April 21st Ann and I went on an adventure hack over the Ridgeway path. I tried to follow the way that Mark took me last year with Woody And Leo. However, it’s all changed since then and was fenced off as far as I could tell. There was cattle grid that we couldn’t get across obviously and wire fence. I think there were sheep in one of the fields as well, so I probably wouldn’t have survived even if we had been able to get through.
So instead we hacked back all around the edges of the fields. The ground was dry and hard where the field machinery has been going back and forth. We walked most of it and trotted up the hills. It was a lovely sunny day. The only drawback was the birds were all out enjoying the weather too. They kept flying up in front of Woody, out of the long grass, out of the hedges and they always wait until the last possible second.
When we got back, I took Woody in the ring for a little canter about and popped over a few low fences and cavalettis to practice footwork.
April 22nd was a lousy “day at the office.” Woody and I were having a lovely time trotting on the hills, taking in all the beautiful scenery and sunshine before galloping. I did my first gallop up the all weather track at Mark’s and he felt good. The first gallop up is usually a pretty slow one by 5* standards. The second trip up the hill was a bit more exciting because I met two racehorses walking down the gallop. I started to pull Woody up, but the young racehorses had already seen him and they started getting silly. The two jockeys turned them around and started galloping up the hill so Woody and I just kept going.
Woody thought it was pretty fun chasing babies up hill and around the track. Where the track splits, I didn’t want to go right since they went left, so I went left behind them. They pulled up about 3/4 of the way round, so I was forced to as well. Then I walked down the field to get to the bottom of the gallop, did my third pull up the hill and as I was finishing that loop I decided Woody didn’t feel perfect. I decided not to do the final gallop and took him back to the barn instead. Dr. Ober came and checked him over and we decided to withdraw from Badminton 2019.
Woody has always given me 100% and I know he would have at Badminton too. This was our year to aim for the top of the leaderboard so it was disappointing to have to withdraw. However, it was an easy decision because Woody is one of the best horses in the country and he owes me nothing. I want to save him for another day, and I owe him everything.
The new long-term goal is Badminton 2020 or perhaps Tokyo 2020; it all depends on if we qualify Canada for the Olympics. Go Canada, Go Woody!
Woody and Snow went home a few days earlier since I couldn’t compete at Badminton and Ann was going to spectate. I was so grateful that my mum flew over to England on April 27th and we enjoyed cheering everyone on at Kentucky 5*. Way to go Canada!
I really enjoyed going to Withington on Sunday to watch some of Mark’s horses compete with Rafa. It’s a great event for being able to see the cross country. We talked to William Fox Pitt about the horse he was on and it’s his only homebred. The wonderful thing about competitions in England is seeing many of the worlds greatest riders competing at all levels.
Mark arrived back from Hong Kong Monday evening before Badminton and jumped Kinky lightly. Early Tuesday morning, the horses left for Amsterdam before flying to JFK. Huge thank you to Equijet for taking care of the horses on the way home. Poor Anne Marie didn’t get to fly over to England as we couldn’t go to Badminton so Equijet had to look after the boys all the way.
On Wednesday May 1st, mum and I flew to Ireland to look at horses. It was fantastic to see Catherine and Jim Murphy again. We stayed at their B&B in Goresbridge called the Alamo where my mum first met them almost 19 years ago!
Ireland was a welcome distraction and we had fabulous weather. (Well it didn’t rain😉) Every day we looked at horses from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.. We got to see all the best Ireland has to offer. Cooley farm, Fernhill farm, Global Eventers, Sportsfield farm, Ringwood stud, Hutchison Sport horses, Belline Estate, Slyguff stud, Goresbridge sales and everything in between🤩
I found a few exciting prospects for the future and am looking forward to getting them home. These horses will be on the international circuit with me for Canada and will be looking for syndicate members. Please contact me or O’Hanlon eventing if your interested or know anyone who might be.