The last time I wrote a blog, I was just gearing up for the national ROR championships with Silmi at Aintree. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind, which is way it has taken me almost a month to provide anyone with an update! So here we go:

 

"Silmi and I trundled off in the lorry to Aintree racecourse for the annual Retraining of Racehorses National Championships last month and after a rather long and windy drive up through the Welsh mountains, we reached the hallowed turf of Aintree racecourse. Back in his racing days Silmi had several runs here however this time we’d come along to contest the National Championship show-jumping rounds that Silmi had qualified for by finishing in the top 10 for his Region last season. For a 15 year old that has spent his entire racing career doing everything at 100mph he was remarkably well behaved. The previous year he was a real handful and spent most of the week reversing round various warm up arenas in true 'Silmi' style. This year, he took pretty much everything in his stride and bounced around in an ‘almost sensible’ fashion. He jumped two super rounds and finished 6th out of about 25 finalists in each class. Considering we so nearly lost him last winter, and have had to build him back up very gradually, I am thrilled with this result! Silmi is currently on a daily dose of Calm & Collected Plus as well as the Tumeric & Black Pepper from Hilton Herbs and this combination certainly seems to be keeping him in good spirits.

Sophie & Silmi (photo courtesy of Majestic Photography)

Brian has also had a busy few weeks being a dressage and an event horse! He recently went along to his first one day event at Urchinwood Manor Equestrian Centre where he finished with just one pole down in the show-jumping to be placed 7th at his first time out. He’s also been out to another one day event since then where he has really started to show me what he is made of. 

Sophie and Brian at Urchinwood Manor (photo courtesy of Paul Aston Photography)

Brian has also been taking part in a Summer Dressage series that concluded last weekend. Not only did he win the overall RoR Championship title but he has qualified for the summer championships at the David Broome Equestrian Centre next weekend (October 5th/6th) and I’m incredibly proud of how far he has come in such a short space of time. We are just gearing up for the dressage finals next weekend, and then he'll enjoy a short winter break before picking back up and training for a busy event season next year.

Sophie and Brian at Urchinwood Manor (photo courtesy of Paul Aston Photography)

Twinx, my newer mare, has been blighted with injury over the last few months so sadly we haven’t done as much as we would have liked this season. She has a small tear in her deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT) so is going to be taking a winter break and some much deserved R & R. She’s currently turned out with JT, my retired 'star boy' and is enjoying every minute of it.

My varying crowd of other ex-racehorses that come to me for retraining are also keeping me busy! I currently have a big lump of a chestnut mare here for retraining and also a smaller daintier version set to arrive from Ireland in the early hours of a morning next week.

So for now I’m off to go and practise my dressage tests, ahead of next weekend. 

I’ll update you when I return in just over a week's time!"

Sophie