My Burghley winner – a story of generosity

I have absolutely loved The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. I have loved the horses, the riders, the fashion (see previous blog where I got weirdly into fashion!), the incredible course and I have loved the coverage. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it to the event but have so enjoyed the various coverage – particularly the different TV interviews, call it research on my mission to be the next Claire Balding!

The story that hit me the most was not about Oliver Townsend’s win but instead was about Andrew Nicholson. Now, I am no eventing eficianado; I know the key players though and know some of Andrew Nicholson’s story. And through the Burghley coverage, I was struck by the frequent reference to Andrew and his guidance and support of other riders. I think I loved this the most.

So many young riders mentioned how Andrew is always willing to share knowledge, discuss what lines are best on the cross country and things that he could arguably keep to himself. But this generosity is so inspiring – that he has the confidence in himself to share what he knows and maintain the self belief that he can still be the best. A tricky balance surely in any competitive sport? This sets the tone for being good enough, plain and simple. Not needing others to not go well in order for you to win. Maybe being good enough even without the win? (A topic for another blog I think)

It made me think of someone very special to me – Kirsty Fudge. She shares this beautiful, generous spirit.

bride, wedding, friendship
With Kirsty on her wedding day. Now Payton not Fudge.

Kirsty Fudge is one of my best friends and yet we competed against each other for years. She and her whole family have always been so generous and supportive – in all seriousness, they have done more for me than even they will ever know. The top picture in this blog, if you can look past the beautiful face of Floyd, you will see Kirsty with her lovely horse Pip and her wonderful mum!

This is one of the things I love about horses and the horse world. So many life lessons and some great people if you keep your eyes peeled for them.

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1 comment

  1. There are some fabulous people in the horsey world!
    I compete (little local dressage comps!!!) against friends: we practice together, get ready together, warm up together and yes, we’re competing against each other, but we all help each other with it.
    I think we all agree that we’re not actually competing against each other, but doing it for ourselves, to see how well we and our horse can do on the day. If it doesn’t go to plan, but our friend smashes it, we are delighted for them, and tomorrow is another day for us.
    I’ve had a testing few months with my boy lately, but my horsey friends have been brilliant (I don’t think they realise how much!) and we’re back on track and loving it all again, ready to keep moving forward with our work and helping others out where we can.

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