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The 2017 season is drawing to a close and hopefully it will finish for us on a high note at Pau where we head next Sunday evening with Zagreb and Redpath Ransom. It’s a long drive down to the south of France but it’s a great event in a lovely setting.
Zagreb went there last year and was fifth. Fingers crossed we’ll follow that good form next week. He’s really stepped up to the mark this season. We were unfortunate not to be selected for the Europeans but maybe it was a good thing as he went well at Gatcombe and then won at Bicton. He was also eighth at Blenheim in the ERM3*. It was a nice run around for us as he has plenty of experience and we really enjoyed it. It was great that the showjumping and cross country were so influential as otherwise it becomes a dressage competition. The ground at Blenheim was fantastic too. I’d forgotten how nice it is riding there, as although it is undulating, it’s very smooth and has a really good flow.
Redpath Ransom had a busy first half of the season and was placed at Strzegom, Aachen and had a top 20 finish at Luhmuhlen. He was also fourth in the eventers’ Grand Prix at Hickstead where he had the fastest time, but had an unlucky pole. It was great to ride at Hickstead and the experience was great. He’s had a lot of little breaks and he’s really fresh and ready for Pau now, so fingers cross for a good result.
The young horses have all progressed very well this season and I hope next year they’ll step up to intermediate so that I start to have more horses at the higher levels to support the two big boys. I’d love to have a proper crack at the ERM series next year but to do that I need more horses at that level so that Zagreb and Redpath Ransom can continue running in the three days.
The classes suit me down to the ground as I’m quite an attacking rider, they’re so exciting to ride in and its great to be a part of the series. The prize money is fantastic, each leg helps raise your profile through the publicity surrounding it and the build up, live footage and interviews are all brilliant
There’s a great team behind the series that work hard to make it exciting. That's what the public really engages in, and it makes it so much more interesting. This season they made huge improvements on last year and I don’t doubt that next year will be better again. They added Europe to the series this year, and next year there will be an American leg – it’s fantastic! I watched each leg as its so exciting to watch, and I’m competing every day!
Our girls have been busy competing in showjumping and one day events. Ellouise, who’s nearly 13, will affiliate next year and ride in BE80s and 90s. She’s been working her socks off and we have some nice horse lined up for her. Sienna has been competing a lot too while Florence, who is only seven, is proving utterly fearless. She’s a point and jump girl! I think they’ll be taking over the yard soon.
We’re at Westpoint in December for the South West Equine Fair, which is exciting. It will be interesting, educational and fun – well that’s the plan anyway!
For some reason, I’m also on the official poster for next year’s World Equestrian Games jumping out of the page – which is great. Maybe it’s an omen – that would be really nice. I’ll certainly be giving it my best shot!
It’s been such a great season, but none of it would be possible without my sponsors who are Pontispool Equine Sports Centre, Protexin, Devoucoux, Gatehouse, Mark Todd Collection, Griffin Nuumed, Gain Feeds & Dengie.