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Written by Arabella Clegg
1. How has the 2017 competition year been for you?
It’s been a very good year so far. I’ve been part of three winning nations’ cup teams; in Poland, Dublin and Calgary. On top of this there were wins at Bolesworth and Hickstead as well as top placings in five star grand prixs at Hickstead, Lyon and Dublin.
2. What is your favourite competition or venue?
It has got to be Aachen with its amazing atmosphere. As well as always attracting the top riders and to top it off there is always super jumping.
3. What has been the main challenge this current year and what are your winter plans?
Firstly, it is to keep all the horses in peak condition and fitness to allow longevity and the ability to stay on the road for as long a career as possible. Each horse has a competition plan, so it is paramount that we stick to this as much as you can with horses, therefore the aim is for every horse to peak at their designated shows. We’ll go to Geneva with a few and all the other horses will go to Wellington, Florida to jump over there.
4. How do you keep your horses fit and healthy to compete at this level?
Every horse is monitored carefully for its individual needs, one main factor is that the horses are given time, whether it be for maturity, strength or recovery. Everything is about the horses, we have a fantastic team of dedicated and hard working staff. As well as this it is the vet, farrier etc. I like to keep the horses interested and happy.
5. Explain a typical day in the life of the horses on your yard…
In the build up to the show it is a fairly systematic routine. I like to start riding fairly early in the morning. The horses will then have a lovely groom as well as either a massage or spend some time in the equine spa, on the treadmill. In the afternoon they’ll go out for a pick of grass or walker or lunge, dependent on their fitness and or show plan. This is to make sure they are out of their stable two or three times a day.
6. How as a rider do you keep yourself fit?
I’ll go to the gym between three and five times a week as well as doing a pilates session a few times weekly also.
7. What got you in to show jumping?
Both parents were prominent horse people in California, so it’s always been in the blood.
My father was a member of the Bronze medal team for Eventing in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics and my mother was a top hunter rider as well as running a yard for over 25 years where I grew up.
8. Your mains for 2018 are?
It has to be the World Equestrian Games in which I’ll be aiming to get there with Ohlala.
9. What was your last holiday destination?
It wasn’t particularly exotic, but I had a break in Cornwall. As well as two days in Italy.
10. If you hadn’t gone in to show jumping, what do you think you would have done instead?
I would have been some form of teacher I reckon. I love it and therefore can see myself having gone down that route.