Firstly a big thank you to the BSHA for organising this super opportunity for amateur competitors.
I am very excited to have qualified with my new horse, Cob-A-Doodle-Do.
I didn’t show when there was Wembley, never made it to Olympia, so had my sights set on The London International Horse Show.
It really is a dream come true to have qualified and to know I will be riding there.
Ross had been very light shown by Jo Bates in 2019 and been out of work for 9 months, when I purchased him in April from Valerie Hosegood, (thanks to my friend Suzanne Pine, who put an advert on Facebook to help me find a horse, without me knowing).
My own showing had ground to a halt, with a knee operation, covid, my maxi retiring and then being unwell most of the beginning of this year, I was really lacking horse power and finding Ross has been sheer luck.
Ross was just what I needed to get going again. A safe 10 year old with low mileage. We both were eligible for this series and I set my sights on qualifying.
He’s been a complete superstar and even though I was completely taken by surprise, that I had to do a show at Hanbury (note to self read the schedule more carefully), he performed beautifully and literally didn’t put a foot wrong. The game was given away by the judge not wearing her riding things, when I had to overcome panic and quickly think of what I was going to do. How does a figure of eight suddenly become so complicated!
It was wonderful to qualify at such a lovely show. Hanbury is the type of old fashioned show that you don’t see so much anymore.
It reminded me of the shows I used to go to as a child, when I was very keen on jumping. In fact it was the type of show my father had last seen me ride at, until he was roped in to come along and groom for me.
Knowing that he hadn’t seen me in the ring for at least 30 years spurred me on and made qualifying and being champion even more special.
I have lots of things to work on before the final and the judge gave such helpful feedback to everyone, making this series not only fun but very productive for the amateur competitor.
I hear the hospitality is second to none at the LIHS and we look forward to not only competing in December, but having a great time socially as well.