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Triumph at Bramham

  

What a week we had at Bramham, with Annaghmore Valoner winning the prestigious Defender CCI4*L, alongside superb performances from Et Hop du Matz and Amiro Island in the 4*L and 4*S respectively.

 

From the moment we drove in and I found myself saying, ‘I love this event’. It’s a beautiful time of year, a beautiful park, and a beautifully-presented event.  It’s horse-friendly and competitor-friendly with a happy, relaxed atmosphere and a real buzz of the big stage.

 

To me Bramham is an essential stepping stone - a last stop for about-to-be 5* horses.  It's full of meaty questions to really get your teeth stuck into and it tests the horses whilst bringing them on and preparing them for the very top level. It's the kind of event that reminds me why I wanted to become an event rider, an event I grew up wanting to ride at, and subsequently wanted to win.

 

Annaghmore Valoner is as lovely a person as she is talented, so I couldn’t be happier.  She's very sensitive - a bit of a worrier - and a horse who needs her hand holding to give her the chance for any latent talent to come to fruition.  Her result here following her podium finish at Blenheim 4*L last Autumn has confirmed my hopes that she could be the next superstar.  She has all the ingredients to be a top 5* horse; the speed, stamina, bravery, scope, and the training in all three phases.  Watch this space! 

 

I was lucky enough to have a second top ten finish in the 4*L with the indomitable Et Hop du Matz, who made the cross country feel like child's play.  He was giving me such a sensational ride that I punched the air half-way round in a very uncharacteristic way, and commented to a spectator as we cruised by - 'this is as good as it gets'!  I was thrilled with his dressage test and he too show jumped beautifully, just tipping the second last.  He will now set his sights firmly on an Autumn 5*.

 

At the last minute 8 year old Amiro Island jumped in to run in the 4*S, filling the shoes of Jet Fighter who was unable to compete.  The 4*S was being used by many nations as a final Olympic trial so it was a big ask of an 8 year old contesting his first Advanced/4*.  Amiro Island joinied us as a recently backed 4 year old in 2020.  He has taken everything is his stride ever since, this huge test was no different!  He did a super dressage test, show jumped beautifully with just one unlucky rail, and was brave and straight across country. This being part of his education (not his goal) meant he ran steadily - which he did immaculately.

 

I couldn't be prouder of all three horses and our whole team who have worked so hard for this result, or happier for their respective owners with whom we share the journey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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