The quietest competition year

Our Autumn 2020 competition calendar was, by any normal measure, quiet. If there’s one thing we’ve learnt about 2020, it’s that there’s no such thing as ‘normal’!  We were delighted to at least get a few BE runs in with Parc Junior (Elmo) before the eventing season drew to a close. As well as plenty of flair-in-the-air-BS-time with both Leanorth JD (Donk) and the youngsters.

Elmo is a precociously talented 6yo. He spent much of his 3, 4 and 5 year old years practicing acrobatics. Talent and attitude often go hand in hand during these teenage years! But I was delighted to feel him really enjoying the competitive arena. A win at Burnham Market cemented his graduation to ‘grown up’.  I am excited about this young horse’s future.  I decided not to event Donk this autumn as there were limited Advanced opportunities to get him out; so we skipped round a Team Chase to get our cross country fix, and then focussed on show jumping instead.  He’s eating up these big BS tracks and should be ready to fly when eventually let loose in the cross country start box next spring.  We can’t wait….. 😊

Back home

Back in the yard, these last few ‘ber months been all about creosote, horse sales and photo shoots – an odd combination, but a fun one! I am amazed and delighted by the strength of the horse sale market this year.  I certainly didn’t anticipate that back in March when life as we knew it closed down.

Back to my first point, this year has been nothing but unexpected, and seeing good horses go to good new homes has been truly satisfying.  The corresponding number of PPEs (‘vettings’)  taking place has highlighted a certain confusion that seems to exist at the moment between vendor’s, purchaser’s and vet’s expectations.  That perhaps is a topic for another day, but I for one really hope that there is always going to be room in our increasingly litigious future for genuine open communication to be the dominant factor in the buying/selling process.

Striking a pose with Laura & Ben

The photo shoot necessitated unusual amounts of scrubbing, buffing and polishing.  Of the yard, of the horses and of me!

The horses were kitted out by Forelock & Load, me by Holland & Cooper and the whole day was beautifully captured by Laura Fiddaman Photography and Ben Clowes Videography.  A fun day, and it was great to be doing something so different from my norm. I must admit that the best of all for me was seeing the way the three young horses I hauled into action in front of the cameras rose to the occasion.  They clearly appreciated the beautiful surroundings of Euston Hall and Martley Hall Equestrian Centre, and showed themselves to be true Performers – an important attribute in a competition horse.

Squiddy’s disguise

Finally, creosote. The team have painted everything that has stayed still long enough.  That has, unfortunately, included Squid the Mountford Mascot Shetland.  He will have reverted to his normal shade of grey by Christmas I’m sure…. Talking of which, Happy Christmas to all.

Thank you for reading down this far.  And here’s to a healthy, positive, busy, active, and competition-filled 2021 – we’re all ready for it 😊

Polly Mountford
Mountford Sport Horses

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