• Jacky Green

Tweseldown... and we are off!

Well, yes, actually, literally off. The start of the season for Sammi, Hels and three uber smart advanced horses, Hunter Valley ( Gizmo), Finduss PFB ( Louis) and The Kincooley Ceili ( William) began with the usual early alarm call. By 1pm the event spat the water out of its PA system and sadly announced that they had no choice but to abandon.

After what is the wettest winter on record since records began, and in particular the wettest February ever as well, we had a brief spell of hope on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday when the sun came out. But yesterday it rained consistently all day and it was relentless all morning at Tweseldown turning the dressage warm up into a swamp very quickly. Sammi had walked the course upon arrival with Wooffie (who returned looking like a swamp rat himself) and was genuinely really looking forward to riding it as she described it as "beautifully built and presented" but it was not to be.

On the plus side Sammi was spotted trotting round the dressage warm up on Gizmo with a silly grin on her face as she was so happy to have him back out competing, Giz was pretty happy too as he won the dressage in his OI section by some 5 marks and even tempted the judge to drop her window down about 1 inch and shout " Isn't he lovely!" at Sammi before swiftly hitting the up button. William also put his best foot forward and scored a smart 29.8 in his section and Louis found it all a bit icky after the glamour of showjumping in Belgium and did not very much for a 36. Which actually is quite respectable for Louis at the start of the season with the rain and wind not being much to his liking!

Sammi had already made the decision not to jump as it wasn't getting any more appealing and Giz, in particular, being the family pet and all that, didn't need to make his comeback in testing footing. William thinks he is Milton reincarnated most of the time anyway and does handstands over fences in normal going so that was a no and the Parkfield guys are so nice they didn't want either Sammi or Louis ( although probably in reverse order of merit) to get all soggy all over again.

You know its a serious issue when Sammi greets you with " my knickers are wet" which is right up there with 'far too much information'. Welcome to early March eventing... Tweseldown did manage to run the three 100 sections in full so all credit to them for giving it a go.

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