2016 has been a bit of a whirlwind year! It was my first year on horses, and initially I didn’t expect much to happen but thanks to a very special, “ginger,” horse I’ve had some amazing experiences over the year. It all kicked off with Addington High Profile in January. This was one of my first premier leagues at Junior FEI level and it went really well! Thanks to some consistent results early on in the season, Tango and I were selected to compete at Keysoe CDI. We really gelled as a partnership that week, coming 3rd, 2nd and 4th respectively in the team, individual and freestyle tests. We were then called up to compete for GB in the Nation’s Cup team at CDIO Saumur, my favourite show abroad! I had the most fantastic time there, improving on my scores from Keysoe, despite some expensive mistakes. To top it off, it only rained properly on one day out of the 6 that we were there for and great performances by my team mates meant that we finished 4th in the CDIOJ Nations Cup. Tango was amazing to deal with all week, both to groom and ride and it really made me appreciate what a special horse he is. After that, it was time to focus on preparing for my AS Exams. Once the majority of those were over, I had a squad training session at Hartpury in June, where I felt Tango and I really stepped up a gear. This showed at Wellington Premier League in late June, where we won the Junior Team test on a PB of 70%.
Following this, I was shortlisted for the European team and after a final team camp, selected to compete for GB in Oliva Nova, Spain. The Europeans was a fun week, at a beautiful venue and in baking heat, and even though it didn’t go to plan in the arena, I really enjoyed myself. Tango and I just seemed to be on totally different wavelengths in our tests, and I let him down through my lack of preparation at times, leading to some expensive mistakes. Looking back on it, I know that I could have done better but hindsight is a fine thing; what I’m aiming to do now is learn from the experience and improve for the future, which is looking very exciting! Una (Nibeley Union Hit) is feeling amazing at the moment and we’ve almost finished our regional qualification at Medium Gold, scoring 75.15% and 71.97% in our first two affiliated outings together. Tango has now been sold and his new owner has already been getting some great results with him. I will always be immensely grateful to the Fearis’ for the year I had riding him, he was the perfect step up onto horses, and has prepared me for the big step up onto the new member of the team, Jimmy (Lochwood). Jimmy arrived recently; we bought him from Ruth Edge, who competed him at the National’s this year, and finished 2nd in the Medium Gold to Charlotte Dujardin, no pressure! He’s 7, and quite green so I’m going to take it slowly and work hard with him over the winter, with our debut tentatively planned for early 2017.
None of the past year would have been possible without all the people who support me. My trainer Caron Roberts and my parents are always behind me, and my sponsors and followers are all a massive support too, so, ‘Thank you!’
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