Hello everyone, just returned home from Basel, where I had a superb weekend, all the horses are jumping out of their skin. It was a beautiful venue, situated in the centre of the city. The arena was spacious, the ground and facilities were excellent and many of the world's top riders were present.
I think the organising committee did a wonderful job in this inaugural event which I believe will go from strength to strength in years to come. The weekend started well for me with Splendor finishing second in the opening event and Irish Independent Echo Beach got me into the winner's enclosure for the first time on the second day when she won the speed class.
Rancorrado jumped well on Friday night when he went clear in the main event and was placed 11th. On Sunday morning I was lying in 5th place in the Leading Rider standings with only two classes remaining. Luckily for me the horses were in top form and when Irish Independent Echo Beach won the first of those classes and Rancorrado bagged the Grand Prix, the Leading Rider title was mine and a very nice watch from H. Moser & Cie, which you will see being presented above by their CEO Thomas Straumann.
Rancorrado really is an amazing animal. Following on from his London successes at Christmas he answered all the questions yesterday and was one of only four clear rounds over a very tough 1m60 track. Sometimes you need the luck of the draw and when I was last to go in the jump-off knowing that the other riders had faulted I opted for a safe clear round and when coming home with only one time fault that clinched the victory for me.
Someone said to me recently that winning is a great habit, so hopefully I can keep this run of form going! No different than a football team, everyone gets their chance. You get on a roll and you win one match, or one Grand Prix, and then you win the next and it's amazing what can be achieved when the confidence is up.
I learnt a long time ago that show jumping is a great leveller and while I'll definitely enjoy the success I'm fully aware to have my feet firmly on the ground. The headline, you may notice, is in Irish - 'ar muin na muice', which is something my grandmother Doreen would have said when things were going well, and it means 'on the pig's back'!
Next weekend we jump in Leipzig with the same horses. Check back for more news over the weekend.