Thursday, 22 August 2013 00:00

Fun in the sun

The sun is still shining and one can safely say we have had a summer this year and what a difference it has made to everyone here at Team Pickles – let’s hope this spell continues and we can finish the season with good going and some fun days out.

The horses are all on great form with Apple(Ciderpress)  making a good comeback. She did her first event at Carlton and was 3rd in the 100Open and then went to Aston Novice where she was 6th. She felt like an old pro and popped round the XC no problem so we are aiming for Gatcombe CIC1* as our next big thing!

Albert (Airtime) has made a good recovery from our not so good time at Aston le Walls Advanced. I can only think that he was suffering with bruised feet after losing both his shoes at Barbury. We had a good run at Somerford, where he did the best XC of my time with him. He was totally on the ball and made it feel like a piece of cake. There were some difficult lines and good old Albert never thought twice about taking it on. I didn’t want the round to finish as we were having so much fun. What was really nice is we got some good compliments from the Ground Jury and Course designer about our round. He lowered three rails Show Jumping which on the day was really disappointing however, he was really confident and was jumping well so I think with a bit of practice SJ at this level again we will be back to form! We still managed to come 29th out of a field of 100+, so not a shameful result by any means.

Obviously the weekend was not without tragedy and it was just so sad to hear the news of the fatality of Tom Gadsby. I did not know Tom at all but can only express my sorrow for such a horrible thing to happen to someone so young and dedicated to the sport. It really does bring home the risks we take when we go eventing and my thoughts are with his family and connections at this sad time.

I feel desperately sad also for the event organisers and owners, everyone working at the event and all those involved at Somerford Park. It is an amazing event with superb going, great courses, and fences that have been designed to be inviting and horse friendly. For such a terrible thing to happen will have an effect on all those at Somerford Park for a very long time.

The horses have all been having a bit of pampering with the amazing Equissage Pad that our fab sponsors Red Horse Rug Clean, Central Clipper Care and Central Embroidery has sent our way. Having a massage before riding has really made a difference to them and will now be a big part of our daily routine.

The BE100/BE90 crew are all going well and Percy (Knights Escapade) is on great form, finishing 4th in his last two events. Ron  (Gooseberry Hill Castle) has had some good top ten results and will be for sale at the end of this month if anyone is looking for a nice horse to event/hunt and have fun on. He is a very kind horse and loves his competing so watch this space as an advert will be coming soon!

Hugo (Rebels Hero) is a very exciting horse for me and we are going to finish the season gaining strength and confidence so that next season we can really start to step up to the next level. He feels like he needs this winter to mature and will be a serious horse for the future.

And not forgetting Rosie Pony (Whole Lotta Rosie), she had a really unlucky first fence down at Homme House to push her out of the top 10, however, our Autumn campaign is busy so I am sure she will be back on the podium again!

Tully (Tullyoran Field of Dreams) is also maturing very quickly; she is a very exciting horse for me with a super jump and plenty of scope. She has probably missed out on the 5YO champs this year but she is one for the future and a horse I am seriously excited about.

The pupils are also going really well and are going from strength to strength at each competition we go to. Tiff is our dressage queen at the moment although Mary and Brooke (Take Your Pick) scored an impressive 22 at their last BE100 which I don’t think I have been able to beat this season – I better try a little harder!

Alex and Reggie are off to the PC champs this weekend and we wish them all the best of luck and Jodie P has just come back off her holidays so she and Bryn are raring to go this weekend at Milton Keynes.

A super well done as well to the WHPC for coming 10th at the PC Eventing Champs up at Cholmondley Castle. It sounds like you did a sterling job as the XC caused a lot of problems.

Sadly I didn’t attend as I stupidly managed to do my self another injury on the Dream Machine. This time me and the partition had a collision which resulted in me seeing a lot of stars and having a chaperone home from my good friend Bill Levett – thank goodness for good friends when you are having a crisis.

So all busy as ever at Team Pickles HQ but once again thank you to my fab team and sponsors who make it all possible and are all behind me – I really couldn’t do it without you all.

So with eight weeks of eventing left we are going to be busy but with some good events coming along it should be a really fun time ahead.

Until next time,

 

Colina

Published in Blog
Friday, 25 October 2013 00:00

Awesome Airtime does it again

We have been having a much better time of it recently with all the horses performing to their best at their recent competitions. I would love to say that I have done something different to make this happen but all I can say is a bit of luck is winging its way back to Team Pickles and the winning (or almost) formula is back! The dressage judges have suddenly started to love us again and the poles seems to be staying up (most of the time anyway)!

Working back from Gatcombe this weekend where not only did Albert (Airtime) go exceptionally well Apple (Ciderpress) also went like a dream to complete a really really special weekend.

This year has been testing to say the least and when it all comes together it really does make you appreciate the good times!!!

Airtime felt awesome, he was a little naughty in his dressage however, he still managed to pull off a 42.8 which is our best score to date. I was thrilled as I felt he could have done better but still scored so well. Gatcombe decided to reverse the SJ/XC order so we went XC first followed later by the SJ. Luckily,this did work in our favor; I initially thought that it would be a disaster (which it was for a lot of people).  Airtime seemed to be well up for it, being one of the quickest times across county of the day as well as feeling like a total pro! The showjumping is always going to cause us a few issues however, I have to say the poles that fell were mine this time as Airtime was jumping his little socks off. I just got a bit free and sadly the poles came down. All was not lost though as 4th place it was in a very tough class of over 100.

In the shops at Burghley, I did treat myself to a new SJ hat with a bit of bling on it, so I am of course crediting my success to this as it really did look good and I know it gave us the winning (or almost) edge!

Ciderpress made a return to 1* and was totally mega. She jumped a fabulous double clear after a getting a stingy dressage mark to finish in the top 25. I was a little disappointed not to be top ten but seeing as it was her third event of the year one can’t really complain!

The BE90/100 crew are all going really well with Rosie v (Whole Lotta Rosie) back on top form with a win at West Wilts and a second at Llanymynech. She is such a pro now and it is so nice for Tina, Ian and Tiff to see her in action after their fabulous support in sponsoring us this season.

The horses and team have never looked smarter with all the rugs, jackets, etc so many thanks Red Horse Rug Clean and Central Clipper Care. Seeing as it is that time of year when we get the clippers out to start clipping and realise that our clipper blades are blunt, I have to recommend Central Clipper Care who will get those blades ready to do a great clipping job.

Percy (Knights Escapade) is also enjoying a good run, just missing out on winning a couple of times in his last few outing by having a few time faults, however, he is a horse I am looking after for next season and I want to do the best by him this year and give him the best chance of moving up to Novice next season.

Tully (Tullyoran Field of Dreams) is going from strength to strength just missing out qualifying for the 5YO champs this Autumn by 0.5 of a penalty at Llanymynech. I thought a 24.5 dressage might do it but sadly not! This is a horse I am very excited about competing next year and has improved so much from this spring when she was so green.

Wendy (Winsome Wendy) is also enjoying a great run having a win (Carlton) and a second (West Wilts) recently at BE100 and I have to say has never felt better. Mel and Kate are really enjoying watching her and it is so lovely to have such fantastic owners on board.

We also have a couple of horses for sale at the moment, a lovely hunter by the name of George, my lovely Shannondale Comet who I will greatly miss. We also have a really sweet ex racer, Jago, who is looking for a loan or purchase home to have some fun. All are lovely horses so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you are looking for someone new in your life!

Coco (Miss Coco Chanel) is mine and Hannah Hendersons lovely 4YO who I am chomping at the bit to get going with next season. She is showing lots of promise and seems to have a fantastic attitude to work. She is very well balanced and has lovely paces so watch this space!

We have a few little projects on the go as well. Hacky (Hacketstown) is going to make a lovely pony for someone and Fizz (Hathaway No.1) is now broken in and I am mega excited about her. She is only three at the moment but her movement is spot on so watch this space! Ella, Rosie Ponies baby (she is now 4) is also going great and I think will be making a debut eventing next season.

The Team here are all going well. It has been a little bit of a running joke this year with the amount of people that have passed through the door though. My stress levels have never been higher but I think at last I have a solid crew who are all loyal to me and are doing really well in achieving their goals with their horses. Mary B did really well at the weekend on Brook (Take Your Pick), jumping a fab double clear in the ON; I was only a tiny bit jealous! Harriet Dickin also did brill at Gatcombe 1* on her lovely horse Bean who she has only had a few short months and has already started to form a solid partnership.

I am so thankful to the whole Team who have been working really hard to make the last few months of the season run smoothly and I can’t thank them enough after last winter. I know what it is like to be stranded and I am making certain that this year is going to be different!!

We have a month left of competing and next up is Moreton Morrell and Brooksby followed by Osberton next week with the lovely Airtime in the CCI2*.

So my next blog will fill you in on the next chapter and hopefully this weather will continue through October so we can have a fab end to the season and with a bit of luck a win or two along the way!

Until then peeps,

Colina

Published in Blog
Monday, 10 March 2014 00:00

A long time coming

Hi folks,

I know it's been a while since my last blog but it's been a busy winter and the days have been long and very very wet.

Winter is a good time for sorting out the wheat from the chaff it takes it's toll on staff and riders as the wet conditions make it so difficult to work in and the eventing season can seem so far away. Not anymore fortunately, my team have been amazing this winter and come out the other side so we are all raring to go.  We delayed competing for the first events in March and not competing the younger horses until April. They aren't in need of a long season so we've had a few weekends at Weston Lawns which have done them well and are now looking forward Aston Le walls unaffiliated next month.
Ernie (Olympic tracer) is the my first ride of the season at Aston this weekend. He has been going well over the winter so I'm hoping it will continue.

I am looking forward to seeing the new all weather XC course there I have heard so much about it but not been over to ride on it yet.
The following weekend were off to Swalcliffe so some nice local events to ease us in with Olympic Tracer, Rosie pony and Winsome Wendy - Just hope we don't get really early times!!

Mr P has reluctantly been taking one for the team by mucking out every morning to take the pressure off the yard staff. We really appreciate their hard work and welcome two new members of staff Emily and Liz who we hope will enjoy working here and benefit from there experience.

A job I hate at the end of the month is invoicing all my owners and clients. It seems to take forever but is obviously very important.  I set aside my time in the evenings for this but the only thing I really want to do is go to bed. I need to get Mr P trained to do it so I can fob this job off on to him although he seems a little reluctant preferring a glass of red wine in front of the tv!!

I have possibly got the strongest team of horses I have ever had this season with some lovely young ones who will be aiming for BYEH. I have a new ride in the form of Beau who is a lovely type by Jaguar Mail who I can't wait to get going on. He is 4 this time and will aim at the Lycetts classes aswell as the BYEH his owner Lucy - who bred him is about excited as I am to get stated.

Myself and a colleague have set up a enterprise named Hathaway Horses with the aim of producing and selling some nice event horses. We have three lovely youngsters who are up and running who again I can't wait to get stated with.

Miss Coco Chanel belonging to Hannah and Michael Henderson is on great form and is looking forwards to her debut next month. She has taken time to mature but has a fabulous nature and will be a fun horse for the season.

We have a new member to the team of horses named She's All Class who I am looking forwards to campaigning this year. Lady Butler and Tina Faulkner have both got shares in her and are both chomping at the bit for her season to get going. Watch this space.....

TJ Blousey Brown has wintered really well and is jumping out of her skin at the moment. So far she has won twice at pre season competitions and I think could be my secret weapon for the season, let's hope so!

Airtime and Ciderpress are getting underway at Gatombe so let's hope for some good weather to get them going. I love Gatcombe as an early event as it always seems to get them into the swing.

Tullyoran Field of Dreams will now be known as Direct Miss Cruise and again has wintered really well. I can't wait to get going with her as she showed such amazing promise last year and is one I am particularly fond of.

The mighty Dennis belonging to Sue Dawson is back from his winter holidays and again will hopefully be aiming at BYEH young horse classes this year. So you can see I have a lot to be getting on with as well as doing my invoicing.........

Mary has a lovely new horse called Tintin who I keep threatening to steal but seriously I am really thrilled for her and can't wait to see her getting started with him.

So as usual, mega busy, all a bit manic, but pretty exciting times ahead and a team who can hopefully help me achieve my goals, one day I will make it to advanced, one day.............

Until next time

Colina

Published in Blog