After a long week in Den Bosch we drove back home to Breitenburg last night, and came home around 01.15.
I think Casall La Silla jumped good yesterday, in my opinion he jumped best in the last round where he had one down. It was a silly pole down, but I couldn’t have changed anything about it – it was just a little mistake that the horses sometimes make. Casall felt like he does at his best, and was not tired at all.
I think the course designer did a good effort this week, and build good courses. It was a great World Cup Final. If I had to put my finger on anything, it must be that white oxer in the triple combination on Friday – that was maybe asking a little too much of the horses.
This weekend has showed us that Casall is a horse that can manage long competition weekends like this. That has been a really positive experience, and it now seems like we have a championship horse in Casall! But I’m a little upset that I didn’t get better than number six, as I thought we had good rounds during the show.
I’m also happy with Camilo LS La Silla who did his first Grand Prix in Den Bosch. He has never jumped such a big class before, and he did it fine! His pole down was due to inexperience, and he solved all the hard parts of the course – like the triple combination – in a good way. Camilo really showed that he can do some big classes again.
The show has been nice, with good facilities. It’s enough space and the stables are nice. I think there was a little lack of that atmosphere there should be for a World Cup Final, but that improved yesterday! I feel like I have been away for a very long time though, as we had to be there already from Tuesday…
My next show is Antwerpen this coming weekend. I will bring Carusso LS La Silla and Corsica La Silla there.
The course yesterday was difficult enough… Especially the triple combination; it was really hard. It was a tall vertical going in, and two quitelong strides to the second element that was white – a difficult color – and very wide. Then it was super short to the third vertical, and a distance up to the next oxer. It wasn’t too many faults on that oxer, but I was one that took it down…
When I realized that I had cleared the second element of the triple combination, I thought ‘Yes! Now I’ll make it’, but suddenly Casall didn’t push good enough of the ground. I don’t know if he was tired or what it was, but it was just like no power came out of him at that point. And then at the last fence he jumped normal again. I haven’t experienced him like that before, but earlier on in the course he backed off a lot into the Rolex combination so he gave himself so much space that it became long for him into it and then he landed short behind the a-element and the next element was like two meters too far away! That was not so good for him; it cost both his heart and power to put it that way. At the next to verticals I had to ride a little ‘rude’ to get him to motivate himself again, and then at the next oxer I had to use a little extra leg – but after that he felt fine again. When he did what he did in the Rolex combination, I thought ‘Oh no, the white oxer in the triple combination….”. But, that was not to be a problem.
Faults are always silly, and none of them were necessary. If I had just had one down, it would still have been ok. Unfortunately now, I’m on eight penalties and a little too far away overall.
I rode Casall a little this morning and he felt fine and fresh. And then we did the vet check, which he went through.
I’m riding the Grand Prix on Camilo. He has not even near been jumping as high as that before; only up to 1.45. If it gets strange, I think I will retire. But I’ll consider the course as well first, because I’m only number five so I don’t get the chance to watch any.
I thought Casall jumped well yesterday; he felt good. I didn’t go flat out, it was a part of the plan considering the coming days. I didn’t want to take too much out of Casall, if I had I might have had to pay the price today. Looking back at the pace I held, I’m happy I ended up as number six. I came a little close into the combination at 5a and b – but Casall helped and solved the situation well. He is almost better when he comes a little closer like that.
I was maybe a bit surprised about the course as I expected a little more from it. It didn’t look too hard, and it wasn’t either. But I think many were carried away when Rik Hemeryck opened with such a good round. It made some of the riders think that it was simple and then they gave too much gas.
I expected a bit more from the German riders, but they didn’t have luck on their side. Steve and Pius where really good though, and with Pius starting with a new horse today he looks very strong. Rich Fellers can also be counted with, and Kevin rode great yesterday as well. I also think Patrice’s horse looked really good.
I am happy with my overall standing – today it’s all about not getting too many faults. I rode Casall earlier today and he’s in a good mood and feels great so fingers crossed for tonight.
I came here on Tuesday. Casall La Silla feels happy and fresh here; it’s been a month since his last show which was in Paris. There have not been any indoor shows since, so he has stayed at home. He’s been jumping once a week, and as we’ve been getting closer to the final we’ve increased it to twice. When I jump him at home like that I do a little mixed work with him; some exercises and some course jumping. I did some warm-up jumping in the arena on Casall on Tuesday evening. The most important part was to let him jump in this environment and without any stress connected – it’s all about letting him pop around.
I rode Casall this morning as well. I didn’t do too much with him, just a little flat work – I try to save some of his energy and use my time on checking that everything works as it should.
I’m number 29 in today’s first round of the World Cup, so that means I will get to see a few of those before me. Tonight I for sure need to give some gas, but at the same time I can’t go crazy fast. A small advantage of going a bit later in the class it that you get to see some of the other riders do the course, and take a look at what different alternatives there are.
I also have Camillo Ls La Silla with me, which will jump the last class tonight. In the meantime I’ve been getting some sleep and watching the 1.40 class. The show here is really nice, with good facilities!
Many riders look dangerous for this final; Pius has Ulysse and Carlina with him, then there is Christian and Taloubet Z – not to forget Marco, Ludger and Marcus. And the two French riders – Patrice and Kevin need to be watched out for as well.
Getting out of bed this morning was very difficult but I needed to take the 6.30am shuttle as Marco was coming to ride early before it got to hot. I don't drink coffee but sometimes I really think I should start as after 4 hours sleep energy was needed! Quatell has finished jumping now for the weekend so just light work for her. Marco planned to ride cornet again later in the day to do a few jumps as he hasn't jumped much in recent weeks.
Everything finished in the stable for 10.30am so time for a nap before lunch which was definitely needed! After lunch time for a little sunbathing by the stables as no afternoon class. Took Quatell for a handwalk around 4 in the nice air conditioned indoor as the 30degree heat outside was to much for both of us. Quatells favourite thing here is to go for longing though, which means she has to cross the race track which she thinks is the perfect place to roll in the sand before and after!
Marco came and rode cornet again around 5 and jumped a few small jumps where cornet was looking nice and loose. Good boy cornet not getting sweaty so no need for a shower. Time to make the plaits in him which he was not so cooperative with today, he knows that I'm not so tall even when on a step and really uses this to his advantage! Had time to let him loose to pee and relax while I watched the first 7 go in the grand prix. Time to make him ready and then head to the practice ring to start walking him where cornet felt very ready to go
I'm always nervous when cornet gets to the practice ring that he's not going to be looking white as he does like to be green at times but tonight cornet was looking super bright underneath the floodlights! He warmed up really good and was much better than the first day. Cornet jumped great in the ring and was clear! Yay! Through to the second round! There was time to take him back and let him relax for 20mins before taking him back down, cornet did not look impressed at having the saddle back on and I had to drag him to the ring. Not a good sign! But cornet jumped clear again, through to the jump off!! 7 double clears and as first to go Edwina set a fast clear. In the warm up cornet was looking tired and he's not known for being the speediest boy. In the ring though Marco and cornet had other ideas and cornet was a speed machine and went in to 2nd! Two fast horse followed us with Billy and Pius who were both definitely in it to win it. Amazingly neither could catch Edwina or Marco so we were 2nd!! Awesome! Cornet loves the prize giving where he can wear a nice blanket and ribbon and pose to show everyone how gorgeous he is!!
We had a super weekend in Doha with no faults all weekend, doesn't happen so often but when it does its great!! We fly home monday morning so nice relaxing day tomorrow with the horses where they can be spoilt even more for both being so great all weekend!!
A 6am shuttle ride to the showground is not my idea of fun after only 4 and a half hours sleep! But this is the job and Marco wanted to ride the horses early before it was to hot. I was all finished in the stables for 10am with both horses ridden, showered and snoozing, this meant that it was then time for my nap time :) Cornet has to have kicking pads for the plane which come in very handy when wanting to snooze in the stables as they also double up as a comfy bed.
11.45 and Cornet was demanding his lunch, after a nice snooze I didn't mind being woken up as this also meant it was my lunch time. After doing the horses it was off for a quiet lunch at the show. The food here is very nice especially the deserts! Then it was back to the stables for another nap. When the classes are finishing late at night and riders are coming early in the morning every second of sleep counts, so fitting naps into the day is very important! At 3pm is was time to start again, it already felt like a new day since this morning. Cornet wasn't jumping today so I rode him one time more just a nice long walk and a little trot to keep him happy and loose.
Quatells class wasn't until 8.30pm where she was 5th to go but I made some plaits in her early because I was to longe her one time more before she jumped to help keep her quiet and relaxed. Longing done it was back to the box for her for 20 minutes before making her ready for the class. Hot shows means that riders don't warm up in jackets which also means they forget to take their jackets with to the ring. So when I arrived at the ring it was the usual question 'I forgot my jacket did you bring it?' YES!!
Quatell jumped super and was clear but so did 16 others! Damn, its always the way. But she jumped good again in the jump off and was quick enough for fourth, good girl Quatell. 3 rounds jumped this weekend 2 placings and no faults, she's finally getting the hang of this showjumping thing! :) So another late finish tonight at 12.30 in the stables, but no shuttle bus for us, we took a very nice BMW. But with 5 people and the driver it was a good job that it was a big car!
Wow . . . Today has been a long day, good but long! Its now 12.30pm and I'm finally in bed and can barely remember the 6 am alarm this morning. After a quick breakfast it was the 6.30 am shuttle to the stables, the drive to the show can be very interesting at times and a little scary! Today there was one guy sweeping the edge of the road on an extremely busy roundabout, rather him than me!
Marco arrived earlier to ride than planned but luckily cornet wasn't sleeping. Cornet is a huge fan of sleep and although the boxes are nice and big here there's only shavings and he's not such a big fan of this as he can't get so comfy so his day time naps have been very limited :( Luckily both Cornet and Quatell weren't to bad for Marco to ride after my 3days riding phew. Nice long showers for both after riding and all the tack cleaned and then it was only 10.30 so off to lie in the sun with everyone.
At this point Russel saw the perfect opportunity to cause some havoc by soaking a few of us with the hose pipe, unfortunately I and Regula from Pius saw the most of this and were completely drenched. But with 30 degree heat here we were soon dry again! Then it was time for lunch for the horses and then for us followed by a very hot afternoon nap outside! 4pm soon arrived and time to do some 'real' work. It was quite difficult to remember that we were actually here for jumping as we've been on a mini holiday since sunday with no riders here!
Jumping in the first class was Quatell who after plaiting and making ready for the ring looked even more beautiful than normal although she can be very mareish she is super sweet. Marco had asked me to get on her and walk her in plenty of time so I brought her out from the stable grabbed a plastic chair that was standing near by and went to get on. Then as usual I had a bit of an accident! I didn't notice that the seat of the chair was already broken so when I stepped on it the seat completely snapped and my leg was stuck in the chair and cut open on the plastic! Great, as usual I'm injured! Luckily nothing bad but when I arrived at the practice ring with blood running down my leg Marco didn't even flinch, I think he's realising I'm a bit of a walking disaster when it comes to myself!
Quatell jumped great in the 1.45m speed and ended up 5th, really good for her first time under the lights! Then it was back to the stables to try and fix myself up and plait Cornet for his class whilst waiting for the prize giving. I realised that we had nothing for 'human injuries' in the stable but silver spray for the horses fixes everything so for the next class I was sporting a stunning silver leg!
Cornet was not jumping his best in the collecting ring but it has been a few weeks since his last show. In the ring though he jumped super but speed is not really Cornets thing and he had 1time fault but he was going super fast for Corney! Hehe. Then all that was left was to shower and finish him groom Quatell and tidy the stables up. By this time it was already 10.30 so no chance to get the 11pm shuttle. Luckily everyone who was left was finished for 11.30pm so we were able to head back to the show. The shuttle on the way home can be very interesting with everyone discussing the day. The hot topic for today was fashion! Some amazing looks can be seen here in Doha and the europeans are really showing their style! Now back in the lovely hotel were staying in and time for some sleep.
It's so pretty and clean even the shops are beautiful . Everywhere you look there's flowers and Olive trees, it makes you happy just to walk around.
Well our weekend ended well we got more ribbons today making a total of 6 not bad for an opener. Our stallion Ustinov has an amazing fan club people just love him, the photographer is always in our stables snapping the horses I'm gonna have to start charging him but Ustinov is very photogenic ! So we can't blame him.....
On another note the bar was fun last night I'm easily led astray! Micheal Whitaker especially amused me by telling everyone he has known me for 30 years, yeah we met when I was a baby ha ha !!
Tonite we have a nice party but I have to work alone in the morning cos Fifi my assistant is getting a lie in, so no late nite I hope. Maybe later I will make some pictures like the Hangover will be fun!