Mary celebrates her birthday and another successful 4 star event

This month's blog sees a slightly slower pace for Mary after the previous two months, but we do love finding out how the horses are getting on and where they are aiming for next! "After an amazing trip to Croatia for my birthday - where eight of us sailed around the islands in the most beautiful weather - Apache Sauce was re-routed to Luhmuhlen having been withdrawn from Badminton after performing an average dressage test," Mary explains.

"We travelled to Germany with William Fox-Pitt - who we often share transport with because he lives in Dorset - which meant real luxury with his 'pop out' and 'pop up' Oakley lorry!I I was hoping for a top ten placing and would have been disappointed if we hadn't got it, and Apache did his bit and we came 8th! He performed exactly as I had hoped and did a good dressage test for him and a lovely clear cross country round inside the time - in fact we won a prize for the best cross country round of the day because we were closest to the optimum time. We then had two show jumps down on the final day which was not a problem as the majority had fences down, it was a tough track, in fact I think Oliver Townend was the only one of the Brits to have just one pole down - all the rest of us had at least two!"

"He came home fit and well having earned me a few extra points towards the HSBC FEI Classic series - which I am actually leading at the moment! We have now done three of the five events in the series with just Burghley and Pau left to go. Apache is now having a little holiday and the others, Imperial Cavalier, Fernhill Urco and Kings Temptress have had a nice break after their three day events in the spring and had their first run at Salperton where they all did good dressage and jumped double clears. This was a prep run for their next big events which are Barbury CIC*** for Tess and Urco and then Aachen CIC*** for Imperial Cavalier. Aaachen is a big event in Germany; I have been once before and am really excited to go again. This weekend it is a slight change as I am grooming for my daughter Emily at Glanusk where she is doing the CCI* National Junior Championships, it is also a selection trial for the Europeans, fingers crossed for her!"