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My First Working Hunter - May Blog

Hey everyone, wow these months seem to be going quicker and quicker!

Hope you have all had a great month. We've been very busy where do I start?! We did North Somerset on bank holiday Monday, it was great fun as it's a real family show lots to do and Harry loved it, as far as the jumping went, they all jumped well but just no prizes but we enjoyed our day. That week was extra busy as I was down to 4 days to fit everything in but I coped.

The following Saturday, we were back to chard equestrian. These shows are getting busier and busier, up to 60 in a class. Bella was a star and won the jumping on grass qualifier for Dorchester County, Casey jumped another double clear, that's 6 in a row, and Willy had an unlucky 4 faults. The following week the horses enjoyed some rest time in the field for a good few hours enjoying the sun on their backs, and it gave me lots of time for mummy duties and catching up with friends, which I never normally have time for. I also had a showing lesson with Matthew Lawrence, on Jen Lewis’ Arkie as I'm doing the working hunter on him at the Bath and West, I haven't done showing since I was about 5, on the lead rein with pig tails! Unfortunately that Friday evening Bella had colic, and we had to call the vet out at 10:30, once again the team at B&W were fantastic and stayed with us for at least an hour to make sure the drugs they had given were working. Luckily she felt a lot better, and was back to her normal self within the next day or 2. The following Thursday we headed to West Wilts with my 2, Bella jumped a great round in the 1.10m to come 2nd , and willy had 4flts at the last fence in jump off of the 1.20m (my fault) .

With it being the bank holiday Monday, myself, my fiancé Mark and Harry enjoyed a day out at Bowood House, with some great friends, it was a lovely day except for the rain, but great to spend some quality time together away from the horses. The Tuesday I spent riding and teaching, and schooling Arkie ready for his county show debut and my working hunter debut! I'm lucky one of my best friends Sam Lynch lent me everything I needed from the shirt and tie to the boots - I had nothing!

Myself, my dad and Harry left for the Bath and West at around 10am and the traffic was great didn't que at all, my mum was there all week judging the affiliated showjumping, so it was down to dad to Harry-sit whilst I was doing my class. I walked the course and thought it was tough enough, then I saw the judge putting it up even more. Although Arkie has only ever done a 2'9 working hunter before and the course was 1.15m I knew he had the scope, he made 2 green mistakes, but there were no clears, so we ended up 6th. Myself and his owners were thrilled!  We returned to the show Friday for showjumping and Mark came to watch too, I was in the jockey challenge in the main arena sponsored by Paul Nichols it was such fun, we were also given Willberry Wonder ponies to tie to us or our tack in memory of the amazing Hannah Francis. The showjumpers got paired with a jockey I was with Lorcan Williams,  I had to jump 7 fences at 1.30m against the clock, then as I landed over the last fence Lorcan started and had to jump 7 fences at a metre, we both went clear and came 3rd! Mr Willoughby loved the atmosphere and everyone cheering, it set him a light and he felt amazing, and we came home £300 better off! Bella came for the 1.10m in the 2nd ring, she also did a fab round to come 5th!

So we’ve had a very busy but great month, I'm hoping to get Casey out a bit more this month, and hopefully Bella and Willy will continue their great form, I hope you all have a successful month, and most of all have fun!

Nikki. Xxx

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