Sunshine, Easter and Devon.... throw in the M5 on Good Friday and then you see why there were plenty of shuffles on the dressage times as riders got delayed!
Bicton is one of the most rider friendly events in the country and as always they were hugely accommodating. While the top placings in each section were hotly contested by riders having a crack at the time with great tracks and good ground Sammi was there on a "making partnerships" day.
Two lovely new advanced horses for Sammi to compete in 2019 and plenty of time in the future to pick up rosettes. They both have a bit of history with other top riders and they both seem very happy with their life at Little Park Farm and are flourishing under the amazing care that Hels devotes to all of her charges.
Finduss FPB ( Louis) had the misfortune to be named during the horsemeat scandal in human food ( if you can call bottom of the range supermarket frozen lasagne human food that is) hence his unusual title! He can be a little challenging on the flat but his fabulous jump has already made him a yard favorite and after a 30 dressage which was more than pleasing and showing great progress he then bounced around the tough showjumping track for a clear and then had fun cross country. Adding some 27 time faults was always part of the plan and they both had a lovely time.
Direct Tullyoran Cruise ( Tully) is the really new kid on the block and she has some interesting moves on the flat too. A score of 32 in her Open intermediate was more than acceptable and just 4 faults to add in the showjumping. Bicton hosts plenty of proper showjumping classes and it is a big arena with plenty of opportunity for the course designer to go for the stronger options and not the easiest place to start with a new pony!
Tully last went cross country at Blenheim CCI 4*L with Izzy Taylor so she is used to going pretty quick! It was a whole new experience for her to go into "tourist" mode and have time to view the scenery on her way around the track whilst adding some 35 time faults. Needless to say they both enjoyed themselves immensely.
So it was a really pleasing day with the sun shining which always makes life much easier. Plenty to build upon and a great way to kick off with new rides and no doubt they have given Sammi much to think about as she spends the rest of the Easter weekend hanging out with her family and Nicky Pack's family in Cornwall. 2018 was a horrible year for the Birch crew and its so cool to see 2019 starting out so differently!