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  • Jacky Green

Somerford Park International 18 & 19th August

A bit of a long drawn out weekend for Sammi as it was not quite the plan to go to Somerford three days in a row but that is how it turned out! Friday was intermediate day and Sam had quite the opposite of rides with her hugely experienced Hunter Valley ( Gizmo) having his first run back since Bramham and the young and green Kiwi having just his second start at the level.

Being Sammi Birch means that you can pretty much do anything you want when it comes to the jumping phases... she can go fast, or slow or somewhere in the middle but she does usually have a plan. I am not at all sure there actually was a plan in place this weekend! Giz posted a 28 dressage and a smart clear round over Somerford's huge all weather showjumping arena and Sammi decided to set off cross country with the handbrake firmly in place for a nice, quiet run. Gizmo found this not at all to his liking after belting round Bramham in June so to amuse himself he spooked and bawked at pretty much every fence, fence judge, fence post, piece of string... you get the picture! Sammi came back and said it was simply terrifying and she was not planning on doing that again!

Kiwi, meanwhile, is turning into a bit of a superstar and he also posted a 28 and jumped clear over the poles in his intermediate section. Determined not to repeat her earlier experience Sammi this time left the start box like a scalded cat, simply raced around the track and came home with the fastest time of the day in her section for just 1 second over time! Kiwi thought it was fabulous fun but since he doesn't yet have quite the experience needed to go so quick Sammi found that ride pretty scary too! Kiwi was third though and took himself into intermediate points on his BE record as well so hopefully owner Jenifer Mason had fun watching!

Meanwhile D was feeling pretty bored and left out as he had to go all the way to Cheshire to do his CIC 2 star dressage test. He got his revenge by being a bit rude in the arena to come out with a 52.7 which really does not reflect either his or Sammi's ability on the flat!

Saturday saw the truck heading back to Somerford but this time with overnight stabling. The Court Jester was on board as he has been dropped back to CIC 2 star and he was delighted with this decision and did a beautiful test. Sammi was thrilled with him, Hels probably nearly overdosed him with polos and then the score cam up as 45.9 which was truly disappointing! You cant win them all all of the time but it was a harsh mark for a foot perfect test!

The Kincooley Ceili (William) did his test on Saturday afternoon and was really cool for a score of 46.2. Sammi was really pleased with him.. ..for such a big young horse he has come on so much this season and is an exciting prospect for Le Lion D'Angers in October.

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