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14-August-2021 21:21
in General
by Admin

I was very lucky to have three 4* rides at Hartpury, they had been quite heavily balloted so to get three horses in was great.

Dressage was yesterday, and they were all a little bit on their toes, they thought the main arena was quite exciting, and at the moment it pretty much is the most atmosphere they are getting.


Grafennacht didn’t produce one of her best tests and she had a complete spooking fit at something on the bank in her first halt.  She then made a few other little mistakes but actually composed herself well to do some good bits, nevertheless I think she got the worst mark she has ever had in a 4* of 32, which isn’t actually that bad.  Today she show jumped, and did a lovely round, she just had one down getting too quick and fast in the double, otherwise she was very focused.  Her cross country was sadly not her best.  I always say how easy she finds the cross country, and today I don’t think she did.  She rather climbed over the skinny in the water, before I had to turn a circle to get her to the second one so that was a frustrating 20 and then she had the pin I think at the second corner.  I didn’t actually know that she had sprung the pin, but she did hit the back rail which was quite a surprise.  I won’t be worrying too much about it as she is so good cross country, but it is possibly a good wake up call before Blenheim.  Bad dress rehearsal…… 


Oratorio overall did a nice dressage test to score 31.  He did very strangely break into canter and break in a medium trot so he wasn’t perhaps as relaxed as I thought he was, and 31 was probably about the right mark but he did do some very good work.  He was then a superstar and did a double clear, show jumping really well and flying around the cross country.  I had him in a new bit and am hoping that it doesn’t just work once.   He argued a little but I had good control and he seemed to like it more than the one we had at Bicton.


Little Fire scored a 26 and I was very pleased with his test, he wasn’t quite as sprightly as the other two but he was on his toes.  He did a lovely test and kept it all together, but he was very happy to be out.  He jumped a superb clear show jumping and it was totally my faulty he got 1.6 time faults.  I had been inside the time on my other two horses first and had rather thought the time wasn’t too tight, so I must have hung around.  On the cross country he was his usual self, I put him in a good rhythm and he found it all very easy, he got a few time faults which were expensive but I was never planning to go inside the time so he dropped down the order to 8th place but it was a very respectable performance.  I haven’t really opened him up since Houghton, so I thought today it would be good to push on a bit, and I probably should have pushed him on a bit more but it is not all about Hartpury prizes.


Hartpury did a fantastic job putting the whole event together, with three very busy classes and the team there really made an enjoyable weekend for everyone.  Having lost Hartpury last year it was great to be back and it was good to have a decent run on my grown up horses ahead of their autumn aims. 





© 2013 William Fox-Pitt. Photos copyright of William Murray in partnership with Fox-Pitt Eventing. With contributions from Kit Houghton, Fiona Scott-Maxwell, Julia Shearwood, Gavin Hudspith, Ian Loveland & Adam Fanthorpe.

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