Posted on 16th July 2019 by Kate Rocher-Smith
This week saw an impressive set of stats as we had 2 days at Upton House, followed by a day at Stafford Horse Trials, performed under the careful and watchful eye of Ella!
Day 1 eased us into the process, with just 3 Intermediate runners at Upton. I was piloting my parent’s Dassett Jack in the OI, along with Drombane Dassett in the Intermediate, whilst Craig was on board one of our young super stars, ARD Dassett Spectre.
Dassett Jack was on top form (after our embarrassment at Bramham!) and despite a rather excited hack to the dressage field, did a lovely test for 29. He was so keen to get into the show jumping arena, I couldn’t actually get past the entrance a few times, making the show jumping warm up a little entertaining! He was delighted to finally get into the arena and jumped a great clear round. He felt as enthusiastic as I have known him cross country, but as usual with Dassett Jack, he has to hang on to the past (Bramham) a bit, so had a cheeky moment between fences by the lorry park, but went on to storm clear across the country. He was brilliant at all the fences and so keen! Drombane Dassett continues to improve in the dressage and scored a fair 35. We rolled the second show jump, a small vertical, but otherwise jumped a top round and I feel I am really starting to get the measure of this horse. He was class cross country, and despite it only being his 3rd run at this level, felt like an OI horse having a skip around. Both horses were due a steady run, so neither finished the day in the rosettes thanks to cross country time faults, but I was delighted with their performances.
ARD Dassett Spectre and Craig did a lovely test for a competitive mark of 34 in a high scoring section. They were so unlucky to have the last part of the combination down, which marred and otherwise foot perfect round over the coloured poles. And once again, ARD Dassett Spectre left Craig on cloud nine after a incredible spin cross country – Craig is so ecstatic each time he comes over the finish line on this talented and genuine horse! Craig added 8 time penalties to their score, which was pretty fast for the day, and ended up with another rosette in 8th spot.
Day 2 was where is got fun…4 lorries, 11 horses and nearly all the DE Team making an appearance at some point! The co-ordination at home to make this happen was really quite something, so top job Alice and Sue.
I had 4 rides during the day, with both SVS Dassett Enterprise and HHS Dassett Class first up in the Novice. Both did lovely dressage tests, scoring 33 and 31 respectively. Both horses felt the firm ground a touch, so I was a bit concerned with the rest of the day for the foot sensitive SVS Dassett Enterprise. But I needn’t have worried – the treated ground in the jumping phases made all the difference and he jumped a wonderful double clear, feeling confident and happy. Let’s hope we’ve turned a corned with this guy. HHS Dassett Class probably jumped one of the best show jumping rounds we’ve done together, and was way above all the coloured poles. He then continued to prove what a great cross country horse he is developing into, with a brilliant round across the country. It’s so rewarding to feel this horses becoming so enthusiastic about his new career and it’s a pleasure to have such a trainable horse whilst out on course. His performance was good enough for 8th spot.
Amelia had three horses in the Novice; Dassett Code, CSF Dassett Decoy and Boleybawn Dassett Cruise. Dassett Code did a lovely dressage and is really progressing well in this phase. He came away with a competitive score of 32. He went on to jump one of his best rounds to date, but sadly the out of the double fell as a big shot in and the way he eats up the ground left him very tight for space. But he was brilliant around the rest. The eating up of the ground played to his advantage cross country, as he was one of very few to make the time and this was without Amelia pushing him at all! We really reckon this horse will continue to develop into an absolute demon across the country! Their good performance in all three phases earned them 5th place. CSF Dassett Decoy scored as respectable 34 in the dressage, but very annoyingly two rails lowered in the show jumping. This horse is such a fantastic jumper, but we have been playing about with his balance between fences a bit and I think we have just disrupted his mo-jo slightly. But he went on to be brilliant cross country and Amelia was thrilled with his round, adding just 1.2 time faults, which was very fast for the tight time. They finished just outside the top ten in 12th place. The double clear machine that is Boleybawn Dassett Cruise ended up having his first rail of the season!!!! After a 34 dressage, I helped them warm up and was grinning from ear to ear, as usual. I joined their actual jumping round as they pair took off for the second fence, only to see a clear discrepancy on take off spot!!! Sadly the rail came down but the round was otherwise faultless in every way. The pair went on to boss it (or “Joey It”) around the cross country and made the time to end their day in 9th place.
Hayley had a busy morning helping Amelia on her three rides as well as competing the Wright Syndicate’s Dassett Diamond in the Novice. This lovely mare did a test of 35 before being so unlucky to have the first show jump down, ahead of what otherwise was a great round. Hayley is having to spend quite a bit of time teaching this mare she doesn’t know it all quite yet, and having watched their round today, I think she is making great improvements in this area. And they also went on to jump a great clear across the country. Although they have been jumping clear rounds, Hayley has had to work to keep Dassett Diamond’s focus on the job in hand, but she reported this was so much better today and was thrilled with the mare’s progress.
Craig rode the class horse, Dassett Empire, in the Novice and thought he did a tip top test, but scored 36. He followed it up with a master class in the show jumping ring, with this elastic and scopey horse jumping an immaculate clear round. Sadly they added 20 penalties to their card on the cross country, after a sudden and abrupt spook at a wooden owl between a hedge and corner jolted the pair way off line and resulted in a circle. Such a shame, but at least Dassett Empire has no idea he got given any jumping penalties! Craig came over the line very excited about this horse’s future.
Onto the BE100s in the (late) afternoon, and Craig rode Jeff and Jane Boon’s Caramba Z. The pair have made great improvements in the dressage and scored a competitive 31. They followed it up with a brilliant double clear to end the day in 4th spot! Needless to say, Jeff and Jane were delighted so smiles all round!
Talking of smiles, Andrea Burdett’s lovely mare, Dassett Forever Autumn, was one of my two BE100 rides and despite only being her 4th start at BE100 level, was moved to the Open section to avoid balloting. She still remained competitive, with a 29 dressage and a spot on double clear for 6th place. My second BE100 ride was my father’s ex-racehorse, Dassett Gold. He is in a bit of a growy stage, so I let him be a bit in the dressage, but he was still very sweet for a score of 34. He tried his hardest in the show jumping, clearing the jumps by quite some way! And his enthusiasm slightly got the better of him on the cross country, as he threatened to gallop very fast away from each fence humping!! I really don’t think he ever tried to go that fast on the racetrack! Needless to say, he is finding the love for eventing and it is a pleasure to guide him on his journey! Due to this, we added a few time faults to our score and ended the day in 11th place.
Day 3 saw an early start for Sue, Craig and Amelia, as they got to Stafford for Craig’s 8.06am dressage in the 5YO BE100 class on board the super talented Dassett Curra Candy. This stunning mare was doing a beautiful test before a big spook and a rather over reaction spoilt the picture somewhat! They came away with a score of 33. Despite finishing on it, with a very classy double clear, it wasn’t enough for a rosette or qualification for the National 5YO Championships …fingers cross for a better behaved dressage next time! Amelia rode “Mr Perfect Pants” in the BE100, having moved out of the 5YO section following qualification at Buckminster. He did an immaculate dressage test to score a very impressive 24! He followed it up with an exceptional double clear, but sadly lost the victory thanks to a cheeky 21 scored in the dressage by another competitor! But they finished their day in 2nd place, which we are obviously delighted with. His jumping round is attached to this blog.
We feel so lucky to have a yard full of such lovely horses at the moment. There are so many different personalities, but they are all so talented and such a pleasure to produce and work with. It really does make our jobs feel worth while!