Well a lot has happened since I last wrote here!!
I have been away to Portugal on the Sunshine Tour so please forgive my lack of communication!! Not lazy just the internet connection was not always reliable!!
Well the final of the EXpress Eventing took place in my absence and from all accounts the Fernhill Team excelled themselves.
Fauve, Matilda and Fraser all won league titles and Fraser managed to place everyone of his rides in the Top class. They all won lovely rugs donated by Raheen Na Gun stud. Fauve has now returned to Canada and I am sure whe will be sporting hers at her next outing in Canada.
Fauve was a great help to Fernhill during her stay with us, we hope she learned a lot and her riding certainly improved. We look forward to her return in the Autumn.
Whilst the team at home kept things swinging along I headed out to Portugal on the Sunshine Tour with two horses Fernhill Viper and my stallion Vriend. My pals Katie O’Sullivan and Mel Ashe drove out my truck collecting Alex Van Tuyll on the way to do the lions share of the driving.
The first Event of the tour was in Vale Sabroso home of the Tudella family who as always had a warm welcome ready for us all.
The sun was out and spitists were high between all competitors on this our first event of the year.
After suffering a nasty injury to my hand during my attempts at yard duties I decided to offer the ride on Vrind to Duarte as vriend is a big strong horse and to attempt to ride him xc with just one hand would not have been a pretty sight!!
Duarte did a great job with him and finished 2nd in the CIC 1 star class, Trish Ryan won this with her impressive mare Lady Chatterbox. Vriend was super and very pleased to be eventing after his summer persuing his show jumping career.
Viper was her usual enthusiastic self and we had a great spin in the CIC 1 star as a warm up for the two star tour in Barroca.
The two star class which offers a first prize of a Harley Davison motorcycle is always a hot competition and there were some very impressive horses in this class. Clayton Fredericks had brough out four of his top ones and Lucy Weigersma had some amunition on board too.
My own Fernhill Gloster Rebel was there with Duarte onboard and was leading going into the show jumping phase. We were all on pins as he jumped but alas it was not to be, those show jumps can be very expensive things!! So it was Claytons day with Bendingo and he drove off into the sunset on his Harley and Duarte for the third year running settled for 2nd place with Lucy 3rd with Jumbos girl.
Vale Sabroso is always a great start to the season and the Tudella family are second to none when organising an event. The Junior European championships will be held there in September and I am sure all attending will be impressed.
The second and third leg of the tour takes place at home of the Lupi family in Barroca about an hour drive from Vale Sabroso. So Monday was frantic packing and moving venues.
CIC 1 star and CIC 2 star competitions are held the first weekend in Barroca as a warm up for the CCI’s at both levels the following weekend.
As Duarte did so well with Vriend the previous weekend it was hard to jock him off and take the ride back from him. The decision was made to move him up a level and he finished a very respectable 6th in the 2 star class. Fernhill viper had a handy run and finished halfway but gave me a great spin xc and as always brought me home with a smile on my face.
The final weekend of the tour has a CIC 3 star class which always has a quality field and this year was no exception. But it was my own Fernhill Gloster Rebel that took the spoils and it was some consolation for Duarte having missed out on the Harley in Vale Sabroso, the results were reversed and it was Clayton and Bendingo that had to settle for the runner up spot this time. This was a great result for Duarte as the FEI points from this win will give him an advantage in his quest for the Olympics in London.
For me the star of the weekend was my gorgeoug stallion Vriend who showed us how versitile he is. He was stunning in the dressage in the CCI 2 star and posted a double clear round to finish in 2nd place. I was so proud of him on his first attempt at this level he tried so hard. Duarte did a great job riding him and felt he made the step up a level very easy.
Now qualified for 3 star the plan is to aim for the 8/9 year old class in Blenheim later in the year.
All in all a successful tour and great results for Fernhill horses. Its great to get some mileage into them early in the season as i struggle with my workload back in Fernhill to ride as often as I would like.