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A great start to the season & a new arrival! Will Furlong

Well the season is well and truly under way! The ‘younger horses’ had their first run of the season at Munstead. It was Elstar and El Limit’s first event so anything could have been on the cards – fortunately everybody was well behaved and we came back with some good placings! Elstar was 2nd and El Limit 3rd, with Funny Boy Fortuna just behind them in 6th. All 3 horses did sub 30 dressage and jumped double clear; can’t ask for any more than that! Esprit went on the Sunday for the BE100 in hurricane winds and the rain lashing down. You know you’re in trouble when you see plastic mounting blocks being blown across the lorry park. An hour’s warm up later Esprit did a lovely test – good job she’s on Steady Up! She also jumped a confident double clear ending up 2nd in her arena. A fantastic first outing for these 4; with lots of the positives to take forward for the forthcoming season.1 2 3 Photos by Uptown Eventing Elstar made the upgrade to BE100 with Esprit at South of England and was impeccably behaved. Another very nice dressage test saw her score a 27, and again jumped double clear around a very testing cross country track for that level. She had a handful of time faults which I think cost her the win, but for the stage she’s at, her confidence is much more important, she will have certainly learnt lots and I could not have been more pleased with her. Esprit did a lovely test in a harshly marking arena, but then unfortunately had an unusual 2 down dropping her down the placings. I then just ran her slowly as the ground had quickly become pretty slippery and she wasn’t really in contention for a top placing. Pioneer Silvie was just feeling a little bit tight and slightly backwards in the show jumping so I didn’t run her cross country, much better to save her for another day! Her next run would be at Belton in the OIu21 the following weekend.  We had a fantastic trip up to Aston le Walls for World Class training with Pioneer Silvie, Livingstone II, Esprit and Elstar. All 4 had flatwork sessions with either Angela Tucker, Nick Burton or Gill Watson. The World Class programme has made such a difference and I’m incredibly lucky to have the support and funding from The National Lottery, Swiftly followed by a trip to Chris Burton’s for some jump training with Silvie and Esprit. Belton is a good 4 hours from home so we set off on Thursday with Pioneer Silvie and Livingstone (who was just coming for the ride as he’s still coming back into full work). All the hard work seemed to pay off as Silvie was amazing!! She performed one of her nicest test to date, after help from Angela in the week, to score 20.2 – over 5 marks ahead of the next best! An unlucky pole, followed by a quick cross country round with just a couple of time faults saw her take top spot. She had cruised to victory in a 50+ strong section around one of the most testing Intermediate tracks. Eventing is very much a sport of highs and lows – so it’s incredibly important to celebrate the good results, as that’s what keeps you going! Funny Boy Fortuna and El limit are taking on their first BE100 at Munstead UA, followed by Chilham the week after where hopefully Livingstone II will make his return to action! Pioneer Silvie has a few weeks off before Aston U21 in preparation for Houghton CCIYR2*.   4 Photo by Uptown Eventing In other exciting news, our first Ingrams foal was born! A stunning colt by Tresor Mail (son of Jaguar Mail) out of our Billy Congo mare, Billy Melody – and boy he is CUTE!! He’s going to stay at stud for a few more weeks while we re-inseminate Billy Melody for next year, but can’t wait for him to be home for cuddles. 7 6 5