The CSI3* at Norten-Hardenberg is set in the grounds of a wonderful castle. The arena is quite small, surrounded on three sides by stands which were packed every day and the fourth side was occupied by a hotel, which is quite unusual but added a great atmosphere to the place. I gather the show has been established for many years and as a result they have had the same sponsors and great support from spectators which continues to this day.
My main aim over the past two weekends has been to build up Rancorrado towards the Nations Cup in Aachen and I'm very pleased that the programme I have planned is going the right way. He jumped clear in the big class on Saturday and finished 7th. Today in the Grand Prix he had two rails down but I was very happy with him as he was a big horse in a very tight arena that didn't really suit him and I know he will come on from this round.
Splendor also performed very well here, placing 4th in the 1m50 on Thursday and the ever-reliable Baloufina, who never lets me down, was just pipped to the post today by two-hundredths of a second in the 1m45, which was a World Ranking competition.
Next weekend I intend to jump only Splendor at the two-star show in Hoofddorp in Holland as I want to keep the other horses fresh for Aachen, where the trot-up is Monday week.
Touch base this day next week to let you know how things are going.