What an amazing year of ups and downs. So much of the season was dogged with bad weather resulting in many events being cancelled. But WOW what an Olympics!! We were so close to that gold medal, but also so close to not winning one at all. To bring back silver was a huge thrill, and of course a huge relief! Having been to 6 Olympics now, I can honestly say that London was THE BEST!
Imperial Cavalier(Archie) owned by Eddie and Sue Davies and Janette Chinn:
Archie had 2 quiet runs leading up to Greenwich. At the Olympics won team silver and individual 5th (highest placed British combination). He was so well after the Olympics that his owners and I decided to aim him for Pau CCI**** to end the season. We had such an unlucky fall…literally stumbling over on landing, so a very disappointing end to 2012.
Kings Temptress (Tess) owned by Derek Baden and The Mares Team (Gilly Robinson,Dick and Caroline Morris, Sonja Goucher, Tony and Hazel Fastnedge):
Tess had a frustrating year. She was named as reserve horse for me for London, which was very comforting for me but disappointing for the owners (who were all very understanding!). Tess came up to the reserve stabling just in case Archie did something at the last minute. Instead she went to Burghley 4 weeks later. She had one run at Aston Le Walls before Burghley which she won. Having done her best test to date at Burghley we had a misunderstanding early on the XC course which resulted in a run out. I decided to retire and aim her for Pau CCI*** instead. There she had a naughty run out (I think resulting from the mistake at Burghley), so serious schooling leading up to next years season is planned!
Apache Sauce (Caffery) owned by Gill Jonas:
Caffery was meant to be going to Badminton which was one of the many events to be cancelled. He had a couple of one day event outings then went to the CIC*** at Houghton Hall at the end of May. It was here that Gill and I made the big decision to retire him from top level competition…at 16 yrs old he had started to feel a bit ‘older’. Gill kindly let Emily compete him in the autumn at a lower level. They had great fun together, completing some Open Novices then 3 Open Intermediates finishing in the rosettes most times. Weston Park Young Riders CCI** was the aim to end his season, but it was here that, having done a good dressage test, disaster struck on the XC. His front tendon ruptured as he was cantering along happily between fence 2 and 3. Gill and I and the vets felt it was best to put him down. A very sad end to a super genuine tough sound horse who we all adored.
MHS King Joules (Jay) owned by Eddie and Sue Davies and Janette Chinn:
Jay had a successful spring season getting well established at intermediate level and completing his spring season with a smart double clear at his first CCI** at Houghton. He missed the autumn season due to an injury (ligament attachment injury below stifle). All is 100% now so am looking forward to progressing next year with his career.
Cavalier Venture (Chubby) owned by Eddie and Sue Davies and Janette Chinn:
Chubby has had a great year except for cancelled events! He upgraded to intermediate level being consistently placed at novice level, and finishing 3rd at his first CCI*. Winning the intermediate at Wellington helped him to be 1 of 3 6yr olds that were selected to compete for GB at the Young Horse ‘World Championship’ at Le Lions d’Angers in October. Rain and flooding stopped play there…what a long way to go to do 1 dressage test in deep mud.
Emily has finished school to concentrate on her eventing career. Her individual silver medal win on Patsy Mason’s Mr Hiho at the Junior Europeans in Poland was very exciting and made us very proud. Patsy also owns a lovely 5yr old mare, Miss Indigo, who has been very straight forward this year finishing 3rd in her first novice event to end the season. Patrick Beresford’s 5 yr old Charlemagne is very talented, and has progressed quickly due to his wonderful attitude across country. 3 novice events clear under his belt sets him up nicely for next year. Emily has gone to work in 2 different yards in Sweden leading up to Christmas. She is then going back out to Sweden with 2 horses for 6 weeks to train with Maria Gretzer (Olympic show jump rider/trainer) before returning home for the 2013 event season.
Fingers crossed that the weather will be kinder next year. I am looking forward to having Eddie and Sue Davies and Janette Chinn’s Fernhill Urco back who has had a year out recovering from an injury. Emily has a lovely new ride for 2013, owned by John and Bridget Burbidge, called Redpath Eucanfly (Moira). She is well established at the lower level and now needs to progress to novice level. Some local friends Jon Bevan, Pete Appleford, Roger and Gill Trivett have bought a super moving 4 yr old Irish mare by Cavalier who Emily or I will ride.
Jodie Rorke, my wonderful head girl of the last 4 years is having a baby in December so will sadly not be returning next year. Jodie, and her husband Jo, had planned to try and start a family this year, and it has happened! It is so exciting for them, but I will miss her like mad. Also Emma Moore my other groom has moved on. Emma came to me straight from school and has also worked for me for 4 years. They have been such wonderful employees and have made my life easy, I can’t thank them enough for all their hard work. I have 2 new girls starting next year..Lauren Reed and Emma Hartwell. Both girls live locally and have done quite a bit of part time work for me already which is great.
I have a busy couple of months now while the horses are resting. November is full with teaching clinics, talks, work for sponsors plus a weeks work in Melbourne Australia. In December I am off to Colorado Springs for 3 days work. David my husband is joining me and we are going to make it into a bit of a holiday. We are planning to ski in Vail and then fly to San Francisco and drive down the Californian coastal highway, flying home from LA.
Thank you to all my sponsors and owners for your wonderful support during this difficult up and down year. Thank you for coping with all the huge disappointments that 2012 bought, lets hope the tremendous success of the Olympics are the memories of 2012 that will stay with us for the years to come.
I was hoping to complete my Olympic set of medals this year. Having been lucky enough to win bronze in Beiijing, silver in Athens my dream was gold in London….. I am now going to have to continue for another 4 years!…ROLL ON RIO!!!