horse jumping fences

Bosun’s First CCI 4*

Following Osberton we ran at Oasby as a prep for Pau, and then made the 25hr drive to the South of France. Bosun did an ‘ok’ test, with his best work ruined by a little tension. For his first stab at 4* it wasn’t too bad, and he is showing such improvement in this phase that a winter’s practise should see him up with the best of them by the spring. He gave me my best 4* XC result to date. He made nothing of the track and was my first 4* finish inside the time, which was a great box to tick. Devastatingly he sustained a nasty over reach right on his coronet band. This seemingly innocuous injury is unfortunately incredibly painful. A little bit like stabbing the quick of your nail cuticle. He therefore became my second 4* horse of the year not to show jump, and therefore remain unqualified for Rio. As both horses are normally very good show jumpers, I feel like the ‘hard work’ was done and the ‘easier bit’ was left to seal two thrilling results.

At the end of the day, I have to be extremely grateful that I have 10 exciting horses on whom I can look forward to 2016 and beyond. Some of my closest friends in the sport have had very tough years to deal with, either through their own or their horses injuries, so I know how lucky I am. My first gang of fluffy, fat ponies have begun hacking after a well earned month in the field, so it won’t be long until we have exciting things to look forward to. I have spent the last 10 days scouring Europe for a new pony to join our gang, so watch this space for a new name in our team for next season.

I am looking forward to aiming Willy Do at Bramham, Beano at Badminton and should have a gang of their understudies up to advanced by the middle of this year. My sights are still very firmly set on Rio, with the Kiwi’s on fire at the moment I have a wee bit of catching up to do for sure, but with Willy and Bosun’s luck set to change, they have all the attributes required to compete with the best of them – so look out world!!!