Firstly, a big big thank you to the organising team at Belton - how did they keep going! On Friday it rained, on Saturday it snowed and then hailed and on Sunday, finally, it was sunny. Secondly, all team Birch's thoughts were with the connections of Grass Valley who died on the Sunday. Tragic for all concerned.
Nimrod made the trip to do the intermediate, did a lovely dressage and a super clear SJ, but it was his first time at this level and Sammi felt the XC was top-end difficulty so he didn't run. And then it was cancelled anyway.
Jester was in the 3* and put his best hoof forward in the dressage to score 42 and lie 23rd out of 133 after dressage - a big thrill for his owners and rider. Even more exciting was that he then jumped clear with a few time in SJ. This is not his best phase and finally the hard work is paying off. Gismo was only 3 marks behind after dressage but clear inside the time SJ so moved ahead before XC.
The XC course was meaty to say the least and Jester was steaming round making it look easy when close to home he cheekily ducked out at a skinny. Annoying - but he and Sammi are now qualified for a CCI3*. Gismo however was flying, going straight everywhere and adding only a handful of time to finish 16th in this massive class. He is really stepping up to the mark at 3* and all this after an unfortunate splat in a SJ lesson the week before. Luckily Gis is hardcore ... or forgetful ... and it didn't bother him here at all.
So a good weekend in all, and a happy lorry coming home.