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Update from Camilla Hardie!

We’ve had a busy few months since my last update…

Firstly was The Blue Chip Show Jumping Championships, for the 5th consecutive year, Beau and Dougal went for their customary stay away at Hartpury. Picking up a placing in the warm up class, but both had the same fence down in the Discovery Championship despite jumping really well.

Dougal then went on to qualify for the Royal International in the coloured plaited horse class, for the 5th year, meaning we booked our week’s holiday to Hickstead in the summer! The following day we did an Intermediate Novice event, doing an impeccable dressage test putting us in the lead. Sadly the ground was a bit hard which Dougal hated pushing us to 8th.

Then both the coloured boys went to Stafford County Show. Bailey took it all in his stride to finish 3rd in a big class in the 80cm working hunter. Dougal contested the RIHS working hunter qualifier, he jumped a super round over a technical track for one down, finishing in 4th just missing out on qualifying!

Unfortunately during the summer, Beau started to feel not quite right, so off he went to the vets to be diagnosed with a strained ligament in his hoof, steroid injection into the foot and 8 weeks box rest and controlled exercise prescribed….. oh joy!

Luckily the other 2 were fit and raring to go. Dougal went off to our most local event, Brand Hall, being just 5 miles down the road it’s a real joy, with beautiful going. He placed 5th in the Open Novice, sadly having a show jump to push us down the board.

Then Bailey went on to Berriewood to contest his second BE90, which I thought looked quite a beefy XC, and a twisty show jumping track. He was unlucky to roll a pole, but then had a super confident, very fast, clear XC! We then went onto Stafford BE90, where it absolutely threw it down as I got on to showjump, and it concerned me as he has no shoes and therefore no studs. He show jumped brilliantly, ignoring the rain, but again, sadly had a pole down, he’s just too keen! He again went on to do a great clear cross country, and we managed to place 8th!

On to the 5 year old Burghley Young Event Horse at Field House. It’s safe to say I was rather nervous as the jumping is 1.05m and we definitely hadn’t jumped anything that big, let alone as a course. He did an obedient dressage, then straight onto the jumping, I needn’t have worried as he flew, and didn’t look at anything. Even the final 4 xc fences and steps. These classes are very hot, and as we only went for the experience I was super pleased with him.

Then time to scrub down the horsebox and Dougal, ready for our week away at the Royal International at Hickstead. Our 5th time visiting, despite it being a good 5 hour drive for me, but it’s a nice summer holiday! On the first day we did the Middleweight Coloured Show Horse, and as is customary, Dougal did not put a foot wrong, always showing a great gallop. We placed highest Amateur, which meant I had to zip round the shops to buy a navy coat as I had only my show jumping jacket, so we could contest the Amateur Championship at the end of the day. A long day to keep Dougal clean, but it was great to ride in that ring again, even though we didn’t get a look in. The remaining 3 days of the show we show jumped every day, and every day Dougal had just 1 fence down in every class!!

Back home in time for Bailey to become a show horse and attend his first agricultural show – Burwarton. He placed 2nd in the coloured show class, in the huge and spooky main ring, with plenty of spectators, in the rain again, so I was thrilled with that. Then onto the working hunter. I nearly didn’t jump as it was on a hill and very wet, but in we went and he was bold again, rolling 3 poles, but there were no clears. So he had his first ride judge and he was well mannered, but struggling with balance as a baby. None the less we were pleased to place 6th.

Finally, Bailey and Dougal went to Llanymynech. Bailey’s dressage judge was 40 minutes late which threw my day into chaos, and meant he did a very annoyed test! Dougal was in the 100 open and suffered with lack of warm up, but managed a reasonable test, clear show jumping and xc to take the win! Sadly someone fell XC so there was a 2 hour hold, but when Bailey’s turn came to jump, he finally managed a clear show jumping and clear XC to place 6th, so it was a great, if not long day!

In amongst this, as Beau came back into work and fitness, he’s managed to kick himself and fracture his splint bone, so yet more box rest!

Dougal has spent the summer again relying on Global Herbs Pollenx, to keep his breathing in check and allow us to run competitively across country.