Although the daylight hours are getting shorter the lovely weather continues and we hold onto wearing flipflops, t-shirts and drinking rose wine – or at least those of us not in riding gear. This has been a great summer with many shows experiencing gorgeous weather, except poor Bolesworth. It will be your turn next year.
We have a lovely string of horses at Puttenham with the 3 superstars, Felix, Fleurie, and Timmy looking really well. They have competed both nationally and internationally this summer and as always with horses some downs as well as ups. Timmy by way of example went first at a recent international show in the 1.25 and came out with 27 faults. Quite embarrassing to say the least with no consolation when the commentator trying to find something nice to say managed “well it is hard to go first”. Surely not that hard Timmy? Some head-scratching – we gave him a natural pick me up and on the third day he was double clear in the 1.25 GP. He loves stressing his rider. Felix gave Camilla her first 1* Grand Prix placing, was off as he had a small sprain caused by having a twirl around the field and is now fully back in action and looking great.
There is such an amazing choice of show centers now in the UK and on the continent all year round, that we are totally spoiled for choice and there is something for everyone. However, the demand is growing as well. People seem to love showjumping and its profile has certainly taken a massive step up at the top level with the work of the Global Champions Tour. Hopefully the balance of riding and horsemanship, financial return and love of horses does not tilt in the wrong direction.
It is impossible to omit mention of Cambridge, who has replaced his mother (or to be politically correct “dam”) Wembley on the yard. Although he is 6 he has very little experience as he has transformed from a frail and small youngster into a strapping young horse. From the uninitiated he has on a couple of occasions been referred to as “clumpy!! Shocking as our first homebred is perfect – watch this space! His apparent lack of blood seems to transform unexpectedly rather like Wembley. If he has the desire and love of jumping and keeping the fences up as she did, we will be happy. Wembley did, and continues to do, everything in her own way and her reputation goes before her.
On that note Wembley is at stud and has a foal at foot. She is called Wimbledon – no guesses that she was born prematurely and very unexpectedly during Wimbledon. With the expert care of Pippa Woodall at Park Farm Stud she is thriving although her dear mother brings her up in her own particular and very individual style – notably missing in the character trait is generosity. Wembley shoos the foal off her feed bowl while the other mares all share their breakfast and supper with their foals.
We also bred from Billy Jingle and used Christian 25 as the sire. The foal is a strapping and very beautiful chestnut filly although she is possibly now turning grey.
The horses are out competing at the National Shows and preparing to end the season with a month trip to some of the European Shows. Then it is Christmas and all the preparations for a break and a family time!