Gatcombe International 8th September.

Making the most of the opportunity to compete literally on the doorstep means that Tom pretty much has the whole yard entered for Gatcombe!  The plus side is that its a very short drive from the yard ( like 500metres!) and the minus side is that the horses find it a bit odd to be galloping past their daily turnout when they go cross country!

Splash of the Irish ( Dennis) finds competing at home right up there with the best as he is so laid back about life.  He floated round his muddy and damp dressage arena to score a 25 and then happily tapped out 4 rails in the showjumping as he presumed it was a bit of a schooling day with some people and tents added in for good measure.  Needless to say he did’nt run cross country and if anyone out there is looking for a supersmart 100 or novice open horse then he may quite soon be available!  He is such a dude but he is just a bit too horizontal in his attitude for Tom’s liking…we know he likes them sharp!

CHF Cooliser did a nice test and jumped her socks off for just one rail round the difficult track and then jumped a great round cross country as well.  No prizes but a good day and more experince under her belt.  Royal Roxey was hugely disappointed to find herself at the top field and not amidst the glitzy bowl of the Park where she was a few weeks ago for the Festival and after a great test let her attention wander slightly for a couple of rails.  She redeemed herself with a lovely clear cross country and gave Tom a super ride.

Strike Smartly ( Paddy) is carrying a bit of summer weight but he and Tom are forming an incredible partnership.  A 35 and a double clear was a great way to go on home soil.  The sun came out for Paddy which was nice and they skipped around what was an easy intermediate track for them and looked to be having a great time.  Tom managed to avoid the “curse of the corners” at fence 6 on all of his rides.. no mean feat when allot of good horses picked up a 20 there.

Balleroy de Riverland was the last of Tom’s rides on what turned out to be a lovely late September afternoon.  Torrential rain and gales had been forecast but although it was seriously soggy in the morning the day got better and better.  Balleroy made the most of it and strutted his stuff for a 29 on the flat and then got his feet a bit stuck in the mud in the showjumping for 8 faults.  But there were very few clear rounds and by flying cross country clear and under time Balleroy still picked up 8th spot!  Good effort!