David Doel update

Hello to all,

The Reybridge Eventing team are back from Portugal – everyone happy, healthy and sound, after two weeks of sunshine and fairly intense competition. All the horses – Principal Espoir (Frenchie), Billy Pastime (Brian) and Chap travelled well and without mishap, apart from one lost shoe on the outward journey.

The first competition started on Thursday 20th February, which also happened to be David’s 21st birthday, celebrated with a traditional dunking in the water jump. After his dressage, four hefty fellahs picked up David – who thought he was on his way to the “doping box” – and manhandled him into the lake. Cleverly, David managed to take Andrew in with him for luck!

The 2* dressage was held that morning, with two good results – 6th with Principal Espoir (Frenchie) on a score of 46.1, and 8th with Chap on a score of 48.9. In the 1*, held on Friday, Billy Pastime (Brian) scored 46.2 to put him in 5th place. All three horses were quick and clear XC – David was fastest round the 2* course on both horses, resulting in overnight 4th and 5th places with Frenchie and Chap – and Brian 4th in the 1*. So, to the show jumping….the competition was fierce in the 1* but David and Billy Pastime (Brian) came in third.

The 2* was also very tight at the top, with the leading four riders only four points apart. David rode Chap out of order and had one pole down; however, all behind him incurred penalties, and he finished in 4th place. Frenchie (Principal Espoir) came 7th, so all in all a good weekend.

Next stop, beautiful Barroca… After a few days’ R & R the Reybridge Eventing team were back in full swing, with David’s first dressage test on Thursday afternoon (27th February), riding Billy Pastime (Brian) in the 1*. Their score of 52.5 put them in 3rd overnight but with more riders on Friday, he finished the dressage in 11th place.

In the 2* dressage, Chap did a lovely test but apparently the judges didn’t think so! His mark was (in David’s words) “a rubbish 60”. Principal Espoir (Frenchie) scored 50.4 to put him in 7th place overnight. Billy Pastime went clear in the cross country, incurring only 2 time penalties and remained in 11th place overnight. He had one pole down in the show jumping but still finished “in the money” in 13th place.

Meanwhile Chap was also clear across country in the 2*, with 4 time penalties; a clear SJ round put him in 12th place. Unfortunately Frenchie was not on form so did not complete.

An uneventful journey home and these three are having a well-earned rest. No such luck for David, who was off to Aldon almost immediately where Tilly (Miss Caruso) and Jiggles both went steadily clear XC to start the season in the right way.

This weekend (22nd March) David will be competing Koyuna Sun Magic (Fox) in the first 3* of the season at Fontainebleau, where he will also be a reserve member of the 2014 Nations Cup team for the first leg of the competition.

After Fontainebleau, we have a really packed schedule, which looks like this until the end of May.


  • 1 April World Class Training
  • 4 / 5 April Belton, Lincolnshire
  • 8 April Dressage Training – Adam Kemp
  • 12 April Weston Park, Shropshire
  • 18 / 19 April Broadway, Worcestershire
  • 20 April Kelsall Hill, Cheshire
  • 24 April BSJA – Rectory Farm
  • 26 April Withington Manor, Glos
  • 27 April Pontispool Unaffiliated ODE


  • 3 May West Buckland, Somerset
  • 7 May Badminton International
  • 13 May World Class Training
  • 14 – 17 May Aston-le-Walls, Northants
  • 20 May Dressage Training – Adam Kemp
  • 22 May Houghton, Norfolk
  • 29 May Tattersalls, Co Meath, Ireland

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