Speaking post-event, Jayden says he’s very happy to be back competing at his home base, “It’s always nice to have everyone here and to see the facility being used to its potential during competitions… it makes it fun for us at the stables! I’m pretty happy with all the horses; they hit the mark as I was hoping they would. There were no surprises really – it’s nice if you can mostly do what you do at home in the competition ring.
“Quincy, he just keeps getting better. It’s pretty nice to ride him and he’s just one of those special horses that you don’t get very often. I started riding him when he was three, so I’ve known him for a long time now. We’ve got that partnership, so I know when to go for a bit more and when to back off. He’s a good reflection of the training that I want to be able to do on all of the horses; he’s as good a reflection of that as I can create.”
Jayden is excited about the future with this special horse: “He’s looking like he’ll be as good at Grand Prix as he is at Small Tour. I’ll just keep chipping away at building strength and polishing things off. Hopefully next year it’ll be the Big Tour and we’ll see what he can do.”
For Sky Diamond, Dressage by the Sea marked a return to the competition arena after a lengthy spell due to injury. “He’s still a bit unfit. Two months ago, I was still just trotting him up and down the gallop track in straight lines. It’s been a bit of an effort to get him back in work, but all continuing as it is now, it’s looking like he’s back and will just keep getting better.” It was the stallion’s first competition since his Grand Prix debut at DWTS last year, and although there were some mistakes, Jayden feels there is a lot to build on.
“I think he’s got everything there. He has some pretty wild one-time changes at times, which came out in the Grand Prix. They can be very good, or very bad. With a bit more time, they’ll become more reliable and under control. He’s just got to find his feet a bit,” explains Jayden.
Like Mary, Jayden will head to DWTS this month – and performances there will help guide his plans for the team moving forward. “It’ll depend on how the horses are scoring and how the young horses go. I’d quite like to qualify some horses for the World Young Horse Championship this year, now that we can travel a little bit easier.” Jayden is no stranger to riding overseas; in the past, he has worked and trained in some illustrious stables, none more so than the famous Mt St John in England where he rode, competed and trained with Emile Faurie.
On the truck for DWTS is Sky Diamond in the Grand Prix, Quincy in the Small Tour, Fangio in the Seven-Year-Old, Tito in the Six-Year-Old, and Miana in the Five-Year-Old. “If we think they’re good enough, and confident enough in their work, we might look at that. But at the moment, I think we’ll do DJWTS and then it’ll be time to make some decisions.”