I've just returned home from a productive week in Verona. The horses jumped really well with Splendor jumping clear in the Grand Prix and having just one fence down in the World Cup. I'm very fortunate to have the ride on Splendor until the end of the year as he is sold to an Egyptian friend of mine, Ahmed Tolba.
Ahmed bought the horse some months ago and because he is busy at college he left the horse with me to ride until he takes up the reins in January on the Emirates Tour. I plan to do a few more big shows with Splendor before the end of the year and as K Club Lady is resting I'll be aiming Splendor at some of the major classes at Olympia before Christmas.
As is often the case, when your top horse is resting all your horses below that are forced to step up a gear and usually do so better than expected. I jumped Arabella in the 1m50 section at the show where she was clear every day and placed 8th in the Accumulator, not bad for a 7 year-old!
The organising committee at Verona have really put a lot of effort in over the last few years to improve the show, and it now compares to any of the top shows around the world. One of the great things I love about going there is that Verona itself is such a beautiful city. Ruth came with me and we went a day early where we did some sight-seeing and even managed a visit to the house on whose balcony Romeo wooed Juliet, the Casa di Giulietta. Showing my romantic side!
If any of you ever venture to Verona one thing that is not to be missed is what I consider to be one of the best restaurants in the world called Il Desco. It's just a fantastic experience from start to finish.
I travel to Paris tomorrow to look at some young horses over the next few days and I come home on Thursday which is actually my birthday - I'll be 31 and Ruth and I will be going away on one of our rare weekends off to relax at a hotel in Ireland, which I'm really looking foward to.