Once again my ambitious statement that ended my last blog was not achieved so sorry folks for the gap in blogging!
As you can imagine a lot has been happening at Team Pickles but the thing that has given me the most satisfaction this summer is that........wait for it folks….. yep we have not had a member of staff leave for over 3 months now! Whoop whoop, so I am celebrating by giving my super lovely team some extra holiday for working their socks of this summer and for making my life a lot less stressful. Mary Burnfield, Kelly Smith, Hannah Okines, Alex Haynes, Claira Miesegaes and Sara Walker a huge thank you to you all – you are invaluable!
So on to the horses where we have a lot to catch up on. Direct Tullyoran Cruise belonging to Equestrian Direct has amongst other things had a name change - well done to those who spotted it, can tell who the stalkers are! We have had a great few runs finishing 5th at Keysoe over a tough Novice track, 5th at Sapey over another trappy course and then onto Gatcombe where she tried her little heart out in the CIC1* to finish outside the placing’s purely due to losing a shoe and having to take it steady. So holidays for her now before a winter of dressage and Sj training for her! Love this horse.
Mel Pritchard’s beautiful ex racer Winsome Wendy has clocked up three wins so far this season with some stunning dressage scores and is definitely contributing to my current fifth placing in the Foundation Points Table - next year I will be going for the win!
Sue Dawson's super Future Divine Illusion (Dennis) has had a good season and after jumping really beautifully at Solihull to finish 9th and Llanymynech to finish 14th he has gone back to his mummy for some hacking and time out to be a dressage pony before we make plans for next season. Dennis has a great sense of humour so let's hope he is behaving himself for his mummy!
Lucianna Wiser Than Wise (Beau) belonging to Lucy Keeney has also had a superb summer; we decided not to do any eventing as he is a big 4yo but to focus on the BYEH programme. So off to Field House we went and against over 50 four year olds Beau won the class by 10 marks toqualified us for Burghley. I have never been so was hugely excited to be going on such a classy looking horse. However, fate was to play its hand and Beau managed to throw a splint just before the big day meaning holiday time it was for him. Sad times but next year we will be there as a five year old! Thank you to Lucy for allowing me to ride her lovely horse all summer and exciting times ahead.
Fate played its hand again and whilst watching the BYEH FINAL with Kate Willis we saw a horse that we couldn't forget in the top ten line up and I am very excited to say that this horse, Cendora, is now safely part of Team Pickles and is owned by Kate Willis and Mel Pritchard and will be making her debut next season with me as a five year old.
The lovely Coco Chanel belonging to Hannah and Michael Henderson has matured well this summer and is out doing dressage and is turning into a bit of a pro. She has such lovely paces and a fabulous temperament so next season will be a fun one for her. Hannah and Mikey have a lovely horse who hopefully will bring some really good times next year.
Tim and Vanessa Willes beautiful TJ Blousey Brown (Bugsie) has had a flying summer with a win at Sapey, 4th at Shelford and 10th at Goring Heath in the BE100. She is such a classy scopey mare who with time is going to be a star. I am looking forward to a winter of flat work and jump training before going Novice next season.
We have another new addition in the form of Patsy who is out of the same mare as Direct Tullyoran Cruise so you can imagine this is really exciting; she is now broken in with thanks to Mary B and will start jumping in the next few weeks. She stands a little smaller than Tully but knowing all of her ridden history will be such an advantage and I really can't wait to jump her - let's hope she is half as good as her sister has turned out to be!
The Hathaway Horse brigade are also having an excellent summer with the star of the show being Tina Faulkners Whole Lotta Rosie who has now been 2nd four times this summer - are we going to finish with a win? We have two more events to try and make it happen so fingers crossed the upgrade will happen before we finish! All that being said, I don't think anyone could ask for more from this super special little pony.
The Beautiful Hathaway Quality (Roxy) finished her season at Homme House 4yo BE90 with 5th place in a strong class and 5th place but not good enough to qualify at the Carlton BYEH class. Her jumping has come on leaps and bounds as she strengthens up and given how blood she is I have a very good feeling about her future.
Hathaway Strider (Jimmy), the diminutive grey of our crew, has also had some great results this summer, finishing 6th in a BYEH qualifier at Carlton, followed by a 5th in a 5yo BE100 at Solihull and a win at Sapey. He is having his holidays now as we have a busy winter ahead doing some BD and BS in prep for a busy 2015.
Hathaway Wowfactor (Ruby) is on great form competing in her first BE event at BCA this week. A 27.5 dressage was good enough for third after this phase and a costly rail and some time penalties XC put us out the prizes but my goodness this horse has a future and I feel very lucky to ride her.
Hathaway No.1 (Fizz) has shown she has a real flare for dressage so is going to turn her attention to some BD very shortly and hopefully will bring home the ribbons in this sphere. We are all registered and ready to go. The patent bridles have arrived so hopefully we will fit in nicely!
I also have a new ride in the form of PLS Bluejay who is a super cute blue and white pony who is owned by Trisha Thornton. The aim for this man is to make him into Rosie pony mark 2 - I have some work to do then, no pressure!! However, he has started off well with a 5th place in the Unaffiliated at Aston Le Walls followed by 7th today at BCA with a lovely double clear in his first BE event.
So you can probably see why blog writing has taken a back seat? I can't complain though, I have to say I have some fantastic horses to ride, super owners to ride for and a great team to support me - what more could a girl want and to top it all off my students seem to be doing really rather well!
Mary B and Ballinfull Boy have bagged some top 10 placings and are looking really established at BE90 so will upgrade next season. Airtime seems to be hard to beat at BE100 with Aimelia Herbert and is loving his new life. I do miss him but seeing him so happy at this level is such a pleasure to be part of. Bruce and Claira Miesegaes are also flying with some serious placings at BE100 before Claira jets off to the Southern Hemisphere for the winter (lucky lady).
Hannah Okines and her lovely little horse we found in Ireland last year are getting Very established and had a 5th placing at Moreton Morrell unaffiliated last weekend. BE next year Hanny O is calling.....
Chloe Herbert and Arkwright NJ are back on the scene and again are dominating the BE100, my go tomorrow with the lovely Alfie at BCA, I did warn her that she might not get him back!!
Sister Suzie & Sarah Mann have been sharing Kate Low’s lovely Hazy Daiz this Summer and both have done really well with some top ten results.
Amy Newcombe and her talented little horse Condor Goariva have enjoyed their first season of BE posting some lovely jumping rounds. Amy won’t argue when I say her horse is not particularly keen on dressage but with patient and persistence on Amy’s part the marks are improving at each event.
Have I covered them all? Ah no! I am also having so much fun riding Kate Matterson's lovely young horses and am looking forwards to competing next year with her. All in all fun times are ahead but I really couldn't do it without my super team and sponsors and of course my super husband Mr P who as always puts up with me!
Until next time - god knows when!
As promised I am back with my blog and loads has been going on at Team Pickles.
Last week being half term meant my time was definitely pretty tight teaching the Warwickshire Pony Club and the Ettington and Kineton Riding Club. We had a clinic here over three evenings and attendance was great. We had some lovely horses and rider combinations and look forwards to seeing lots of them out competing soon.
In addition to lots of teaching we have been out and about competing and to training sessions with the horses. All the young ones are coming on leaps and bounds. Hathaway Strider is unrecognisable from the horse we bought a couple of months ago and I think could be a very exciting future prospect.
Hathaway Quality and Hathaway No.1 are out this week at Aston le Walls UA and they are beginning to feel like they know what they are doing and where their legs need to go. I have to be mindful they are only four years old so they will have a pretty quiet year just tootling around getting experience without putting too much physical strain on them.
Farley Hall was a new event we ventured to last week and wow what an event with so much scope to be a big hit for the future. The organisers had worked so hard given the weather conditions but the courses were super and we will be back next year. The horses all went well with Airtime finishing 4th in the ON and Direct Puissance finishing 10th in the Novice. Tullyoran has gone from strength to strength after her first Novice at Aston. She was a little excited in the dressage but jumped exceptionally well in tough ground conditions and XC felt like a pro which was very exciting.
Sunday was the first outing for Rosie Pony in a while due to both her recent events falling foul of the weather and she was as usual on great form finishing 5th in the BE90 so off to West Wilts next week for her. Hathaway Strider also completed his first BE competition finishing just outside the placings but feeling super special all the same.
Lucianna Wiser Than Wise is preparing for his first BYEH class at Bolesworth Castle and will being doing the UA at Aston this weekend in prep. Future Divine Illusion is also going back for his second go at the UA and is then heading to BCA for his first BE event. He will do some event horse classes a little later on all going well.
All the team are flying and finally we seem to have a good crew working together. Mary and her horse Tintin are on great form and are looking forwards to their next event at Aston this weekend.
Baby Bob, my first and hopefully last, home bred is now in work and is going really well, not quite sure where we will head with him but he will do some little events this summer. He hasn't quite grown into a horse so pony trials may be his calling!!
I am so pleased that yard favourite Olympic Tracer has found a lovely new home which he is off to next week. He is such a beautiful horse with a fantastic character and massive heart so I wish him and his new owners all the very best in the future.
After last weeks rain the ground is now pretty good so we are looking forwards top a fun weekend eventing and am taking the horses to Solihull for a bit of dressage practise on Thursday.
By the looks of it, Tattersalls was a great event and one I will hopefully have horses to go there with next year – looks like a good party was had by all.
So until next time – stay dry everyone!
I hope you have been keeping up to date with all the goings on at Team Pickles with facebook and twitter over the last few months whilst the blog has been sadly lacking.
Well we are back with a fantastic new look to the website thanks to Max Ross and Suzie Allen my super technical support crew, I would be lost without them.
We have been exceptionally busy the last few months with lots of new horses on the scene. Our lovely young horses are now all up and running with Hathaway Strider, Hathaway Quality and Future Divine Illusion all doing their first event last weekend and although we weren’t winners they all behaved impeccably and bar a few green moments I was extremely pleased with them- they are beautiful.
Hathaway No.1 and Lucianna Wiser than Wise will also be making their debut at Aston next month for the unaffiliated 80cm to get them going before their first BYEH classes of the year.
We also have just broken a beautiful mare Surprise Proposal by Primitive Proposal and she is looking like she is going to be a super horse for her owners Sarah and Diane Foster – so hopefully some exciting times ahead with her.
My older horses are going extremely well with Aston fever last week highlighting who is doing what. Airtime was super cool finishing 6th in the OI and I am hopeful that this year will be a little more lucky for him as last year seemed to cause set back after setback for him. Ciderpress has had some good results with a 5th at Weston Novice and a win at Keysoe a few weeks back. She was also en route to have a good result at Aston Intermediate but a run out – her first ever with me sadly put us out of contention- time for some homework!
Direct Mission a new ride for me has pulled out some great results including 4th place in a very hot OI section last week and is also for sale. He will be a super horse for someone to gain mileage on as he is a machine XC and for a big horse never gets strong – quite a relief for me!
Tullyoran Field of Dreams has also made the jump up to Novice being slightly green but she will soon get into the swing of things as she has so much talent for the future.
Reed Hill Rose who is also for sale has been doing really well, she is going to make a fantastic 1* horse for someone as she has a great attitude to work and a super jump! She is stepping up to Novice at BCA in a few weeks.
Mr Pickles has also been helping the team a huge amount doing all my fencing and driving the wife to a few competitions, he is now at home as he has recently started his own business fencing, hedge laying and doing all things rural (website coming soon). It is really nice to have him on hand a little more to fix all the things around the yard that are continually causing me grief!
Olympic Tracer owned by Kate Willis and Mel Pritchard is also for sale, he is sadly not going to carry on to a higher level and he is such a fun horse we think he would be a super all rounder at the lower levels, with bags of experience and a great attitude to work, his advert is on the website and goes on Horsequest today. I will be very sad to see him go but I am hugely aware with my horses that they have to compete at a level that suits them.
We had a fantastic few days at Badminton and boy what a competition – I don’t think anyone was expecting that outcome at the beginning of the week. Watching some of the XC it seemed to be very physically demanding on the horses with many twist and turns and take offs and landings that were not even which I think is difficult to predict before a competition how this is going to affect the horses.
We were lucky enough to have tickets for the SJ on the last day and after a teaching some lessons in the morning we flew down to watch and it really was nail biting to the end. I am not sure I can remember a badminton or championship where no one jumped a clear round.
I will be interested to see what alterations if any they make to it next year – exciting stuff.
We are taking on a new competition this weekend with Berriewood and I am looking forward to seeing what it like and if it is one to come back to in the future. Keysoe earlier this month had made some great changes to their XC course and had worked hard on their ground so I would go back their.
Rosie pony and Winsome Wendy are looking forwards to an outing as it has been a while since they have been out as Solihull was sadly cancelled on the Saturday. Airtime is down to Pontispool on Monday for another OI run before he heads to Salperton in June.
The team here have been working exceptionally hard and we are having a lot of fun this season. I am not going to lie, getting a team has been a tough ride over the last year but I am very hopeful we are entering new waters with an enthusiastic crew who are wanting to help me achieve my goals.
Thanks to all my support crew as well for keeping the horses on the road. The vet, physio, farrier all doing such a great job which is fundamental to achieving consistent results with these super horses.
So until next time which will now be a regular occurrence (I promise), have fun!
I always know that we are half way through the season when the grass is sky high, the list of jobs is two pages long and Mr Pickles is no where to be seen - you guessed it he is in Germany at his favourite event Luhmuhlen!
On his return he was presented with his list of duties which he is steadily working his way through and I was presented with a bottle of some ghastly German spirit which is apparently the best thing ever and a jar of rollmops; god he knows how to spoil me!
We have had some good outings with the horses and the star of the show is still Mr Percy pig aka Knights Escapade. He finished second in his first BE100 at Shelford Manor and then third in the same class at Ascott under Wychwood. He is on great form albeit a small blip at Stonar (I will forgive him as he is still very green) and we are very much looking forwards to our next outing at Upton House which I understand David Evans and his Team have given a makeover. What is also exciting is that Red Horse Rug Clean, my fabulous sponsors, are sponsoring a section or two and their prizes are pretty special if you are lucky enough to be in one of their sections.
Tully (Tullyoran Field of Dreams) is also going from strength to strength and finished in the top ten in her last two outings. She is such a classy horse and one I am hugely excited about for the future - She is just my type, quick, nimble and sharp with heaps of talent.
Albert (Airtime) is very excited about his run coming up at Barbury (as am I). We haven't had the best of seasons for one reason or another so it will be great to get going and as usual I am aiming high and going for the win!!!!
I have a new ride this season in the form of Ron (Goosesberry Hill Castle), he is a lovely Irish horse who belongs to a good friend of mine Jenny Webb. He is here to see if eventing is his thing so I am very excited about doing his first event at Stafford later this month.
Apple (Ciderpress) is back on form and we are off this morning for a spot of show jumping before she starts competing at Stafford. I am itching to get going with her as she really is such a special horse and is gaining in strength and fitness all of the time.
We have made the tough decision to retire Comet (Shannondale Comet) from eventing and focus on his dressage which he is so good at. We have had a lot of deliberation about it but feel he is not going to progress up the grades and therefore would be better doing a job that he is really good at and can excel. So we are off to Dressage this Friday for his debut this year. He has done quite a lot of affiliated in the past and was really good at it so hopefully we will have some fun times ahead.
Baby Dennis (Future Divine Illusion) is starting what I call 'proper work' now and is doing his first dressage competition on Friday. I think he will be a little green but he is ready to start going out and about and seeing a few things. We are off xc schooling with him tomorrow and a few others so it feels like the next chapter has started for Dennis. Sue Dawson who owns him came for her first ride on him last week which was really nice to see.
Hannah and Michael Henderson have made a very exciting purchase in the form of Miss Coco Chanel who is a four year old by Vancouver and has just arrived from the Emerald Isle. We had a very fun trip shopping for her and ended up seeing some really nice horses as well as have a few hilarious moments along the way. In the end though, Coco Chanel was the clear winner, however, we did pickup a couple of nice projects also. A lovely horse for Hannah to ride and also one that we felt we couldn't leave without - you could say it was a successful trip. Coco will hopefully be attending a couple of BYEH classes this year if we can get her ready in time!
Tina and Ian of Red Horse Rug Clean & Central Clipper care fame, who sponsor Team Pickles have also some new arrivals in the form of Fizz who is a beautiful three year old who we are just starting to break in and then we have a lovely four year old in the form named Wow Factor (love the name) who again will be broken this year. We also have a couple of very cute yearlings so watch this space.
So as you can see we have a lot going on here at the yard and as Mary is back from her jolly hols it is just as well!
Our latest recruit Alex Haynes has joined the team so we are now firing on all cylinders which will give us the boost for the second half of the season.
It is with great sadness however, that our muck out superstar Matt has gone on to other employment. He will be missed here especially as he was such a life saver for us through the winter - good luck Matt!
Also, a big well done to the Warwickshire Pony Club open team who qualified for the Championships last weekend! All the team road super and well deserved there ticket to the champs!
So there you go some very interesting news and times ahead, off to Allenshill now for a spot of Sj practise.
Promise I won't leave it so long next time!
Well peeps it is with great delight I am writing to tell you about our amazing result at Barbury Castle Horse Trials last weekend. Not wanting to bragg but........Airtime was at his very best and made the 2* track feel easy and we just had the best weekend ever! We had Thursday dressage so went down early Thursday morning to prepare and also had the lovely Tully (Tullyoran Field of Dreams) on the lorry to do the BYEH 5yo section.
Albert (Airtime) was on mega form and produced what I thought was his best test to date – (regardless of the score), but I was secretly confident that he would score well as it all felt right and in the right place!
The scores on Thursday were a little slow to come out and it was only when I received a text message from Chloe (Airtimes owner who couldn’t be there) to say well done that I knew we had done well, scoring 43.1 – our best result ever!
Dearest Albert lead the dressage all the way through Thursday and well into Friday where he was just pipped by Chris King and Billy Bounce by 0.3 of a mark. To finish Friday in second place out of over 90 starters was in my eyes a bloody good effort. Whatever happened next I was definitely going to enjoy the moment seeing as Albert has only had two Novice runs this year – which was perhaps not the most ideal prep!
Tully was a little star in the BYEH, scoring the best jumping mark of the day out of 52 starters and her dressage score was up there as well. Sadly the judges didn’t love her gallop as much as I do and she was pulled in 7th after this phase. I don't really know what the judges are looking for in these classes, as you can get top marks one week and be bottom of the pile the next however, I do think they are great to get young horses out and about, espcially when they have Tully's personallity and need to learn that not every outing will end in cross country. I think three qualified for Burghley so it was pretty tight and in my eyes she was fantastic and behaved impeccably throughout.
As a interlude to Barbury, we went to Allenshill in Friday for a day of dressage with Comet (Shannondale Comet), Baby Dennis (Future Divine Illusion) doing his first ever test, Pants who have for schooling and Tiffany riding the lovely Harry. All the horses went really well and Comet managed to score over 65% (and win) in both of his Elementary tests which I was chuffed to pieces with as this was his debute in his new career as a dressage pony.
Dennis did his first ever tests and was a Baby Dennis's first outing and was a little green (understandably) but a really good boy. He is going to be something special so watch this space!
Pants was his usual awesome self and produced two really consistent test to win both classes and Tiff has done a great job with Harry horse and is getting a better partnership together every time they go out.
So back to Barbury it was on Saturday with high expectations on my part – I had decided I was going for the win and nothing (well maybe Chris King) was going to stop me.
On walking the cross country course I decided it was all very jumpable as long as Albert was on good form and the Show Jumping didn’t look too big either (a bonus for us) so yes, I was certain it was going to be a good day!
Albert warmed up really well for the show jumping and felt as good as ever so I went in knowing that as long as I rode well a clear round was possible and guess what, yup he pulled it off, he was never going to touch a rail and jumped the best round of his life (with me). When I compare it to a year ago at Barbury, where he felt green and slightly under confident, he was a different horse and it was a very special moment to come out of the show jumping ring knowing we had blitzed it.
Rebecca and Chloe Herbert were there to support, as were Mr Pickles, my beautiful mother and sister Suzie. It was one of those moments that you just wish you could re-create again and again as to go into xc in pole position was something that doesn’t happen every day. Suzie also did a fab job of stepping in for normal Team photographer for Max Ross, so thanks for doing a fab job.
I was a little nervous in the XC warm up although not about the jumps but more about the desire to go clear and inside the time. I had decided before I set out to take one long route as Albert hasn’t seen many double of corners for a while I was not going to risk a run out. So we set off with jelly legs but with a steely determination that we were going for the win. It was the best round of my life, Albert was flying and made it all feel easy, he never backed off a single fence and felt scopey and honest all the way through. He is such a quick horse that the long route payed off and we came home two seconds inside the time – you could say it was bloody well judged but I think a little bit of luck in these situations is just what one needs sometimes!
So we spent the best part of 2 hours in the lead and watching Billy Bounce jump a clear SJ round was nail biting stuff - I knew that he would be also going for the win. We watched him fly round the xc beautifully and fly over the finish line with a good 11 secs to spare.
The Team at the yard had told me not to bother coming home unless I won so it really was a tough phone conversation to tell them I had only come second in a really strong 2* section, however, luckily, they were really understanding and said they would let me off just this once – pheweee!
So there you go, our best result to date on the back of the least preparation and with my family and the Herberts there to support it really was one of the best days so far – you could say a career highlight.
The Team back at HQ were tweeting all day which was so lovely and I really couldn’t have done it without them. Albert looked awesome and I knew they were all behind me which really does make all the difference.
I have received so many lovely text messages and facebook posts about our fab result so thank you everyone who is involved with Team Pickles - vets, physios, farriers, sponsors, and of course Alberts owners the Herberts who have been part of the team for a long time now and are such big supporters of me and Albert it was our best result to date and one we won't forget!
I am very excited to say that I have a new ride in the form of Rebels Hero (Hugo) who belongs to Hannah Okines. Hannah worked for me for a very long time and has decided that Hugo deserves a chance at the big time and has very kindly added him to my string. To say I am excited is an understatement and we are having our debut at Upton House this week in the BE100. Hugo originally came from Equestrian Direct and is a very exciting prospect for the future.
Coco (Miss Coco Chanel) is winging her way to Team Pickles soon and again the excitement is high. She has nearly finished her quarantine with her owners Hannah and Michael Henderson and I am literally counting down the days.
Ron (Gooseberry Hill Castle), Apple (Ciderpress) and Rosie (Whole Lotta Rosie) are out next week at Stafford which will be a very exciting day for all of them as it has been a while since they have been out and about.
Rosie, was our Mascot at Barbury and I will give her the credit for the 2nd place to her as she kept Albert calm and focused all day long and was the perfect pony to give him the winning edge. That and the Butet saddle that my fab sponsors Red Horse Rug Clean sent my way last month. It really is a lovely saddle and one that I shall cherish along with my Albion that my lovely owners Kate and Mel Willis bought earlier this year. Without such a great support team this sport is impossible so to everyone who is helping me along the way to achieving my goals a huge – THANK YOU.
Till next time,