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Away Cruising on fire at Bramham

 

 

 

Bramham has all the natural ingredients for a superb event with a stunning undulating park on good old turf, but this is coupled with a friendly ‘can do’ attitude and slick organisation – once again, and despite heavy rain, they put on a brilliant show and it was great to be there.

 

 

After the disappointment of not running at Badminton we opted to place Away Cruising in a couple of Short events and kick on for Burghley, rather than re-routing to Luhmuhlen. This started with an outing to Bramham in the CCI4*S and he couldn’t have felt better.  I was delighted with his way of going in his dressage test, a couple of small mistakes lost marks but he still got a good score of 30.2.  The show jumping track wasn’t ideal for him with airy fences and flimsy poles with a tight time.  He’s a big horse who needs to travel actively but slowly in order to jump in the best technique so I must have walked the course at least six times to make sure I could take every inside line possible. He jumped a very convincing clear round not touching a single pole and was well within the time – it was the round we’d been saving for Badminton!

 

The scores were all very close at the top and the last fifteen ran cross country in reverse order. He gave me a superb ride and made nothing of the course. It felt so easily within his capability that I was able to play with some of the distances and take out the odd stride to challenge ourselves – we had great fun together.  The time wasn’t particularly tight and he made it very easily, I was conscious not to get too far ahead of our minute markers on the way around. We finished in 7th place from 86 starters, and as a test it barely scratched the surface of his ability, so he will relish a stronger test which will separate the field more.

 

Tenareze had a serious coming of age in the CCI4*L.  Ian Stark had built a brilliant course, but it wasn’t for the faint hearted. The endless ditches were a great test for him and he grew in confidence the further he went. Unfortunately he also grew in strength, and by the half way mark I was having my arms pulled out. I had to shut the engine off and canter the second half, picking up a heap of time penalties and dropping us right down the order. It therefore turned from a competitive aim to one of experience for next time, and after some bitting experimentation he’ll hopefully be well placed to be successful, having grown from the challenges on the Bramham course. In terms of difficulty, it sits alongside the weaker 5* tracks so this was a good stepping stone in his development.  

 

With the spring three day events behind us now we’ve had a chance to regroup on the yard before stealing a few days to build sandcastles with Rosie and the children in the sunshine. We get back to packed a schedule as we try to make the most of the good going after so much rain in June.

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