Friday, 03 October 2014 00:00

A Whole Lotta Summer

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!

Colina x

Published in Blog
Monday, 14 July 2014 00:00

Back on Form

Firstly I am very proud to say that I have a fabulous new sponsor in the form of Equestrian Direct. If you have any surface needs then you please look no further.

The last couple of months have not been our most rewarding on the results boards, however sometimes the results don’t reflect what is actually going on and it was really nice this week to see all the horses coming together and maturing with the added bonus of it all being on the same day at the same event which was our lovely local event Upton House. With fab going, super organisation and for once upper level prize money it really was a lovely couple of days and very rewarding for my super owners to see their lovely horses going so well.


There have been a few changes at Team Pickles with a hard decision to retire Airtime (Albert) from my string. He is going to go and have some fun back at his home with Amelia Herbert and hopefully own the BE100 Open classes!

Ciderpress (Apple) very sadly is also taking time out to try and have a baby,  hopefully she is in foal as you read, we will find out in the next few days – exciting.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank both the Herbert's and Kate and Matt Low for their support over the last few years. We have had a lot of fun with these two fabulous horses and their involvement with Team Pickles has been very much appreciated. This sport is a tough one and for me is only made possible by lovely people allowing me to ride their horses in competition; both the Herbert's and the Lows have been hugely, hugely supportive and for that I can only thank them.

So back to the young guns where Tullyoran Field of Dreams is heading the Novice string with some good runs under her belt. She has been in contention for a prize the last 3 times out but I have taken her slowly XC to give her experience at this level before we become competitive. However, at Upton on Wednesday the time felt right to move her on a bit quicker and she finished in 9th position with a couple of time penalties to add. I was thrilled with how she felt and she was so scopey and brave XC I couldn’t help having a huge smile on my face all the way round the XC. She is just beginning to come into her own and strengthen up enough to be competitive and boy is she an exciting prospect.

Winsome Wendy has had a great season so far with a couple of wins on some fab dressage scores. She was super at Upton for 6th place in the BE100 and sadly a rail cost her a much higher placing.

The Hathaway string are going from strength to strength with Hathaway Strider growing in my opinions every time I ride him. He is a small horse with a huge stride and boy can he jump. He is loose, elastic and really careful and reminds me so much of my first super horse Nictim it is untrue. He had a great result finishing 4th at Upton last week and is off to Homme House for his first 5YO class in a few weeks. Hathaway Quality lives up to her name and although a little weak this year I feel is a horse for the future. She has bags of stride and a huge jump and did really well at Barbury BYEH earlier this month finishing just outside the top ten at her first attempt. Hathaway No.1 was just behind her at Barbury doing a lovely test and SJ round and has so much movement she is a pleasure to ride and has the most super temperament to go with it.

Future Divine Illusion has now completed his 2nd BE event with a 4th place at Upton House last week in the BE90. He has such a pop in him and although he keeps me on my toes most of the time he is a great competitor when in the ring and a horse that gives me a lot of excitement for times ahead as he has so much athletic ability.

Lucianna Wiser Than Wise has now completed two BYEH qualifiers with a great result at the awesome Bolesworth Castle, finishing 3rd in a fairly strong class with a serious amount of atmosphere. He is off to Field House this coming Thursday for his final try before having a holiday. He is a big horse who is going to take time to mature but has a great temperament and all the talent to be a super eventer.

So you can see I have my hands full with all these lovely young horses but I feel so lucky to have them to compete and am hugely grateful to their owners for choosing me to ride them.

Our Baby Bob is on great form and although only small (around 15hh) is going to be a really smart 'proper' pony. He has bags of character one could say but Mary has done a super job of organising him and putting him on the straight and narrow so hopefully he will turn into a little super star like his mummy!

We are really busy with horses in for schooling and starting and the team are flying along. Kelly and Sarah have joined us and are both getting to grips with the job. Alex has been with us a year now and has nearly finished his apprentiship which is a great qualification for him. He has matured into a vital part of Team Pickles and is proof that sticking something out reaps the rewards as both his riding and understanding of horses has improved beyond recognition.
Sara Walker who used to work with me many years ago has rejoined the team part time and is like a breath of fresh air to me. Her standards are exactly where I want them to be and she is a superb role model for anyone to follow. I am trying to persuade her to come full time but sadly I think I am not going to win this one!!

So this week brings us to Field House with the BYEH ponies and Aston with Tullyoran on Friday.

The summer weather is making everything so much easier and it is so nice to have long evenings and light mornings which makes getting up for early starts all the more appealing!

Until next time…..

 

Published in Blog
Saturday, 07 June 2014 00:00

Busy Busy...

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!

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