- Jacky Green
Photo credit: Sammi Birch.
It is just possible that I may have missed a couple of the young horse runs as Sammi has actually been eventing since Burgham although we also had a rather catastrophic Somerford where Sammi, along with a few hundred others, found their eventing curtailed by the summer storms and all of the National classes cancelled. To say a disappointment was an understatement... Hels had prepped for 8 horses to go to Somerford on the Friday from the yard and Sammi was prepped for a mega day with 6 rides for herself just before they pulled the plug on the Friday. They gamely decided to go ahead with the FEI classes which meant Sammi and Flo endured hours and hours in the two horse truck to Cheshire for one test each before they heard on the way back that they had pulled the plug on those classes too.
And then Sammi headed off to Ireland for Millstreet International with Direct Tullyoran Cruise ( Tully). Sammi doesn't travel light these days so she was accompanied by supergroom Hels and an au pair for Charlie which left her with.... just Tully to ride. I see the mother-daughter connection between her and Jude! Sammi assures me it's actually really hard work what with the weather being so awful and Charlie having zero interest in horses and admits that her dreamy scenario of her and Charlie having one last summer fling before he goes to school being drowned in the mud and cold of Ireland. Well there you go...
Meanwhile those of us in the mainland UK are basking in 28 degrees and not a cloud in the sky ( for the first time this August) and looking at the photos of Millstreet and going "ugh". Sammi described the conditions as "horrible" yesterday but today she did a class test on Tully for a 31 which was pretty impressive as Tully has spent most of her time pre test doing her favourite dancing on her hind legs before deciding as she went down the centre line she was actually quite tired and dropped off Sammi's leg! You have to hand it to the girls, they always keep you guessing!
Tonight saw the showjumping for the CI4*S and unsurprisingly Tully jumped her socks off to rise from 20th on her 31 to 11th with a super clear. Tully is a fabulous jumper and Sammi is an amazing rider and these two look set to become a great partnership as they keep on trucking up the leader boards.
The ground is still pretty testing cross country but as Sammi says, they jumped cross country in that at Burgham and Tully found it quite to her liking so she is not at all bothered about that. I predict another rise up the leaderboard.. and some more winter weather gear required!