We are all back safe and sound from Blair athough a little on the tired side!  It was a very good week with all the horses putting in very good performances.  Spike was the first to finish as he was doing the Novice Working Hunter, he jumped a really nice round, one of only 9 clears from around  50 starters, he is brave, so sheep pens (with sheep in) water trays, scare crows and Chickens were not enough to stop him.  We went back in for the show bit which he got pulled in first for, with everything added everything up he finish in 3rd.   I was thrilled with this as he was definitly the baby of the bunch and behaved impeccably.

Elton did a really nice Dressage, I thought the Judges were a little tough on him and Duck, he got a 52, not to bad for his first 3 day, he is Mr Cool and was definately not in the slightest bit  phased by the grand setting.  He went on to jump a good clear XC with 2 time penanlties finishing full of running with a low heart rate so that is a good sign for future competitions.  He came out as if he was at the start of the competition rather than the end of a long week for his Show Jumping and jumped a lovely round just touching the first fence but not going to touch a pole after that so a good result and hopefully I will take him out again later in the season to finish with an Intermediate run, have missed Scone due to the weather.

Duck was very pleased to be back at Blair he definatly knows were he is when he arrives there!  He did a good test in very sloppy conditions, which were'nt ideal for Dressage.  He then jumped a lovely round Show Jumping clear inside the time which is always a challenge, so some tight turn backs kept him concentrating!   The show jumping had definately shuffled the order arround a bit so it was worth kicking on XC, he jumped really well finishing 7th in the CIC *** and hopefully that has given his FEI points a good boost and have set him up for Burghley.

And the good news is we are in to BURGHLEY, number 100! So we will head there on Tuesday after Drumclog on Saturday with Stan.

Spike checking out the sheep in the sheep pen!
Duck Jumping a Double clear in the Hopetoun CIC***
Duck had his first run in the CCI *** at Hopetoun after a well deserved rest from his trip to Germany. It looked a little small in conparison but I think I might have misjudged it, as the course was causing plenty of problems and by the time I went cross country they were running well over an hour late, due to thrills and spills spread around the course and I was only about 15th to go!  It rode how it walked though and I had a really good round  to add to his clear in the show jumping, so  a good day at the office for him. 

Stan was also there for the BE100 and with another Dressage score in the twenties, he was back in the prizes for 4th this time.  Elton had a gentle run round the ON so that he was all set for his first Intermediate at Scone, the following week, but the weather stopped play their, so he will now just head straight to Blair for the CCI*. 

The New courses at Hopetoun were a big improvement and great to test how fit the horses are as the pull up the hill was not far off what they will face at  Blair.  The layout still needs a bit of a re-think though as the lorry park was a days march away, which is not ideal at the best of times but a real logistical problem if you have a number of horses.

This week has been fairly busy with teaching here and at Strathearn Pony Club camp, a tune up for Cracker and Lydia Barge who are off to the Open Eventing Pony Club Championships.   A few horses in for Schooling and trying to get my boys ready for Blair! 

We head into Blair on Tuesday  for Elton's Trot up, he will then Dressage on Thursday, XC Friday and Show Jump on Saturday.  Duck is going for the CIC*** and he does Dressage on Friday and then show jumps and XC on Saturday.   I am also taking Spike up for a bit of experiance and he should do the working hunter on Thursday if it does'nt clash with Elton's Dressage.

Blair is meant to be Ducks final run before Burghley, but for the first time in 50 yrs they have a wait list so as yet I am not sure if I will get a run.  Kings Berry missed out on Badminton through Balloting, I will be very unimpressed if the same thing happens again!

Stan on his way to 4th place at Hopetoun