Where has time gone?!Posted on Nov 6th, 2018 by Rob Waine
Gosh, I am embarrassed looking back at the date of my last blog, where has time gone?!?! So much has happened since then.
Horses have come and gone, I’ve competed internationally twice, had my first international win. Ben has moved his horses into the yard and I’ve been based at Hammer & Harp Farm for 5 years now!!!
As I sit here writing this blog the nights are drawing in but Summer seems to want to keep holding on, which I have to admit I am not complaining. The poor horses are a little confused though, hot, cold, hot, cold. They have started to grow their winter coats only to be met by 22 degrees sunshine. Fluffy coats can only mean one thing….the season of clipping is upon us.
September has been a crazy busy month. We kicked off with the final Unaffiliated show of 2018, I can’t believe that we have been running them for 5 years. When we first started we would attract around 30 people to one show, fast forward 5 years and we are now attracted around 80 entries!!! I am so happy that we have the friendly familiar faces as well as some new ones. The league proved massively popular again and I can see why with a prize fund of over £1000 I would love to try and win it!! Of course, none it could be done without the incredible support of our sponsors; Equine Essentials Direct, Stuart Equine, Chiltern Vet Physio, The Simple Equine, Stubben, Hannah Freeland Photography and Equilibrium Products. This years worthy winner was Amber Young.
We were lucky enough to slip in a training session at Carl’s before he jetted off to the World Equestrian Games. Nasa was absolutely fantastic. I absolutely love riding and training this horse, all he wants to do is please please please. We have worked hard on strengthening him up ready for the advanced level work which he finds so easy. I am hoping that 2019 will enable us to compete internationally again.
September is also the month of the National Championships held each year at Stoneleigh Park. It was a busy affair this year with Ben qualifying for the Elementary Champs, Amber Young for the Prelim and Mari Ackhurst for the Grade 1 Championships. I have to say it felt a little odd not riding there myself but I quite liked not having the pressure and just being able to enjoy it all as trainer, partner, supporter and general bag carrier, even if it was throwing it down with rain and blowing a gale. Stoneleigh is a great venue but the facilities for the horses are a little tired. The first day of being there the heavens literally opened resulting in all the stables flooding, as the show isn’t a permeant fixture the stables are temporary and put on a rocky carpark, not the nicest. The high winds presented problems with stable roofs and white boards making bids for freedom. I cant help but think that the Nationals has now outgrown this venue and with so many other super centres British Dressage should now be looking to move these fantastic championships elsewhere. Despite all the drama, Ben put in a sterling performance on his mare, Angel. We were all over the moon with how she handled the atmosphere and the tricky warm up arena. It was a first time competing there for Amber Young and she didn’t let anyone down with a super 4th place finish, big smiles all around. Last but certainly not least was Mari, the pressure was on her as she was the current National Champion back to retain her title. The conditions were certainly not easy, as Stoneleigh was battered by the high winds but Mari and her partner Sky performed so well, pulling in the marks to once again be crowned National Champion!
After the Nationals Ben and I flow to Dubai where Ben was teaching for the week, I on the other hand made good use of the hotel facilities and beach. It was lovely to get away and have some rest in the heat, I am definitely someone who loves the sun. It was also fascinating to hear about the amazing facilities that various Equestrian Centres have built over there, fantastic surfaces, air conditioned indoor arenas. I don’t think those horses could want for anything!
A week flew by and we were back in the UK for a day teaching, riding and catching up on life before a very early flight to the Oldenburg Elite Auction held in Vechta, Germany. I won’t go into two much detail about it in this blog but keep posted for a special, “Navigating a German horse blog”
Thats all for now folks but stay tuned for Part Two 🙂