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Portman Horse Trials 19th May 2016

Portman is a regular fixture for us.  It’s a super event to bring out the young horses for their first runs.  The cross country course is inviting and flows nicely which allows the horses to settle as they progress throughout.

On the first day we took two horses to compete in the Novice sections.

Storm Blue was having his first outing of the season and from the moment he got off the lorry he was full of exuberance.  I did struggle to contain this enthusiasm, and as we were finding cantering way more exciting than trotting our dressage score consequently suffered, BADLY!

He was much the same in the show jumping, he was full of jump but paid little attention to technique.  As frustrating as it is when a horse gets overcome with adrenalin I think it is good for them to carry on and complete the event, and hopefully get it out of their system.

He redeemed himself a little and flew around the cross country like a pro.  Today would be put down as experience and we will be looking forward to the next show.

Spypark Ferro XS was also full of life, but on the flip side to Blue, he remained quite rideable and produced a fantastic dressage test for an impressive score of 26.

He jumped a super clear in the show jumping.  He has strengthened up through the winter and this was proving dividend in his performance.  He is becoming a powerful and exciting mount for the future.

It was much the same for the cross country.  We had a fluent, foot perfect round to secure the yards first win of the season.

On the second day we were contesting the BE100.  We had two 5 year olds having their first outings of the season.

Bonmahon Blue Mist produced a relaxed and accurate test for an amazing score of 24.5.  He is such an exciting horse, he has good paces and masses of scope and although he has a sharp temperament, he offers me his full attention when I’m riding him.  It may take him a while to mature, but he is one that we will produce quietly with his future in mind.

He did get a little distracted and spooky in the show jumping.  This coupled with the ground becoming very tacky and holding he unfortunately rolled two poles.

He excels in the cross country.  With his forward thinking attitude and bravery he jumps everything out of his stride and he gave me a fab ride for a nice clear.  A good start!

Twice Knightly was my second 5 year old.  He is a new horse to the yard, and is a homebred by a new owner to Team Bragg, Jessica Coleson.  This event was maybe a little early for him as he only came in the middle of January and had little jumping experience, but we thought that the experience would do him good.

It was a lot for him to take in and he was a bit green throughout the whole day.  His dressage went ok for his first time on grass, and although we know he can do better I don’t think we were too disappointed.

I think his eyes were going to pop out of his head as we entered the show jumping and at that point I knew it was going to be an entertaining round.  We had a few wiggly approaches and we knocked a few rails, BUT, we got around and were moving on the cross country.

We had a steady trip around but we were clear.  He grew in confidence the further we progressed and I feel the whole experience will put him in good stead for the next event.

Bloomfield Tiger Two was back to form in the dressage and gave me a beautiful ride for another great score of 25.5.  He also struggled to jump out of the holding ground in the show jumping and had two poles down.

He was super around the cross country with a smooth clear round.  The rails unfortunately cost him a win, but I’m sure this will come together and he will be rewarded soon.

My final ride of the show was INAWORLDOFMYOWN.  I tweaked a few things in our training after his first run at Aldon and his improvement in the dressage was outstanding.  He produced his best ever score by far for a 26.8.

He had an unlucky pole in the show jumping to add 4 faults, but gave me a great ride cross country to finish 7th overall.  A great result for only our second competition together.

All in all, Portman was a good show for us.  Most of the horses on the yard have now got their seasons under way, and all have gone cross country well.  We achieved our first win, which is always nice as it tends to start the ball rolling for hopefully many more.

We now look forward to a trip to Ireland next with the Advanced horses for the CCI3*