Shearwater rider Sophie Hall has an exciting new arrival!

August has been another busy month for the GG’s and I with an exciting new arrival too…

Our final bit of showing – Fake it till you make it

Gorgeous old George had his final show of the season this month. We headed off to Blakesley Show for our last Olympia Final Qualifier. At 21 years young he has taught me so much about the showing world for my first season giving it a go this year. It was a scorching hot day and there was a lot of waiting around as we arrived VERY early – oops! Nevertheless, little George went into a massive class of approx. 20 horses and didn’t put a food wrong. I was so chuffed with him he was so well behaved and I felt I couldn’t have asked anymore of him. We placed 3rd which was absolutely brilliant! Sadly only the winner qualifiers for Olympia but that doesn’t take away the fun we had trying to get there. No doubt I have felt like the eventer cat amongst the showing expert pigeons but I have really enjoyed the new challenge. If anyone has ever thought about trying a new discipline I would definitely say go for it! Set your expectations low and just enjoy yourself, it’s fun trying something new.

Dressage Divas

No rest for the wicked, with the showing wrapped up we were straight onto the dressage scene. First up was the National Pony Club Championships at Cholmondeley Castle. It feels like this competition gets more and more competitive every year and In all honesty I wasn’t sure we would qualify again this year. When both the boys made it through I was so excited and couldn’t wait to enjoy that fantastic atmosphere for another year – I feel very lucky!

It was a beautiful day but I did learn one lesson – taking the GGs out together to such a big event was perhaps not the wisest decision (!) To say they were excitable would be an understatement and at one point I wasn’t sure I was going to even get old boy George into the arena. He was certainly putting on his best stallion impression to the amusement of the arena stewards. Thankfully luck was on our side and I managed to ride them both through their tests but I cannot deny they were both a little more tense than usual being separated. Who knew 2 geldings could fall in love with each other so much?!

We were competing in the Open Dressage Championships with our fellow teammates Rosie and Jess, also from Area 7 and we placed team 4th out of the top 35 teams in the country – wow wow wow! I was also on a team with Rosie last year when we came 4th in 2017 so this definitely seems to be our lucky number. I have to say an enormous thank you to the South Shropshire Pony Club for all their support this year. I could never have made it to these championships without their support so we are so grateful! Our DC Kim Calcutt and her daughter Cerys even came along to watch us which was really lovely.

Sophie Hall and the Area 7 team

A few weeks later and it was time for our penultimate dressage championship of the year – Hartpury BD Elementary Area Festival. This was a first time for me and I was so excited to get there! George only started his dressage schooling a year and a half ago so this was another big milestone achievement for us. He was such a good boy, the atmosphere was incredible but he managed to stay with me for the duration of the test. We finished mid-table and the marks were incredibly close. We had a lot of 7s and a lot of lovely comments from the judges, a few mistakes just let us down but this proved to me that this little man really does have the potential to do well.

Our new arrival!

Save the best till last they say…well this month we have seen the arrival of a new baby boy. No I haven’t had a child but yes I have bought a young eventer! This is the first horse I have owned entirely myself which is both exciting and terrifying at the same time. He is currently still in search of a stable name so if anyone has any suggestions please let me know! Helvick HSH Hero is an ISH 5yo 16.1 from my best friend based in Kilkenny, Ireland: Hutchinson Sports Horses. He has only been here 1 week but he is already settling in really well. He has learnt what a horse walker is, been in the school and out hacking and has been so well behaved. We have a lot of work to do but we plan on taking everything really, really slowly with his future eventing career in mind. Very exciting – wish us luck!

Sophie’s new arrival Helvick HSH Hero

Next month we will be focusing on our new little boy settling in and we hope that Gus may also be back out eventing too – all fingers crossed! His remedial shoeing seems to be going well and we are back popping some fences at home – so far so good. We also hope to make a visit to Burghley horse trials this weekend so if anyone else is there have a brilliant time!

Speak soon,

Sophie x

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