Monday, 17 December 2007

Annie has a swollen leg

Unfortunately we couldn't compete on Sunday, as I discovered that morning that her leg had swollen up over night. She is sound, thankfully, however she is now enjoying (or not!) cold hosing and a few days of rest to help the swelling go down. Hopefully it will clear in a couple of days and she will be back to her usual tricks!

I let her play in the school for a while on Sunday to stretch her legs, and roll around in the sand!

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Prelim 7 at Addington!

Apologies for the quality of the picture - as you can see it was really dark and the weather was awful! A huge thanks to Dad for sticking with me all morning and still persevering to take pictures despite the elements!

On Saturday I fulfilled my ambition of riding at Addington Manor, but we didn't just compete - we got placed! We finished 8th out of 34 entries on a score of 61% which was a fantastic result, despite the awful weather. Unfortunately Annie found the arena's at Addington rather spooky, and as a result didn't work at her best. Torrential rain, gusty winds blowing through the giant conifers and lorries arriving and leaving directly next to our test arena didn't lend themselves to a very focused Annie! I am pleased to get this Addington debut under my belt, and next time hopefully Annie won't be quite so spooked by the place. Fingers crossed for better weather too!

Next weekend we are competing at Prelim 7 and a Prix Caprilli indoors, thank goodness!

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Show jumping training

Despite our competition today being cancelled due to gale force winds, we still persevered with our training session with John Mears on the 1st December. We focused on some gymnastic jumping, improving Annie's reaction times as she had to be very fast with her feet and also working towards that illusive 'independent seat', which is slowly but surely beginning to make an appearance. The weather was terrible - to give you an idea of how wet I was, those breeches were light grey when I put them on! Needless to say I spent the following few hours tucked up in bed drying up and thawing out!
It is a shame I couldn't get out to compete today and practise the techniques John had taught me, but fingers crossed for next weekend instead!

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Dressage win at Bury Farm EC

Winning our class at Bury Farm

Annie's second ever dressage outing was another great success, completing two tests with glowing judges reports, despite my ear infection successfully making me feel queezy throughout!

Test 1 was PC level D, which we completed with a score of 69% - an improvement on our score of 64% from the 4th November and a huge success considering this was only our second competition at this level.
As a bonus, this good score ended up winning us the class! Hooray! Our first dressage placing, and it was a 1st! This proved a fitting end to that level of dressage, as we now move onwards and upwards to the dizzy heights of Prelim.
The second test was Prelim 7, not the simplest test for a debut at Prelim level but what better way to learn thatn throw yourselves in at the deep end! Annie performed brilliantly, and tried her heart out. We finished on a score of 62% placing us 11th in the class. The judges comments were very supportive and complimentary, and an audience member wanted to adopt me so she could take Annie and I home... which was nice (I think!), if a little creepy!

Craig and I getting Annie ready to head home after our tests - notice our new landy?!

Annie is currently enjoying a couple of well deserved days off to frolic in the field and generally rub herself in the mud, before we go back to the drawing board and analyse our Prelim performance. We will be completing Prelim 7 again on the 8th December at the very grand and slightly daunting Addington Manor EC, and we are hoping to improve on our score by 5%. Depending on whether we are ready by then to attempt some more difficult movements, we might also be competing in a Prelim 12 class. Prior this however we are due to do some showjumping on the 2nd December at MKEC in Hanslope - weather depending.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

A little about us

This is a blog to keep everyone updated on my British Eventing training, competition results and plans for the 2008 season.

I train at our home yard, Tilbrook Farm in Bow Brickhill, Buckinghamshire during the week and compete at the weekends supported by my dedicated team of helpers - my long suffering partner Craig, along with Mum and Dad. My dedicated dressage coach is BHSII SM Alison Kenward (, for showjumping and cross country training I use the talents of both John Mears BHSII and Esther Evans BHSAI ( I have recently signed a 2008 sponsorship deal with public relations agency, Friday's Media Group (, and would like to thank them for their continued support and backing into 2008.

My talented mare Animation (Annie) is currently being prepared for her first BE season, having previously had a highly successful career as a professional showjumper. She is a 17 hand Belgian warmblood mare with bucket loads of attitude and courage. She loves to compete and has a peculiar addiction to pears, and my peanut butter sandwiches! In her spare time she likes to chew through fences, squeal at her friends and play football. If you ever come to visit her, she is always partial to a few extra strong mints.