Having had a fantastic year last year, with Zeus running at numerous 3*’s around the country, until sadly re-injuring himself at his final event-Blenheim, when lying in 8th place (2nd best Brit) after xc; 2014 was always destined to be a tough one. I did however try and shrug off the fact my top horse was out of action and start the year with a positive frame of mind!! Here is how the year panned out…
*6th day of the year I went splat at home-great start to 2014!
* ‘Hey Arnold’ (Arnie)-4yo 8hh beautiful Shetland from the Blue Cross arrived! Our team mascot who will ravel to events to keep the horses company.
* Black Eyed Pea II (Blackie) finished 3rd at the JAS at Hartpury with the best style mark of the day.
* New arrival ‘Mister Ballinvella’ (Ted)-4yo ISH gelding, owned by Gareth Powell and Barbara Whale.
*XC schooled 7 at new all weather surface at Aston-Le-Walls.
*A soggy start to the event season at Aston Le Walls. Blackie jumped a fabulous double clear. ‘Naseby’ (Jerry) only dressaged and sj due to the deteriorating ground conditions.
*All other events were cancelled so I turned to BSJA to keep myself amused!
*I also had a fun filled time out with the Berks and Bucks Draghounds at Kingsclere.
*We finally managed to get to an event that wasn’t cancelled! Blackie and Jerry both went well at Ascott Under Wychwood.
*New arrival ‘Escada IV’ (Ethel)-5yo KWPN mare, owned by Andy Austin and Keith Doyle to produce.
*Blackie was then 4th in the novice at Broadway.
*I went splat twice in one day at Aston Le Walls!! BAD DAY.
*Ethel was placed in the 1.05m at Rectory Farm-my BSJA debut with her.
*Ethel completed her first event after just being with me 5 weeks.
*Blackie jumped a fab double clear round a huge Newcomers at Croften.
*Ethel jumped a lovely double clear on a 33.5 dressage at West Wilts BE100.
*Naseby produced a good test and jumped double clear to finish 5th in his BE100 section.
*New arrival ’Springtime Orla’ (Orla) 12yo mare owned by Deborah De Groot. I sold Orla 2yrs ago and she has come back to be competed and sold.
*Ethel 6th in 1.05m & 4th in Newcomers at Summerhouse. Orla was 5th in Discovery and 4th in the 1.05m after being with me just 4 days.
*Orla was then 3rd in the 1.05m the following week. Blackie also jumped double clear in the 1.05m just missing the placings.
*Orla was off to be tested at Barbury Castle. She produced a good test and jumped a classy double clear to finish 9th in a very competitive section.
*Orla was 4th in a Newcomers class at West Wilts jumping yet another double clear. Ethel was double clear and 3rd in the Discovery.
*New super groom Kimberley Mallett started-Life saver!
*I made it to my first three day event of the year thanks to Orla! Hartpury is always one of my favorite events with beautiful surfaces and a well watered xc course. Orla produced a great test, jumped the most fantastic round xc and was unlucky to have two down on the last day. A huge achievement for a horse that had been in the yard two months with some dotted form previously.
*I then had a sneaky holiday to visit Zimbabwe so the girls were left in charge!
*I passed my CPC just before the deadline, so I can drive my HGV legally!
*Ethel was double clear and 4th in both the 1.05m and the Newcomers at Summerhouse.
*Orla was double clear and 2nd in the Newcomers whilst Ethel was 3rd in both the 1.05m and the Newcomers at West Wilts.
*Ethel was 3rd again at West Wilts in the 1.05m.
*Ethel was 3rd in a massive Newcomers class at Royal Berkshire show.
*Ted made his cubbing debut with the Beaufort hunt and behaved perfectly!
*Ethel was double clear and 9th in her 1.15m debut at Rectory Farm.
*The King returned! Zeus of Rushall came back to start work ready for next season!
*Sadly October was not to remain the greatest month, with me falling off out cubbing and trying to land on my feet resulting in a trip to hospital and some damaged ankle ligaments!
*However with all negatives there is always a positive and in this case it was a massive one….a new arrival…
* Mark and Jeanne Swallow have very kindly bought me ‘Cyres’ (Sid) a 7yo KWPN gelding with 41 points. I am so excited about next year now. It’s got to be better than this one!
*Jerry went off to his new home in Cornwall.
*This is always a quiet month for us here as all the eventers have a break, it’s a good opportunity to clean the yard up and prepare for the cold winter months ahead.
*I started riding again! My ankle is much better thanks to a sneaky trip away with my Mum.
*New arrival ‘Cashmere Z’ (Cash) 4yo Holsteiner gelding, owned by Andy Austin. He’s here for producing and hopefully to event next season if he’s not sold beforehand. He has a very promising future ahead of him.
This season has been full of ups and downs but the downs are sent to try us and I feel very positive for the 2015 season.
Having slightly diversified into the showjumping side of the equestrian sport, I have definitely improved in this phase and have actually secretly enjoyed it so I will be continuing with taking the eventers showjumping throughout the season as it massively improves them as well.
‘Pencarder Silver Storm’ (Rosie) will be put in foal in March hopefully after she failed to take several times this year, we are hoping starting her earlier will sort that out. For now she is in work and will be out jumping soon!
I have new horses to ride and the return of Jimmy is always going to help the dynamics. 2015 is my year and there will be no stopping me. Lucie McNichol on a mission!
Happy Christmas to all at Global Herbs and thank you so much for your continued support and advice! The products I use are without doubt massive contributors to how the horses’ look and feel and I would be lost without them.