The real action begins with the first international event at the amazing facility of Vale Sabrose close to the quaint little town of Alcaser Do Sal. The Tudella family are always so warm and welcoming this really feels like home from home to Fernhill. We base here for the few weeks before the event and are really treated like family by everyone at the farm.
Reinforcements were drafted in for the rest of the tour in the form of Sue Smallman our dressage trainer and Mark Swan our groom for the next three weeks.
The week got off to an action packed start when Mayhem was having his usual fun and games out hacking and pulled a shoe. The long hack home shoeless made him sore and our farrier was set the task of replacing the shoe and leaving him sound! I managed to nurse him through the dressage but he was obviously uncomfortable so I made the decision not to continue. I was gutted not to get the spin around Eric Winters great Xc course but it was not the sort of track to be facing knowing Mayhem was still sore.
Cayenne was really impressive in the dressage and finished in 3rd place after this phase in the one star. Casano a little greener was still in with a shout in 10th and my ride Spring looked to set to do a stunning test until I put on my tail coat! He took an instant Wilkie to the tails flapping and spent the whole test with his back up. Guess what I will be wearing for the next week?? Still he did not score too bad and obviously looked better than he felt.
The two star was a small but very competitive class with three star horses having an outing and even an Olympic horses here to try to take away the very prestigious first prize of a Harley Davison motorcycle.
Cayenne being first out Xc on Saturday was caught out at the influential steps down to skinny which was a great shame as he did not deserve a 20 on his record as he flew round and looked very grown up. all the others posted clear rounds and moved up the order to finish well placed for the show jumping the next day.
The show jumping as always here changed the order in both classes quite a lot
Fernhill Spring Lightly forgot he had galloped Xc the previous day and nearly jumped me off a couple of times but I managed to cling on and jumped a great clear round. We finished in 5th place which was a great result for us in our first international class together.
Casano was still feeling under the weather from his sand rash so Fraser decided not to pursue his show jumping round but save him for another day. A young horse with a great future so no panic to push him at this stage.
Boleybawn Fernhill jumped super as usual and finished well up the order in the two star.
Fernhill Revelation was very unlucky to rub a rail when he lost concentration for a split second as he glanced sideways to look at the Harley Davison that was been wheeled to the arena! He finished a very respectable 3rd behind an Olympic horse and the phenomenon that is Fernhill By Night. Delighted for Liz Halliday and her stunning horse that they get to take the Harley home!! Liz deserved it, leading from the dressage and putting in foot perfect performances in the other two phases, this really does look an exciting combination for the future, bring on Rio!!