This picture of CCI4*-L competitor Phoebe Buckley managing to jump out of a water complex while turning to watch one of her fellow riders fall off in an adjacent combination perfectly sums up how I feel today. Blair has been busy and brilliant, with super winners and loads of inspiration across the board (plus a lot of driving), but I can only watch it racing away in the rearview as I gallop headlong into this week’s Bicton CCI5*. From then on out, the wheels won’t stop turning until November: there’s Aachen, and Blenheim, and the European Championships, and Boekelo, and Maryland, and Le Lion d’Angers, and Pau, and then maybe, if I’m lucky, a little bit of sleep sometime just before Christmas. But you know what? I couldn’t be more delighted that true eventing madness has returned to the calendar, and I am so ready to do this thang.
National Holiday: It’s National Beach Day! Funnily enough, the week of blazing sunshine here in Scotland has come to an abrupt end, so I don’t think I’ll be stopping off at any beaches on the 10 hour drive home.
U.S. Weekend Action:
UK Weekend Action:
Scottish Grassroots Eventing Festival at Blair Castle: [Results]
Keysoe (3): [Results]
Launceston (2): [Results]
Shelford Manor (2): [Results]
Wellington International: [Results]
Global Eventing Roundup:
Just nine combinations started — and seven finished — the feature CCI4*-L class at Millstreet, Ireland, which went to Australia’s Bill Levett and Elisabeth Murdoch’s nine-year-old Lates Quin, who climbed from initial sixth after finishing on his dressage score of 36.2. First phase leaders, Sweden’s Sofia Sjoborg and DHI Mighty Dwight, took second, while third place went to another Aussie: this time, Kevin McNab on the Irish-sourced Global Victory.
It was a good weekend for Kevin, who also finished first and second in the CCI4*-S class aboard Scuderia 1918 A Best Friend and Willunga, respectively. Great Britain’s Willa Newton rounded out the podium with Cock A Doodle Do.
A double clear jumping performance helped Gillian Beale King (🇺🇸) and Chance Encounter VII win the Connolly's RED MILLS…
We also saw two American riders competing in the CCI3*-S at Millstreet, where Gillian Beale King came away with the win aboard Richard Ames’ Chance Encounter, moving up from their original starting point of eighth after dressage to eventually take the top placing. Gillian also finished two other rides, Rebeliant and RCA Royal Mist, in the top 10 in the CCI3*-S. Avery Klunick and her own Pisco Sour rebounded after some trouble at Haras du Pin earlier this month and got their first CCI3*-S completion under their belt in Ireland.
Your Monday Reading List:
With Blair behind us, everyone’s attention is turning to the pop-up CCI5* being held in the UK this week. Horse&Hound caught up with the Bicton team to find out what the process has been like and what we can look forward to over the week ahead. [For once only: organiser of Britain’s only 2021 top-level event looks forward to good competition]
There are few things more impressive than a para horse. I’ve loved watching these extraordinary athletes adapt to unusual methods of communication and demonstrate the incredible partnerships they share with their riders through the Paralympics, and it’s fascinating to get more of an insight into what makes these incredible horses click. [The amazing “sixth sense” of para-equestrian horses]
We could yet see more changes on the USEA calendar for 2023 to 2027. USEventing is still taking bids for Advanced and CCI3*-L and CCI4*-S competitions in a number of areas around the country — but the bids will close on Friday, September 3, so if you’re an event organiser and want to make the big move up, don’t miss your chance! [US Equestrian Announces Re-Opening of Bidding for 2023-2027 CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, & Advanced]
The FutureTrack Follow:
It’s got to be your new Blair CCI4*-L champion, from whom we can expect to see big things over the next few years.
What I’m Listening To:
I’ve been powering through podcasts and playlists on the long, long drive from London to Scotland and back, and I thoroughly enjoyed author Caroline O’Donoghue’s Sentimental Garbage, in which she chats to another writer about a piece of ‘trash’ culture that changed their life. The episode with Jojo Moyes on Jilly Cooper’s Riders particularly tickled me.
Catch up with all the action from the Junior European Championships’ cross-country: