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Homme House Horse Trials 17th September 2015

This was our first trip to Homme House, and I was very excited as it was the first event for Kelly Roe’s super talented 4yr old, Bonmahon Blue Mist.

The dressage area was great.  All the arenas were on level ground, and there was plenty of warm up.  I liked the cross country courses.  They were suitable for young horses, and I think they had done well to use the terrain as best as possible so to make it interesting.

The only disappointing area was the show jumping ring.  The warm up was wonderfully level, and plenty big enough, yet the main arena was very small, and on undulating ground.  Maybe not the best for very young horses??

The first day had me running my two 5yr olds in the BE100 and Spypark Ferro XS in the Novice.

Spypark Ferro performed a fab dressage test, showing much more engagement and self carriage.

He show jumped well, just unfortunately putting his back feet down a bit early over the oxer in the middle of the treble, tapping the back rail off for 4 faults.

Another steady cross country round, due to the ground, resulted in a nice clear.

This horse is growing in confidence with each event, and showing rapid improvement.  I can’t wait for some rain so I can run him competitively!

Bloomfield Tiger Two was balloted from the 5yr old section, so I managed to run him in a regular BE100.  He executed a balanced, accurate dressage test for another competitive mark.  He doesn’t have the biggest movement, but he is very correct, very rideable, and super good looking.  I think his marks will improve as the tests become more difficult and require all of his strengths more.

He showed improvement in the show jumping, although still jumping a little green, his concentration had definitely got better.

The cross country went well, all be it with Tiger jumping everything twice as big as necessary.  We incurred a few time penalties, which were more than expectable for a young horse and we were rewarded with a good placing in what was a very competitive section.  Had he been up against other young horses, I think he would have been a bit more successful.

LVS Stonehavens Quebec was my final ride of the day.  She is super talented in the dressage, and her beautiful paces shone through.  We all had to take a second look at the score board when we read the mark.  She earned a score of 13.3, my best ever mark to date.

As she was in the qualifying class, the pressure was on not to make a mistake.  She jumped a clinical clear show jumping which left us clearly in the lead before the cross country.

Off we set, and in her true style she wasn’t phased by anything.  She gave me a great ride, popping through all of the combinations with precision.  She is a big young horse and it was hard to go really fast.  The course was twisty and the terrain was very undulating which made it hard to get into a big open rhythm.  Never the less we were clear, but with a few time penalties.

Our round was still good enough for the win.  All of the young horses were incurring time penalties, and with our leading dressage score it was a confident victory.

This was a great Birthday present.  My personal best dressage score, a win and a qualification for the 5yr old championships.  Happy days!!

Day two’s main focus was on the 4yr old qualifier.  It was Bonmahon Blue Mist’s first event but we were hoping his talent would shine through.

He was a little excited to be at the show, and it did take me a while to settle him in the dressage warm up.  He did start to concentrate and we were ready to have a go for real.  We entered the competition area, and as I walked passed the first flower pot, which he found a bit scary, the judge obviously thought that this was a great point to usher me into the arena by beeping her horn.  Very sympathetic!!

He wasn’t quite sure why a vehicle should be parked so close to arena, and that did make that end of the arena a bit tricky to ride in.  When he was in the middle of the arena he performed some great work, but his mark was effected by this inconsistency.

The theme ran through the rest of the event, and Bonmahon Blue Mist found the likes of the photographer in the show jumping ring very suspicious.  This is something that is expected with young horses, and I tried to keep reassuring him, and not put any pressure on him regarding his performance.

We set off cross country, and popped fence one nicely, then when approaching fence two I’m not sure if he thought he was getting way to far away from the lorry and we had a brief navigational problem.  I quickly rectified this, and we were off in a great rhythm.  He popped around the course with ease, and it was the first time I’d felt the power of his engine as we travelled up the hill.

This show was best put down to experience.  There were moments of hugely promising work but we had too many mistakes for a good result today.

The final horse of the show was The Night Traveller.  He was returning to competition after a short break recovering from a mild muscle strain.

In his true style he performed a super dressage test for a score of 21, which led his section.

He is so consistent in this phase, as in the show jumping where he popped around the course as if we were still warming up.

With his level of experience now, I knew I could take all of the shortest lines across the country to try and make the time.  We set off with intent and he didn’t disappoint.  We had a foot perfect round, not wasting an inch anywhere for a fantastic clear inside the time.  We were unbeatable!!

This was my second win of the show, and I was very pleased for Jess Crocker asboth were on EWW horses.  A job well done!!

Birthday drinks to celebrate the wins!!