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26 Sep Alex Holman Eventing – Update/2019 Run-Down (so far!)
It feels like the season has only just begun, but so much has been learned and achieved, and we are now winding down to the end of the year…
It’s been an exciting year, both in and out of eventing, as I’ve fully set up my business by basing myself at a fabulous local yard, with every facility I could possibly need! I’ve had a great time meeting and working with a lot of lovely new clients (human & equine!) and I’m looking forward to expanding further, with more teaching and riding opportunities throughout the winter – especially the teaching, which I enjoy hugely.
My 3 competing event horses have been absolutely smashing it this year. Yes, there have been a couple of ‘bumps in the road’, but overall they’ve been making great progress, and it has been so exciting to have stepped them all up a few levels, with success. I have been getting great experience riding them all around a number of beautiful events, and I feel that my partnership with each one has grown so much that it’s felt easy to gain some of the results and confident runs we’ve had together. All 3 feel very established at Novice level, and definitely give me the feeling that there is a lot more to look forward to…
Possibly the most exciting bit of news from this year, is that I have been fortunate enough to have found the wonderful Janet Coe, as co-owner for my super grey horse CARRICK DIAMOND BARD (Gerry), and he has certainly put himself at the top of my string with his incredible progress and results this year (see below). He will be aimed for Blenheim CCI-4*S 8/9yo championships next September – fingers crossed!
I still have 5 events left, but here is a quick round up of each horse’s progress & notable results this year:
Jane Bailey’s ROCK SOLID consolidated at Novice level, putting previous SJ form behind him to claim 2nd & 3rd places, finishing on his dressage score on both occasions! He moved up to Intermediate-Novice level as we qualified for a couple of Novice Championship Regional Finals, and was impressive as he stepped up. He tackled his first CCI-2*-L at Hartpury International in August, and did a near-perfect dressage test and flew inside the time on the XC, just finishing up in the top 50% after a couple of rails SJ, but gaining a qualification and some FEI points.
Becky Diamond’s HOCUS POCUS (Hugo) moved up to Novice level in April, and did it in style, finishing on his dressage score in 8th place! Since then he has continued to gain experience, impressing us all with a perfect, calm SJ round in the main arena at Barbury, and topped off by an exciting 2nd place at Wilton, on a great dressage score of 26! He then contested his first CCI-2*-S at Gatcombe International, and once again added nothing to his dressage score, finishing 19th/99 starters in his section – being 1 of just 10 from all 150 2* horses to finish on their dressage scores!
My own & Janet Coe’s CARRICK DIAMOND BARD (Gerry) has had a fairly meteoric rise up the eventing grades – he only did 1 unaffiliated 90 event last October, but this year progressed through 1 BE100, 5 Novices, 1 CCI-2*-L & 4 Intermediates! Apart from a green stop on the XC at Hartpury in the 2*, he has picked up qualifying runs everywhere else, was placed at his first BE100 & Novice level events, and recently finished 5th in a tough Intermediate section at Pontispool. Very excited about him at just 7yo!
My 5yo RATHNAGEERA AUSSIE had a long summer holiday, and has come back on brilliant form, so he will look to do a small handful of events before the season finishes, so that he has a good base of experience for next season. I’m taking him very carefully, but his brain is fantastic and he seems to find everything ridiculously easy! He thinks he’s already on for Burghley, but I’ve said he needs to wait a few more years…
The main aim of the year is that all horses (and rider) come out happy and sound, so fingers crossed for a successful but SAFE finish to the season, before I head off for my first holiday in 4 years of working with horses. The 3 main horses are all aiming to finish off by running in the CCI-2*-S at Bicton International, so hopefully we can go out with a bang.
Thanks for reading,