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  • Samantha Lissington

Hartpury International

It was a very rainy day here on Wednesday - galloping Rui and Sooty this morning was rather damp (but the ground was perfect!) I was inside feeling cosy with the rain on the roof, and thought that it might be a good time to write another update!

So here you go; Since the last one we have two more events in the bag – this time Hartpury and West Wilts.

Hartpury was a lovely event – well organised with dressage and showjumping on a surface. The showjumping ended up being moved inside due to the weather on Saturday – a luxury to not be out in the cold!

Our dressage test was not too flash, and just left me appreciating how much homework we have to do – but nonetheless there were good parts and just great to get in an arena again because I feel like I need the practice!

While the actual showjumping ring was great, the warmup was very squishy and stressy – the short turns didn’t suit Rui so we were relieved to get in the ring! I was actually really happy with our round in hindsight, he jumped really well I just made two minor mistakes which cost us 2 rails – but watching on video it was still a nice round and wasn’t a bad effort not having jumped that height since May.

Now, the cross country! When I walked it on Thursday I was pretty intimidated – there was certainly lots to jump and I was feeling rather underprepared having only done Wilton OI on him! There was nothing tougher than in NZ but at the same time I felt like I had just turned up to Puhinui only having had one run in 3 months. The more times I walked the better it looked, and we were lucky that we parked next to Tim on Friday so I nabbed him for a walk. He was very generous with his help which we really appreciated!

I needn’t have worried really though – I was on Rui after all! He was a total champ and really answered every question strongly. It was the perfect prep event for Burghley, and a bit of a stop-go point for us. So I was relieved and excited to have finished and to be able to look ahead with confidence. The course really did cause a lot of problems, with 16 eliminated, 3 retired and 21 others with problems.

He is now finally eating much better, and the three dark horses are just starting to get their summer coats! Jasmine got hers ages ago, which seemed unfair because she is is ginger regardless of a Winter or Summer coat! But anyway, the new shiny/healthy look is doing wonders for my mental health!

On Tuesday we headed to West Wilts, another early start leaving at 5am to be ready for Jasmines dressage at 8.30am. It was a great event for the babies! Jasmine was MUCH improved all day, and did a pretty calm test with double clear jumping (just time faults xc). Ricky did a good test with a couple of mistakes, a bit of a baby SJ round with two down, but a lovely clear and confident cross country. This was probably one of the first times she has felt really forward and easy cross country (rather than spooky and green - It is so rewarding when they start to click). So we will take that as a win and we are looking forward to adding more miles in the bank season so that they can come out competitive next year.

Our week ahead involves heading to Summerford on Friday for Dressage with Sooty (3hrs away), back home for a day on Saturday, and back up on Sunday for the jumping phases. All a bit of a pain because I changed my mind and wanted to enter the 3* on Sooty (instead of the OI which is all on Friday) to give me a chance to get into a long arena and do a FEI test on him with a bit more pressure.

In other news; - Sooty had a great time in the river the other day - he really does love water! - I did come very close to falling off on the way home after a pheasant jumped out of the bush - apparently I'll have to get used to that over here. - Jess and I are loving operating out of "Wally the Whittaker" (the lorry) and can’t wait for a sleepover in it sometime! - I am pretty sure I am comfort-eating over here, and the supermarket shop still feels overwhelming when you have no brand loyalties! But - I have found the best ice cream 🍦 so I would call that a step in the right direction..

Until next time.



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