Event rider and freelance journalist Arabella Clegg catches up with fellow eventer Chelsea Pearce.
1. How has the 2017 season been for you?
“It’s been a busy year up to date, juggling my A-levels as well as competing my three event horses. The highlights of the event season have to be finishing fourth at the young rider final trial at Houghton Hall on my top horse Albert VI, who then went on to finish seventh in the CCI two star at Hartpury. We finished our season by completing our first advanced together at Little Downham earlier this month”.
“Djakota EB is a horse we’ve owned since a five year old, he is now eight and stepping up to the intermediate level in preparation for contesting the young rider trials next year. His best results this season were winning the open novice at Smiths Lawn, followed by finishing second in a large one star section at Bicton”
“We bought Kilnaboy Buffet from Austria just over two years ago, he is very exciting and completes my trio of horses of who will all contest trials in the next two years with the aim of team selection on one of them”.
2. What is your favourite event of the calendar year?
“It has to be Barbury, firstly it’s very local to me which gives it that extra special feel when it’s a ‘home’ event.
Its viewing is just amazing, so for family and owners to come and watch it’s ideal. Being an international event it has a great atmosphere and since I was on ponies it was always the one to aim for as it held the final pony trial”.
3. Main challenges this current year and plans for the winter;
“I’ll be training at home all over the winter. Since completing my A-levels at Stonar school where I have been a weekly boarder throughout I am now available to ride full time. Previously I would be at school all week and Mum and Danielle, who helps us, would exercise the horses Monday-Thursday and I would come back on a Friday and train, then generally compete on the weekend”.
“I train with Annabel Scimgeour on the flat, we have a great relationship as I have known Annabel since my pony days so we have been working together for around four years now”.
“This year has been about organisation, something that has been a great challenge for me. I’d be learning dressage tests on the way to events and swapping to revision and homework on the way home!”
“I’m really looking forward to spending this next season on my gap year, being able to ride a lot more, before starting University to study Business Management”.
4. How have you kept your horses fit and healthy to compete at this level?
“I have a sand arena and a grass dressage arena to do my daily training and I am very fortunate with my situation which allows for us to use the brilliant hills that surround to work on the horses stamina by doing more endurance work, as well as keeping them interested with a change of scenery throughout the week. In the lead up to a three day we will box to Manton to use the gallops at Barbury Castle” "I am extremely lucky to have two Haygain HG 2000 steamers on the yard at home, so the horses are fed steamed hay/haylage at every meal time. I also use the HG GO for when I am away at events or training camp, therefore there routine of steamed hay/haylage remains the same wherever we are.
I first started using the steamers when I had a pony that had a respiratory problem, I haven’t looked back since and the efficiency of the machines is out of this world”.
5. Explain a typical day on your yard
“The horses are fed at 7am, we then get the mucking out and general yard jobs done by 8am.
I like to be on my first horse around 8.30am and will aim to be finished riding by 12.30pm.
The horses will then have the afternoon out in the field.
We will do afternoon stables between 15.00pm and 16.00pm and final checks and feed are usually 20.00pm”.
6. How as a rider do you keep fit?
“I love going on runs, but other than that I go to a personal trainer once a week to work on my core and muscular endurance. I do my cardiovascular work in the gym at home the rest of the week”.
7. What’s top of your Christmas list?
“An HGV lorry. We have a 7.5tonne that I am lucky Mum drives but I am looking to get my HGV licence so that we can get a slightly bigger box in the future”.
8. What got you in to eventing?
“I started showing from an early age, up until 2011. I was a member of the Tedworth pony club and got the bug for eventing through my time there.
My Grandmother was a jockey and Mum groomed for Nick Skelton. When I was young Mum had racehorses, so I’ve always been around horses”.
9. If you could ride any horse from any discipline who would it be?
10. Would either your Mum or Danielle say you have any particular OCD ‘issues’?
I don’t like the tack room being left untidy.
Keep up to date with Chelsea's progress by following her on Facebook.