“After a large amount of unpacking, washing and packing we were off to our last big championships of the year, the Corinthian Cup at the Festival of British Eventing, feeling somewhat apprehensive as ‘something’ had been troubling Dougal for some weeks. Although no real lack in performance he seemed short of breath, despite galloping religiously every week. The track at Gatcombe is well renowned as hilly, and Dougal not a natural galloper. I got him blood tested and this proved clear. After a chat with Global Herbs we put him on PolleneX just 5 days before Gatcombe, assuming he could have some sort of seasonal allergy or ‘hayfever’. They also recommended to support him with Alphabute so I gave him this just over the Gatcombe weekend to have him in peak condition.
Off we set to the dressage, I felt somewhat less nervous this year than last, and Dougal did what I felt was a fair consistent test. This was somewhat harshly marked for 34.6, leaving us mid field. It wasn’t however, going to be a dressage competition. Day 1 over I was pleased that Dougal seemed to be feeling in top condition.
Showjumping bright and early Sunday morning, the track beautifully presented in the unique undulating arena at Gatcombe, always atmospheric. Dougal was jumping out of his skin, the best I have ever felt him, we were very unlucky to have 2 down towards the end of the course, I think he may have been distracted by the entrance to the arena and just didn’t lift his tummy high enough! Very few clear rounds as usual here.
Onto cross country, knowing we had jumped the course last year helped with confidence, but Captain Mark Phillips had added an extra water jump to the track, and we all know Dougal is not a fan of getting his feet wet….. Not to worry, he flew around, took everything in his stride, even both waters. As I wasn’t likely to be placed I didn’t put my foot on the gas so accumulated a few time penalties, galloping around Gatcombe is like a rollercoaster, very hard to catch up time! Finished full of running and his breathing was better than ever, he even towed me back to the lorry! No rosette but thrilled how well he felt and finished. Huge thumbs up to PolleneX, it seems ‘something’ has got up Dougal’s nose this summer.”