Bonnie Fishburn - 2016 Summer

We have had a busy summer, with lots of highs and some lows. My beautiful boy Frankie did me proud on 9th July. We headed to Newport Show for the Open Working Hunter. He jumped an impeccable clear, albeit a little excitable. He then just about managed to contain himself for the ridden show to finish in 2nd spot and then take the Reserve Champion. He galloped up fantastically well. But his favourite part as always was the lap of honour and that day he got to do two of them. The judge came up to me afterwards and said it was lovely how he really hunted round the course and she could imagine taking him to a big hedge and ditch. He actually scored the highest jumping marks with a 19/20. Just need to work on remaining chilled when the judge climbs aboard. 

Next was the turn of Arrow for an outing on 10th July. She is so grown up now, loading on her own and travelling to her show. But unfortunately her show was cancelled on route, so we had a quick reroute to a different show. It wasn't ideal as she had missed the Youngstock class so had to do the Inhand Hunter class. The judge said she was lovely but didn't have enough bone and she finished 5th. 

On 13th July we had a very long day eventing down at Upton House Horse Trials. I took Percy for the BE Novice. We scored 30 in the dressage, it's really coming on, just needs polishing now. He was awesome showjumping just had a really unlucky 4 faults. He was really forward and jumping his little socks off. Then we had an awesome spin round the cross country and were the 3rd fastest in our section picking up just 2.8 time penalties. The 4 faults from showjumping were mega costly dropping us 5 places to 10th. But super proud of him in a hot section with lots of top riders, like Mary King riding 2, who I followed dressage, Andrew Nicholson on 2, Polly Stockton, Ben Way, Vittoria Panizzon, Harry Meade and the list goes on.

On 15th July I had a 3.50am alarm to get Florence in to plait and go eventing at Stafford, the early start was almost worth it but not quite. A lovely dressage, although got 2 4's for anticipating canter a marker too soon gave her a 29.3. Then popped nicely clear round the Sj. But then xc she had a cheeky moment at fence 3, I should have been quicker to give her a smack, but I wasn't. The rest of the course she was flying. So angry cause it cost us 2nd place. I should have been a bit more on the ball. Then the following day it was Santi's turn. Delighted with how he went in the dressage, much more settled and very consistent work for 31.5. But then had a nightmare in the showjumping, was jumping beautifully until fence 6 where we jumped into the double, landed and shot out to the right, so out of character for him, he's never done that and he's not a stopper. I so nearly came off. I got after him after that and he was a little upset having fences 7 and 9 down. Not sure if it was the jump that scared him or something behind it, completely shocked. But he did redeem himself cross country round a course that was causing a fair amount of trouble. He absolutely flew round, was super bold and jumped through the combinations on great positive lines.

Next Frankie and I had a lovely day at Aintree for their Working Hunter show. He was absolutely wired when I got him off the lorry...I think he was eyeing up Breechers Brook, the Chair and the Canal Turn as we were right in the middle of the racecourse. He would love a spin round the track. But instead he had to contain his excitement and pop round the Open Workers, which he did in fine style. Lovely clear followed by an impeccable show and fabulous gallop for 2nd place behind a horse heading to Hickstead in their next outing for the RIHS. There were some lovely horses in the class which makes me even more proud to be right up there with the best. He had equal highest jumping mark, highest show mark and second highest confirmation mark. He actually had the same final mark as the winner so a little gutted not to get 1st place but still I can't complain as he was ace and in true Frankie style he loved the lap of honour.

My final event of July was on 30th at Cholmondeley Castle. I have to admit I always get a little flutter in my belly every time I enter Cholmondeley Castle. I think it is a beautifully run event and stunning to ride round but you may remember back in 2013 I suffered a crashing fall there in the intermediate. It's not that I remember my fall or anything like that but it probably was the time that I became aware how dangerous our sport can be. I started with Santi in the BE100 and he was super from start to finish. Beautiful dressage for 27.5, clear Sj and a super bold and fast Xc to finish on his dressage score for 5th. We had a very happy owner, John Done, which also makes me very happy. Next up was Florence, our day started really well with a 28 in the dressage for the Open BE100. But then disaster struck in the showjumping, usually one of Florence's strong phases, but we had a freak moment where she didn't quite make the back rail in a parallel and got brought down by the poles. Poor girly landed in a heap while I proceeded to somersault over the top of her landing on my head and flipping over onto my bum. Florence was very stiff that night and for the next couple of days but other than that hopefully she is fine. I've managed to get away with just a sprung collarbone, which is a little sore but I'm carrying on as usual. I now look even as my other collarbone had a similar battering the time before at this event. But other than that I'm a lot better off this time with no helicopter rides or overnight stays at hospital required. The highs and lows of eventing!! One minute you’re up and then next minute you might be lay in a heap, but we love it and keep on going. 

Next Mum and I headed down to Swalcliffe for the Animalife BRC Horse Trials National Championships with Percy, Betty, Dolly and of course Queen Wendy the Wagon. Our whole weekend ran so smoothly from start to finish. We shared it with a lovely team of people from Area 20 and with old friends from previous years. Percy was competing in the 100+ Championships and on the Friday he started by trotting up perfectly in the vet inspection and then pulling a lovely dressage test out of the bag for a 29.8 to lie in 2nd place over night in his arena, 6th overall and top in the Best Homebred competition. Along with our Area 20 team of Philli Williams, Abbey Rimmer and Abigail Unwin, taking the lead with 4 very good scores between us. That evening we all had great fun at the reception party, wonderful atmosphere and super company. Saturday was the cross country day. Percy was a complete pro, sailing round the roads & tracks, steeple chase and cross country adding no further penalties to his score of 29.8, to move up into 1st place in his arena and 5th overall and holding on to the Best Homebred lead and also the team between them adding very few time penalties to keep hold of top spot in the team competition. On Sunday all 4 horses in our team trotted up well which meant we all went forward to the showjumping. The course was causing trouble all over and there were very few clears. Percy jumped his little socks off just having a really unlucky rail. But this didn't affect his arena placing so he took top spot. 1st place in his arena at the National Championships. I couldn't be prouder of him. He finished 7th overall and also took the Best Homebred prize, which I feel is such a fantastic achievement. To have bred a horse and produced him myself to take an award like this means so much to me. Our team finished up having a few rails in the showjumping and this moved us down to 2nd place, but this is still a super result at the National Championships.