“Barbury Castle this weekend was HOT. Thankfully when we arrived for the pre-ride vetting at 17.45 on Friday night the driving rain had just stopped. It then dried up to allow us to present the horses to the FEI veterinary team, rider weigh-in and then set up our crewing, camping & corralling area for the weekend.
Maarhabi (Charlie) settled into his corral with the other 40+ horses ready for Saturday morning. None of us got much sleep due to people arriving at the venue from 4am onwards. The FEI rider briefing was at 7am with my start time a leisurely 8.40am, so enough time for Adam, Jane, Leah and I to have a bacon sandwich!
The route was tough in the heat which got slowly warmer as our mileage increased, with little shade on course due to us riding over the ridgeway. The venues and terrain were perfect but the airlessness of the climate was grueling. However, Charlie and I finished the 80km ride in 3rd place! Our overall riding speed was 14.25kmph; only 4 of us finished the 1* class from 12 starters.
Team Claridge are thrilled to be back on form after a slightly delayed start to the season due to the weather and of course our wedding – but roll on Red Dragon in October…and maybe the Arab Marathon!
I am off to the World Championships this weekend so hopefully I will see some of you there.” Rachael Claridge
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