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!
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!
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