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  • Writer's pictureJacky Green

Aston Le Walls Elite

Sammi joined the rest of the UK based elite riders for a day out at Aston Le Walls where the weather could not have played a better hand. Twenty plus degrees and pretty much wall to wall sunshine is unheard of in late March and it was awesome! So many horses sunbathing without rugs on looking super happy. Just what we needed.

Sammi usually has an early start with Finduss PFB (Louis) as it is best to get the circle work done before the cross country whistles start blowing. As this event was elite however it was run little differently and the OI sections didn't start dressage until the Advanced XC was well and truly underway! Louis, as we know, has many issues and one of them appears to be that Aston totally blows his already highly fused brains. He invented some new moves for the dressage which is a bit like being on a zoom call when it freezes. He would get part way through a movement and then stand like stone, raise his head up and tilt slightly to the right and simply stare in the direction of the cross country. It was quite amusing to watch but Sammi didn't actually look very amused, more sort of resigned.

They then arrived at the showjumping where Louis could barely contain his excitement. He went around the track like it was a speed Derby but truly jumped his socks off. He even did the best flying change I have ever seen him do. It was clean, expressive, his head was where it was supposed to be, really through and his ears were forward. Just not in a dressage saddle. He then popped around the track at a sedate pace ( not by his choice obviously!) and remained on Full Alert for the rest of the day.

The Kincooley Ceili (William) decided to join him in Cuckoo Land for the day, presumably to see what is was like to operate under an 'alternative' set of rules. He was wild at the dressage, so wild at the showjumping that he booted out two rails ( I don't think William has had a rail since 1954, sorry, Belton 2018) and he has never, ever had 2 down in his life. So as William prepped himself to drop Sammi in the collecting ring for the XC as his finale for the day Sammi was busy withdrawing him as she had decided something must be amiss. I don't think William will be going down the Louis route again.

Calcourt Verona ( Ringo) has far less experience than her two stable mates but she really was the star of the show in that she was well behaved, she jumped a double clear and she didn't try and be the centre of attention all day unlike the boys. I think Hels must have walked a hundred kms as they were slightly inexplicably virtually parked in the village down the road but since no one got wet or cold we can definitely count it as a good day. Well, Louis thought it one of the best days ever, William went home in a sulk and Ringo proved she is going to be a good one.

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