Posted on 27th June 2021 by Joe Lethbridge
The older horses headed down to Farley Hall horse trials in Berkshire this weekend for Novice and Intermediate runs, and Craig and Kate had six horses to compete between them. This is one of our favourite events, and we had a very worthwhile trip again this year with some great performances across the two days.
In Friday’s Intermediate class, Craig and HHS Dassett Class (Matt) smashed it to finish eighth in their section. Showing how easy he finds this level now, he did a lovely dressage test for 29 and then jumped a fast double clear to add a couple of time faults and wind up in the ribbons. Matt bruised his foot slightly a few weeks ago and had to miss a couple of events, so it was good to see him back out. Running this well he’ll have no trouble going further up the grades, and there’s bound to be more success in store for him this season.
Call Me Dassett (Casper) – the first of Kate’s Intermediate horses – was on track for a win after a 29 dressage test and a clear showjumping round. Casper was looking amazing out on the cross country until he misread a chair in the water as a step! Thankfully the pair stayed upright but gained 20 penalties which sadly knocked them out of contention. He’s got up and running so quickly after his break and it’s great to see them being so competitive again.
Kate also jumped some lovely rounds with MBF Dassett Legacy (Zam) in the Open Intermediate. Craig has done a fantastic job producing Zam up the levels until Kate recently took over the ride to help build his experience at the highest levels of our sport. This was their first run together after a very short prep time, and they have set some solid foundations for their next events. We all think a huge amount of this horse, and are looking forward to watching him and Kate jump some bigger tracks soon.
On Saturday it was the turn of Kate’s three Novice horses, and they didn’t disappoint, bringing home double clears and placings.
Dassett Forever Autumn (Autumn) was the star of the show to finish third in her section, adding nothing to her 27 dressage score after a brilliant double clear inside the time. This classy mare has been going from strength to strength this season, and despite relatively little experience has jumped round some tough tracks with ease. We were delighted for Autumn’s owner Andrea Burdett; she is such a friendly and positive member of our team and is always getting involved in her training. Kate’s “favourite pupil” certainly seems on track for her season aim of a CCI-2*L at Blair, and we’re excited to see what else she is capable of this year!
Kate also scored a 27 dressage with Dassett Select (JJ) before a couple of uncharacteristic rails in the SJ dropped the pair down the order. A rather enthusiastic JJ then jumped a fantastic clear cross country, cruising round just a couple of seconds over the optimum time.
To round up a great day, Dassett Showgirl (Lola) jumped a double clear and made absolutely nothing of the tough tracks. Owned by Lesley Rocher and Sheena Hawkin, Lola started off last year jumping some huge tracks on the Sunshine Tour before getting some Novice events under her belt before Kate’s pregnancy ended her season short and started this one rather late! But she has continued to impress as a 7-year-old, and this gutsy mare will undoubtedly achieve plenty more before the year ends.
Farley is always a highlight of our calendar, and we’ve really enjoyed competing there again this year. The horses have all gained valuable experience as they continue to progress, and we can’t wait to get out again with this exciting team.