One of the highlights of the Irish eventing calendar is Tattersalls Intenational Horse Trials, my preparation for it started months ago in the cold and wet winter. Everything went fairly well and I was lucky to have three horses going to Tatts: Mister Brightside and Camee in the CCIJ* and Rioghan Rua in the CCI2* Under 25.
Having competed with the younger horses at Killossery on Sunday, Monday was a very busy day for me as the horses had to be ridden and washed for the next day and the lorry had to be packed. Packing for an international event is difficult and even more so when you are riding three but luckily I have my family to help so I can focus on preparing the horses.
We left for Tatts on Tuesday morning after a final check to make sure nothing was left behind. I was very happy with how all three horses were working on the run up to the event. They all performed well at their last event and my lessons with Heike Holstein had gone very well the week before. Once we reached Tatts on Tuesday it was a very busy week from then on with trot up for the CCIJ* that day.
Trot up is always a nervous time, in case something goes wrong, but thankfully all my horses passed inspection with flying colours and looked in great condition thanks to the nutritional advice from Connolly’s RED MILLS and Foran Equine. All of my horses are on Horse Care 10 and Pro Am Prep and all receive both Refuel and Pro Am Boost over the course of the weekend.
Tuesday and Wednesday were spent settling the horses and getting them used to their new surroundings. It also gave me a chance to walk the cross country course and to see what challenges lay ahead. Thursday was dressage day for the CCIJ* and both Mister Brightside and Camee went really well so I was very happy with both of them, lying 3rdand 5th after dressage. Friday was very busy for me as I had cross country with both CCIJ* and Dressage with Rioghan Rua.
The cross country was well designed but also very challenging in places. My first horse out was Mister Brightside and apart from a few sticky moments we made it home within the time, after a quick change of horse I was out again with Camee who gave me a great ride and came home clear with 0.8 time penalties which I was very happy with as it was his first ever 3 day event.
After cross country I settled the two horses and checked them over with the help from my father and my sister Regina whom without their help and support it would not be possible for me to compete, the after care of the horses is just as important as the preparation. Rioghan Rua’s dressage was is in the main arena, which is always nice to ride in. Her test was very good and I was really happy with how her movements flowed.
Saturday was an early morning start with two to get ready for the CCIJ* trot up, which both passed with no problems. Then after a quick change of gear I got on Rioghan Rua for her cross country phase. She cruised out of the start and jumped the first part of the course with ease, unfortunately we had trouble at fence 16 so we decided to call it a day and thankfully she came away with no injury or after effects.
After a short break and a course walk it was time for showjumping for the CCIJ*, Camee was my first to jump and with 16 faults we finished in 17th. Next was Mister Brightside who jumped well with just 4 faults to finish 3rd. A very special part of any event is the prize giving ceremony and I was very honoured to receive the David Foster Memorial Trophy as I was the highest placed Irish Junior rider.
As I was not competing Sunday I used my time to catch up with some of my current sponsors and I also made some new contacts which I hope to have a very long working relationship with. With Tatts over for another year we headed home in the hope to return next year to this brilliant event.
- Cathal Daniels
- Tattersalls International Horse Trials