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22nd September 2015 by Rowen Barbary

Better Month - Sarah Tomkins

Better Month - Sarah Tomkins

Thankfully being 29 hasn't dampened spirits lol

August thankfully has been a better month, after July I was nearly ready to change my British Eventing name to my marital name (Tomkins) but I'm 16 months late so no hurry now, maybe next year just to confuse everyone.

After Cholmondeley Castle, we hit the XC schooling fields, visited show jump trainer Mark Mccourt and cried to the mechanics that had been working on my lorry for the past 3 weeks to get her going again because we needed our home comforts back and then prayed luck would be back on side.

So next event trip was Bold Heath, 2 days, 6 horses and top groom 15yr old Emily Maclean, Saturday first on was my very own 8yo Honululu whom was Novice until May 2014 when she came out in lumps and then went raw and bald forcing her to have the whole season out, once cleared up I had built 6 more stables and filled them in just days with visiting horses leaving me with no time to concentrate on my big bird, we entered her into Bold Heath hoping we would have a goal to aim for, we did the 90 and finished 10th with a lovely double clear.

Also in the 90 was sonnet to Shannon having his first step up and he did it in style with a 24 dressage, an unlucky pole showjumping but clean cross country for 4th place.

This was pleasing enough but we were all thrilled with our 3rd run of the day on Coton Rainbow Star in the Novice gaining a 30 dressage, 4 faults show jumping (we have never been so happy to get 1 down, huge improvement) and clear XC in the time for 4th, this was fantastic after Cholmondeleys big E and it was a great run before Somerford 1*.

Day 2  and after 4 hours sleep we were back at Bold Heath parked in a very similar place as the day before with 2 80T horses and a BE100 and another great day was had with Raya gaining 2nd and Hugo 4th and Bobby went very well just picking up a silly stop XC, as you can imagine we were exhausted but running on a high for the journey home. This sort of weekend is what we work so hard for all week, it makes the 7 days a week late nights and early mornings so worth it, and I was running of adrenalin with just 4 days before another 4am alarm.

SomerFord Park International.

Coton Rainbow Star in the CCI* and Neo in the Open Intermediate. First up Friday was Neo who managed an under 40 dressage, yippee... I'm not normally satisfied with anything over 30 but with him, it is a working progress, to perform my test not his made-up one, we believe he thinks he has died and gone to heaven with his new Rowen Barbary diet that he's been on for nearly a year, 'look better and feel better' is his Moto. We had a very unlucky pole showjumping but yet another awesome XC round leaving us smack bang in the middle of the section which is very acceptable in my eyes given most were having their pre 3/4* run.

It was a quick scrub up in top hat and tails for Hollys 1* dressage.

Unfortunately, she didn't pull it out of the bag achieving a 50.3 but we were around 50th out of 130 ish starters so not to disappointing given she was tense and whinnying and I went wrong. We went back Sunday for our jumping phases where we had 8 faults show jumping but a beautiful round and an amazing XC experience until 3 from home where we had a blip into water (gutted) so close yet so far but I had a great round and I am so happy with her performance.

Llanymynech horse trials.

There's always something about your home event and at Llanymynech it is always the show jumping that knocks me out of the ribbons but 4 horses some great dressage results, confident XC rounds with a bit of bronking, whinnying and laughing thrown in it was all in all a good event with a change of layout and the course redirected we had Raya stepping up to 90, Brady in the 90 and Bobby and Lulu in the 100.

Not only was it the home event it was also like being at a Rowen Barbary family day out with Rebecca parked to my left, Heidi to the right and Charlotte just in front it was lovely having the opportunity to meet, chat and have the team all around us.

Apologies for Bradys poor pose, this about summed up his day, fidget.

That finalises my #RBTeam monthly blog, but very much looking forward to September with Gatcombe Park CIC* and the OI, I was really hoping to do the 2* with Neo but for various reasons we are going to do the Intermediate, this also means I am still eligible to compete at the Blenheim amateur dressage championships on my owners homebred horses Raya and Brady. Please keep your fingers crossed for a successful September for Hillside Eventing #fuelledByRowenBarbaryHorseFeeds

Photograph credits to Matt Nuttall, Emily and Vincent Whitehead and Joanna Prestwich.

Various friends have started using Rowen Barbary feeds following my advice so I will hopefully get some feedback from them in my next blog.