The Perils Of Show Jumping Sport - 15

Well it has been a hectic few weeks I must say!

With the WKD Team firmly ensconced in Champions Tour in Vilamoura, Portugal, it's been me who has been doing the crazy commute back and forth to Ireland the last couple of weeks. I leave this coming Monday morning with a suitcase of dirty breeches and return the following Thursday with them all ready to go! Of course, that is if I can pry them from the jaws of our two naughty puppies Charlie and Lola; they may be miniature pinchers but I assure you there is nothing tiny about their efforts to steal the clothes. Much to everyone in the yard’s amusement, they jumped in my suitcase last week as I was emptying it, grabbed Sam’s breeches and proceeded to leg it out the door with me in hot pursuit chasing them around the garden in full view of everyone in the yard! It was a bit of a tussle but I got them back in one piece - thankfully with no strange teeth marks to have to explain to Sam!

Laundry aside, I’ve also been using the time to work Zorro and Pepperpot who are having a lovely time in the field and on light exercise after their busy summer, however, their vacation is soon ending as they will be aimed now for the 5* shows of Madrid and La Corouna in Spain in December, which should be great fun and hopefully they will return from their break in even better form than before, ready to finish the year on a high note.

But Sam and I have been lucky enough that even with our top ponies on a break the Team has still been able to keep up the winning form with the other string which we have in Vilamoura. I "borrowed" Lady’s Queen in the the First week of the Tour to sneak a cheeky 5th place in a two phase class, but it was when she returned to Sam last week that she really shone bringing home a second place in a very fast jump-off 145m ranking class, where she was just narrowly beaten by Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer.....Not a bad result considering the names of the riders who were behind! See all results >>

This ten year old mare by For Pleasure has really stepped up to the plate this year, with results in the 5* in Spruce Meadows during the summer now leading to her easy step up to the big classes, and with Sam s two top mares on holiday it's giving her the chance now to really shine - definitely the one to watch she has a lot of scope and so careful - I hope that a win is not too far off for her!

Talking of wins, it was on the evergreen veteran Limelight de Breve that Sam was to improve on his previous day's result, this time winning the extremely fast table A 145m ranking class last Friday - with Limelights previous owner, Laura Renwick, taking second and fourth. It was a successful day for the Renwick stables and all were delighted that "Lou Lou" had her well deserved win - what a mare she is - 14 years old and still able to pull a flier out of the bag. In fact, coming to the last fence Sam said he had no choice but to let her get on with it as she had made up her mind she was going!!

Last Sunday was another of the mare’s day with Karim Abdelfattah’s mare Elegance Casablanca having her moment in the sunshine taking second place in the 140m speed; again just a narrow margin seeing Sam just behind Holland’s Jonny Pal’s who took first. It was an eventful class which saw my fellow Irish competitor Marion Hughes survive a nasty tumble where she ended up trapped under her mare Fortuna for several minutes while we all ran to help. Again, it shows the connection between these beautiful animals and their owners; Marion’s mare knew that if she tried to get up she would injure her rider trapped underneath her - so against all her most basic instincts to get up she lay still until we could help. What amazing creatures horses are, and how privileged we are to be around them.

The day finished for our team with me sticking to the theme and duly picking up a second place on my chestnut mare Vera. I was very pleased though as she has had a long time out after a virus over the summer and this was her first competition since July - with a sixth the first day and a second the last, I was very happy and hopefully she will move quickly back up to the bigger classes for me next week.

So, it was back home again for me on Monday to keep the yard at home running whilst Sam competes this Tuesday 7th, Wednesday 8th, and Thursday 9th of October in the seven year old’s with the chestnut WKD Diva. Let’s hope he keeps up the good work while I try to make sure his clothes stay out of the puppies’ jaws!



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