Amateur showjumper Lesley Ross, 29, is heading to Horse of the Year Show next week (8-12 October) with her 17-year-old mare Princess for the bronze league championship final
I am Lesley Ross, a 29-year-old amateur showjumper living in Aberdeen, Scotland. Together with my horse Pereusa (Princess) I’m Horse of the Year Show-bound next week to compete in the bronze league championship final on Wednesday 8 October.
Princess is a 17-year-old grade B KWPN mare by Concorde who I’ve owned her for just over a year and she is the ultimate schoolmaster.
I have a full-time job in the oil industry — I send guys offshore UK and worldwide — and manage the horses around my work. Although it’s mostly managing my work around my horses!
It’s the week before HOYS and I finish work today (Friday 3 October) for a week so it’s been pretty full on in the office.
My employer Plexus Ocean Systems have been great and really supported me this year. Without them, I wouldn’t be getting ready for the most exciting challenge of my life so far.
I was pro-active and had my lorry serviced a couple of weeks ago so it’s back home and ready for the 440-mile journey from Aberdeen to Birmingham.
I haven’t driven that far before and think we might leave in the middle of the night on Monday to beat traffic and try and get an easy drive down. That should be easier for Princess too.
We can get into our stables at the NEC from 11am onwards on Tuesday, so it will be good to get Princess settled and maybe get out for a ride in the outdoor warm-up later on to see what she makes of it all.
I think she will enjoy the atmosphere, but I want to make sure she’s chilled, relaxed and happy after her long journey.
She’s been fully clipped out now so hopefully she’s is feeling as good as she looks.
I still feel like I have a heap to do. I got all my shavings, haylage and feed supplies this weekend and I’m organised with sitters for my dogs and my other horse — Princess’s best friend Bob — but I still feel like I’m a bit unorganised. I’m so worried I will forget something important!
I’ve been riding Princess at home every night after work and since we qualified at Bishop Burton I haven’t jumped her as I wanted to keep her fresh for HOYS. But I took her out to our last show up here in Aberdeen at the weekend and she was a wee star and won her class — I just hope we can keep it up.
I’m a bit nervous as I have never competed at HOYS before. Last year I went down to spectate — I never thought one year on I would be jumping there. I got to meet Guy Williams last year which was great. He is a speed king so maybe he can give me some tips!
It’s very exciting and everyone has been so good wishing us luck and counting down the days. It’s great fun and has helped me in the run up.
My family are flying down to Birmingham on Tuesday and my friend is flying in from Switzerland to watch me too. I won’t see them until after I’ve jumped which is maybe a good thing as I just want to absolutely focus and try to do the best I can. I have every faith in Princess, she’s amazing and she tries so hard — but I just hope it goes well on the day.