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Sires of the World Grand Prix

Monday, September 22, 2014

More good news in the 1.50m  Grand Prix Stallions - FEI Zangersheide Sires of the World Final.

The course was very difficult with only 11 of the 49 starters clear in the first round and Skye and Monty were 1 of those!

They had a very good draw for the 2nd round being one of the last to go and this time it was 2013 Hickstead Derby winning rider Philip Miller (Caritiar Z) who stepped in to help Skye warm up. His horses were stabled next door to Monty - all the Brits are together -  and as Dave (see previous blog) had gone home, Phillip offered his services. Having someone with such experience 'on the ground' cannot be underestimated. 

Skye's boss was not at the show, and the way riders step in to help each other is such a lovely and often unseen side of show jumping. 

Moving on Monty, barely breathed on fence 2 in the jump off and it came down - Skye quickly slowed up and protected their 4 faults to finish 8th. A 'globe'  trophy for a podium finish would have been wonderful but a plaque for 8th and other goodies is pretty amazing. 

We had a great time in Scotland and Nick, Jack and I drove home yesterday in 7 hours which was pretty good going. We were listening to Five Live commentary of Lewis Hamilton winning the Singapore Grand Prix and Clare was there, sending me texts and photos - so the journey seemed to fly by! Clare had also been to a Robbie Williams concert prior to the Grand Prix - it was all happening in Singapore this week end. It is hard to keep up with my girls!

World Breeding Championships 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014

My photo of the International Arena taken last year

We are in Scotland staying with my brother and sister in law to celebrate two birthdays that end in zero! The first is my nieces 30th and the second is my brothers ..........................! 

News from The World Breeding Championships at held at Zangersheide, Lanaken in Belgium is good.

After a long drive Skye and Full Monty arrived in Lanaken last night and then came 7th in today's FEI Zangersheide Sires of the World warm up class.

The course was very technical and with Skye's old boss Dave Quigley unexpectedly, ( to Skye and I) being there to warm them up, they jumped a clear round in the 7th fastest time out of 50 other stallions and their riders. Monty was a star and tomorrow is the Sires of the World Grand Prix over a 1.50m course. 

The signal on my phone is very iffy in Scotand so I have not spoken to Skye but Dave sent me the results on his phone and Skye was also Best Brit. Thank you Dave for all your help.  

Driving up today and being in Scotland on the first day after the referendum was a moment in time I will always remember. The feeling/vibes that have been generated by the referendum are very apparent and I must admit that I found it very difficult to appreciate this when trying to keep in touch via the press and media whilst in Cheshire. I would not be at all surprised if some sort of 'troubles' started as a result of the Yes votes defeat. Hopefully nothing like Northern Ireland but feelings certainly run very deep.

My only comment is that Scotland is such a beautiful part of the planet and it is a pleasure to spend time there.


The Hough Bed & Breakfast

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Now that our four children are grown up and have more or less left home, our house is feeling very quiet and empty.

I have been thinking of turning two of our bedrooms into a B & B and this has now been achieved and we are open for business! 

Our son Jack has painted both rooms and they have also had a makeover with beautiful new Egyptian cotton bed linen, goose and duck down pillows, new single beds that can be made into a super king, bedside tables and lamps, suitcase racks, tea and coffee trays, hairdryers, waffle dressing gowns and the list goes on.

In the past we have had 'paid' guests which have included clients of Sophie Gent of SyncThermology who have attended training sessions in our Dining room which can also be used as a meeting room. We really enjoyed having them to stay and met so many like minded people. 

The idea really developed from all of them and now that Sophie has moved to Rutland and runs her courses from Moulton College we have taken the plunge!

The aim is to personally look after our guests and treat them exactly the same as if they were our own friends who were staying in our home. We invite all guests to join us for kitchen supper for an additional charge and this is proving popular.

We are now signed up with and and our listing with should go live next week. Sawdays have been to inspects us and we have been invited to join them as well. They have been very helpful and gave me lots of tips and advice and it is not surprising that they have such a loyal following.

We have bought two, point of lay French Maran hens to add to our two English Maran's as we need more eggs! Barbara and Derek who farm next door will top up our egg supply from their flock. Everything has been sourced locally, bacon and sausages from Wigland Farm, Higher Wych - just up the road, honey from the Cholmondeley Castle bees. Peckforton water, John Huxley for his home baked white or his special brown multi seed bread. Farmhouse butter, our own home made apple and orange juice and fruit smoothies............

We had 4 x cyclists to stay last week end - they were competing in an 85 mile ride from Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse. Their fitness regime was daunting and we were so impressed.

Please visit and spread the word!

More news from France

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Catapult and Skye

Penelope and Flora had a fall at the water jump when lying in 7th place of the individual show jumping competition. at the WEG.

This brilliant 9 year old mare and her rider are both OK and perhaps it is a blessing in disguise that at this early stage in her career Flora, did not get into the final four that jumped last Sunday. The horses are swapped around and ridden by their own rider and also the other three riders. An ordeal for any top class horse, let alone a 9 year old.  The results have been well documented with individual silver also going to France to add to their team silver.

Yes, my loyalties have suddenly crossed the Channel but hardly surprising considering our huge pride in the part that Skye has played as a member of her boss's team. She was able to ride the horses at the yard very early in the morning in order to get to the WEG to watch the show jumping.

There was lots to do at the yard whilst her boss  was with the French Team. The two horses - that her boss is due to jump at the CSIO5* Masters Event at Spruce Meadows Calagary in Canada this week were being prepared and they flew out at the week end. Please click on this link for live viewing of this amazing show.

Skye was also preparing the five year old stallion Catapult and as soon as she had watched the Individual final at the WEG she set off with him to The Young Horse National Finals of France in Fontainebleau They were clear yesterday and again today and have now got into the final 40 to jump on Thursday. Catapult and Skye have already won the regional qualifier and the final judging takes all this into account as it is not based on jumping alone. Skye also has a six year old mare to compete at this show and her class starts later on today.

Then next week Skye is off to Belgium to compete Full Monty at the World Breeding Championship Show at Zangersheide, Lanaken which starts on the 18th September. He is in the Stallion class for Belgium bred horses and the jumps are huge! 

A Silver medal for France

Thursday, September 04, 2014

News from Caen. Skye's boss is in the French team and was in 7th place on day 1 of the show jumping competition at the WEG. Penelope and Flora then jumped a superb clear round today and this really helped France win the silver team medal. A day of rest before the fianl rounds of the individual competition which starts on Saturday. 

Sadly the Brits did not make it through to the top ten teams that contested the final round of the team competition. Scott Brash has also withdrawn from the individual as he is too far behind to win a medal and far better to save Hello Sanctus for another day.    

News update

Thursday, August 28, 2014

7th place in the CSI2* Grand Prix

So much has been happening that I have not had time to write any blogs! The news from youngest daughter Skye has been good. Skye and a 'new' ride a 7 year old mare - were equal first in her age group class at Auvers CSI2* last week and were then placed second in the 7 year old 1.35m speed class the following day. This was their first show together.

Then Skye and the 9 year old Aresse M achieved a double clear in the 1.45m CSI2* Grand Prix to finish 7th and best Brit. His best result at an International show to date.

Skye is back at Auvers CSI2* this week and this afternoon she and Full Monty finished 4th in the 1.45m Grand Prix which is Monty's best result at an International show! Jemma Kirk and the very experienced 'teenager' Wexford finished 2nd, so they were in good company.

Congratulations to Lee Pearson for his gold medal in the Para Dressage at WEG. and also to Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro. Can they do it again tomorrow?

Time is running out

Monday, August 11, 2014

So smart

The fences are huge

Many of you will be travelling up and down the country in order to try and qualify for the various end of season finals that you have all been working towards all year. 

Congratulations to show jumper Toni Potts (Fowles) who did just that and qualified for HOYS on Saturday riding Terry's Clover. Toni last qualified for the Newcomers final a few years ago riding The Kaiser and I went in the horsebox with her on a grooms ticket for the day.  We had a brilliant time and hopefully I will be there again to cheer her on for a second time! 

In France, Skye has been busy qualifying for their young horse championships with five year old Catapult and two six year olds, Upsala and Ugo. Catapult, for the second week running is the leading five year old qualifier in France and we have just heard that Upsala has now qualified for his final and if Ugo gains another double clear later this week he will also have qualified. Both the six year olds were late starters, but now the penny has dropped and the improvement they have made has been brilliant. 

Full Monty and Skye finished second in a 1.45 m Speed class at the St. Lo Grande National Show on Saturday and won a rug and very good prize money!  FM is so careful and the confidence he now has at this level has enabled him to go faster! Now is the time to go higher, so both he and Aresse jumped in the 1.55 m Grand Prix yesterday and all concerned were delighted with their performances. Well done to all 5 of Skye's 'boys'. 

The Pony Club Championships take place at Cholmondeley this week end and PC members from all over the UK will be busy getting ready and having some last minute lessons.  Good luck to them all. 

Congratulations to Thomas Tulloch who was part of the silver winning GB team in the recent FEI Pony European Championships at Millstreet Ireland. Thomas started off his career on our little wonder pony Blackmail. His last rider - before Blackie retired was Molly (show jumping daughter) of Toni Potts (see above). Molly is now 11 years old and already looking like a star of the future. 

The Trot Up

Monday, August 04, 2014

Skye and Monty

We were delighted to receive this photo of Skye and Full Monty taken at the 'trot up' on Thursday 25th July prior to their participation CSI2* at Chantilly.

The Veterinary inspection at all International events is taken seriously and it can be a worrying time if you think your horse may fail. 

In eventing the trot up that takes place after cross country day is an opportunity for the riders to dress up and many look very smart indeed with a few finding that their chosen attire is totally unsuitable for running beside a rather exuberant and extremely fit event horse! 

Not a good day at the office for team GB in last Fridays Nations Cup at the Royal International Horse Show. The ups and downs of this sport mean that we need to put in a very good performance at Dublin this Friday in order to remain in Division 1 of this competition.

The Royal International at Hickstead

Friday, August 01, 2014

Catapult with Skye at one of his very first shows in May

A Nations Cup competition takes place this afternoon at Hickstead and can be viewed on the TV. It is vital the GB team are on the podium as we need high placings here and in Dublin next week in order to gain enough points to stay in Division 1 of this competition. It has been a tough year for the GB Team Manager Rob Hoekstra as 10 of the 14 horses that were regular members of previous Nations Cup teams have either been sold, or are currently injured e.g. Big Star. 

The good news is, that new combinations are getting a chance and it is very much a case of building for the future. 

News from France and Ugo an Upsala the two six year olds Skye is producing were both equal 1st on Tuesday.

Catapult the five year old stallion - also produced from scratch by Skye is currently the top five year old in France. He did not compete this week but the League table on the right shows he has moved up from 6th to 1st whilst staying in his stable! Skye is aiming him for the Regional finals, and hopefully he will then qualify for the 5 year old final of France. His current position shows that at this stage in the season he is top qualifier for the above. His owner is over the moon and keeps Skye up to date with the overall placings on a weekly basis.  

Home again

Monday, July 28, 2014

The different levels of the hospitality marquee enabled everyone to have a view of the arena even if they were sitting at the back

Lasting memories

We rounded off a wonderful trip to Chantilly by having a stress free journey home on Eurostar. Sadly our train times meant that we missed Skye competing in the 1.45 m CSI2* Grand Prix. She finished with four faults which prevented her from being one of the 9 clear rounds in the jump off, but such was the technicality of the course that she still ended up 'in the money' with 13th place. 

Skye's boss also had four faults in her 1.50 m CSI5* Grand Prix, so one of those days! 

Show jumping in Chantilly attracted many names familiar to those who do not necessarily follow this sport. Here goes for some serious name dropping!

For the Internet geeks, multi billionaire, Bill Gates was at the show to watch his daughter Jennifer riding in the 1* section. 

In the 5* section there was Athina Onassis de Miranda - only grand child and sole heiress of the late Greek shipping billionaire Aristotle Onassis who was the second husband of Jackie Kennedy widow of JFK -  President of the USA. Athina achieved her best ever result when she was 5th and best lady rider in the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix on Saturday. She rides for Greece and her husband Dodo de Miranda rides for Brazil. Jessica Springsteen was competing at 5* level for the USA and is the daughter of singer songwriter Bruce who has rocked the world with 'Born in the USA'  for nearly four decades.

Competing in the 1* was Charlotte Casiraghi daughter of Princess Caroline of Monaco. 

Also, Electra Niarchos - granddaughter of Stavros Niarchos the late Greek shipping tycoon and multi billionaire. In the 1* YH section was Alexandre de Rothchild who is the heir apparent of the worlds biggest family owned bank. 

We also saw riders from Qatar including those from the ruling family. Qatar is the richest country per capita in the world and they have decided that show jumping is a sport they want to excel at!

All the above have been able to invest in some serious horse power and are all competitive at their respective levels!

Exciting times for show jumping and I am sure that there were others competing who should also have a mention but I did not recognise their names!