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  • Jacky Green

Withington 29-30th May

Withington is a pretty local affair for Sammi which always makes for a much easier weekend. Not to mention she has sold half of her intermediate string so a fairly relaxed weekend! Hunter Valley (Giz) was given a bye as he has been so good and withdrawn from the advanced, I can only imagine him sniggering at Jester as he got plaited up and Giz went back to sleep in his stable!

The Kincooley Ceili (William) really excelled himself with his first intermediate start at Burnham Market and he was dropped back to novice here which was always the plan. He really is a star in the making and he posted a 70% dressage and easily finished on it to win the class and upgrade to intermediate on points as well. That was a seriously classy way to finish at novice!

D was in the intermediate and after a 33 test he picked up 4 faults in the showjumping which was very unusual for him. The showjumping at Withington is always up to height and tricky and as always there were plenty of poles on the ground throughout the day. Sammi then had a lovely ride round what is always a testing cross country course which utilizes the hilly venue to its best. They picked up 15 time and had a very enjoyable time.

The Court Jester had a splendid day out as well. A very smart 24 dressage left Sammi looking quite smug and Jester clearly feeling on very good form. The annoying 4 faults in the showjumping was perhaps a plan by Jester to copy D’s result and have a nice cruisey trip around the cross country but he didn’t bargain on Sammi thinking that they were in the lead.

Having enjoyed the win the day before Sammi had a sudden rush of blood to the head and bolted Jester out of the start box, clearly determined another red rosette was going to be awarded at the end of the day. Quite why this sense of purpose did not involve putting on a stop watch to ensure that she did not pick up time faults is beyond me. In an all out attempt Sammi not only jumped clear and inside the time, she was so fast that she achieved the seemingly impossible and got a time fault for going too fast!!!!

Never let Sammi fool you into thinking she is not one of the fastest cross country riders around when she decides its time to make time. And she finished 2nd to boot… but another successful weekend for Team Birch and no doubt another minty overload for Hel’s favourite chestnut pony.

Meanwhile, in news from downunder, Sammi’s indomitable parents have been spotted purchasing MacDonalds which is quite the departure for Jude in particular. In order to balance out the drop in standards however they drank chilled Veuve Clicquot with it! Only the McLeods…. Gotta love their style!

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