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  • Samantha Lissington

Changes afoot

Hi all, since we caught up last we went to Summerford, but only got as far as the dressage phase before the whole event was abandoned due to the ground conditions being too wet.

Sidenote 8 - Interestingly; Because this happens so often in the UK, you pay an insurance premium per event and if an event is abandoned (even half way through), you get your entry back minus start fee and the abandonment premium. So at least that is some consolation for driving 7 hours to do a dressage test!

Regardless, it was a good experience, and nice to get into a long arena and do an FEI test. Sooty was solid for 28.2 (71.8%) which had us in 7th place after the first day of dressage.

We have had a nice couple of weeks consolidating on the schooling side, without having quite so many events crammed in.

Last Saturday we had a practice dressage day about 45minutes away, Ricky, Rui and Jasmine all went for a play – Ricky won both her tests with 72% and 69%, Jasmine did a lovely one for 71% and Rui did an elementary and a medium with good experiences in both – 67.5% and 69%.

Sunday and Monday we were at Wellington Horse Trail – Babies in the BE100 on Sunday, and big kids in the Advanced on the Monday. The babies felt like they had gone two steps forward one step back for this event, Ricky did a lovely test for 74% which was the highlight, but they were both quite spooky for the jumping phases – it’s all mileage though!

The big kids had a great day, Rui did a really good test for him for 67% in the Advanced (if we get anything close to that at Burghley we will be over the moon). Sooty and I did the only terrible test we’ve ever done (although he still managed 64% with 3 breaks, a missed change and a course error while I re-did a movement!) They both felt great in the show jumping, one down on each but good practice in some atmosphere. I opted not to run Rui cross country, the ground is very flat which just would have made him pull – not what I want to be training for in preparation for Burghley!

Sooty had a great round, we got held on course right before one of the combinations I was worried about, but thankfully jumped through really well after getting a chance to catch our breath (and we even got a bottle of water thanks to the jump judge!)

I’ve picked up a lovely schooler thanks to Jonelle – her paddock name is Cabbage! She’s a delight to have around so we feel very lucky to have her for a bit.

It was a pretty surreal feeling seeing my name on the Burghley draw (#47) – such a mix of excitement, nervousness and grit all at once.

Rui is still not eating particularly well, although it has improved which is a relief. Sooty gets to eat the leftovers sometimes which he is always stoked about! Rui now has a shiny coat and is even sporting a hint of dapples which is nice to see. We have one more gallop to go, a squad training on Monday before we head off on Tuesday!

We’ve had a couple of domestic dramas at home, including a stray blue sock sneaking into my white jods wash, so now my only 3 pairs of white jods are a fashionable lavender grey colour. Probably not what the Burghley dressage judges want to see!

In other news, we have found a yard to go to! We will be heading to Buttermere, just outside of Hungerford. And will be moving just after Burghley.

With no accommodation on the yard we have been frantically flat hunting, and I think we have found a little two bedroom apartment close to the main street of Hungerford – it will be the first time I’ve lived within walking distance of the supermarket!

The next problem – its unfurnished… We literally have to buy EVERYTHING. So… bring it on IKEA!

We were very sad at the thought of leaving the Cotswolds, and in Jess’s case (unfortunately for me) she loves it here too much and has decided not to make the move. - And so the rollercoaster continues. Grooms come at me!

I headed off for some good old retail therapy last night – at least in this case it was very productive as I now have my Burghley trot up outfit sorted!

Right – now to focus on getting through those finish flags...

Until next time, Sam.


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