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Buckle up and enjoy the ride

Well, what a time we’ve been having since I last wrote here!

From Chepstow at the beginning of July, where we took five horses and Dancing Ghareeb

aka ‘Mr Consistent’ finally got his reward by winning the Novice class and Cooga Hat Trick

claimed third in the Novice Regional Final, it’s been non-stop ever since.

At Barbury, in scorching hot conditions, the team worked exceptionally hard and most

brilliantly and we had really great results with the six horses that travelled. Alcatraz did

fantastically to earn second place in the Intermediate, Quindiva was third in Novice, Zagreb

claimed a great fourth and was well on his way to Jardy for the Event Rider Masters leg in

France. Bonmahon Blue Mist came sixth in a huge class of ninety! Shannondale Percy did

really well with 13th in the his first CIC3* and King of the Mill proved himself well enough to

move up to Intermediate on his next outing.

The next week, ooh la la, we were ‘en France’. Zagreb, Alcatraz, and Percy were

representing Team Bragg at the Event Rider Masters 5th Leg at Haras de Jardy, and what an

experience it was. The venue is set in the grounds of the superb facilities that were formerly

a famous Thoroughbred stud and now the largest equestrian facility in France.

Alcatraz performed a lovely, consistent test for a score of 31 on the first day in the 2* and

ended up in 9 th place at only his second competition with me. Shannondale Percy also

performed very well the following morning to come 3rd in the CIC3*. Zagreb, in the ERM, did

an impeccable dressage test in the late afternoon, scoring 23.6 – which sat us at the top of

the leader board overnight. I may have had an extra glass of wine out of excitement that

evening – well, when in Rome, erm – France!

Zagreb only went and won the competition on his dressage score! I went out a little keen in

the show-jumping and ‘Lord’ Zagreb (as he became known by the end of the event) showed

his class by helping me out and going on to jump brilliantly, over six seconds inside the time.

It was an absolutely amazing experience later that afternoon to be on the top of the

podium, showering my buddies Tim Price and Izzy Taylor with champagne – and those

Formula 1 guys are right, champagne in the eyes really does sting!

To top the ERM event off for the team, our terrific head groom Heather Brannan won the

award for the 5th Leg ‘Super Groom’, which was awesome and so well deserved – we

couldn’t be prouder.

From France we went to Dauntsey and then onto Aston-Le-Walls. The team at Aston did an

amazing job with the ground. It’s super to see your start fee going to good use and it was

hugely appreciated by all of the riders. Bonmahon Blue Mist and King of the Mill both

showed consistent form to each come 3rd in their classes. They are both really talented

horses with exciting futures. Cooga Hat Trick did a steady clear XC in his first Intermediate,

and Quindiva performed really well and I can’t wait for her next competition.

Then we headed off to the beautiful Isle of Wight for the first event to be held at Osborne

House. A stunning setting with fantastic weather where the horses all did me proud with

Alcatraz coming fifth in the OI, and Barrichello earned a podium place of third. Will definitely

be heading back there next year. Bede Events should be proud of running such a great event

and London Capital & Finance Plc put on the most amazing hospitality for all our owners.

Following a great time at Wilton with wins for Cobalt de Dugny (100) and King of the Mill

(Intermediate), a 3rd for My Lucky Day (Intermediate) and a 7th for Ginger Gold (100), we

were off to Gatcombe for the Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing. Here Shannondale

Percy and Barrichello both put in super-cool performances. Percy finished in 2 nd place in the

intermediate championships and Barry certainly didn’t disappoint at the 3-star BCO (CIC)

where he ate up the XC like a pro to finish 9th. He also won the trophy for the best young

horse (at 9-years-old) in the top ten.

Then Team Bragg continued onwards to Homme House in Herefordshire. Shannondale Mari

produced a lovely dressage test of 28.5 jumping a very confident double clear to finish 3rd .

Shannondale Pete also jumped a great double clear in his first BE 100. Ardeo Premier gave

me another double clear. It gives me such a buzz to have such a talented string of young

horses with fantastically supportive owners. Quindiva had a run in the Novice as preparation

for Hartpury and she bossed her way round giving me my fourth double clear of the day.

Wow!

Ellouise (Team Bragg Junior) was also competing and posted the best dressage of 26. A slight

spook in the double was costly but she jumped a perfect XC round. Proud Dad moment was

an understatement!

Then, just to prove that horses are the greatest levellers we are just back from Hartpury,

where it just wasn’t our weekend with any of the horses. They all jumped well, got safely

round, but it wasn’t to be.

I have to say how privileged and lucky we are to have such lovely horses to ride and amazing

owners that support us fantastically. My support team at home (and, of course, on the road)

does an amazing job keeping the Team Bragg tidal wave pushing on! I’m thrilled that my

partnerships with the horses seem to be gelling so well with them all and am consistently

thrilled at the results. We are especially lucky also to have incredible sponsors that improve

so many aspects of the horses’ life from their bedding to their fodder to their fitness, even

their breathing!

Team Bragg is such an exciting rollercoaster to be on and I love every minute.

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