Team O'Hanlon

Catching Up: Part Two

At the end of the competitive year, it’s all “after F

By: Team O'Hanlon

Selena on Iceman at the Royal Horse Show.
Selena on Iceman at the Royal Horse Show.

At the end of the competitive year, it’s all “after Fair Hill” – we will get that done “after Fair Hill”. However, just BEFORE Fair Hill we finally finished all our fencing. Thanks to Matt Kidney, Dick Bayly, Mike Maschi and all the others including my staff who put in long long days to get the job done. The fencing looks wonderful and I am excited to hold some sort of show or open house next year to show off how fantastic it looks. The biggest thank you of all goes out to our amazing landlords, ‘Can Coil’. Anju and Chander Datta who own Can Coil and Balsam Hall Stables have been wonderfully supportive of our first three years here at the farm and have taken all the upheaval and improvements in stride. The place looks wonderful and the horses love being here. Thank you everyone. Next year we plan for more x-country fences and a look at field shelters!

“After Fair Hill”….instead of being a quiet time, turned into “before the Royal Winter Fair”. Selena was riding Matt Kidney’s lovely Intermediate eventer ‘Iceman’. He went really well both nights but, unfortunately, on the first night, Selena did not actually jump the fences in the right order…..sigh. When she was a little kid Selena used to forget her dressage tests when she got in the ring but she has always had a second sense for show jumping and cross country and rarely goes off course. This was especially galling as the horse went VERY well. They redeemed themselves on the second night with a lovely clear round.

On the first night of the RWF I did not even make it. We had a big wind storm here and power went out twice during the day. As our water is pumped in by hydro power, I was too nervous to leave the farm during such a bad storm. The second night I drove up in the afternoon and got there in time to see Selena and Oliver Townend doing a signing session at the OEF booth. They were queued out and had a lot of fun chatting to everyone who came by. I watched Selena do a great round that evening on Iceman then I lit out for home.

SSelena and William Fox-Pitt.
Selena and William Fox-Pitt.

I got home here to Kingston at 1am and had to leave again the next morning at 4.30am with Lindsay Bisiker’s BEAUTIFUL six year old in the trailer behind me and drove to King so that Selena could ride her in the William Fox-Pitt clinic! ‘Lola’ is a beautiful UK bred mare. Selena had competed on her at Pre-Training and Training a few times toward the end of the year and the mare had been unbeatable. However, when we got to the clinic it turned out she had been added to the Intermediate group….eeeek! However, Lola took it all in stride and managed all the jumping exercises with flair. WFP simplified one of the dressage exercises to suit her but other than that she kept up with the big boys and did two full sessions. We were very proud of her and would like to thank Lindsay Bisiker for asking Selena to ride her.

WFP clinic….tick

Surely things quieten down now………? Well not quite. Part three of the catch up coming your way soon.