Hey guys,


So where to begin... I'm at home at the moment, training with the young horses and my stable rider Ola. She is a great young rider with alot of talent, heading to her first CSI in the Netherlands next week in Roggel. Ola did an amazing job training my young horses while I was away with Bella in July.


Bella and I last left you after training and preparing for the shows with George Morris. The day after we packed up and left for Switzerland, Ascona CSI 3*. What an amazing show, located in the Italian side of Switzerland so there was not only my favourite food but also the most beautiful lake and mountains to go with it. Ascona went well for Bella and i, an easier show with a couple of 145 starts, finishing with a 150 grand prix. The arena was a perfect square surrounded by the stands and VIP. It rode like an indoor track and the Grand was quite technical. Bella jumped well, unfortunatley two down but i felt good with the result heading into San Patrignano..


The following week we stayed at the showjumping stable in Bolonga of Juan Carlos Garcia before heading into San Pat on the Thursday.


San Pat is considered by many on the top international riders to be one of the best outdoor shows in the world. I have been to many top outdoor shows but it was was certainly on the top of my list! The show is run in the beautiful equestrian facility that is part of the San Patrignano drug rehabilitation centre with upto 2000 people in the residence at any time. They all help to put together the show and do an amazing job. The food, hospitality, organization, stables, arena (pictured left), atmosphere.... everything about is fantastic. The days are long, classes starting at 7 in the evening, finishing around 11. The hotel is 25min away and Rimini doesnt sleep until about 4am in the holiday season. The beach (pictured left) is long and full of deck chairs, ive never seen so many deck chairs!


Again we gave Bella an easy start to the weekend, the 140 on the first day to get in the ring and take a look around. The second day the 145 under lights at 10pm, he was clear and feeling great. Sunday night the GP walked "big but fair" (Edwinas words!). I felt confident and i know he was feeling great. Unfortunatley too good, Bella was jumping fantasic and we had just jumped through the huge treble combination clear about 1/2 way through the track to turn back away from the in gate to approach a tall vertical with an easy 5 to another oxer. Bella stopped near the in gate three strides from the vertical;. Such stallion behaviour and was a gut wrenching and totally frustrating feeling for me.. Typical stallion...


So we decided to castrate Bella and after collecting a lot of semen for the future he is now at home recovering for the next set of shows. A difficult decision to make but in the end he is for the sport first and breeding second. He has all the talent and ability in the world to jump those tracks so if the stallion attitude is stopping him from performing at his best, it has to stop. I had a lot of advice and support from fellow rider after the grand prix and it was all the same, so after speaking with George Morris, my parents and of course Michelle the decision was made.


So im home training young horses... going a little crazy with no competitions but Bella is feeling good and we will be back competing soon.




San Patrignano!

13 August 2011


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