EQUESTRIAN My 2011 review ROBERT BOOTH BHSI EQUINE TRAINER Bunty Girl at Hickstead Rydam Regis at Addington As the outdoor competing season draws to a close I thought I would look back on the year and our horses' progress. We started the year with four horses jumping, Bunty Girl a five year old, Co Star six, Rydam Regis seven and Riverwood, our old reliable Grade A now 15. Co Star was sold early in the year as we felt we did not have enough time and resources to keep all four competing and we wanted to put as much work into Bunty Girl and Rydam Regis (Greg) as we could. Riverwood , although fit and well as ever is being given a slightly easier life and has just competed on the Island this year and as usual has been very reliable at 1.20m and 1.30m level as well as performing his other role of accompanying young horses on the roads. Bunty started the season well in Discovery ( 1metre ) classes and Newcomers (1.10 m ) classes and quickly achieved her four double clears to qualify for next year's regional finals. She has proved very honest and brave in the ring as well as careful and a real trier, being a bit of a 'clear round' machine. In June she did her first Hickstead at the Derby meeting, jumping several double clear rounds including the five year old class at 1.20m. As horses do, she then sustained an injury in the field which unfortunately meant she could not compete Rodgebrook Horses TEL: 01983 521870 www.rodgebrookhorses.co.uk 90 www.visitislandlife.com at the British Young Horse Championships in August. This was a big disappointment as she is a homebred horse we had produced mainly with this show in mind. But this is one of the ups and downs that goes with horses and we still look forward to her next year. Greg made up for any disappointment by jumping consistently and upping his game this year jumping well to 1.35 m classes with several good places including ninth place in the seven year old championships at the British Young Horse Show held at Addington EC in August. The show is held over three days with qualifying rounds for the championships on the first two days, the final on the third day which for the seven year olds is a course of 1.35m-1.45m. This is a big test at this stage where Greg rose to the occasion and jumped a brilliant round showing his class with the ease that he jumped it. As a result he has attracted the attention of some of the top riders and we are now forced with the decision, do we keep him or do we sell him? Although the British summer has not been the best, on the whole we have managed to escape jumping in mud. Now it is time for indoors and new young horses to start, let's hope its not too long a winter.