As mentioned in my last blog we went to a couple of able bodied competitions at Merrist Wood as it is very local to us. It was nice to go and get feedback from different tests for a change. We did a couple of Elementary’s and a Medium and, as always, Ollie was great. He has become so reliable as he has got older. It’s a lovely feeling as I know no matter where we go, or what the conditions are like, he will always try his little heart out. Despite there being over 20 people in all classes we managed to walk away with 2 firsts and 2 seconds. We just missed out on qualifying for the Regionals by 1 mark. We decided not to bust a gut to get another point as we are so busy with the Paras at the moment and will probably go to the Areas instead.

Our plans for getting loads of training in before the championships did not quite go according to plan. Ollie has had a few mild colics since we got back from France and the day before we were supposed to be going for a training weekend with Richard he got another attack. After a long chat with my vet we decided he was probably suffering from the dreaded gastric ulcer syndrome. We decided not to scope him as we are in the middle of the season and it is quite invasive as they have to be starved for 24 hours. The vet suggested that a course of the incredibly expensive GastroGuard may be worth a try as it is a diagnosis in itself. I know he has suffered from this before, but never quite as bad, so we decided to give it a go. After 48 hours he was much brighter and after a week he was back on top form. This was great to know we had found the problem but it was too late to fit in any training so we just had to go for it at the Championships.

Thankfully we did not arrive at Hickstead until the Friday, as apparently on the Thursday the place was practically under water. It had dried up a lot by the time we arrived, but after a bit more rain on the Friday night we had to be towed in on the Saturday morning – much to Gary’s embarrassment!

Ollie was a star as always and I was really pleased with our tests on both days. Unfortunately Deb Criddle was on flying form and she beat us on both days. This was very disappointing as no one has beaten me in this country at grade 3 before. It had to happen sooner or later and it will hopefully give me the kick I need to push forward. Its always disappointing when your winning streak comes to an end!

Next week we have the test event at Greenwich which should be really exciting as it sound like it will be quite busy and hopefully it might give us an insight as to what it is like to be a part of something that big.

The week after is Hartpury International, then it is a small holiday for his lordship before getting him ready for a demonstration at the big international at Hickstead at the end of July.

If we can cope with all this we can cope with anything!!