We took nine horses up to Arena, arriving early on the Sunday to bed down the horses before the week of madness began.
We gave Keoki a quiet week jumping him in the 5 year old classes. He showed tremendous scope in the first qualifier but unfortunately had a fence at the planks after David lost his stirrup on the turn. He qualified on his second attempt though and jumped well in the final, clear in the first round with one down in the jump off. It was a good note for him to finish his first season of competing on before a holiday in the fields for the next couple of months.
Ralph V jumped well throughout the week, we jumped him in the 6 year old classes and the particularly strong Foxhunter classes. He jumped in the 6 year old final on Saturday in the main indoor ring and had two down, we were very pleased with how he jumped as the indoor was quite tight for him.
We entered Dakar RS for the Start of the Future (B&C) classes and the 6 year old classes. He performed very well on the first day qualifying for the Start of the Future GP out of a class of 200 with the top 40 double clears being within only a few seconds of each other. He then jumped double clear in the 6 year old qualifier, qualifying for the final. The Start of the Future GP was held on Friday evening, he jumped a superb clear in the first round and unfortunately just had one fence in the jump off. The 6 year old final was the following morning and he was 4th to go, sadly he had one fence down in the first round, however, considering how well he jumped throughout the week he was allowed to be a little tired come the final. He too will be given a holiday now in the field before being brought back in in December.
Clear The Way had an easy week in preparation for HOYS, jumping consistently well in the 1.30m classes and qualifying for the 1.25m GP. She jumped a great first round in the 1.25 GP and was clear in the jump off, only a second behind the winner to finish 3rd.
Louise rode Richi Rich in the 1.40 classes and in the Puissance on Friday night. Richi jumped very well on Friday, jumping clear in a good time in the 1.40 qualifying her for the Major Open GP on Saturday night. She then went on to jump the Puissance in the evening. She jumped three rounds very well in her true Richi Rich style, but took off slightly too early in the fourth round to touch one of the top bricks, finishing 4th overall. Not bad for the girls first Puissance together.
David rode Paladin de Laume in the 1.30 and 1.40 classes, and in the Puissance. He qualified for the 1.30 GP on the first day after a very good double clear and jumped well in the first Major Open GP qualifier, jumping clear in the first round with two down in the Jump Off.
The Puissance proved to be quite a spectacle to watch with all three of the top riders Louise, David and Jo Clayton being unwell as they were warming up their horses, yet none of them let it curb their competitive natures. David and Paladin de Laume were clear in the fourth round being the first to qualify for the fifth and final round, followed by Jo who qualified both of his horses. Standing alongside the final wall Paladin and David seemed minute and unfortunately stopped on their first approach, however the next time around they just knocked out the top brick to finish 3rd behind Jo who took equal 1st having 4 faults on each of his horses.
Louise and Arantos jumped in the HOYS Wildcard classes on the first three days of the show. Arantos lit up, seeming to love being in the indoors, on the first two days and jumped a very good double clear on Thursday to finish 4th, qualifying for the Major Open GP on Saturday. Despite having a few down in the GP, we were very pleased with how he went considering it proved to be such a difficult course for so many of the competitors.
David rode Global Van't Braunerthof in the first Grand Prix qualifier where he was double clear. He was one of 8 clear rounds in the first round of the Grand Prix out of 66 starters. We were the fastest round of the Jump Off but sadly an unlucky pole cost us the win, finishing in 5th place.
Although that final pole was very disappointing, we are now looking forward to the week ahead at HOYS where Global, along with Arantos and Rich Rich III will be competing in the CSI3* competition and Clear The Way will be competing on Thursday in the Foxhunter Final.