Early start this morning to get to Carlton Horse Trials in Bedfordshire. The unpleasantness of starting at 04.30 was eased somewhat, as I had the trusty crew of Kathryn Payne and Marie Carter to travel with. Kathryn is a great mate who I met whilst working for Sarah Cohen at Preci Spark. She was Sarahs head girl for five years, travelling with her to the Athens Olympics. She still works for Preci Spark (engineers to the aerospace industry) but in a totally different capacity, not a horse in sight!! I had four horses at Carlton, Bounce, Mini, Sheen and Troy. All performed good tests, although Sheen was the best with a 29.5. Bounce jumped his usual clockwork double clear. He is such a tryer and is starting to really enjoy his cross country. He finished eighth. Mini had an irritating rail in the showjumping, relegating her from second to seventh, which was a shame, but she still went well and I was pleased with her, especially cross country. Troy had a disagreement with fence one in the showjumping, I think he thought the Feng Shui was all wrong. If we took fence one out of the equation he jumped a beautiful clear round though and hacked around the cross country for a nice clear. Sheen jumped well, up until the final line where his legs got in a muddle and he had two down. He went well cross country to finish ninth, although without his two showjumps he would have won the section. So a mixed day, but all the horses had a positive experience today so all good!! It was fantastic to have Kathryn and Marie there (they made a great team!!) as well as the owners, Anne James, Serena, Davina, Sue Crane, Maria, Andrew and Scarlett all there to support. A highlight for me though was my mum popping over to watch, which is a rarity these days. She is such a cool lady and I love it when she comes along!! Off to Smiths Lawn tomorrow with William!!
Simon Grieve - rider, groom and general dogsbody!