Guest Blog: Rosco Flying The Flag At Camp

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 Eventing

Last time we visited Richmond for an event, Rosco was particularly upset at some of the flags around the course and on some of the official's cars.  So, when we got home I set up a large Union Jack flag in his field and after a very short time Rosco decided it wasn’t scary at all and he even decided to nibble at it - I think he’s been kidding me.

Union Jack

Following the heavy rain of last month, both of our planned entries at Bishop Burton and Somerford were sadly cancelled. To keep building our partnership, we kept ourselves busy out at local unaffiliated show jumping events at Port Royal EEC and Epworth - our highlight was certainly winning the arena eventing at Port Royal EEC.  However, it was probably a bit of luck rather than talent and I would describe our current style as “Gorky” at best!

Luckily, I had booked in a 2 day camp at Somerford equestrian centre in Cheshire - this place must be one of the best eventing training establishments in the country! We normally go to the pre-season eventing camp in February, but because of Covid-19, it was rescheduled to June - it did make a refreshing change from being cold and miserable during the awful February weather, instead we got glorious sunshine... 

Rosco has a really big stride, totally different from any previous horse I’ve ever ridden, and one of my issues is trying too hard and perhaps going too fast to the jumps causing Rosco to back off, get too deep or cause a very inconsistent flow in our rhythm. However, Walter, can adjust his stride and regularly get a great take off.  My trainer, Ian Bennet, encouraged me to slow Rosco down whilst still keeping energy which is really difficult when you're usually used to pushing a horse forward.

Our 4 training sessions at Somerford had me jumping every imaginable cross country jumps, ditches, drops, and water complexes in a controlled training environment which has definitely cemented our partnership.

Horse Jumping

On the final day we did a show jumping course. When we jumped, our last two rounds had transformed from stuttering clumsy jumps into two smooth controlled and flowing rounds - I just hope I can transfer it to a competition environment!

Speetley is our next event, so fingers crossed and I will keep you updated. 

We qualified for the BE Area Festival at Frickley on Walter, this replaced the old regional finals, with a chance to go to Badminton next year!  Unfortunately Walter has had a knock on his leg and although we’ve had it scanned (the vet doesn’t suspect any serious injury) he has had to have a few weeks off so not the ideal preparation - hopefully all the work we’ve done earlier in the season will have paid off.  Walter also went to Somerford with my wife Sue - her first camp in four years following back surgery.  They both had a really nice time, especially the river walk on the Somerford “farm ride”.