Posted on 2nd October 2019 by Kate Rocher-Smith
With 9 runners, it is lucky Moreton Morrell is so local!
I had a trio of first-timers; Andrea Burdett’s lovely 6yo mare, Dassett Forever Autumn (photos attached to this blog), was first to go in the Novice and she really stepped up today. There is room for improvement in the dressage and we came away with a respectable 35. She jumped a beautiful SJ round to leave all the coloured poles up and felt very happy and comfortable at this level, despite the slightly muddy ground (something the horses haven’t been exposed to that much this year). She followed it up with probably the best XC round to date, jumping a great clear to earn her first point! Needless to say, we were all delighted. I also rode my father’s 6yo ex-racehorse, Dassett Gold, in his first Novice. He did a lovely dressage but he needs to carry his head and neck higher. This low carriage drops the marks and we ended up on 34, despite some lovely work. He is really trying to figure out how to manage his jump at the moment, and we made 2 mistakes early on causing fences 2 and 3 to fall. He was jumping a great round until a very cheap rail at the last fell to end his round on an unfortunate 12 faults. Dassett Gold headed out of the start box a bit green, but I was delighted with his attitude as he gave it a go and really ‘manned up’. Frustratingly, we got held for quite a while (for fence repair) just as we got going. We then had a 20 penalties at the next combination where Dassett Gold jumped so high in, we didn’t make the distance out. But we finished up very well and I really feel this horse came on from the day’s experience. Last up for me was the feisty mare, Dassett Showgirl, in her first BE100. Our dressage was somewhat ‘green’ but her good movement and looks meant she still came away with 34. She followed this up with a green but excellent double clear, adding just a couple of XC time faults to drop her out of the rosettes. She is such an exciting mare and one we all have very big hopes for…!
Craig rode the stunning 6yo, Dassett Empire, in the Novice and they were on flying form today! They did a 29 dressage, with still so much more to come. They nailed a quick double clear to finish a very credible 4th place. This lovely horse is really starting to put all that wonderful power to good use, and as his balance keeps improving, so will his results. Craig also rode the proper business woman, Dassett Curra Candy, in only her second Novice. She was a bit distracted in the dressage, so didn’t quite put her best foot forward, and came away with a 37. She had one very unlucky rail in the SJ, but actually jumped a very smart round. Craig was delighted with this 5yo XC, as she flew around confidently and intelligently, to bag another clear. She is a very serous horse. Craig’s final ride was Jeff and Jane Boon’s Caramba Z in the BE100, who did a smart test for 31. He went on to jump a great double clear, adding just a few XC time faults to end the day in 8th place.
Amelia had a few of her own horses’ competing and rode 6yo CSF Dassett Decoy in the Novice for us. He did a very impressive dressage test for a score of 27, putting them towards the head of the leader board. Annoyingly the very last SJ got tipped, which was very unlucky and pretty cheap. CSF Dassett Decoy was on flying form XC and cruised around for just a few time penalties to end his day in 9th place. This talented horse in all three phases really looks like he is starting to pull it together now, which makes him a very competitive and exciting prospect moving forwards.
Hayley rode the Wright Syndicate’s Dassett Diamond in the Novice. They were here following a sudden dip in confidence XC at Gatcombe, so had the bigger picture very much in mind. They nailed their standard good dressage to score a very competitive 29. They jumped one of the best SJ rounds I’ve seen them jump, just tipping the ‘boggy fence’, which caught many out throughout the day. Dassett Diamond started rather green XC and had 20 penalties at a big hedge early on. However, she pulled herself together to show a big improvement around the track, gaining in confidence all the way. A few more runs working on confidence should have them back on track in no time at all.
Nick was competing his lovely horse Domingo 594 in the Open Novice. They WON the dressage with a very impressive 27, against very hot competition! A rail a piece in the SJ sadly added an uncharaertistc 8 faults to their score card, but it was the first competitive round as a combination for this pair in over 2 years. Very annoyingly, Domingo 594 gave himself a small over reach in the SJ and Nick made the very sensible decision not to risk his lovely horse XC, so they withdrew before the final phase. Very disappointing after all the work to get to Moreton Morrell, but as always, Nick is wonderful at having his horses’ welfare as paramount.
We dodged most of the showers until the very end of the day, and as normal with Big Blue, we had to be towed off the lorry park at the end of the day! But we were largely very pleased with all our young horses, who have finished the day with more mileage and confidence than when they drove in.