It was then up to Burgie with Elton and Yorkie for the OI, both did really nice tests with Elton just edging ahead, Yorkie then sneaked in front with a clear SJ and a really good clear XC, the course had had a large makeover from the spring and ran up the hill from the start which suited him really well, as it gave him a chance to settle and relax. Elton had two poles SJ and then popped round the XC in preparation for Hopetoun so finishing 8th to Yorkies 3rd it was really tight, less than 1 mark splitting him and 1st ahhhhhh!
Harry and Oliver were next out to party at Hutton in the BE100, Harry did a really smart test to get a 21 and Oliver also went really nicely in a higher marking section for 31, so happy with both of those. Clear SJ from the super careful Harry and one pole with Oliver kept the Jockey happy! Harry has always been a little bit of a challenge to get the right bit for and the one that I was trying at Hutton was not a keeper! The course was a little on the punchie side for PN, although very nice and well presented, but a corner at fence four wasn't really young horse friendly, I think Events need to remember that these are supposed to be stepping stones up the grades not mini higher level courses. Oliver was therefore a little shell shocked with the start, but I really like his attitude as he keeps trying and although had a couple of glance offs, he but got better and better and came home going really well.
Hopetoun preparations then went a little off plan as Mum broke her arm, when it connected with a way ward hoof, which involved a few nights stay in PRI to get it pinned and plated, but fingers crossed all on the mend. Although the challenge is to stop her doing to much!
Elton was first up at Hopetoun doing his first CCI ** there were a couple of little errors in his test which spoiled an other wise smart test so plenty more marks to get next time! The XC was very influential and there were only 6 clears, we picked up a really unlucky 20 when he jumped too big into the water and then even bigger over the bridge in the middle which had us facing the the wrong way for the final element, he didn't know he had done anything wrong and popped straight over when we were back facing the right way! 12 faults SJ wasn't perfect but qualification sorted and the weekend had had a fair few ups and downs so was very pleased with him.
Duck and Yorkie were in the CIC ***, Duck was really on his toes and although didn't do anything wrong in his test it was definitely tactfully ridden especially in the canter where he was looking for an excuse for adding in an extra few changes! He carried through his freshness to the Jumping and was on a bit of a mission SJ but jumping well, although we had an early pole when I was trying to make sure we didn't wasted any time on the turn. XC, Duck's cheeky side definitely came to the fore when he skipped past the side of the skinny at fence 7 just to making sure that he isn't taken for granted! Yorkie was really good in his test doing a 54.5 just two marks behind Duck which was a really good first go at that level, he had 4 faults SJ just catching the pole on the water tray. XC he set off really well and was jumping really well but sadly fell foul of the 10th fence which was a double of corners on a long two strides, 10 people faulted here and I really hope it will be the last time it is in the course. He jumped in really well but just didn't quite make up enough ground to the second element and then the angle wasn't ideal to come back at, so Hopetoun didn't exactly go to plan other than Elton!
Last weekend was a bit of fun when Grace and I went down to Auchinleck to do a little bit of XC Schooling with Oliver and Harry and she took Lola, the course was in great nick and we had a fab time whizzing about with both boys jumping fab and hopefully learning a few new things along the way. We are heading back down to Ayrshire tomorrow for Eglington with Duck and Yorkie in the Advanced and Harry and Oliver in the BE 100.