It has been nice to be at home for the past few weeks. Apart from the fact that so much travelling can become a pain, being in the stable every day gives me a chance to get on top of things and steer the ship back on course!
Having over 40 horses in work is a huge undertaking and from time to time it’s important to take stock, in more ways than one!
We have made some changes at Karlswood in terms of the staff and the services we offer to our livery clients. I will be doing a new page on this site about this in the coming weeks but in essence the courtyard of 23 stables is being run solely as an upmarket livery yard where we offer top class service in a world class facility.
We had a good day yesterday in Boswell where Goldex won the 1m30 speed and Everything who won the Boomerang final in Millstreet the previous week was second in the Grand Prix.
Next Friday the horses travel to Gijon, which begins the following week. I take Ballymore Eustace, Splendor and Carpe Diem.
Often the week right after the Dublin show can be a bit depressing as the hype abates.
This year we took no break and packed the trucks with 13 horses and four riders and headed for Millstreet. We cleaned up.
Mark won the Accumulator with Rocco and I was second with Goldex. Deane was runner up with Captain Rossi in the four year old National Discovery final. Everything won the Boomerang qualifier and final. Onira was fourth in the Derby and Ballymore Eustace and Carpe Diem were first and second in the Grand Prix. It was really a great show.
Millstreet has always been a lucky show for me and this latest visit was a reminder just how special the place is. It's by far one of the finest equestrian facilities in the country and it would be great to see it being used to its full capacity and appreciated by the wider equestrian community.
I’m home for two weeks now and will jump next Sunday at Boswell Equestrian Centre in Co. Wicklow.
- In action at the RDS with Splendor
Everyone is saying that the Dublin Horse Show is among the best two international shows in the world. For me it is the best.
I just love everything about it. It's great to see and meet so many enthusiastic equestrian fans flock in droves to enjoy themselves. It's a busy and very tiring week for me but despite not having my biggest guns I was knocking on the door in all three major classes with Splendor.
Shooting Star was sixth in the speed on the opening day and Onira tied for equal second in the Puissance.
Splendor was clear in the main event on Wednesday and was double clear and fifth on Thursday. Following these two results he was in fact leading the qualification list for Sunday's Grand Prix.
The Grand Prix itself was a serious track. Fourteen fences, 17 jumping efforts with the difficult treble combination coming right at the end. Splendor skipped around at ease and I would take all blame for knocking fence three as I wasn't straight enough. He really felt that he has reached a new level, which I'm really pleased about.
This week I head to Millstreet to get some of my new horses out and following that I will be making a show plan until Christmas.
- Casper jumping the Puissance wall at the RDS
I hope you're looking forward to the Dublin show as much as I am.
It gets underway this Wednesday and I must say, I can't wait. I ride Splendor, Shooting Star, Ballymore Eustace and Onira.
Unfortunately I'm not on the team this time but I look forward to supporting the lads and trying to be as competitive as I can in the other classes.
All my horses feel in good shape and are healthy and very fit which is vital prior to such a long show.
Today the horses will just be lightly ridden on the flat and then they head into the RDS on Tuesday morning. The vet inspection is on in the afternoon and we generally just get settled in and plan the schedule for the following day. We stay in the Four Seasons for the duration which is one of the best things about the show! The hotel is literally in the showgrounds, which is so handy.
I feel each of my horses have the potential to win a class which would be amazing. Who knows, but it’s good to aim high!
This will be my 14th year jumping in the international classes at Dublin and eight of those times I’ve been on the team.
The planning and preparation are complete so now I’m trying to take it a little easier so that I’m relaxed and fresh for the week ahead.
Check back during the week for my Dublin diary