A round up of the first half of the season and what's to come

We can't believe that the 1st half of the season is over and that all the horses are now having some down time as is Will.

All in all the first half has been successful. All the horses have achieved their various qualifications in order to go to their end of season goals and Vinnie is now qualified for Badminton next year!!!

Vinnie and Will dug really deep to achieve a podium finish at Bramham which is what we have been working towards all season. They both found out what it is like to "make it happen" over a truly testing course with 40 jumping efforts on XC. Although the first few competitions at the beginning of the season didn't quite go according to plan, with the odd duck out here and there, Vinnie has felt on good form and improving throughout. He is now having a well earned rest and will start work again when we get back from holiday and slowly build up to his end of season goal at Blenheim in mid September. He will have 2 or 3 full runs before with others where he will just do dressage and SJ. He will go XC schooling before he next goes out just to check that he is still keen and on side following the tough track at Bramham.

The Partner (Conquer) has also had a good start and just missing out on a top 10 finish at Tattersalls (CCI3*L)where one SJ down cost them 7 places. However, he felt fantastic out there and stormed the cross country. The most exciting thing is that he was so much more relaxed staying away than he has been so hopefully this will continue. We just have to find a way round him not getting over excited in the XC warm up on a big occasion. We will continue to micro manage him when he is staying away to ensure he stays as relaxed as possible. One thing we have worked out this season is that in his dressage warm ups we have to keep repeating combinations of movements as he doesn't like surprises. He is just finishing his time off and Immy will start hacking him while we are away ready to start up again once will gets back. His goal for the rest of the season is to move up to the same level as Vinnie and do the CCI4*S 8/9 year old Champs at Blenheim.

Ballycoog Breaker Boy (William) was building up to his first long format competition which he did at Tattersalls and came 7th in the Young Horse Class (CCI2*L) which was very competitive. He was quite tired on Show Jumping day and rattled many SJ fences but still managed a clear. He also had a win (N) earlier at Withington Manor and there is no doubt he is super talented. However, he is very big and therefore is taking a long time to strengthen up so all being well if he strengthens up enough he will compete at the 7 year old National Championships at Osberton at the beginning of October. He is just finishing his holiday and Immy will hack him out whilst Will is away and then start his autumn campaign.

Stardom (Dom) still has a lot to learn and needs to learn to gallop. He is coming along well but seems to have an ability to grab time off due to some knock or other. This is what he is doing now as he has an infection in a hind leg which needs a little while to heal. He will also be super talented but just doesn't seem to stop growing. he either grows in front or behind and not both at the same time which makes him quite unbalanced. We've never had a horse that seesaws so much - just as you think you are getting there he goes and changes again! Once he is back in work he will campaign for the 6 year old Championships at Osberton. He has had 2 double clears at Novice this year (his only novice classes!!) and once he stops seesawing his dressage will improve which will put him up in the ribbons.

V.I.P Vino - Unfortunately Vino is now retired from ridden work. He has always been tricky and last year he actually performed very well for the 1st half of the season. We were really quite hopeful we had cracked it. However, he has now decided he really doesn't want to work, we have checked everything to make sure he is not in pain and we can't find anything anywhere he just doesn't want to work - guess no different from some humans!!!! We are currently trying to find a retirement home for him so he can eat grass to his hearts content!!!

Ted - He is will's project horse!!!! The only problem is John, Will's trainer thinks he is too good to move on and that Will should keep him!!! The fact that vino has stopped maybe it is meant to be. He will start going out and about once we get back from holiday and starting with SJ competitions and build up from there. He may do some unaffiliated Eventing Competitions at the end of the season and then start his proper campaign next year.

Hope to see you out there,

Love ,

Will and Miranda