Holme Grove Merlin , Chestnut Gelding by Holme Grove Solomon out of St Pr u Pr St Holme Grove Marcella born 1994

On 22 Jan 2012, at 19:59, "Debby Lush" wrote:

Hello Susan,

Thought you might like to know that HG Merlin is sparkling again! He had his coffin joints mediated in October and he’s back to his old cheeky, enthusiastic self, and really enjoying his competing again.

He gained 63% in a Grand Prix in November, and today he tried his first Grand Prix Special at the Addington High Profile Show and scored a respectable 62.5%, even with 3 small mistakes.

At 17, going on 18, he’s still improving and I think we’re looking at a great fun year to come.

I love him to bits.

All best,

Debby Lush


Email received 24th January 2008
Re: Holme Grove Merlin - Update

Hi Susan (and team) 

It has been ages  (about 13 months) since my my last rabid rantings about Merlin.

Following the mixed fortunes, highs & lows of last years sunshine tour things have been very quiet around here. After a well deserved rest Merlin seemed to develop a reparatory noise.

There followed some medication and recuperation and he got back to health. He then had to get back into regular work and to get back to his previous level of fitness and suppleness before we could start to challenge him again. Even if he had been in a position to compete in this years sunshine (small) tour there is no way we could fund another trip so soon! (Who knows what next year will bring maybe the BIG tour? …. Lets see

In the meantime, Debby (Merlins chief pilot) has written a book about equitation training which features a lot of pictures of Merlin. (I always knew he would be a media star!)

For info please see http://www.debbylush.co.uk/  where you can also see more stuff about the sunshine tour exploits.

Tonight (24 Jan 2008) Merlin and Debby entered their first competition in absolutely ages.

At an unaffiliated competition at the Royal Leisure (Henfield)  they won  the GP class with 63.96 % Team Merlin, (HG Merlin Debby and Nikki) are back!

When the weather gets nicer I should be able to send you some more pictures of them doing their stuff.

Hope all is well with you and keeping fingers crossed for all your “babies”

Mick & Nikki 

Photos from Sunshine tour taken by Mike Green -

Email received 25th March 2007
Re: Merlin - Manners Supplementary


Merlin continues to impress us! After a 3 day lorry trip he had a munch in his stable before walking quietly & like a perfect gentleman to the turnout field, no pulling or barging. Once released in the field he exploded into a turbo nutter, cart wheeling, hand standing gymnast doing a supersonic  work out. I wish I had taken the camera.

Regards      Mick

Email received 23rd March 2007
Re: Merlin is Back


I just thought I would let you know that Merlin has arrived safe and sound.

We had been told that he would not arrive until Saturday as there had been a significant snowfall in Spain on the way home!

The team moving him (from Parkers) were very complementary on his nature and behaviour.

As ever Merlin is happy provided he gets attention or food!

We are pleased to have him home, its back to reality with the arrival of the bills!

The attached picture is from the local Spanish photographer.

Thanks for your encouragement and the messages of support.


Email received 18th March 2007
Re: Not such Brilliant Update!


I just had a call from Nikki, and even though the final is still ongoing it sounds like Merlin went to a St Patricks day party  and had a bit of a hangover!

He really did not want to play and he thought that the music was way too LOUD. 

Any position better than 15/15 would be a result…. Oh well;  we are still chuffed to bits that they made the final. Overall they seem to have had a fantastic time. Unfortunately the prospect of sleety showers and work on Tuesday are looming on the horizon.

Merlin will leave Spain on Tuesday and we hope to have him back at the yard on Friday.

If I get any “better” news regarding the final position I will pass it on.

Thanks for everyone’s support and encouragement – the teams achievements show what can be done  on a shoestring budget with vast amounts of effort.

Well done Merlin Debby Nikki and everyone at Ford farm and all other long suffering helpers and contributors, we can all be very proud.

Regards      Mick Green


Email received 16th March 2007
Re: HG Merlin Brilliant Update!


I have just had a very excited call from Nikki. Merlin & Debby have qualified for the final. They had a great last Inter1 of 64.58% and 15/36 this took them into overall 13th position for the small tour Inter1 class.

Considering the class was about 40+ horses we are absolutely delighted.

The final consists of a Kur (musical freestyle – I think!) Debby is very good in this class but if the judges don’t like your music it does not seem to matter how well the horse goes!

They will be competing on Sunday AM so remember to think positive thoughts then.

Apparently David Trott who was visiting the show said how nice and compliant Merlin is. Obviously the result of good breeding and patient & skilful training.  

Regards      Mick Green

Email received 15th March 2007


The latest PSG  did not start too well as Merlin had a coughing fit down the centre line! Oooops

He still managed 62.xx%  but 21 out of 37 we are all hoping that the Inter1 on Friday will be better.

We are still thrilled with the way that Debby and Merlin have performed in their first international event.

Regards      Mick Green

Text Message 12th March 2007

HG Merlin 61.47%  18/40

Email received 11th March 2007

This is the second time I tried to send you this info! We found an internet cafe, but as an experienced telecomms engineer I failed to understand how to use this system!
Merlin and Debby got 61.XX % in their 2nd Inter1  they are currently 14th with a few more to go. So out of a field of 41 we are hoping for a top half finish. Please keep everything crossed.
I am leaving Spain and these marvellous conditions in the morning so any "Jinx" effect should leave with me.
We are very pleased with the way both Merlin and Debby have taken everything in their stride.
I will edit the zillion photos I took and send you some soon!
All the best from Mick Nikki Debby Merlin and Kim (the "wizard away team")

Text Message from Mick Friday 9th March 2007

HG Merlin PSG 61.?% 27th out of 47.  Wierd marking but some nice pics

Susan, (Sun 04 March)

I have just received news from the 1st Inter1 class. They came  a splendid 11th out of 34 with 64.33% (The Spanish judge had them in 5th place!) They sound fairly pleased with themselves!  I think that out of all competitions in this class they are awarded points for their relative position. I understand that the 15 with the highest points in each class qualify for the finals.

Please keep all fingers/hooves crossed that their work will continue to get these results.

I think they get a day off tomorrow so whilst Merlin will be chilling Nikki & Debby are off on a sherry tour. I wonder who will drive?

Regards      Mick Green

E-mails received 1st & 2nd March 2007

Re: Proper result!!


I just had a call  from a happy team to tell me that Merlin & Debby were 19th out of 41 in the PSG class .

So the target of about 63% and top half has been achieved. Apparently they were only a few marks below some serious competition, so we are now hopeful that without  course errors we can do pretty well. I have not been told what the next target is! I will keep you posted. 

I believe that the result was very close to Linda Hoad who is a previous winner of the Smalltour.


Re: Stage  nearly!

Susan (and all at Holmegrove)

We now have a bit of real news! I say a bit because the PSG class that Merlin has competed in today (01 March) has got another 20+ competitors tomorrow!

So far he is lying 9th out  20.  He and Debby  achieved 62.67% despite a spook induced error of course! We found out that this PSG class does not contribute to the overall competition (I am sure Nikki or Debby will correct any inaccuracies in my info) so this is like a useful dress rehearsal. Nikki said Merlin is looking magnificent (despite some horrid midge bites) and completely at home in this illustrious company.

I hope to let you know their final position tomorrow PM

I have attached an old picture  but I am hoping to get some nice sunny shots from Spain next week. (fingers crossed)

Regards      Mick Green

E-mail received 28th February 2007

Re: Merlin Stage 2 update!


You may be pleased to hear that Merlin has now passed the trot up and vet, which is a relief, (Im not sure that everyone passed)
Apparently he was sandwiched between a couple of Spanish stallions but he did not seem to have a care in the world!
The only thing bothering him seem to be the flys and midges. His tummy has now got some flybite lumps. We are on the look out for some industrial strength fly repellant!




Mike Green

E-mail received 21st February 2007

Re: The Wizard has landed!


I am pleased to be able to say that Merlin Nikki & Debby, have all arrived in sunny Spain. Phew - that's stage 0.1 complete!
Apparently he travelled very well although one of the comments from the transport guys was "he does like his food!" He was in good company with some other competitors for the sunshine tour and some race horses going to Mijas
It sounds like the venue is very nice but the organisation is a bit chaotic in a Mediterranean way.
I await text messages and phone calls, if anything of interest occurs I will let you know.



Mike Green

E-mail received 13th February 2007

Re: Merlin Sunshine Tour update

The attached picture is Merlin trying to work in a wet school, not the best preparation for the upcomming Sunshine tour. He is getting good at impersonating 17hh stallions................... look out Spain the wizard is comming.......... with plenty of style, attitude. With a bit of luck they will all have a great time

Having extended the mortgage and sewed a union flag to the numnah the current plan is -

17-18 Feb    Merlin leaves the yard to travel to Spain with a professional crew.
21 Feb        Nikki & Debby fly to Gibraltar - drive to venue - if all goes to plan Merlin should arrive at the venue at a similar time!

                        Settle in and final practice
Merlin & Debby compete as follows

02 Mar        PSG

04 Mar        Inter1

09 Mar        PSG

11 Mar        Inter1

14 Mar        PSG

16 Mar        Inter1

17 Mar        Smalltour final - you never know! however we have seen the list of the other UK competitors let alone our  European colleagues.

If this plan comes together and I manage to get a flight I will send some pictures.
Please keep everything crossed, there is still so much that could prevent this going to plan.
I am sure that if there are errors or changes to the info above Nikki will send an update.

All the best

Regards      Mick Green


E-mail received 30th January 2007

Re: Merlin plans to go International (Sunshine Tour)

Susan (and all at Holmegrove)
There are still hundreds of things that could change but the situation at the moment is that,
Merlin with Nikki & Debby will be competeing in the sunshine tour.
Let me clarify this. Merlin is due to travel by road with a professional transport crew sometime mid Feb.
Nikki & Debby will fly to Gibraltar soon after. Unfortunately due to an FEI rule that a horse can only have one rider during an FEI event Nikki will not be able to compete in any owners class.
Debby intends to ride Merlin in several PSG and Inter 1 classes I will try to confirm dates later.
I may get over for the end of the competition, if I do I will take some snaps which I will pass to you. I will also keep you posted with any news.
As I said at the start there are still many things that could happen but we are starting to believe that Merlin should get to compete internationally pretty soon. Keep all fingers and hooves crossed. 

E-mail received 14th December 2006

Hi hope all is well and that you have a great christmas.
Nikki Merlin and Debby have been busy competing and having lessons with Klaus Balkenhol.
Merlin & Debby did their 1st GP recently at an unaffiliated show. Although it was not perfect  they did very well and got 64.3%. We are hoping to take Merlin on the Sunshine Tour (small tour) in spring 2007. If this happens will he be the first HG horse to compete for Britain abroad? Nikki is very excited as there is an owners class so she might get to compete  Merlin in Spain as well. (Hmmmm Spain in Feb/March sounds good to me) A thousand things could happen before, but if this happens we will be sure to keep you posted. (I may even get some pictures to you)
All the best Mick & Nikki

My reply:-

Hi Mick and Nikki
Wow!  We are so proud of Merlin as he is our first "Holme" bred Grandprix horse!  We are very grateful to you both and of course Debby for putting the time and dedication into Merlin to get him to this level.  We are proud to be his breeders but of course know that their success in competition is very much down to their rider/ owners.
Lets hope he makes it on the Sunshine Tour in 2007 - very exciting.
Congratulations and thank you to you all.
Happy Christmas and here's to great things in 2007 !!
Susan and all at Holme Trakehners


E-mail received 5th May 2006

Just a quick update on Merlin's progress.
Debby took him out to Ardingly yesterday and was joint 2nd in the PSG class on about 65% but actually ended up 3rd as her collectives were lower. However that does mean he has now qualified for the regionals at PSG.
She then did the Inter 1 (not having done one for 6 months) and came second on 65.5% with some lovely comments from the judges. She needs 10 points to get to Nationals at Inter 1 and her success yesterday means she now has 3 points towrads the 10.
Will keep in touch with any further news.

* * *

E-mail 9th June 2004

Re: Holme Grove Merlin continues to Party.

We thought we would let you know that HG Merlin has continued his great work. Nikki took him to a Medium 75 at Hickstead and did fairly well coming 2nd in the restricted section.

He then went to a clinic at the TTT where he performed very well.

Debby Lush then took him to Aldborough Hall today 09/06/04 where he won his first PSG with 63.5%

He is preparing for the PSG Freestyle to music championships at Wellington 16/06/04 so fingers crossed. He is also going to be featured at the TTT gala (04/07/04) in front of Stephen Clarke, Arthur Kottas and Gerd Heuschmann…… expect some more pictures!


Mick & Nikki Green


Very exciting for us as breeders to hear such wonderful news of the success of Holme Grove Merlin yet again. Very many congratulations to you all!


10th June 2004

Extract from Horse & Hound Report on Belmoredean 10th June 2004 page 61
" Debbie Lush and Andrew Gould took turn-about wins int he advanced medium and medium with Holme Grove Merlin and Korenbloem Regel-G respectively.
In the high-scoring advanced medium, both riders scored more than 70% but the win went to Debbie and Nikki Green's Trakehner; in the medium they tied on just under 70% but Andrew won on collective marks."


Email from Mike Green 14 June 04

Susan please see attached picture of Debby Lush (Rider) Merlin (Prodigy) & Nikki Green groom, financier and part time pilot.

This was at Merrist Wood PSG where they achieved 64.6% and were lying 2nd when we left (with some top double acts to follow).



updated by Susan Attew Tuesday, 24 January 2012