June was always going to be our favorite month with Team Sommerville having Bramham horse trials just around the corner. Talent was running in his first CCI*** at Bramham International in the senior class.
We arrived at Bramham on the Wednesday with the trot up late in the afternoon in front of the house with the fantastic Fibre-Beet display. Talent arrived feeling very well and sailed on through to the dressage phase.
Talent had his dressage on the Thursday morning. We were very pleased with him being so much more rideable and relaxed in his test, doing all the movements correctly and in style! He gained a very good mark of 51.4 penalties.
After both days of dressage Talent was lying in 30th on the leader board with all of the scores being very close. Friday was a quiet day for Talent enjoying a hack about the grounds and keeping him calm and settled ready for action on Saturday. Friday afternoon we used wisely going for a Team Fibre-Beet course walk!
Saturday morning was upon us very soon. Talent was 12th to set off around the very bold Ian Stark cross-country course. With lots of big ditches in front of many fences and a few big questions around the course it put a lot of pressure on little Talent to whiz around. The time was quite tight and very influential to the leader board with the optimum time being around 10 minutes. Talent flew around the course only picking up 0.8 time faults, really impressing the crowds and finding it all flowing in his stride. The cross country caused a lot of problems for other riders and saw Talent leap right up the leader board to put him in 10th over night!
Sunday we had to trot up at 9am, Talent felt very fresh and still full of running and flying through the trot up. We went onto the showjumping phase which also caused a few problems, Talent showed his huge amount of scope popping around, however a few time faults (staying in the air for too long!) put Talent down one place to finish 11th overall.
Talents top 25% placing has now qualified him to go onto Badminton in 2017. Next for him will be Millstreet in Ireland to do another CCI*** in August after a small mid-season break.
After coming back home on Sunday from a fantastic week at Bramham it was then onto Hopetoun Horse Trials the following week in Scotland. This time we had Altaskin Jack on the lorry. Jack was off to compete in his first international class in the CCI*, and he did it in style!!
His test was a debatable one with the judges marking him some 20 marks different, but overall we were very pleased with the work Jack produced to get a 52.7. Next up was Jack’s favourite phase… the cross country!! Jack flew around a tricky course inside the time to push him from ninth up to fifth after the second phase. On Sunday, Jack, just like Talent, was very fresh and trotted his way onto the showjumping phase. The course caused a bit of problems for many riders, with only two clear rounds out of the whole class.
Jack unfortunately just had one down, however with others misfortune that was enough for him to go all the way up into second place!!
All the horses at the moment feel great and are going extremely well. Fingers crossed for the rest of the season! Our next couple of events will be more focused on the babies at lower levels and at home breaking in the other horses who have come to the grand old age of four!