Speedi-Beet Team – September Blogs

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August bank holiday was a large English Civil War Battle display at Catton Hall. Tilly did two days of battle displays as well as joining her friend Bobby in the Living History camp and getting lots of fuss from members of the public.
Tilly had her back checked and a massage this month. Boy, does she love it! Pleased to report that she was given the all clear.
The winter arena eventing has started and we entered the 80cm, but unfortunately had a fence down. Despite not having jumped any cross country jumps recently, Tilly took them all on with enthusiasm.
We also had a WW1 display event this month. It was at Rockingham Castle Country Fair. I had to learn the new musical ride on the morning of the first display, but luckily it all went well. As usual at these events, Tilly absolutely loved the skill at arms, bouncing around on the start, waiting for me to say go.
Last Month, I was just starting to pack for my trip to Holland when we won a competition for some VIP tickets at The Sell FOAL Auction, which is an auction I have never been to before. We visited Holland with some clients, Lorna and Ruby, all of us looking for some young stars from foals to two-year-olds.
Our first visit was to a small private stud, close by to the evening auction, where we saw a beautiful Black colt, by Fellini (Ampere) out of a Gribaldi mother line. He was totally stunning with white star and three white socks. He came in the arena and danced round, showing a super walk, big trot, uphill canter and a lovely character! My sister and I were very excited by him, so I made the breeder an offer which was accepted, so he will be coming over to the UK soon, how very exciting!
Next trip was to the Sell auction in Asten, where we were treated like royalty. We had our own table with wines, snacks and coffee and we received a sit down meal at the auction. My clients were very excited seeing all the foals, there were over 60 dressage and jumping foals presented in the sale.
The auction had started and Lorna and Ruby bought a foal by Lux, a jumping foal for her son Henry to produce later on. It was all very exciting for them to buy in an auction like this. Good luck to them with Luxer!
We also visited a friend, Kim who I buy and sell a few horses with, we saw some nice horses but there were no two-year-olds there yet. She called me on my last day to say her husband had bought a two-year-old in, so we called in on our way to the port. He’s a bay stallion with jumping blood lines, by Van Gogh out of a Diarando mother. I was able to loose school him and he was amazing! He showed great power and a good hind leg. We checked his X-rays in the office, and these were sent to Peter at Hird & Partners Vets, he said they were actually excellent, and we then had a fresh vetting before he was ready to come to UK… We bought him too!
So two lovely babies coming to the UK, and one happy client bringing back a foal.
There is also some more exciting news for us, Ben and I are expecting our first baby in January, I am 24 weeks now and have just stopped riding due to safety. But I hope to be back competing at the regionals in February and March, depending on my health.
So a very exciting month! My next blog will be about the newbies and we’ll be heading to Horse of the Year Show too.
Regards Sarah and QD horses xx

This whole year seems to have flashed before my very eyes, and September has been no different! How on earth is it autumn and the dark evenings already creeping in? The first clips of the year are done and the full-neck rugs are out!

This month started with a funny day out at Cholderton EC, it’s one of our favourite venues because it is run by such friendly people, we always have a laugh and find lots of people to chat to. Stanley did what I felt was a nice first test, at times he got a little collected and behind the leg but it was accurate, obedient and smooth. The judge, however, obviously only saw the slightly backward moments and we came away with a pretty miserable score!

I got my bum into gear for the second test. The Elementary 59 is the hardest one we have done to date. I had a discussion with Stanley about keeping the energy despite what his dozy rider says and he did a much better test, although still room for improvement. Given how much is in the test and how quick it comes up I was chuffed, he did everything I asked and even got a couple of 7.5 scores for his work! We finished with a score of 67.8% and second place overall… and under the same hard marking judge was fab! It was a very valuable outing making me realise I must learn to ride his power to keep the impulsion and sparkle instead of playing it safe and shutting the energy in.
We have also had a few weeks of lessons, trips out in the lorry and general hacking because at long last we have re-furbished our 11-year-old wood chip arena. It has been great and owes us nothing but the surface was beginning to break down and was becoming slippery – it wasn’t helping us learn new movements as he would lose balance, slip and as a result lose confidence. I now have a lovely new sand and rubber arena which I hope will allow us to crack on with our learning and reach our top hat and tail dream a little sooner.

At the end of the month, on my birthday, we trundled down to Dorset to Moreton EC Area Festival. We had managed to qualify by getting three sheets above a certain % at Elementary level this year. We camped in the little lorry, surprisingly much warmer than I had anticipated which was a big relief! I was really pleased with the improvement that I felt since Cholderton and he was much more willing to go forwards and maintained his power throughout the test. Unfortunately, the pink flowers on one side of the arena were incredibly scary, (perhaps those pesky Pokémon were hiding behind them!) After a couple of ninja moves around said flowers and a few other movements which had varying tempo due the spooking lost us some marks. However, the good movements felt fab and the judges saw this too!

Just over 2% separated the top 10 so the marks were close and I was very pleased with 67.5% and seventh place especially as there were three judges marking. To think we went from 67.8% at Cholderton for a mistake free test to then a similar mark for a far from perfect test – this really highlighted the fact that our hard work and lessons from my very dedicated trainers are paying off!

Fingers crossed for another good run at Crofton Area Festivals in October, another rosette would be amazing. He has only been out of the top 10 once at Regional, Nationals and Festival level since we started competing and even then he only finished 11th! I am incredibly lucky to have found such a superstar horse who I simply love training and can’t thank everyone enough for all the support we receive whilst we are on our journey!

Hannah & Stanley

Reflecting on this month, we’ve had lots of fun here at Roman Bank!
Robbie went to Burnham Market a few weeks ago, he’s not been to any events for a while so I hoped he would enjoy himself in the BE100. He did exactly that and finished 14th with a double clear inside the time.
Today we’ve been competing with him at Little Downham in the Novice. I made the stupid mistake of missing out the last jump after jumping what I thought was a classy clear in the showjumping phase, to cause my boy a technical elimination. I am so frustrated with myself right now! We went and cruised around the cross country anyway, HC, and he jumped clear around that too! The boy is my super star, and however annoyed with myself I may be, I’m still very proud of Robbie for giving me such a nice ride!
I finally convinced mum to let me take little 14.2hh Oakley (aka Tyrawley Girl) to her very first 80cm ODE at Burnham Market this month too! We had a great time, she was just so sweet if a little green in place, but proved that she can turn her hoof to pretty much anything. I was really impressed, for her first time off the yard since being with us, she even jumped a showjumping clear. With some more fitness work and some small silly issues to iron out we may just have a wannabe eventing pony on our hands! After a well-deserved couple of lazy days after the event, it was back to her usual day job in the riding school for Oakley.
I’m so very lucky that we’ve now got the XC course at home built, I’m so pleased with it! We’ve built a small course of around 2ft and a bigger course standing at 90cm. It’s great for schooling young or inexperienced horses but also ideal for keeping more established combinations ticking! We have plans for a future mound and trakehner and to add some portable jumps to the course too. It will soon be available to hire for lessons and clinics with me – which will be a fab facility to have here!! It’s been a pretty big project and a lot of work for my dad, mum and I as we had two weeks to have the course ready to use for a charity event we ran last weekend.
Our centre have been fundraising for our local Macmillan, a charity that is very close to my heart as it is for many of our Pony Club members too. Last Sunday around 200 people came to our yard to take part in a giant sponsored obstacle course around the whole farm, all 12 and a half acres. It was amazing… lots of climbing over the XC fences, crawling under tarpaulins, we even built a maze out of the sheep hurdles. We all had so much fun, but also raised an awful lot of money for such a great cause!
All of the Pony Club children earnt their PC Fundraising badge and we had a trophy for the wackiest way of completing the obstacle course and for the people who raised the most money. Lots of the parents were so supportive and just incredible! Selling teas/coffees, home-made cakes, cooking 100 plus BBQ jumbo hotdogs, running the raffle and fence judging – we couldn’t have done it without them. The number of donations and kindness from people is just overwhelming and we never expected that it would be the success that it was! So far to date we’ve raised a massive £2,631.60 with still more sponsorship forms to come back in!
I feel so lucky that we have such a fantastic bunch of people at our centre and it was so lovely to see everyone here all together at the same time! I’ll let you know the final total next month.
Coral x

This month we have been back to compete at Hickstead. We had a few poles down but overall it was a good show.
I have also taken my sister cross country training this last month and I got to have a play on her horse which was so much fun before he went to his new home.
We also had academy training which brought some confidence back for Spirit and I, which made a big difference at Pyecombe, Brendon Stud in the Blue Chip Star Qualifier. We had a really nice double clear and came out with a sixth placing and now we can’t wait for the final.
I have also been up to my local supplier of Speedi-Beet and Fibre-Beet and handed out some leaflets and samples and I have put up a new banner up in the school which I can also take to shows with me.
This next month I’m looking forward to going to the British Showjumping Awards Ball at Solihull, which I’m sure will be a fantastic event!