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!
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,
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,
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,
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