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31-March-2015 13:14
in General
by Admin


Very sadly Gatcombe on Sunday was lost to the bad weather, a huge disappointment for Patty Biden and her team after all the hard work, and naturally very disappointing for riders who were looking forward to riding round what was an extremely inviting Intermediate track.  Before that happened I was able to enjoy a very successful outing there on Saturday with the Novices.


When I walked the course the ground was exceptionally good so it was hard to believe that it could have deteriorated so fast.   Before the rain came in I ran The Soapdodger in the ON who had an excellent day winning his ON section by 4 marks.  He lay 2nd after dressage on 25.5, then jumped an immaculate clear in the show jumping, and I cruised on around the cross country to get 2 time faults.  He went in a super rhythm and really covered the ground so I was very surprised with his 2 time faults.  It must have been exceptionally tightly measured, to have achieved it would have required a far greater speed than the Novice 520mpm!


Dynasty also had a great day winning his Novice class.  He is really settling down and did a very obedient and calm test to score the best mark in the section of 26.  His warm up however was extremely lively so I was grateful to have him settled just in time.  He jumped a lovely clear round, controlled and relaxed which was very pleasing, and then was fabulous cross country, he ate up the course.  This is the first time that I had asked him to have a good crack at the time, and he answered all the questions and does seem to enjoy his cross country.  He also got time faults - 2.4, but as it turned out this was the quickest in the section leaving him to win by a slightly embarrassing 9 points.  (I ought to have got a few more time faults……)


Little Fire was my last to run and got by far the worse conditions.  Initially I thought I probably wouldn’t run him but he seems to cope well with the mud, which is a very encouraging sign.  He did a lovely test for him, his best so far, and scored 30.  He rolled a pole in the show jumping but his round was really good and I took him quietly cross country for 20 time faults.  He gave me a really good feel, didn’t notice the boggy take offs and landings, and finds it all very easy.  Hopefully he will continue to remain settled and focused, making my life much easier.  He is a horse who benefits from being kept busy so he will hopefully have a few more novice runs before a little holiday at the end of April.





© 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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