls to Alan to hand graze him to let him have some time out to stretch his legs and relax.
As you probably read in all the media – I took a tumble (in front of all the eventers – the shame of it) when Barney took fright at a waiter who dropped a tray full of glasses right next to the field where everyone was walking their horses around. Luckily he shocked himself so much that he just stood next to me wondered what had happened. Aachen just isn’t a lucky showground for me!
I am taking some well-earned time off in the sun (I am sending this from my apartment in Spain) for a couple of weeks and then it’s back to the Nationals. I won’t be campaigning a horse there – Barney and Valegro are getting a well-deserved break but a lot of my team will also be riding. Amy Woodhead will have some of our young horses there up to advanced medium level.
I train lots of riders from all over the UK and many of them have qualified so it’s always a busy time over the 4 days – from Novice to GP, my students are in all the classes!
After that Charlotte and I are going to Saumur with Wanadoo and Barolo. Olympia is also on the competition schedule but as yet we haven’t decided which horses to take. You never know – Uthopia may make an appearance there, watch this space!
With Rio only a year away it’s now that we start thinking of what the horses need to start doing to be fit and ready for then. Which big shows they need to go to for selection purposes. The fittening programme as it’s a hot country with a long way to travel – and not just for them but us as well.
Rider fitness is always important – so as I tuck into yet another dish of Paella I am planning my fitness campaign for my return back to the UK – LOL….