Writing a blog recently has been pretty hard! I can categorically say that nothing has really gone to plan this spring, I may as well be honest and tell you all, as I have nothing to hide!
After an amazing time away in Vilamoura Portugal with my Showjumping Hat on, winning my first international Showjumping classes, it was time to crack on with the event season. The focus was on preparing for Badminton with Arctic Soul (Spike) and Pamero 4 (Pee), both horses feeling on fantastic form at their first event. Things then started to then go wrong, with my gorgeous Billy Shania sustaining a very serious injury at Belton on the Friday (she is now having babies!) and then myself having a horrid fall off Pamero 4 on the Sunday. I was very lucky and managed somehow not to break anything, but was very sore and bruised. It meant all the horses missed their next run at South of England, but I managed to get back for Burnham Market where I had 6 horses and 6 good runs including the two Badminton boys. Phew! Things looking up.
Then, 10 days later the amazing Pamero sustained an injury that would rule him out for the season. Lots of TLC happening for both these gorgeous ponies – Pee and Shania. This sport is very tough sometimes and when our gorgeous precious horses get injured I find it very hard. I love them all and all they do for me, my team and their owners and it’s so upsetting when they are injured.
Onto Badminton with Arctic Soul - the main man. I was not feeling at my most confident or physically fit but knowing I’m sat on one of the best horses in the world gave me confidence. He was his usual epic self on the Saturday and jumped around a serious track. I will admit that he was extremely strong, so we wasted time setting up for the fences, but his jumping was just so amazing as always. We still finished in the top 20 which is the 5th time in a row he has not only completed Badminton but finished in the top 20. What a horse he is. 💙🐎
Onto Chatsworth ERM with the amazing Quicklook (who won her preparation event on a 15 dressage!), and other younger horses. This is one of my absolute favourites and I was so looking forward to competing Pebbles in the first leg of the amazing Event Rider Masters series, we have kept her back especially for this event and her loyal owners were also very excited. Then..... It rained and rained and rained..... NOT Pebbles weather or ground! We did our dressage, which was absolutely nowhere near as good as we had hoped - she hated the ground and her normal floating was basically a floundering version through the mud! Not ideal for a princess unicorn pony! I then showjumped my other two lovely 4*S horses the following morning in very tricky holding conditions and after much deliberation and a sleepless night it was decided we would not run Pebbles at all. She owes us nothing and is precious to me and my team and to run her fast, on ground she would hate, having done what she’s done for us was just not an option. At least now I know I have her for the next one. One thing I’ve learned over the years is there is always another day. Piggy French, the amazing Badminton winner said to me “Gems you never regret not running but if you run and she goes wrong you will regret it forever”. Wise words from someone who has suffered the same bad patches before. I have a huge amount of respect for her and was just so happy to see her win the biggest prize in our sport - she so deserved it.
I had a fantastic run on new ride owned by long term loyal owners Chris and Lisa Stone’s Jalapeño. It was our first 4*S together and we finished 9th. Excited for the future with her. I’m taking each day as it comes and focus on my own fitness now I’m feeling stronger again. Huge thank you to my incredible team, family, owners and friends who support me always and my Boyfriend who has put up with a few tears. 🙈
Gem 🐎 🦄