The horse with a huge personality, Merlin has always been a great leveller. He’s my Dad’s trusted hunter and I first evented him in 2013 at an unaffiliated 90cm event at Elmwood. My size was no match to his strength but he looked after me beautifully. We finished in the top 10 giving me the confidence to take him to his first BE event the following spring. Together we scored an impressive 247.9 penalty points, in the days where you could fall off, catch your horse and continue round the cross country with the clock still ticking.
Undeterred, four days later we were out again for the BE90 at Milton Keynes. We finished on our dressage score of 30.5, coming 3rd and earning a place at a Mitsubishi Grassroots Regional Final. He continued to perform well all summer, I worked hard on his dressage and we had high hopes for qualifying for Badminton. However the Regional Final was at the end of September, soon after Autumn hunting started. Merlin wanted to make it clear where his priorities lay. He acted like a 3 legged donkey in the dressage, demolished several showjumps and finished last in his section.
Our next major outing was for the British Riding Clubs National Championships where he was substituted in at the last minute. It was a long format event, with a roads and tracks section and a little steeplechase course. He was in his element. He won the Individual title and helped the team to 1st Place.