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  • Writer's pictureJacky Green

Wellington International.(Updated to Tuesday)

Updated: Sep 2, 2020

Bank Holiday Monday turned out to be quite a nice day and when the sun came out at Wellington it was the icing on the cake. More importantly it was finally the turn of Hunter Valley ( Gizmo) to get off his furlough and actually be an event horse again. Giz is a lazy little git at times and I am sure he is loving this sort of semi retirement but, despite a semi nervous breakdown in the morning when Sammi discovered that the ground at Wellington was not akin to the manicured green of a golf course somewhere in the Algarve, Giz did actually get to run. It was Hel's who prodded Sammi back into the real world thank God!

Giz did a pretty smart test for a 26 and very nicely left all the poles in place as I guess he was pretty sure it wouldn't matter. When Sammi rode into the cross country warm up he was a bit surprised and then when he found himself in the start box he didn't even have time to buck her off before they were heading down to the first fence..

20 time was fair enough as he has not been on a track since Aachen 2018 and they both came home looking pretty damn happy. There is nothing like riding a truly top class horse around an OI and the Birch/McLeod team have been very patient in waiting for this moment. It was fun to see!

At the other end of the scale Calcourt Verona ( Ringo) was tackling just her second intermediate and there was plenty to do out on the cross country for one with so little experience. a 28.6 dressage was pretty smart and she also left all the poles in place in the showjumping. Clearly of the opinion that the ground was fine now that Giz was safely tucked up in iceboots Sammi then sped around for just 4.4 to pilot Ringo into 5th spot which was very nice for her happy owners to see.

Tuesday started really nicely with Jutopia ( Lola) contesting her first novice and a dressage score of 26.8 shows her class on the flat. She then jumped a lovely round to just roll a single pole before hugely enjoying her cross country with a clear and 8 time. Smiles all round.

Wellington had rather inexplicably spread Sammi's times out as far as possible so she donned her dressage gear again for Arabella PFB who was also tackling her first novice. A 29.5 and a clear showjumping boded well but they crashed and burned cross country which left Bella with barely a scratch but Sammi has torn all the ligaments in the shoulder she had operated on back in 2013. Sammi departed in an ambulance, Amelia was literally left holding the horse and fellow antipodean Jonelle Price volunteered to drive Sammi's truck home which just sums up the event world... everyone is happy to help out.

Ed picked Sammi up from Basingstoke hospital yesterday evening and she is pretty uncomfortable to say the least. Further investigation into the injury will give us a clearer picture of what the rest of the season looks like. 2020 really has proved a challenge but fingers crossed Sammi gets her smile back double quick.

Photo credit Helen Tagg. Bestest buddies Gizmo and Louis

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