“Louis and I embarked on an exciting adventure to Francis Whittington’s for a short stay…. Francis is a very successful event rider, his most prestigious win was this year at Blenheim International on his fabulous horse Easy Target. Our stay was extremely beneficial, Francis is a brilliant instructor and made a quick assessment of our jump style and gave us a target to work on over the following days. We went cross country schooling (first time since our fall) and Francis made sure we successfully jumped down hill! Louis felt brilliant and I felt confident about going to compete at Pulborough, our last event of the season. Unfortunately I had a very early time so we were up at 3.30 a.m….I considered going to bed in my competition clothes as it was very cold in the morning…but it seemed a bit extreme!
We arrived at the event at 6 am, Francis and I walked the course almost in the dark… We had difficulty finding the fences at times so split up to look in different directions…it usually turned out neither of us were right and the fence was actually straight ahead of us! Louis did a tidy dressage test for a score of 29. Not bad considering the only dressage I had participated in all week was a lesson I gave to Francis’s wife Sam, who also got a great score of 29 in the BE 100 later that day. The show jumping went well, Louis jumped a great clear. I felt a bit nervous before the cross country but kept reminding myself that it was the phase I love the most! Nothing beats the thrill of cross country! It felt great to be wizzing round the course and we finished clear with five time penalties and were placed. Later that day the weather was horrendous, there was thunder, lightning and really ridiculously heavy downpours. I felt very happy to have gone early and missed the bad weather as we took shelter in the First Class Images caravan (photo courtesy 1st Class Images).
A great end to the season!” -Daisy Coakley
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