Amateur showjumper Lesley Ross shares her experience of jumping in the bronze league championship final at HOYS — and the dream moment of coming up through the tunnel into the main arena
It hit me at about 10pm the night before our class that I was actually at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) and jumping in the morning (8 October). I had so many lovely messages and calls from friends and family — it was quite overwhelming. But I managed to get a good sleep and was up early to feed Princess and muck out.
We were drawn second to go which wasn’t ideal. However we warmed up and the weather was dry. Princess was feeling good and very alert. I walked the course and there didn’t seem to be anything obvious that Princess wouldn’t like. Thankfully she’s not too spooky.
It was a dream moment coming up through the tunnel into the main arena. We set off at a good pace and Princess was very keen. She felt amazing! There was a water tray at fence four (pictured right) and she didn’t even bat an eyelid at it — awesome.
We came to fence seven, planks on the corner up beside the hospitality seats, and she must have just breathed as she went over them. I thought she had just rubbed them, but unfortunately they fell.
It was such a shame for Princess as she didn’t deserve it at all. The rest of our round was absolutely perfect and I couldn’t have asked anything more of my horse.
She was a star. I was gutted for Princess more than anything. She got us there and we were able to experience everything HOYS has to offer — I cannot thank her enough.
After some prosecco with friends and family on Wednesday, a lot of shopping and watching the international classes in the evening, we got home safe and sound on Thursday night.
Poor Princess was super tired, but she’s been out in the field and is glad to be home. I’m disappointed it’s all over, but I will treasure the experience forever.