I can’t believe quite how quickly the last few months have passed for me personally. I got married the week before Christmas, all those months of planning and the big day came and went in a flash. It was straight off to Ireland for Christmas and then a month back at work before heading off to Tanzania on honeymoon. I arrived back to a 30-degree temperature difference and the chaos that ensued with the arrival of “white stuff”. We never get snow in Devon, so it was quite a treat for me, but disappointing for all involved that the first events of the season had to be abandoned across the country.

Now I am back to normality (or some form of it), my attention is shifting to plans for the cross country tracks at Nunney for this season. With the event running in June, it will no doubt come around very quickly, so I am planning my preliminary site visit this week. I plan to have a good walk and get a feel for any changes I want to make to the 2017 tracks. I was really pleased with how well the courses rode in the opposite direction, so I plan to run in this direction again.

I have an idea in my head what I would like to do at the main water complex but want to look at the small water crossing that the CIC2* & Intermediate use and change this. I plan on adding a ‘C’ element to the bounce/step down on these tracks and have some ideas what I will do at the last combination on the track. I’m not sharing these yet, as I want to see the site again, walk the ground and ride through it in my mind.

The courses will be designed to flow and encourage positive riding at all levels. I want the questions to be obvious to the horses, with nothing to trick them. Balance and correct training will be key requirements across the board, as will the ability to react quickly.

I very much enjoyed watching the tracks ride in 2017 and am looking forward to seeing horse & rider combinations attack my tracks in 2018.