I've been in Italy for a week now, and I must say it's gone quite well. I came over last Monday and Tuesday to give a clinic in Milan for two days where Irish Young Rider Declan McEvoy is now based. That was good fun working with new horses and new people, and following that on Tuesday night I got the train from Milan to Arezzo where my horses were already getting used to the surroundings, having come directly from Spain the week before.
Overall I was thrilled with the show, all of the horses jumped out of their skin - two wins, from PS I Love You in the 1m40 Welcome Stakes, and Baloufina clinching a 1m45 Accumulator. PS I Love You then went on to place 7th in the Speed Derby. In the two main classes Complete finished 3rd in the Grand Prix Qualifier and 5th in the Grand Prix. As with most things in show jumping it's all about timing, and these successes gave me valuable world ranking points which I needed before the end of March, as the Global Champions Tour invitations for the summer depend upon the next ranking list due out.
Yesterday morning I came in early, checked all the horses, they were all in good shape and they went out for a hack and they will have a few days of light work before competing again next Thursday.
I actually took the afternoon off and went to Rome with two of the Mexican riders who are competing here at Arezzo. It was nice to do something different and get away from horses for a few hours. One place I visited was the Piazza Pantheon - the feature there is the Basilica di Santa Maria ad Martyres. It's an amazing structure with the outside over 3,000 years old, but inside it was a place of prayer and I even sat down for a few moments to see if I could get some divine intervention to help me gain a top three place at the Global Champions Tour next Saturday!
Some might say it'll take more than a prayer, but I always think God loves a trier!
My horses for the 5 star Global Champions Tour will be Complete and Splendor, and running concurrently is a CSI2* where I will jump PS I Love You and Baloufina.
Keep you posted.