The season approaches

As January comes to a close we start to plan our season ahead.
With the Sunshine Tour in Portugal kicking off early this year with a National Event in Mata Du Duque we have started our fitness work a little sooner than usual. Consequently the horses are on great form albeit a little fresh and in need of a run Xc. The combined training competitions held at Raheen Na  Gun have proven to be invaluable this year as part of our preperation for Portugal. To get the first couple of dressage tests of the season out of the way and a spin around a decent set of international standard fences certainly has the horses concentrating on the job. This is making it a very difficult decision of which to bring on the tour.
Fraser plans to bring Fernhill Revalation for the two star tour following his great results on the one star tour last year and his second place in the CIC in Ballendenisk last Autumn. Fernhill Cayenne and Fernhill Casano are two very talented 6 year olds that will contest the one star tour with the aim of gaining a qualification nice and early for the World Breeding Championships in Le Lion D’Angers later this year. That leaves Fraser with a space for his fourth horse and we will decide this weekend which of his string will benefit from the intensive work and events they get on this trip.
I will bring my darling Fernhill Mayhem for the second time and will do the Two Star tour following our good results in the National two star classes last Autumn. Fernhill Spring Lightly is a new ride for me this year. A lovely traditional Irish bred by a local stallion Cut The Mustard I am really looking forward to finding out more about him and seeing is he the talent I think he is.
So between clients this week we will be frantically packing for both humans and horses.
Fraser and Jack a long time friend of my family  will drive out which should take about three days which allows for the horses to get lots of rest on the way and the drivers to keep well within their driving hours. Jack will stay for the first two events to get a bit of sun and see does he fancy competing there next year. As he goes home our great friend and professional groom Marky Mark Swan flies out for the three internationals. He will be joined by our pony rider Elenor Cunningham who I think will gain valuable experience seeing the tracks out there and working alongside such a perfectionist for three weeks!
Sue Smallman our dressage trainer has been bribed with sunshine, seafood and Vinho Verdi and has agreed to accompany us for most of the tour. Sue is always great fun and has been our trainer and friend for as long as Fraser has been riding. She will be a great asset to our squad.
So a few decisions to be made but all in all we are fairly organised and looking forward to seeing all our friends from far and wide that make this trip every year.
Watch this space for news, results and gossip.

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