Casey Mckenna: The season so far

Lovely write up in Horse & Hound for Lisa Waller’s Komelian.

It’s been quite a difficult season so far for everyone who is eventing with the total extremes in weather. The year started with such wet weather, lots of events were cancelled and those that did run had very tricky ground to compete on. I know I withdrew from the odd run as I didn’t feel the ground was good enough for my horses. The event organisers and their teams do a fantastic job with preparing the courses, but I feel even if an event is running, it’s up to you as a rider to decide if it’s the right ground to run on for your horse.

Typically, we now have the opposite problem – it’s so dry and hard everywhere, the poor organisers are frantically watering and spiking the ground to try and make it fit to run on. I know most the events are doing a great job with the ground but never the less, you still need to do what’s best for your horses and only run if you think it’s fit too.

The highs and lows of eventing

The year started well with all the horses working really positively at home and I was very happy with how the early runs went. I was quite lucky that most my runs went ahead, and the ground was good enough to compete. The young horses jumped some double clears and were learning lots about what it is to be an eventer. I was really happy with how my older horse KEC Salza was coming along and felt we were really forming a partnership this year – we were really looking forward to gaining our 3* qualifications.

Unfortunately, KEC Salza and one of my lovely young horses have picked up slight injuries and we have decided to give them the rest of the season to recuperate. I’m sad to say this is the trouble with the sport! We use the best vets, physiotherapists and farriers, as well as being very careful with how we train them to try and keep them in the best possible condition, but unfortunately injuries do happen.

Horses are great levellers and you have to make the most of any small achievements you have. It’s amazing how one minute you feel like you’re flying and the next you’ve hit the ground with a thud!

Looking ahead

Very successful trip to Codham Park Equestrian with Issy and her horse Zsuzso winning the PSG PYO. Great Pre Regional preparation!

Although it’s very disappointing that we have had a couple of setbacks, the focus is now on all the lovely young horses we have in the yard. Some are with us for short term backing and training, but others are long term prospects that are coming along very nicely.

We have a new addition owned by Mr and Mrs Brace who is an 8yo gelding by Primitive Proposal. His name is Primitive Night or ‘Nige’ to his friends. So far, he’s had a couple of runs at BE90 with me and has won at Keysoe and Stratford Hills. We are going to continue his training this year ground permitting!

Madik and McCarthy Mor are coming along very well and will be doing some training shows very soon along with some of the other youngsters. We will also be heading to Keysoe Regional Dressage Championships with Issy and her horse Zsuzso this month for the PSG qualifier.

Another new addition to my workload is my membership at the local leisure centre! I decided I wanted to be fitter and stronger so I’m swimming twice a week and in the gym three times. The tricky thing is at 6’3”, I can’t afford to bulk up or the poor horses won’t be able to carry me! I’ve been given a training plan and hopefully by my next blog, I will be starting to see a difference. Wish me luck!

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