Novice day today and an early start for the crew with 3 young horses strutting their stuff in the dressage at the bottom of the truck park in the early morning sunshine.
The promised heatwave is finally starting to make an appearance and it was jackets off at Barbury this morning. Tim just had Volani ( Arnie) who is back out again after a short break and Jonelle had Cooley Seeing Magic (Guthrie) and Dromgurrihy Gold ( Dara) as her two 6 year olds. They are quite different but they are both solidly learning the ropes and they both scored well one the flat with Guthrie on a 29 and Dara on a 28 although since the left canter didn’t exactly mirror the floor plan we thought a 28 was fairly generous! Arnie and Tim sat on a good 28 so it was happy faces all around that rode down to the showjumping.
The novices jump in the main arena at Barbury which is fun and educational for them but it does mean they can cop a few rails en route. Arnie just picked up 4 faults with Tim, Guthrie looked like Milton outside but lost a bit of concentration in the arena for 8 faults and Dara looked quite green outside but used every single bit of his body to leave all the poles up in the arena.
They all ran effortlessly cross country. They looked so at home on the camber of the Barbury hills thanks to the grounding they get at Mere Farm and Dara was the star of the day picking up 6th spot and his first BE point with his double clear. Guthrie picked up 8th as he wasn’t the only one to find the showjumping challenging and Tim took Arnie steadily cross country for his first run back and a lovely easy clear for top 12.
Barbury looks amazing…Alec and his team have done such a great job of reinventing it. The picturesque backdrop of the rolling hills, the incredible viewing..barely a fence is out of view…and the entire setting is quite special on a day like today. We are lucky to have events like this in the calendar and even nicer to have them on our doorstep!