With seven weeks of jumping over we are well over the half way stage in Wellington, Florida.
It has been great so far with all horses really improving. Blue Loyd jumped great in the Grand Prix this week just having one down at the second last where I turned too short. He feels in great shape and should be on target to contribute to the Irish team’s efforts in the Nations’ Cup next Friday.
I’m very pleased how KEC Alligator Alley is developing - see the video of him jumping clear in Thursday’s 1m50.
This week I also sold Everything, one of my favourite and most talented horses. He was consistently in the prizes since arriving in Florida so it’s no real surprise that there was so much interest in the 8yr old son of Toulon.
He has gone to a very talented young American rider who I know will do very well with him. I'll be watching their progress with keen interest.
As I said above, next week hosts the Nations’ Cup which is always a great competition and we are all really looking forward to it.
Check back next week for more news. Also follow me on Twitter and please like my Facebook page.
- Palm Beach - not a bad place in which to take a few days off!
After five weeks competing we will all take it a little easier this week. I plan to only jump Ballymore Eustace this week coming as all the others have done a lot and deserve a break. Ruth and I are going away from the show for just three days but a short rest is all you need to recharge the batteries.
Last weekend reminded me of just how difficult this sport is and despite all best plans and preparation, things can still fail to go according to plan.
I overworked Blue Loyd in days prior to the Grand Prix and he was flat and had no spark in the class itself. As he was different to ride I then made mistakes and must admit rode him poorly and after a few fences down I decided to retire.
Normally I don't take a bad day to heart but I was really disgusted with myself. However I felt there was no point in dwelling on it and the following day I got stuck in and was thrilled with both Everything and KEC Alligator aAlley who both jumped double clear in Sunday's 1.50m and placed 2nd and 4th respectively.
You learn to take the good with the bad in this job and over a longer period I believe that if you trust yourself above all others you will be on the winning path.
Looking forward to a few easy days.
Check back next week for more news,
- Ballymore Eustace in action at WEF, Florida
We're well settled in after being here in Florida for over a month now. All is going well and I’m delighted with all of my horses. Check out my News page to see results, and the Movies page to see Blue Loyd in last week’s Grand Prix and Twitter and Facebook to see latest news and photos.
This week is week 5 of the circuit which is sponsored by Spycoast Farm who are wonderful supporters of the show and indeed the sport.
The World Cup on Saturday will be the focus, so fingers crossed!
Check back on Sunday for more news,
- Blue Loyd in action at Palm Beach
Not too much to report from Florida. Week three went well - see news for results.
It’s a wonderful circuit but somehow distant from reality. You have to pinch yourself sometimes and realise that the rest of the world is going on as normal outside Wellington. We've been here a month now and thankfully I haven’t heard the word recession- which is refreshing!!
I’m lucky that Mark is keeping things going at home in Karlswood, which takes a lot of pressure off me.
Please like my Facebook page and keep up to speed with my results, photos and videos.
- Alligator Alley in action in Florida
Mondays are quiet here in Palm Beach and most people take the day off to recover from a hectic week at the horse show. I like to go to the stables in the morning, check all the horses and hack them out. They all jumped really well again this week - see results here.
Of the six horses five have now jumped 1.50 metre classes and are all up and running. The challenge now will be to carefully select and target specific classes for each horse with an aim of going well without over jumping.
The circuit has 10 more weeks and this week I plan to only jump Everything on Thursday and Blue Loyd in the Horseware sponsored $50,000 Grand Prix which takes place next Sunday.
I feel that if they only jump once a week I can keep them fit and healthy and then they can compete more frequently. The prize money increases as the circuit builds so its finding the balance of having the horses in shape to deliver without doing too much to soon. So far so good and I'm thrilled with how they have all settled in and acquitted themselves well here in Florida.
Check back next week for more news,
- Palm Beach Equestrian Centre
Just finished my first week jumping and all the horses are in great form. Click here to see my results from my news page. Ruth and I have been here in Wellington Florida just ten days now and have settled in well and are enjoying it immensely.
I'm lucky to have such a great bunch of horses with me (see Horses page) who can all compete at 1.40 metre level and above.We are staying in the Polo Club which is just a few minutes drive from the show or a 15 minute cycle which I have enjoyed a few times already! I’m under orders and rightly so.
The circuit here allows me time to concentrate on myself, my fitness and my riding. Its a great head start for my horses to have them up and running for the major summer shows in Europe.
The circuit lasts 11 more weeks so its all about pacing yourself and your horses. My plan is to get them all up and running early, then ease off them and try to peak for the important weeks.
Check my regular Facebook and YouTube updates.
- On our wedding day.Picture by Catherine O'Hara.
I hope you all enjoyed bringing in the year as much as Ruth and I. We had an amazing wedding day on New Year’s Eve.
The whole day went like clockwork and all our guests seemed to enjoy themselves. My wife and I are relaxing in the UK for a couple of days before joining my horses in Palm Beach, Florida at the end of the week.
I will keep you posted with regular updates from Florida both on my website and Facebook page.
Happy New Year to you all. Wishing u every success and good health for 2012.
- The packed arena at Olympia
It was super to be in London to witness another Irishman - Dermott Lennon - winning the Grand Prix.
I won it in 2009 with Rancorrado and before that Eddie Macken won it in 1987.
Obviously being a competitive person I always want to win but when I wasn’t in the jump off I was fully supporting Dermott’s efforts. He was world champion in 2002 and this week when I watched him in action its obvious what a horseman he is.
Overall I was pleased with my week in OLympia. Uniek was placed in both speed classes, O’Connell Street jumped clear but just one time fault in his first major class on Sunday night.
Blue Loyd had some good performances earlier in the week, being placed twice, but was far too fresh in the Grand Prix and I felt I hadn’t enough bridle in him. It’s often difficult when you get a new horse to know what bit, how much leg, what feeding programme etc., and I feel I learned a lot about him here.
He has all the scope in the world and is super careful but now I will concentrate on getting him riding better between the fences and teaching him to listen. I really feel he is going to be a top machine and am looking forward to 2012 already!
My horses fly to Palm Beach on Thursday where I will stay for the winter to compete in the Winter Equestrian Festival.
I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and my very best wishes for 2012. Talk in the New Year.
- Part of the pageantry of the great London Olympia show
I’m writing to you on my way home from Porto in Portugal.
I was a little unimpressed with the show here. The arena was good, stabling and course building were excellent. However, there were so many national riders in the classes and it just went on forever.
I wasn’t in love with the ground and with a surprise invitation coming for me last week to compete in Olympia next weekend, I decided to pack up early and head for the UK.
Blue Loyd was double clear in the feature class on the opening day, finishing fifth. O’Connell street was third in a 1.40m class and Uniek was third in the Accumulator so they should be in top form for one of my favourite shows, London Olympia, which kicks off Thursday.
Follow me at olympia on my Facebook page where I will post regular updates.
- O'Connell Street jumped clear and placed 7th in the 1m50 at Salzburg
I’m writing on my way home from Salzburg. It's always nice to get home straight after the show.
My horses jumped really well with my 8 yr old O’Connell Street being placed in two classes and Blue Loyd jumping the 1.55m class on Saturday for just four faults. I look forward to getting to know him more in the coming weeks and couldn't be happier with his performance on our debut competition.
I’m home for a few days to train and work at Karlswood, followed by a quick turn around on Wednesday when I head for Porto in Portugal. I ride the same horses there, where the action gets underway on Thursday.
Check back next week for more news.