Stick or not to stick, that is the question


Tomorrow, I shall be getting up super early and heading to Addington Manor for the Sports Horse Breeding and British Show Horse Association joint Judges assessment day. I was so excited to have been accepted although now the nerves are kicking in a bit. I love judging and I am good at it but am I good enough for the top people who will be assessing me? The people who have judged me, who I have aspired to be and now who I need to impress and potentially, confidently stand beside in the ring in the future. And then there […]

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The Sporting Mind – an evening with AP McCoy, Victoria Pendleton and Clare Balding


It is rare when you attend a talk because you love the interviewer rather than the interviewee but it was the case when I went to “The Sporting Mind – a select audience with Sir Anthony McCoy and Victoria Pendleton. Hosted by Clare Balding.”I love Clare and literally would do anything to have her job. She hosted the evening superbly, controlled the interview in such a way that we got the most from it, lots was covered but it didn’t feel rushed or forced, she actually listened to the guests and reacted to what they said….. ok you get the […]

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I’m going to be ok


Firstly, thank you to everyone who reads my blog. It started a year and a half ago as a little fun focus but it’s actually inspired me, challenged me and on this occasion maybe saved me a little bit. I wrote about my horsey confidence meltdown. The support, encouragement and advice I received was truly overwhelming. People from all over the world read it, friends and total strangers wrote about their experiences and with their ideas and cheered me on. It was, as I said, quite overwhelming.  Life is tough and I realise we should all surround ourselves with cheerleaders. […]

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No advice, no lessons – just honesty


Most of my blogs are designed to be informative or to teach something or are just hoping to make people smile or think. This one however, is just from the heart and honest. I have gone through a pretty tough time of late, as my first ever blog explained but even since then things haven’t been great. I have been very lost, confused and unhappy.  So, Jack came along, a beautiful, kind, talented horse and the Mother bought him. I know she missed having a horse but I also know she was looking to make me smile again. Seeing your […]

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The FEI has let us down at Rio


Over the last few weeks, we have seen the top athletes in the World competing in Rio. So many moments to make everyone proud. But watching the showjumping the other day – my favourite event – I was left angry and disappointed. Not by Team GB – they did not have luck on their side but John Whitaker’s first round was pure class and I will most certainly be cheering on Nick Skelton and Ben Maher tomorrow. But the abuse of horses that was seen and the reaction of the FEI has left me in shock. Riding is so much […]

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Making a tough decision, putting your horse first


The headlines read “Rider Adelinde Cornelisse quits Rio 2016 after horse falls ill” , “Dutch dressage rider quits Rio Olympics to save sick horse.” With a silver at London 2012, she was certainly more than just a contender, she was one of the favourites but then an infected insect bite stopped her Olympic gold hopes. The papers all played the dramatic card but I like her report. The facts of what happened, ending with this:  “When I entered I already felt he was giving his utmost and being the fighter he is, he never gives up… But in order to […]

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Not good enough


A few years ago, I had someone call about a pony I had for sale. We chatted for a while and then she said “He sounds amazing but he is too good for me.” I was confused by this. Was he too much money? Was he unsafe? No, she just didn’t think she could do him justice. At the time, I was confused and just didn’t get it. So if you can afford an Aston Martin – why don’t you buy one? New boy Jack is something really special –  his breeding suggests he could jump around Badminton and he […]

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Right horse, wrong time


In April last year, I went to a show at Addington. Purely for a day out as I missed riding, my old pony friends and general show-ness. I remember it being a fun day – I ended up helping at the gate for the workers, the Mother bought a yummy picnic including pimms, I saw some friends I hadn’t seen for ages and I also saw Jack. Now, I didn’t know his name was Jack at the time, he was just a stunning chestnut beast looking across the showground like he owned the place.  It was like Darcy looking at […]

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Marks system – good or bad?


I am normally a fan of Simon Reynolds’ column – saying it how it is, not scared to be a bit controversial, bringing up current topics. But this week, discussing the marks system in showing and I have to object.I agree with him when it comes to “the same old rumblings” – it does seem to be a continual debate, seemingly as endless as the EU referendum. But I disagree that marks are a bad idea. Simon says (excuse the pun!) “Putting marks on paper leaves judges open to scrutiny” – Yes it does. When you stand in a ring […]

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A Side Saddle taster


At the age of 12, I had only ridden a very small amount of times but I went for a lesson with Betty Skelton because I loved the idea of riding side saddle. I did not know Mrs S so had no warning of what I had in store. I should have guessed from the fact she was in her 80s, carried water buckets around and drove at a million miles an hour that I was in for an experience. In my lesson, I was walking, trotting and cantering (quite something for a nervous newbie), she then threw my mum […]

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