November and December

A short update from me this time! We have had a quiet couple of months after the end of the eventing season. Fergal had over a week completely off in the field after Osberton (any longer than this and he turns feral on us!) and then some excellent Physiotherapy from Natalie at Hilltop Physiotherapy. She was very pleased with how he felt after a busy season.

We have continued with our training at Yorkshire Riding Centre every month but have started to focus on the jumping more. I want to really improve our show jumping ready for next season so that means lots of work on both mine and Fergal’s technique! I have also started to incorporate this into my schooling sessions at home, we have been doing a lot more polework on the lunge and on the flat. This will hopefully encourage Fergal to engage his core more and use his backend a bit better as he is at the end of the day incredibly lazy! Taking the pressure off the flatwork and not drilling him with dressage movements but making it more interesting with poles and jumping has made a huge difference to his attitude. When I do school him now he is much more agreeable and feels a lot stronger from the few months of polework.

I have some affiliated dressage and show jumping planned for January and February before the season starts for us in March, I’m sure that will come round very quickly now! We will hopefully start with the Intermediate at Lincoln.

Becca & Fergal x


We have had a very exciting end to the season. Our penultimate run was at Allerton Park in the Intermediate which has always been one of my favourite events and fairly local to us. He did a very settled dressage for 34 and then the heavens opened! The show jumping became very sticky and caused a lot of problems, Fergal coped well and just rolled two poles. The ground on the cross country however was still good and I really pushed him on as it was to be a good fitness test before our run at Osberton in the CCI. He flew round clear and with the second fastest time across all the intermediate sections which pushed us up into 2nd place! A very well deserved placing for us both.

Two weeks later we headed down to Osberton International for our first run at CCI** level. Fergal loves staying away from home and behaves very professionally, I think he knows when it’s a bigger occasion! He took everything in his stride and flew through the first trot up. We were towards the end of our huge section and did our dressage on the Friday. By this time the ground in the main arena had become very deep, although the organisers were brilliant at rolling it. He did a good test for 56, our best mark at this level. Thanks to the change in bit, a shorter working in routine and the introduction of the Nupafeed calmer he is a different horse in his dressage. He produced some lovely calm work. I now know I am able to push him more forward for the higher marks and will spend the winter working on becoming more established at this level. Link to dressage:

Cross country day loomed and I can safely say I spent the whole day feeling sick! The course was 9mins 30sec long, full up and with some very technical questions – a lot of angles and curving lines to ride. Mum and I watched the first few go and the water plus a tricky angled corner at fence 7 caused carnage. I had walked the course numerous times and had a course walk with Chris Bartle so I felt prepared... still very sick though! We set off strong and after having a brilliant line through the tricky corner complex at fence 7 I knew we could do it. He skipped round like it was a 100 track through all the direct routes and I have never been so happy. My poor mum had to wait nervously at the finish to help me in the vets box so only got snippets from the commentator... I think she ended up ringing one of our friends who was watching on course to check everything was ok!

Fergal finished very strongly and the vet even commented on how fit he was, yet I still spent the night worrying about him passing the final horse inspection! No problems and on to the show jumping. By now the ground in the main arena was very deep and Fergal came out full of running (a little too much perhaps!) He got very excited which always results in him sticking his head in the air like a giraffe. This obviously affects his jumping technique (causing him to hollow over his fences) and coupled with the deep going affecting the height he could get we had 5 fences down. It was a shame as it was our most forward and rhythmical round of the season, but we had done it first CCI2* completion!

Fergal will have a little rest now before we spend the winter working on our show jumping technique and establishing our lateral work in the dressage with the hope of completing our first advanced next year... bring on 2018!

Photo credits Chantal Crosby


We had one aim this month and that was the CIC2* at Somerford Park in Cheshire. Our dressage was on the Saturday and he did a nice relaxed test... a little too relaxed in some parts but I’m thinking this is the lesser of the two evils! Unfortunately the judge at B didn’t agree and we didn’t get a mark that reflected how I felt. He still isn’t established at this level and there is a lot more to come which we will work on over the winter. One of my friends Nicki was competing in the CIC1* as well so we had a lovely course walk together and visited the gin bar whilst we waited for the rain to stop! The 2* was big and technical but I had every confidence that if I rode positively we would have a good round.

The Sunday brought the jumping phases and Somerford were running the cross country followed by the show jumping which is only something Fergal has done at a three day event before. He was incredibly excited at the start which resulted in me not managing to get him in the start box as the starter counted us down! After a few pony club kicks he flew out and attacked the course, foot perfect at even the most technical fences. We had a brilliant clear and I am so so proud of him, our cross country really feels like it has moved up a gear this year. After a few hours rest he was back out for his show jumping and was most unimpressed with this. I’m pretty sure he thought we had finished after the cross country and napped all the way to the working in. We had 16 faults show jumping which continues to be our Achilles heel, but this completion was good enough to now give us our CIC3* qualification!

Our next run will be the Intermediate at Allerton Park followed by the CCI2* to finish the season at Osberton International all being well.

Link to our cross country round:


I cannot believe it’s the 1st of August already! Where has this year gone?! We had two events last month and a change of tack for Fergal. After discussion with Chris we decided to try Fergal in a double bridle. I managed to loan a very blingy one off my dressage friend Kathryn to begin with and we have worked him in it throughout this month.  He does seem better, much more accepting of the contact in it and we proudly wore our bling at Aske Intermediate! Not sure the judge agreed for a rather harsh mark of 40, however I didn’t let this deter us as to me he felt much improved in his jazzy bridle.  Fergal found the show jumping at Aske rather tight and I struggled to maintain a rhythm resulting in 12 faults but we produced a faultless cross country clear again. This latest result now means that we are qualified to go advanced... not bad for a pair of amateurs!! I don’t have any plans to step up yet (still lots of work to do on our dressage and show jumping) but it’s lovely to have achieved.

We trucked the three hours  to Aston Le Walls at the end of July for a run in the intermediate. He (almost) behaved himself all the way through his dressage test with just one explosion to gain 36 which I was very pleased with. I did not have the best time in the show jumping, my confidence has definitely taken a knock in this phase and I did not help Fergal out at all. I did manage to redeem myself cross country though, as the ground was so good I really pushed him on for one of our best XC rounds at this level finishing clear with only 4 time pens.  Our next event will be the CIC2* at Somerford so I have plenty of show jumping lessons planned before then to hopefully help my confidence crisis!

Dressage Aston:

Cross country Aston: 

Unfortunately this month one of my brilliant friends and trainers Nik passed away suddenly. He has taught me for many years and continuously pushed Fergal and I, always believing in what we could achieve.  I will miss our many laughs and fantastic lessons xx


We have had a quieter time this month, Fergal had some time off whilst I went on holiday for a week with Dan. I like to give him a bit of a mid season break and June is usually perfect as there aren’t that many events near us at this time. The break did us both good and we started to increase our fitness again aiming for the intermediate at Aske in July.

We have continued with our lessons at YRC this month with Chris Bartle and have decided to try Fergal in a double bridle for the dressage now. He is fairly inconsistent in accepting the contact and seems to be better in the double. It will be a bit trial and error but we will give it a go at our first few events and see how we get on.

Fergal and I also played at being a pure show jumper at Bishop Burton this month. We had two lovely rounds in the 1.10m and 1.20m, just rolling two poles in the 1.20m. As it was a single phase class with around 15 fences I was very pleased with both of us. I still find that the show jumping is my weakest phase but will keep persevering!

July will see us contest the intermediate at both Aske and Aston Le Walls horse trials. Fingers and hooves crossed for some good results!

Becca & Fergal x


What a busy month we have had! Fergal and I spent four days on our riding club camp at Somerford Park this month, the week before Rockingham Horse Trials. We had a brilliant time with lots of training and social time with my friends. It was lovely to spend some quality time with him without the pressures of a working life. We had some lovely feedback from both the instructors there (Kath & Nik again) and he behaved brilliantly.

The following week we travelled down to Rockingham Castle for our very first CIC2*. Our dressage on the first day was good, no spooking at all! He did struggle with the deep going but got a fair mark for our first test at this level. I had worried all week about the ground as it had been so hard with us but Rockingham had had a lot of rain and made the dressage arena and car park a quagmire... they worked so hard to run the event but I think my mum has decided she is a fair weather eventer! The second day brought the show jumping, not our best round with four down. I didn’t ride as well as I can at all, I was very nervous and reverted to not riding him forward. We also had an incident when two army cadets ran out in front of the fence we were about to jump meaning I had to circle him away. Onto the cross country and what a ride I had! I swear the tougher the course, the bigger the occasion the better that horse jumps across country. He was fantastic, he actually looks for the flags now and we came home with a strong clear and our CCI2* qualification in the bag!


We had our last run this weekend at Bishop Burton in the intermediate with a much calmer dressage for 36. I now have him on a calmer which I can top up before the dressage and it seems to be helping. He just rolled two poles show jumping which was a shame as I rode much better and he responded feeling really forward. All this was redeemed with a clear cross country to finish 15th. With a bit more speed we would have easily been into the top 10. Very pleased with my grey pony J

What a month! I really didn’t expect our first 2* to go so well and to gain our CCI2* qualification so early, we will aim for this at Osberton Interational at the end of the season. After such a busy month Fergal will have some time off whilst I go on Holiday with Dan for a week, with the aim to be back out at the start of July.

Becca & Fergal x photo credit is Al Johnston x


We’ve managed to get two events in this month, Belton and Kelsall Hill both in the intermediate. Belton was beautiful but with a section list like Badminton!I think we were the only amateur owner/rider combination. We went back to Fergals old working in plan for the dressage, lunging him for 20mins and then a short sharp work in of 20mins which seems to help his somewhat short attention span. It proved beneficial with a spook free test of 36. Still not great but much improved. The SJ was in the main arena and he didn’t bat an eyelid at the crowds but unfortunately had two down when I closed his canter down too much – bad mum! We had a fantastic cross country round a big bold course to come back clear, although I did nearly come off at the sunken road when he left a leg! Video evidence below: Link:

Kelsall was a mixed day. A very spooky dressage (judges car and flower pots were obviously horse eating ghouls!) but with a lot of improvements in his medium work. We SJ our best round to date with Fergal unfortunately rolling the second fence, which was a small upright. He set off strong across country but we had a run out at a brush corner early on. It was on a forward four strides and I had planned on shortening him for the five as he tends to jump skinny fences better like this. However after watching a few other riders go through on the forward striding I changed my mind and rode for the four... Fergal disagreed and ducked out! Such a shame as the rest of our round was clear with some tricky combinations. You live and learn and I will take the positives, improvements in the dressage/SJ and I know in future to stick to my original plan. I have also decided to try him on a calmer to see if it helps with the spookiness, fingers and hooves crossed it does!

Becca & Fergal x


The start of the 2017 eventing season is finally here. We had our first run of the season in the Intermediate at Lincoln. I had thought about running him in the open novice for our first event back but felt he would be better over a more challenging cross country course, although I wasn’t so sure about me!

I managed to get one outing down to Somerford Park for a cross country lesson on grass before Lincoln with Laura Grice. We had had plans to do more but the Great British weather put paid to this with most places closing due to the amount of rain we experienced. Fergal went really well and I was feeling excited to be back out competing again.


We stabled the night before at Lincoln as I was one of the first to go on the Sunday morning. The less said about Fergal’s dressage the better, it was like flying a kite! He was so unbelievably excited to be back out again and add in 30mph winds... well it was by far our worst test to date, his feet didn’t touch the ground! He show jumped really well in the large arena for 8 faults, he tripped just before the treble. The cross country course was as I now expect at this level big and some real technical ones in the second half of the course. I still sometimes question why I am doing this, until I get on him in the working in and then I cannot wait to get out on the course and give it my best shot. He gave me a fantastic ride with just a glance off early on when I didn’t get my line right to an angled hedge, he had no idea he was meant to jump it! He breezed through all the difficult combinations and came home ready to go round again.


In all a very positive start to our 2017 season. He will next run in the intermediate at Belton at the start of April with my main aim being CCI** towards the end of the season. Although the most important aspect for us is to have fun, enjoy ourselves and try not to look too out of place playing with the big boys and girls!

Becca & Fergal x


Finally the nights seem to be getting lighter and with this the eventing season appears to be swiftly approaching. As I type this it’s three weeks until our first event of the season, which will be the intermediate at Lincoln. We have had two British Dressage outings this month (much to Fergals disgust!) but with promising results at elementary level. He has consistently scored above 60% with 65% in his last two tests being placed every time out. He even got a couple of red rosettes! I’ve really enjoyed the dressage, it’s been very relaxed and I’ve had some very helpful comments (mainly concerning Fergals lack of concentration...) A lot of the tests have been in 20mx60m arenas which is good practise for the international events this year, it’s a very long way down that centre line!

We have carried on with both our flatwork at Yorkshire Riding Centre and our showjumping at home. We had hoped to get him to Somerford Park for a cross country lesson but storm Doris put paid to this! Instead we re-routed to Speetley Equestrian Centre who have a cross country course. He felt great and it was lovely to be back out jumping on grass again. I just hope the ground dries up soon although Fergal rather likes all the mud to roll in!

Hopefully when you next her from us we will have finished our first event of 2017! The plan this season is to continue at intermediate and improve on last year’s results, with the aim of the CIC** at Rockingham towards the end of May. As with everything horse related this is totally subject to change!

Becca & Fergal x


Happy New Year!

January kicked off with Fergals final clip of the year, a job I don’t really relish... how is he so hairy?! With the removal of the hair an intermediate event horse slowly started to appear. He’s come out of winter looking very well which I’m pleased with as he can be difficult to keep weight on during the colder months. The early fitness and road work we have been doing has helped a lot and we’ve kept this up. Unfortunately Fergal had to spend a week in with a suspected bruise form a nail. Luckily we got to it before there was a full blown infection but it meant we missed a couple of dressage lessons and another British Dressage competition (think Fergal secretly planned this!).

We took him out to Harrogate for some British Show jumping, our first proper jump around a course since Osberton In October. He was brilliant, with just one pole down in the 1.10m which was totally my fault. I rode like a bag of spanners and wasn’t much looking forward to doing the HUGE 1.20m Foxhunters class! I rode a lot more forward and more positive and he responded, jumping beautifully. The fences we had down were again down to me not quite reacting quick enough. It was the best result we have had at Foxhunters, especially this early in the year. Overall that one trip out was a huge boast to my confidence and he felt brilliant, eating up the big track. I’m getting even more excited for our first event of the season.

Becca and Fergal x


Firstly a very Merry Christmas to everyone. I’ve had a busy Christmas time visiting family and friends and getting engaged! Although the time off work has allowed me to do a lot more riding as well. I have taken advantage of being able to ride during the day and we have done a lot of hacking and road work. I think that roadwork is a fantastic way to start increasing his fitness and also helps strengthen his joints and soft tissue before I start his fast work in preparation for the season ahead.

We have still been going up to YRC for our regular dressage lessons and did our first British Dressage competition this month. Fergal behaved brilliantly and came away with a 2nd in the elementary with a score of 65.5%! I’m aiming to do some more affiliated dressage before the eventing season starts and hope to have a go at a medium test as well.

I’ve got some more lessons booked in along with some British Show Jumping and dressage to go to over the next couple of months. Once we hit January it will only be around 8 weeks until our first event of 2017!

Have a lovely New Year, Becca and Fergal x


After Osberton Fergal had some brilliant end of season physio from Natalie at Hilltop Vet physiotherapy followed by a couple of weeks completely off and enjoying some fun in his field! I’ve found I can’t really give him longer than this off or he turns a bit feral on us, he’s definitely a horse that likes to be in work. I’m lucky where I keep him that we have an indoor arena which means I can still ride after work and keep him ticking over during the winter months.

So November brings us back to the dreaded dressage which dare I say is improving! We had a lesson with Kath Pinington who previously taught us on a camp and trucked up to Yorkshire Riding Centre for a couple of lessons as well. Kath has been working us hard on our lateral work and we’ve had a fun flatwork lesson at YRC using cavelitt to help Fergal work over his back and get his core muscles working hard. Plus it’s a little bit more interesting for him as well.

In mid November we went down to Somerford Park with another livery Charlotte and her pony Jonah to give them a bit of fun around the Farm Ride. This is a lovely surfaced ride with optional jumps around the Parkland. It’s safe to say the boys had alot of fun, I definitely needed my safety position as Fergal bucked and leapt most of the way round! We came back muddy but very happy.

We also had our first show jumping lesson after a 6 week break from jumping with Nik Targett. Nik worked on adjusting our stride length down a related distance and getting me attacking rather than interfering! He was pleased and commented that I had shown a big improvement from when he last saw us in August... maybe there is hope yet!


What a month! October kicked off with our last event of the season, the CCI* at Osberton International Horse Trials. I didn’t have my dressage until the Friday but Mum and I travelled down on the Wednesday morning ready for the trot up. Fergal had already had several baths in preparation and wasn’t too impressed! After getting him settled in his new stable for the week and setting up the horsebox which was totally dwarfed by Paul Tapners HUGE red lorry parked next to us, it was time to get Fergal looking extra handsome for the trot up. I was concerned with how he would behave as he can be very sharp when handled on the ground but he trotted up like an absolute pro and was accepted. Everything seemed a bit more real now!

Friday morning arrived and I can safely say I have never felt so sick... how can dressage make someone so nervous?! I just wanted him to stay calm and not spook (too much!) in the main arena which I thought was a big ask! He’s used to jumping in main arenas but has never done a dressage test in one quiet as big and atmospheric as Osberton. So this was it... our three day debut. He walked into the arena like he had been doing this all his life and produced his best test to date. He was calm and rideable and I actually started to enjoy myself! Unfortunately he noticed the camera man towards the end of his second canter and lost a bit of concentration but he still scored a PB at this level of 49.2. We broke the FEI 50 barrier! This left us in 62nd place going into the second day which out of a field of 136 with hardly anything between each placing was a fantastic achievement.


I had walked the cross country 3 times and felt confident with it. The water which you crossed twice was causing problems (a large log drop in to an angled skinny in the water on a curving line to a corner) and a spooky rail ditch rail towards the end of the course was catching people out. Fergal was incredibly strong in the working in and I had to do alot of work on the flat first to get his attention on me and the job in hand. But he flew out of the start box and around the course, I didn’t need to set him up once and he came home 22seconds under the time. Amazing.

Cross country:

We had a very early start on the last day as my trot up started at 7:30am (thanks to Dan and Mum for also getting up!!) He sailed through that and onto the showjumping. I watched the first ten jump (as you jump in reverse order) and the course was causing alot of problems, I didn’t see one clear! So I decided not to watch anymore but concentrate on my round in the afternoon. Fergal was a star, just rolling the second fence when he lost his concentration jumping towards the trade stands. So just the four faults moving us up yet again to finish 42nd in our first International Three day event.

Trot up and Show Jumping:

A HUGE thank you to my mum and Dan for helping and supporting me that weekend, I know I’m difficult to be around when I’m nervous! Also to our friends who travelled down to cheers us round on cross country day, it meant so much. The last thank you goes to my very special Irish bog pony for making another dream come true, thanks Fergal!

So that’s our season all done and what a season it has been! An established Intermediate event horse and International CCI* completion. Fergal is having a well earned couple of weeks rest before

he starts his winter work which will include some show jumping and the dreaded dressage. I’ve joined British Dressage for him this year... don’t think he will be too impressed when I tell him!

Becca & Fergal x


This month started off with a trip to Bishop Burton College for a three day training camp with my riding club Calderdale. We had a brilliant time catching up with friends and doing lots of dressage and show jumping training. The feedback I got from Nik and Kath (the instructors for the weekend) was brilliant. Nik hadn’t seen us for about 8 months and couldn’t believe how much better we were both show jumping (shout out to Sue Chadwick for all her hard work with us at home!). Kath hadn’t taught us before, she was very complementary about the way Fergal had been produced and felt that there was alot more to come from us both. I’m planning on having some more lessons with both of them over the winter. It was lovely to get such comments and made me really reflect on what we have achieved. I think sometimes we can put too much pressure on ourselves for things to be better week after week and don’t actually sit back and look at the bigger picture.

We just had one run at Allerton Park in the intermediate this month. This is one of my favourite venues as its local but also a beautiful park to ride around and the cross country is usually decent! We started off with a dressage of 38, not great at this level but means we are consistently breaking the 30 barrier now. The test had half pass and walk pirouettes in which Fergal isn’t fully established with yet so I felt the score was fair. We had two poles down show jumping, one which I take full responsibility for as I got him so wrong at the last fence and he was very honest to jump. The other was a little bit of laziness on Fergals behalf! There were only two clears in the whole section so 8 faults wasn’t looking too bad. Onto the cross country which was up to height and had a lot of technical fences bunched together. The time is notoriously hard to get at Allerton, there’s a lot of weaving in and out of trees which is difficult to do at speed on a very large horse! He was brilliant and jumped a strong clear pulling my arms out all the way round. I had the best time although my face jumping the into space fence tells a different story! Another clear for us at intermediate and a credible 16th place.

We are (all being well) off to Osberton International Horse Trials tomorrow. This will be our very first three day event together and something I am very much looking forward to. I have had a word with myself and decide to (try!) and put less pressure on myself over the weekend. I just want to enjoy the experience and have fun with Fergal, safe in the knowledge that this season has completely exceeded all my expectations for an absolute amateur and her Irish bog pony!

Becca & Fergal x

Photo credit Nick Gill Photography


August kicked off with a cross country lesson at Somerford Park with Laura Grice. I felt that after our last two runs we needed to get our confidence back in each other. Laura noticed straight away that Fergal wasn’t accepting my right rein and I was allowing him to come off the bridle in between fences which then meant he didn’t have enough power to jump the bigger fences, resulting in our previous run outs. We finished with a brilliant round and my confidence felt high.

My only run this month was at Somerford Park in the Intermediate. My plan this season had been to aim for the CIC** here but after talking it through we decided not to step up as our dressage still isn’t there. The 2* test requires half pass and walk pirouettes which we are working on in training but are not yet ready to share with the public (or a dressage judge) just yet! He did a good test with just one huge spook at what I can only think was a pokemon that I couldn’t see. I was disappointed after the test but Mum and Dan were very good at helping me see the positives and they were right, we managed to break the 30’s for a score of 36. He show jumped beautifully with just one pole down due to a loss in concentration, I think he was too busy checking the trade stands out. I’d walked the XC earlier in the day with Laura and as I expected it was big and technical. I was very nervous after our last couple of runs and knew I had to be on my game. He set off strongly and after the first tricky combination at 5 which he flew I knew our confidence in each other was back. We had an amazing round to finish 13th in a section full of professionals, our best intermediate finish to date. Somerford Intermediate:

As I write this I’m between packing for our annual riding club camp at Bishop Burton this weekend. I have show jumping/dressage lessons booked each day and I’m looking forward to spending some quality time with Fergal and catching up with my friends.

Becca & Fergal x


We made some brilliant progress at Chris Bartle’s with our flatwork and I was feeling very optimistic about our next event...Fergal had different ideas!

Mum, Fergal and I made the long trip down to Daventry for the Intermediate at Aston Le walls. Wow... the facilities there are fantastic, the dressage and show jumping were all on lovely all weather surfaces, shame it’s not nearer! He worked in well for the dressage until the last few minutes when he got very tense and spooky. This carried over into the test and I can quite happily say I could have got off him he was so naughty!! He took a complete dislike to the judges box which made any movement down that end very exciting. Anyway the work in between wasn’t that bad for a score of 41... so maybe some improvements! The show jumping was causing alot of problems and was all up to height. I’ve still been finding this phase difficult. He jumped really well with just me interfering at the treble getting him totally wrong and taking all three parts out. Onto the cross country which for an intermediate track wasn’t as tough as we have had in the past. He sent off really strongly through all the combinations and the first water, I think I relaxed abit and at the 7th fence a skinny brush on a hill to another skinny brush he ducked out at the last minute. So on paper our worst result to date but I felt I gained alot from it.

Aston Le Walls:

We were out again the following weekend at Cholmondeley Castle in Cheshire for another Intermediate run. He worked in well for the dressage and did a lovely entrance and halt followed by the biggest spook ever at the judge in the car! He didn’t settle for the rest of the test and his score reflected this. We had a much better result in the show jumping with me managing not to interfere and ride forward. I felt much more confident which was brilliant in this phase. The cross country was a tough test with alot of combinations even two angled skinny brushes as the second to last fence! The rail ditch rail had its frangible pins broken 7 times, two of these came whilst we were waiting to go and had to be held twice in the start box. This didn’t go down well with Fergal who when we finally got the signal to go leapt out on two legs and unbeknown to me threw his front shoe back at the starters! We had one glance off at a large table to brush corner at fence 5 and after that he flew. He was foot perfect through the difficult rail ditch combination and took the direct route at the water when many others didn’t. So overall a good day tackling another tough intermediate. I’m finding this level much tougher than I thought. We had such good results at novice level and I am totally out of my comfort zone. I’ve found that there really is no room for error at intermediate. It’s a definite learning curve and one we will keep working hard at!

Cholmondeley Castle:


June has been a quiet month as there are not many events in our area so I tend to give him a mid season break whilst I go on holiday with my boyfriend (like normal people!). However Fergals holiday has been a little longer than planned as he managed to put his foot through the fence at home. All is well and he has come back into work this week, going really well in his first dressage lesson back with Christopher at YRC. We have withdrawn him from the intermediate at Aske this weekend as I don’t think his fitness is quiet there. He will now run in two intermediates towards the end of July. This should hopefully give us more time to shift our holiday weight!! Becca & Fergal x


Into May and one of my favourite events, Chatsworth. We ran in the CIC* International here and in the week leading up received a lovely newmarket handbag for myself and some treats for Fergal from Re-bridled. Fergal did his dressage on the Friday and following on from the behaviour at Kelsall he was worked in around three times as much, I think I was more nervous for the dressage than anything else. I find that he is better at international events when the dressage is held on seperate days and I’m very lucky that he settles well away from home. He did a relaxed test which was my main aim with just an unfortunate break in his counter canter but overall I breathed a huge sigh of relief!! We had a couple of show jumps down which I do think was mainly down to me, Fergal got very tight and tense in the main arena and instead of riding forward I got a bit tight with him too. We had a lovely XC round going clear with a few time pens, the crowds were the biggest I have seen there and he coped fantastically, making CIC* course feel like a 90cm track. There’s no better feeling than galloping past Chatsworth House! Link to Fergals XC round at Chatsworth:

We had our last run before we both went on holiday at Bishop Burton in the intermediate. After walking the cross country I did seriously question what I was doing, as well as being a big track it was the most technical intermediate either of us have ever ridden. In typical Fergal fashion he chose the dressage working in to turn himself completely inside out and pulled a shoe off! Shoe back on and a fairly relaxed test for 40, still plenty to work on. We had a show jumping round to forget with five fences down!! He started lovely but had a pole at fence four which unsettled him, resulting I him getting tense and hollowing through his back… another work in progress! I had nothing to lose after that and after giving myself a good talking to I manned up and attacked the course. He gave me an incredible ride taking all the direct routes and going clear around our toughest intermediate track to date. Becca & Fergal x


Our season started a little later than usual due to Fergal getting an abscess in March. He was fit and raring to go up until that point so was very unimpressed with being on box rest! We changed our plans and aimed for April instead where he had his first run at Eland Lodge in the novice. Torrential rain cancelled the day before ours but we luckily still ran albeit in deeper ground than normal. A slightly excitable dressage test due to us being next to the cross country start followed by a pole down show jumping and a lovely clear cross country where he finished full of running. Its always nice to finish like this as it gives me a good indication of his early season fitness. Link to Eland Lodge:

From there we had only our third run at Intermediate level at Kelsall Hill the following week. I still don’t think I will ever get used to the size of the cross country fences when walking the course! We had an unforgettable dressage there for all the wrong reasons… Fergal decided that every movement in the test was canter! I struggle with him in the dressage as he tends to get very tense and tight which comes through in the movements, its definitely a work in progress. On to the show jumping where we had an uncharacteristic run out. The number had fallen down at fence 7 meaning I had a momentary blip in concentration (“is it this fence?”) Fergal sharp as anything cantered straight past! We finished the course slightly disappointed as he had jumped very well. Whilst working in for the cross country Fergal demonstrated to me why I can never fully relax when riding him, taking a dislike to the 90cm warm up fence and dropping me last minute with an almighty BANG as my air jacket went off. I dusted myself off and with several other people tried to catch Fergal (seems to be a reoccurring theme!) Once reunited and checked by the doctor that I was fine to run we were in the start box. He redeemed himself giving me a lovely clear although I will admit I ran slightly steadier than I would normally, my confidence had definitely been knocked by the escapades in the working in. Link to Fergals XC round:

Becca & Fergal x

What an exciting start to our season, finding out that I had been chosen as one of Re-bridled’s sponsored riders! I hope that you enjoy my blogs, keeping you up to date with myself and Fergal’s activities this year.

We have worked hard over the winter on our show jumping with Sue Chadwick and regular dressage lessons at YRC with Chris Bartle. Both have been progressing well and I’m enjoying the step up to intermediate in all three phases, although it’s a huge learning curve!

We have even been out doing some show jumping with the real Showjumpers as well. I’m pretty sure I’m the only rider in a jockey skull and hairnet but I’ve had some good outings regularly competing in the 1m 20 classes. One memorable outing involved Fergal taking a dislike to some spectators leaning over the fence causing a loss in his concentration towards the 8th jump. We got there on half a stride but ever the eventer I kicked on, Fergal said no and I ended up on my bum in the fence. Then followed a 20min hold on the competition as Fergal wandered around the arena refusing to be caught! Fairly embarrassing day out! Becca & Fergal x