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Aston le Walls

I had five horses at Aston le Walls at the weekend - there were no 'Wow' results on paper as I ran all the horses steadily as part of their education or preparation for bigger things but I was really thrilled with how they went. 


Away Cruising and Sparky's Reflection both ran in the Advanced as part of their build up for Burghley and Blenheim respectively. It was Away Cruising's first run since his post-Luhmuhlen holiday and he felt super.  He did a lovely test to score 31 and jumped a great round in the show jumping with just one pole down.  There were only four clear rounds in the whole section so I was really pleased with him and it was great that he was still leading after the show jumping.  The rain which had been forecast didn't reach Aston le Walls until later that night so the going was uncharacteristically firm for Aston, given the work they normally do on the ground, but they understandably assumed the rain would come in time as per Michael Fish and co's prediction.  The course was interesting with a new corner over a ditch, an owl hole into the water and also a narrow treestump set back behind a ditchline which all proivded educational questions. I ran Away Cruising very steadily and he didn't bat an eyelid anywhere. He will have now have a steady run at Gatcombe before heading to Burghley.


Sparkys Reflection also did a lovely test for 32 but as an older horse we opted not to run him on the firm ground so after a good show jumping round we withdrew. 


We returned on Sunday to find the conditions had totally transformed after much rain and it was probably the first time this season the horses have run in mud!  The ground looked mucky but it felt excellent so we were all grateful for the timing. We had Monbeg Medlar and Red Kite running in their first Intermediates and also Cavalier Crystal who has already got a couple under her belt.   


Monbeg Medlar did a really super dressage test to score 25.  He's a very attractive horse with lovely paces but is a sensitve type and can get a little tense so I was delighted with his performance.  Red Kite also did a lovely test for a score of 30 and Cavalier Crystal got a little unsettled in the walk in an otherwise good test for a score of 32. 


The horses all show jumped well, it's a big step up from Novice to a very up-to-height Intermediate course.  Monbeg Medlar had a couple of rare poles down which was very out of character for him (in his previous 15 runs he'd only had one pole down) but I was actually very pleased with how he went.  Red Kite also had a couple of poles but he was rather gawky at the surroundings, he has a great natural jump so I'm sure this will not be a problem for him as he gets more experience.  Cavalier Crystal kept up her superb show jumping record with another lovely clear round.


All three horses felt great across country and I was delighted to have first Intermediates under the belts of Monbeg Medlar and Red Kite.  Red Kite is only a six year old and was there to complete his qualification for Gatcombe.  If someone had blindfolded me and told me I was riding an experience Advanced horse I would have believed them!


I really rate this group of horses so it was an enjoyable couple of days feeling them progress. The team at Aston did a great job and as always there was a fun feel to the event.


Above & below: Spot the difference.... 7 year olds Monbeg Medlar and Cavalier Crystal  (thanks to Brian Findlay



Above: Cavalier Crystal, taking life in her stride (thanks to Brian Findlay Photography)


Above: Red Kite in his first Intermediate


Above: Red Kite didn't bat an eyelid round his first Intermediate!


Above: Monbeg Medlar ready for action!

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