Update on Alex's 'Olympic' Horses through 2010
The main goal for Alex in 2010 was to work towards the World Equestrian Games in October 2010 in Kentucky. With Magenta already qualified in 2009, Alex also qualified Jeans and Fiddle over the year.
Alex had a thrilling first Badminton on Jeans and Magenta finishing 26th on Magenta. Magenta has continued to improve all season and when she won the advanced at Aston-Le-Walls it looked like all the hard work was going to pay off and that Alex would be in a competitive position going into the WEG. However, an administrative hiccup in China left Alex without the funding to make the trip. Alex decided to give Magenta a well earned rest and let her focus on the Olympic qualifications next year.
Things did not go so well with Jeans this year. After a dramatic fall at Badminton, Alex took him for a joint confidence building run at Houghton Hall followed by the long trip out toLuhmeulen to contest the CIC***, which would have been right up his street. Sadly, coming out of the water, Jeans picked up a serious tendon injury, putting him out of contention for the WEG.
ESB Irish Fiddle has been the success story of the year. Alex's least experienced horse, he and Alex had not had time to bond before the Olympics 2008. Then he had spent 18 months out to grass while Alex was back at school. Alex brought him slowly back into work over the winter, and gradually worked him through the ranks. A talented jumper, he always found dressage hard to fathom, especially the concept of submission! Over the year, Fiddle progressed gradually, and after finding the atmosphere at Burghley too much to handle, (and being an unwilling but co-operative partner in Alex's 'Olympic display of gymnastics'!), he went straight on to a top 25% placing at Blenheim, winning Alex the Best U25 prize for the second year running and qualifying for Badminton.
(There are links in the text for anyone who would like to read more about a particular story.)