On a mission… rain, results, ribbons, fuzzy bugs and helmet awareness…just a typical week for GBR squad member Kitty King.

Persimmon (Percy) had his first outing since Bramham last weekend at Aston-Le-Walls and the weather certainly did its best to dampen everyone’s spirits.

A wet start turned into an equally wet morning and it did its best to mimic early March eventing conditions rather than mid-summer July! But one thing we can be sure of is that the weather isn’t guaranteed for Blair in September, so it was a good test on all fronts.

I thought Percy would be fresh for the dressage as his first time out, but he was very well behaved and contained and did a super test, despite the disgusting weather.

Squad trainer Tracie Robinson was on hand to help us warm up and gave some really useful tips and the wind and rain didn’t bother him at all. I was really chuffed with him as he did a super test for a score of 26.8, to lie in second just .1 of a penalty behind Francis Whittingon. Yogi also there watching which was very helpful. Percy was exactly where I would hope he would be with about 6 weeks to go to Blair. There are, of course, still things for me to work on, there always is, but sometimes they can shock you with how much work is still to be done, but he didn’t – I’m very happy.

The weather much improved for Saturday and the jumping phases. He was in great form and delighted to be out. So much so that he nearly jumped me off in warm up, which is always a good sign! At Aston the showjumping is on surface in quite a tight arena, which was nice with the wet ground conditions. Percy made it feel really easy and jumped a super clear round, but we won’t have the luxury of a surface at Blair so we will be sure to put in plenty of practice on grass surfaces between now and then.

Percy loves his cross country and can be fresh and feisty, so I let him bowl on out of start box. I don’t try to anchor him or he just fights me, which wastes both our energy! He galloped in a rhythm and felt really good, but and about half way round the course I did have to start to set him up more than I would have liked. It was a great track – a perfect first run back. There wasn’t too much for him to look at and back him off, but he jumped really well and felt really good to finish with 12 time faults and take the lead and the win.

I had a few other horses at Aston and some other great results, so all in all it was a very successful weekend! From here Percy will not event again until Harpury, so we’ll keep working on his fitness (which will be very important for Blair) and gymnastic training.

There was a lot of activity at Aston to help raise funds for Ben Hobday who unfortunately was recently diagnosed with Cancer. Dassett Eventing sponsored the 8/9YO advanced class and they were selling fuzzy bug stickers for a suggested donation of £1. Then for every rider in the DE 8/9YO Adv class who wore their fuzzy bug sticker in the SJ ring, Dassett Eventing’s contribution donated a further £5 to the charity fund! I believe a lot of money was raised and it was in aid of a great cause. I did my bit and proudly wore my fuzzy bug on my Champion hat.

The date for International Helmet Awareness Day is fast approaching – 1st of August 2015. Safety is something that’s very close to the hearts of all event riders and my Champion riding hat is one of the most important pieces of equipment I own. IHAD has been running for several years now and I’m delighted to always throw my support behind Champion (Toggi’s sister brand) and the IHAD team to help raise awareness of the importance of wearing an up to standard riding hat. If you need a new riding hat as a result of a fall, the fact that you’ve had your current hat a year or two too many, or if you’re planning ahead for the riding hat rule changes for British Eventing rules next year, International Helmet Awareness day is the perfect day to get a new one as you’ll get a discount off all Champion hats and helmets in participating stores!

Persimmon Dressage – Aston Le Walls 2015

Persimmon Showjumping – Aston Le Walls 2015

Persimmon Cross Country – Aston Le Walls 2015

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