Posted on 23rd May 2019 by Sue Tomlinson
Well, Rockingham has always historically been a busy week for Team DE and this year was no exception!! With 13 Dassett combinations coming forward over 3 days of competition “Operation Rockingham” was a go!!
Thursday saw the start of our International dressage campaign with 3 of our lovely young 7yr olds coming forward for their first look at a long arena this year. Fortunately for them, they had the wisdom and experience of Dassett Jack on board who was there with Kate having a quiet run around the CCIS3* ahead of Bramham CCI4* to guide them through it. Now dressage wouldn’t be Jack’s favourite phase but he took to the task of showing the young guns how it should be done seriously enough and not wanting to be shown up delivered a respectable test for 33.9. By no means the standard of work he delivers when at home but he kept up his end of the dressage deal so smiles pats and polos all round!!
Craig had both MBF Dassett Legacy and ARD Dassett Spectre out for this first attempt at 3* dressage and yet again these two super young horses didn’t disappoint, trying their hardest, putting their best hooves forward and having a crack at all the new fancy moves they have to do at this level. Both horses coped brilliantly with the atmosphere and with a bit more practice and polish I’m sure they will produce super tests at this level. A few green mistakes left them with credible marks of 35 for Zam and 39 for Digby, which was a little harsh but about right for where they are at in their training, so pats and smiles all round again!
Amelia’s International debut as a DE team member came in the form of no other than Boleybawn Dassett Cruise in the CCIS2*. What a little star Joey is! Producing a lovely accurate test for the best mark on the truck at the end of the day. A 33.7 !!! Hayley and Amelia have been working together on Joey’s dressage and it seems to be paying off, with more improvements still to come he could be headed for some seriously good marks!
Back home for a swift turn around and early to bed to get ready for … Frantic Friday!!!!!!…
Big Blue (our big lorry) set sail for Rockingham bright and early Friday morning with the Novice and BE100 brigade.
First up were the babies, Craig had just the one ride in Jeff and Jane Boon’s Caramba Z. He started the day off nicely with a solid 33 double clear. This big horse is really starting to come together for Craig and it’s great to see happy horses and owners enjoying the day’s sport.
Talking of happy owners, Andrea Burdett was over the moon, and rightly so, with her lovely mare Dassett Forever Autumn who Kate expertly steered to a 28 double clear for 4th place in only her second BE100.
HHS Dassett Class continued his education with a good dressage for 30 and great clear cross country round, although there were altogether too many flags and distractions around the brightly dressed main show jumping arena meaning 2 poles found themselves not to be his number 1 focus!!
In contrast, Dassett Gold was giving Kate such a beautiful, balanced, careful feel around the show jumping that she rather lost concentration coming to the last, thinking how lovey he was, and promptly had it down! Sorry Dave!! Yet again, he gave Kate a great feel cross country and did a competitive dressage test of 32 in a high scoring section ending their day in 9th place. We are all excited to see where this ex-racehorse will take us!
Onto the Novices; both of whom, because they are fairly green 6 yr olds and contesting only their second event at this level, would have a lot to think about with the impressive main arena and the strong cross country course, were in need of bold and confident riding.
Amelia was first up on board CSF Dassett Decoy, who after a smart dressage test and one unlucky pole lowered in the show jumping, went on to fly around the XC giving Amelia a great ride. This athletic little chap is a real jumper and has really learnt to channel his brain to the job at hand over his last few events making him quite an exciting prospect!
Hayley was a little disappointed with the mark given to the Wright One Syndicate’s Dassett Diamond after producing a very correct and pleasing dressage test to score 34 in a very closely marked section. However, it was smiles all round after the show jumping and cross country where despite one unlucky rail, this lovely mare showed her class from start to finish proving bold and straight round tough tracks.
With the actual eventing done and dusted for the day, the arrival of Rio (our little lorry) can mean only one thing, it was time for Amelia to dust her showing kit off for the BYEH. With three super smart 5yos to ride her day wasn’t over yet! First up was Dassett Curra Candy, a lovely big mare who both Craig and Amelia have been producing. A polished dressage test and beautiful clear showjumping saw Candy well on her way to a spot in the top 10 with one of the top jumping marks. Next to go was ‘Mr Perfect Pants’ himself, Amelia’s favourite, Dassett Select. This genuine chap continues to tick all the boxes and also secured himself a top 10 spot with a faultless jumping performance. Rounding up the trio was Chatsworth finalist, Dassett Rock Star, who clearly thought it was time to let the others in with a chance by putting pay to his own placing by spotting the invisible dragon under fence one, leading to a very unusual pole down! Although he recovered well, this meant no rosettes for Rocky today.
Both horses behaved beautifully in the final judging with Hayley stepping in to pilot Dassett Select alongside Amelia on Dassett Curra Candy. It’s a real pleasure having such lovely young 5yos to work with and produce. It’s also incredibly rewarding for the whole team to see 2 #DassettBabies holding their own in the final line up against such quality competition.
With Big Blue already on the way home, Rio was in hot pursuit as another quick turn around was needed ready for the all important day 3.
What better way to start day 3 than watching Boleybawn Dassett Cruise do his thing and produce a faultless clear round jumping in the 2*! Unfortunately, Amelia and Joey were enjoying themselves so much, they ended up with a time fault! Moving onto the cross country, this pair continued their amazing form, producing another class round. This made it 5 double clears out of 5 runs for this pocket rocket 7yo. Proving once again, if in doubt …..just Joey it!
While Joey was relaxing after his successful international debut, the familiar sight of Big Blue pulling onto the lorry park meant that the #DassettBigBoys had rocked up to contest the 3* competition.
Having enjoyed a rest day at home on Friday,the boys were all bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready for action. They’d all obviously got the memo that double clears were the order of the day as each horse proceeded to do just that!
ARD Dassett Spectre jumped his best round to date in the show jumping and then continued to give Craig an amazing ride around the cross country. This super genuine horse really is going from strength to strength and it’s always rewarding when a young horse steps up a level and makes it feel this easy.
Not to be outdone, MBF Dassett Legacy matched his stable mates performance with an equally convincing and confident double clear. Having nothing left to prove, MBF Dassett Legacy will now have short break until competing again at Farley at the end of June, while ARD Dassett Spectre will hopefully be making the most of his qualification and book himself a ticket to the Novice Champs, by contesting the NRF at Little Downham in his next outing.
Next up was the one and only Dassett Jack, who of course put that famous ‘Jack smile’ all over Kate’s face by pinging round both the 3* tracks feeling happy, fit, and better than ever. This was a perfect set up for Kate and Jack as they head up to Bramham 4* for their next run.
It’s a testament to the whole team that all these lovely horses finished happy and sound, coming away from their runs feeling all the more confident and educated for them.
With Alice working double time at home to ensure everything went without a hitch and everyone else fitting into the daily plans with military efficiency, what better way to round off the week on Sunday morning than one of Lesley Rocher’s famous cooked team breakfasts! Nothing keeps team DE a rollin’ like coffee and sausages!!!