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A double at Gatcombe, high jumps and low jumps

Gatcombe was a great event with two fantastic wins proving the perfect excuse to celebrate in style that evening with some of our owners. Duke of Axbridge won an intermediate section and Spypark Ferro XS was the winner of a novice.

The prizes included some lovely gifts from Whately Manor who gave away a spa day for two and lots of goodies. I think Simmone deserves this treat after putting up with me all season!

The cross country were really fair and I felt it was particularly good for young horses. Jess Crocker’s five-year-old LVS Stonehavens Quebec did her first novice and went clear. Had I taken my hand of the brake slightly she would have been in the placings, but we decided to go steadily on her first outing at this level. She goes to Pontispool on Sunday for a pop around a BE100 before she heads to the five-year-old championships at Osberton.

Duke of Axbridge also heads to Pontispool for another intermediate and this will be his last event before he’s turned away for a break. When his owner Liz Scott returns from holiday we’ll decide on a winter plan.

Follow our celebratory party on Saturday night, on Sunday morning I was feeling just a little groggy prior to our Team Bragg display, kids included, at Hillfarm Equestrian near Bridgwater in Somerset.

It was terrific fun with the girls, dressed in their pink cross country gear, taking part on their ponies. I rode Herbie, who is more of a showjumper than an event horse, and he loved the whooping and cheering of the crowd, really rising to the occasion when they shouted for the jump to go higher and higher during one part of the display. At one point I really thought my over-confidence had got the better of me as I approached a particularly huge fence, but Herbie sailed much to the crowds delight.

Next stop for him is Pontispool’s gate jumping competition on October 24 which I think he will love!

Ellouise, who’s ten, and eight year old Sienna did a pairs jumping display while four year old Florence was quite happy cantering around the arena.

Another trick we sometimes do is to put up two jumps, three strides apart – the first was very small and the second a good five foot. Herbie will jump both parts, while Ellouise and Sienna jump the first part and then go under the second one – it’s all about getting to the other side of the fence! It’s was all really great fun and very enjoyable with lots of jokes in between the demonstration.

Pontispool this weekend is our next competition. On Sunday I ride Bloomfield Tiger Two in a BE100, along with LVS Stonehavens Quebec, while The Night Traveller runs in the BEE100 open. The latter two horses are both owned by Jess Crocker who does such a great job with Eventing Worldwide.

As well as Duke of Axbridge, on Monday I have two novice horses running, Spypark Ferro XS and a retrained racehorse called Storm Blue. His a super little horse and has a really great attitude, it’s just such a shame he’s a bit too small for me. I’ll run him in a couple more novices and then he will probably be sold. He’s a pocket rocket and would make an ideal junior’s horse.

In my last blog I mentioned we were about to go on a family holiday. Apart from the rain, we had a wonderful time together at Mullion in Cornwall. It was perfect just spending time with my family and not thinking about horses for a week.

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