Neville (Super Nova II) took to the airways for the first time last year for Rio and wasn’t worried by the experience at all. So I wasn’t overly concerned about the shorter flight to Doha and Neville was great and took it all in his stride.

It’s the first time he has competed since we did the Grand Prix World Cup in Stuttgart in November, so I thought he may be a little nervous and I was right. The first day of competition was the Grand Prix and there was quite a lot of noise which unnerved Neville. Needless to say he was a bit spooky and had a bit of a meltdown, culminating in 7th place with a score of 71.68% and I was delighted with this result taking into account his tension.

With Neville’s first day’s experience under his belt, the second day he was far less tense and more confident. This made my life so much easier and meant I was able to let the brakes off. I am so proud of him, he performed brilliantly WINNING the CDI5* Grand Prix Special and gaining a personal best score of 76%.

Claire Hinton, my right hand lady takes care of Neville day and night and travels with him. He travelled home like a pro - he’s getting used to this jet setting around the world now!

Claire kept a keen eye on him when he got back to the UK to make sure there were no ill effects from the long haul flight. He was in fine spirits and she now has a few well-deserved days off. 

Personally, I don’t have the same luxury. I’m getting straight back into normal everyday life and teaching my talented students. I’m also starting to think about the next steps Neville and I will be taking which include hopefully being in great shape for the European Championships in August.

Spencer Wilton at Doha with Neville for Saracen blog photo March 2017