What else can we say other than this season was WET WET WET! With a delayed start after the birth of Archie we thought that the weather would be nice to us, but sadly not. Poor Lulu didn't really get the start she wanted with Gatcombe abandoning but luckily our superstar didn't let that stop her and she went on to finish 3rd in the Ballindenisk CCI4* to wrap up her season (again in the wet!)
The final event of the year us take a family holiday to France for the World Young Horse Championships with Crunchie. It was an honour to be selected to rider for Ireland following his 11th place finish at Cornbury YH Champs. He held his breath in the dressage but jumped 2 incredible rounds to finish 12th in a highly competitive field.
In between our big trips to Ballindenisk and Le Lion there was time to get to know new boy Zorro a bit more. He’s going from strength to strength and finished on his 23 and 28 dressage at both Swalcliffe and Bovington to take the wins in the Open Novice. Once they come back from their Winter holidays we’ll be getting going with more training and showjumping and hoping to move him back up to Intermediate, and beyond, next season.
In total we had 6 WINS between Kojak (Nunney ON & Balindenisk 3*), Crunchie (Burgham Intermediate) and Zorro (Gatcombe Swalcliffe & Bovingdon ON), plus 5 International top 10s from Kojak and Lulu! Not bad for only getting half a season.
It was also nice to end the season ranked 90th in the world, and the 6th best Irish rider! This is based on our 4 best FEI results in the past 12-months, again pretty impressive having missed the start of the season and had the remainder affected by the wet weather.
Most of the horses are now out on holiday getting fluffy and muddy, whilst those who had a quieter season are enjoying some low key schooling and hacking to keep them ticking over. After Christmas we’ll all be hitting the “gym” and getting season ready with lots of training with Caroline Moore, and jumping shows.
There are some big aims for 2024 with Lulu looking to take on her first CCI5*, and also looking to secure some places on the Irish team. Other horses will start the season at their current levels before they look to step up later in the season. I also hope to have a number of new horses join us over the Winter, ready to get going next season.