Felbridge 2nd Round Show
The third show in quick succession was the Newcomers 2nd Round show at Felbridge. I love Felbridge, and this show was no exception. We had a very good first day, Askeaton jumped beautifully round the 1.10 for 6th place, BE Khalissy had a minor placing in the Foxhunter and Billy Arietta jumped a lovely, slow round in the Foxhunter, as a warm-up for the 1.30 on Saturday.
Saturday started with Askeaton in the Foxhunter. She warmed up well, but was very strong, she jumped the first few fences well, but ran me to the combination and then stopped! However, we mustered our bravery and she jumped through the second time and jumped bravely round the rest of the course. BE Khalissy was very lit up after her recent triumphs and had the last part of the combination, so when she then ran me to a bit oxer in the jump-off I decided to keep her for another day. After a less than auspicious start to the day Billy Arietta then jumped a fabulous clear in the 1.30, setting us up perfectly for the Newcomers 2nd Round on Sunday.
We had an early start on Sunday with Khalissy and Askeaton in the first class, the Accumulator. This is a great fun class which is always sponsored by Richard and Sam Baker. Askeaton was early to go and popped round very neatly, but just caught the joker behind, Khalissy then stormed round to finish 4th behind some more experienced speed horses, so I was very pleased with her. We then had a long wait for Arietta to jump in the Newcomers 2nd Round. I thought the course was very fair, technical, but considerably smaller than in Wales. Arietta jumped round really well, she just had four faults towards the end, and perhaps now she has a little more mileage I wouldn't choose to jump for two days before an important class, but I felt we needed the 1.20 to set us up for the 1.30, and that in turn made me feel very confident for the 2nd round class.
Overall we had a very good show. Askeaton, whilst not back to her form in Wales, was at least jumping round, Khalissy continues to be very competitive at 1.20 and is nearly ready to step up to 1.30 and I feel that I am properly getting the hang of riding Arietta over bigger courses now.
The horses will now have 8 days in the field before we prepare for Hickstead. It will be nice for them to unwind a little and we are going to spend a few days with all the family in France.
As always many thanks to April and Mark, we had a long and busy weekend, and to my fantastic sponsors, Saracen Horse Feeds, Protexin Premium Equine, NDS Equine and MacWet Gloves and thank you to all the team at Felbridge for a lovely show, fabulous courses, wonderful relaxed atmosphere and great competition.