Ups and downs – that’s eventing!

August has been a real rollercoaster of a month for the team. Unfortunately some really promising horses have sustained injuries, although most will return to normal duties in a couple of months, it is of great concern to all. It seems we are not alone in this problem with other event riders reporting similar problems this year. Possibly an accumulative effect of a couple of seasons in a row of mostly hard ground is influential. It is an area that we are delving deeply into to ensure the welfare of all of our horses on the team. Thankfully the investment in our own hydro therapy spa is proving highly beneficial in aiding the affected horses to the best possible recovery.

We have great pleasure in announcing a new sponsor of the team; WOW saddles. Their saddles are highly adaptable to both horse and rider. They also specialise in “flair panels”,which are adjustable air filled pads against the horse, designed to give the horse and rider maximum comfort and balance. We certainly hope the horses enjoy these saddles as much as our own bottoms now are!

Sue Whites’ Kilfinnie (Scottie) had a great time at the Gatcombe Festival of British Eventing with an impressive 9th place in the Open Championship thanks to a fantastic dressage and clear XC round. He then went across the pond to Haras du Pin where he scored a personal best in the dressage phase and was clear inside the time on the testing XC course. The final days tough show jumping track was very influential on all and Scottie’s efforts were not quite as good as we hoped, but still good enough for a creditable 10th place in the final leg of the FEI World Cup Series.

Chris Stone and Northgate Information Solutions’ Elektron (Ted) has had a devastating start to his time with the Tapner Eventing Team. Unfortunately when XC schooling before his first competition, he sustained a bone injury to a knee joint in one of his front legs. He is now in the capable hands of the Newmarket Equine Hospital and we are all hoping that he makes an acceptable recovery in time.

Captain Fred and Penny Barker, Vicki Mace-Benson’s and Georgina Tapner’s Wickstead Didgeridoo (Balloo) is recovering from a splint injury so has not been out competing this month. He has however been swimming to help maintain his fitness levels, he now thinks he is a pro at swimming and has taken to ‘push and glide’! For those of you who are digitally minded, videos of him and others going swimming are online and available for viewing via the Tapner Eventing Team YouTube channel.

Captain Fred and Penny Barker’s Kilronan (Tom) has had another false start with his first event back after a break, Highclere being cancelled. Tom is now firing on all cylinders and ready to go out to play!

Peter and Libby Saugman’s Caicos (Cai) proved his impressive debut at Advanced level at AstonLe Walls was no fluke and produced another super impressive double clear at the Gatcombe Festival of British Eventing in an Advanced section for 7th place.Unfortunately he has since sustained an injury which will stop him competing further this year, but he will hopefully be back out in the spring next year.

Sally and Colm McGinn’s Indian Mill (Monkee) had a fantastic day in the Novice at West Wilts finishing on his impressive dressage score in 2nd place! He then joined Scottie at Haras du Pin for the CIC1* where he really did turn a few heads in the dressage ending up in equal 2nd with team mate Vroiljk. He unfortunately was a little green in the show jumping and got his legs in a tangle which resulted in two rails down. However he pulled out all the stops across country and was clear inside the time and finished in 11thplace.

Andrew Page’s Miss B (Bee) has had a break from competing this month. She was struggling to keep up with the demands we were placing upon her and so it has been decided that Bee will be sold to someone who will keep her at the lower levels of eventing for a few more years, where she has proven to be more than capable and happy.

Andrew Page’s Carmenero (Carmen) got his eventing career off to a flying start in the BE100 at Homme House with a good dressage and clear XC. This was followed by another BE100 at West Wilts where with a good dressage and clear XC, he was kept just out of the top 10 by an unlucky pole in the show jumping. This was followed by a big learning curve at Milton Keynes where Carmen found the tough XC course all a little too demanding on the day!

Anne Chapman’s Vrolijk (Dude) was another to go on the French trip to Haras du Pin and did a beautiful dressage test to lie in equal 2nd place after this phase. Unfortunately a couple of rails and some time penalties in the show jumping phase lowered him to 21stplace, which although disappointing after such an impressive start was still in the prize money and a good result for his first international competition out of 114 starters!

Jane Gwillim-David’s Supreme Watts (Dai/Polo) had a good day at West Wilts in the Novice with a clear XC round ensuring they finished inside the top 10. Dai/Polo then took the novice at Milton Keynes by storm with a long awaited WIN by finishing on a super impressive dressage score of 28.

Jenny Waaler’s Boomerang (Boo) and Captain Fred and Penny Barker’s Strike it Lucky (Paddy) both went along to their final BE90 4 year old class. Boo finished a creditable 10thplace andPaddy had a spooky and cheeky glance off at a corner jump across country, but was well educated in the process!

Georgina Tapner’s Wickstead Ulara (Lara) had a frustrating run at West Wilts with a tense dressage again and  some show jumping penalties, one of which was caused by Georgina taking the pole down with her right foot on the wing! At Milton Keynes things went slightly better with a good dressage and double clear for a final 10th place.

Zoe Wilkinson’s We Found Nemo (Nemo) had a good dressage and a clear run XC in the Novice at West Wilts with just a few show jumping penalties keeping Nemo out of the placings. However it was all smiles at Milton Keynes when a good dressage and double clear gave them 4thplace and secured the deal for the sale of Nemo to a new owner. We wish them lots of luck for their future together. Zoe’s GHS Calvaruise (Peanut) had a fantastic dressage and a double clear to finish 2nd in the Novice at West Wilts for his best placing to date! Peanut followed this up with another good double clear at Milton Keynes Novice ODE.

Emma Owen’s Solis Obitus (Sunny) had a great time in the BE90 at Sapey with a really good dressage and a double clear ensuring he finished in the top 10! They then went on to Highclere for their first BE100 and completed in fine style with a brilliant clear XC.

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