Hickstead has been a busy week for us at Trevor Breen's. It started off on a sad note when we had to have Caroline's (Trevor's wife) horse that she competed young riders on put down. He was a star and loved by everyone on the yard. The week had started with such a downer that it had to only get better.
Heather and I, with the help of working pupil Maddie, headed off to Hickstead in two trips on Wednesday with the trucks being full of 13 horses, 4 trunks, a lot of sacks of feed and hay for the horses, as well as bags full of clothes, rugs and tack. We were well loaded and ready for a week of action.
Addy (Adventure De Kannan) owned by Karen Swan and Keith Barry, jumped round the derby trial on Friday easy, but just having a few fences, as after all this was his first show back since Portugal in February jumping fences up to 1.60. He seemed ready. He had a minor injury which we had been slowly monitoring and planning out his preparation for the derby on a day to day routine.
All had gone to plan so far until Saturday afternoon whilst Trevor was exercising, Addy got kicked by a horse with studs in! This could have been the end of our dream and plans for Addy and all the time and preparations we have put in in the last few months. However after spending most of the night icing and walking him as well as using lasers and massage pads to keep the swelling down and the blood flowing, he walked out perfect the next morning. This was the morning of the famous Derby!
It has got to have been the most nerve wracking class I have ever watched Addy jump. And he never fails to amaze me. This horse is as brave and bold as they can be and he just made it look like a walk in the park. It has to be my proudest moment as a groom and one I will never forget it. Trevor and Addy came out as the well deserved Hickstead Derby Winner 2014 and it was a very emotional day for all of us involved. A very tiring week with such amazing outcomes. He is the horse of a life time and it makes my job amazing to be working with such amazing animals with all the ability and love in the world.
For a groom it is vital the horses are at their best and ready to perform. This is where I am a huge supporter of the Likit Electro-bars. Every one of our horses has two squares up to 40mins after exercise to replace any lost salts. It was something our feed sponsors, Connolly's Red Mills had taught us. If the salts are not replaced within this time and they have to have access to water, it can take up to two days for them to be back at peak energy and performance levels. So it is crucial that at this level of our sport keep then on form. It is the best and easiest way to feed this product and the horses enjoy it too. So for me as a groom, I could not live without this product.
And just to add the horses love having a Likit refill at the end of a successful day in praise of their hard work. They just love them!
A massive thumbs up from us at Breen Sport Horses.
Photos Courtesy of Rachael Bannister Photography