Team King - Summer action

Having had a short holiday in June my 3 boys had a little warm up run at Chepstow Horse Trials before heading off to Barbury International the following weekend. Billy and Bobby both performed well in their first ever CIC** with smart dressage tests, and smooth clear XC rounds (but I didn’t push them for the time) with both just being a bit ‘green’ over an into space jump into a quarry. Joey, who is a bit behind the other 2, went well in the Open Novice finishing 5th.

All 3 then went on to compete at Wilton, Billy and Bobby in the intermediate and Joey in his last ever novice, having upgraded to intermediate at Barbury. Bobby came 3rd. Billy was in the lead after the dressage but I decided not to push him fast XC because he had qualified for the British Novice Championships which were the following weekend at Gatcombe, and Joey came 8th.


Sadly for us Gatcombe turned out to be a complete disaster! For the first time ever, in the whole of my 40 years of eventing, I missed my dressage. This was due to an accident on the M5, which turned our 3 hour journey from home to Gatcombe into over 7 hours. We even had a police escort help us past another 2 hours of gridlocked traffic. Unfortunately, we arrived after the dressage for the British Novice Champs had finished, so that was the end of that for Billy and I.


Luckily, I managed to get a late entry into Aston Le Walls a few days later, we were pleased that Billy came 2nd in the intermediate, a slight compensation!


During their summer break the horses have their 6 monthly ‘flu boosters. They are out day and night, except if they are getting too fat they come in for either the night or day to curb their waistline! The only food they have is half a scoop of Baileys balancer. I love them to have no rugs on at all if possible, but if the flies are around they have Bucas flysheets and masks on, or if it is rainy they wear a thin Bucas waterproof rug.


We have had such an exciting time with 4 out of the 5 foals being born, the 5th and final one is due at the beginning of Sept. The recipient (surrogate) mares from the Beaufort Embryo Centre, have all been brilliant mothers. Two foals are Zara x Royaldik, two are Zara x Jaguar Mail, and one is Tess x Cevin Z. Newly born foals need to be checked that they are suckling well, that they pass their first lot of droppings (normally black and sticky), and that their limbs look straight and normal. It is important to check that the mare has passed all of her afterbirth.


We were delighted that 3 foals were born without any hiccups (belonging to Jane Del Missier, Emily’s owner), but one foal (my one… from Tess!) was born with contracted tendons, and the surrogate mare retained some of her afterbirth. They were in the stables for a couple of days, whilst our vet treated the mare, and injected the foal with a drug which helped to relax the tendons. Sure enough, in a couple of days the legs corrected themselves. Both mare and foal are doing well now, thankfully.


I let my goddaughter, Katie Corbin, whose mother Annie had worked for me for 10 years during the ’80/‘90s, name my foal. She chose ‘Kings Belief’, with Barry being his stable name!