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  • Writer's pictureJacky Green

Portman and Weston Park

In a week where winter has well and truly returned Sammi has been kept on her toes by two events and plenty of fresh ponies to deal with in between. Mid week saw the return to Portman which was sadly missed last year as it is one of the best events for the young horses to get out to in the calendar. It attracts the elite riders as it runs midweek and is a lovely opportunity for some proper cross country education as opposed to the 'arena and around three fields' baby events.

It was cold and blustery but that didn't put dancing queen Jutopia (Lola) off her stride and she produced a 19.5 dressage and stayed on that to win her 100 section. Stablemate Parkfield Little Phoenix (Phoenie) started her eventing career proper with a 27 and a rail and a lovely clear cross country, MGH Capa Vilou (Pattie) was very excited to finally get her season underway and her 32 test and allot of gawping at the scenery meant she picked up 8 faults in the showjumping before she knuckled down and went brilliantly cross country. Kincooley Read My Mind (Indie) was far more professional and a 27 double clear in her novice section left her in 4th sport and added some more points to her tally.

Saturday saw the trek up to Cheshire and 4 rides for Sammi at Weston Park. It was a day Sammi succinctly described as "mixed"! I dont get to say this very often but the star of the day was Finduss PFB (Louis) who was being very grown up and running advanced. His 37 dressage was par for the course but he actually tried very hard to be an adult and not to look like he had just been let out of the local rodeo and if he was a bit deep at times then its preferable to his 'camel' impression which he perfected at Aston le Walls. He then did an exemplary job of jumping a double clear which is exciting for all connections and hopefully he will make Hunter Valley ( Gizmo) top his game a bit and actually stop self harming and accompany him to some events.

The Kincooley Ceili (William) was bright in his test for a 33 but much improved on Aston to jump his usual smart double clear. I am not sure he would have shed any calories with his double figure time faults but Sammi doesnt like to rush at the one days. After that it went a bit pear shaped with Calcourt Verona (Ringo) adding a couple of rails to her 28 dressage and clear cross country and Kincooley Cruising adding a 20 cross country to her 32 and clear showjumping.

Doesnt actually sound that bad does it! Just a typical day eventing for normal people but by Sammi's standards it was deemed 'I rode like a pony clubber'. Methinks she doth protest too much. Weston Park always has a notoriously difficult showjumping which slightly caught Ringo out and Minnie has been ridden by 6' tall World No. 2 Tim Price since Sammi handed her over aged 6 or 7 so I am sure it will take them a while to adjust to 5'4" and some different signals!

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