Lucinda Fredericks’ eventing blog

By: Horse Deals

Lucinda Fredericks’ eventing blog
Lucinda Fredericks’ eventing blog

Those of you who went to Badminton may have seen me ride Brit in a ceremony to mark her official retirement from top level eventing. She was one of an age-defying trio making their last appearance there and although I’m biased, she and her companions – Caroline Powell’s Lenamore and Paul Tapner’s Inonothing – looked absolutely brilliant.

Brit has made quite it quite clear that she doesn’t intend to be a lady of leisure! She loves her jumping in the arena and is pinging like a rubber ball. She’s so special to me and I know she still needs and enjoys a suitably active and stimulating regime, so I’ll be doing all I can to keep her happy.

I’m considering whether to compete her in the Express Eventing series. I almost feel that I should say I’m considering whether to let her compete in it, as I know she’d enjoy it; last year, when I won the opening leg on Flying Finish at London’s ExCel arena, I knew the course would have been right up her street. I’ll definitely be doing some hunter trials with her later in the year, alongside Ellie and her New Forest pony, and Ellie is also able to ride Brit at home.

Several people suggested that it would have been a great idea if Brit’s first embryo transfer foals, Little Britannia and Britannia’s Mail, could also have been in the arena during the Badminton ceremony. I’d thought the same, because they’re both doing so well in their careers it would have showcased British breeding, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.

Britannia’s Mail – Marley – has already started to do his bit for British breeding. As I write, he has six mares to his name, all proven in their own right, which is pretty good going for a five-year-old stallion. He and Little Britannia – Millie – are finding their work so easy it’s time for them to take a step up. It’s never a decision to make lightly, as you have to make sure horses are confident in what you’re asking them to tackle without them being either blasé about the height of the fences or overfaced.

As I write, I still have a few aches after my fall at Tweseldown in March, but I’m back competing and feeling confident. I went back to Tweseldown and had to jump the fence where it all happened, but I’m glad I did. It’s another tick in the box and hopefully, I’m now heading for Luhmuhlen.

I had hoped to take Prada to Luhmuhlen, but unfortunately she pulled a muscle between her hindlegs when galloping at home, so it will be down to Flying Finish. It’s so frustrating and a typical Prada thing to do! We had a fabulous team training session and she finished fine and full of running, then managed to do this.

Life’s full on and I’m even more grateful for the support I’m getting from my team at Rosegarth, my owners and my Australian team mates. My senior groom, Emz (Emily Young-Jamieson) is making her own eventing career whilst remaining an essential member of the Rosegarth girl power team and her partnership with John and Elizabeth Allsop’s Nysa de Petra is blooming.

I couldn’t wish for better owners than the ones I have and it’s so lovely to know they trust my judgement. When I suggested to John and Elizabeth that Emz would be the perfect ride for Nysa de Petra at this stage of the mare’s career they were happy for her to take over and they’re having a lot of pleasure seeing them do well. The fact that Emz has more horses to ride inevitably puts more pressure on my wonderful yard manager, Jackie Hoon. Jackie’s a superb organiser and manages to sort us all out – in particular, me!

I have a new young horse, Pro Bono, to bring on. He’s a six-year-old and started his career in pure dressage, but has come to Rosegarth to see if he’ll make the switch to eventing. I’m already impressed, so will enjoy seeing how he progresses. When I’m assessing young horses, I look for trainability as well as ability. You can do a lot to make more of a horse’s natural paces, but nothing beats having a good brain coupled with athleticism.
Come to think of it, those are pretty good attributes for riders, too!