Kirstie Leightley’s international showjumping vlog: last show of the year and an exciting first for my favourite mare

Hi everyone,

Welcome to my second blog. Some of you may have seen, but it has been quite an eventful time out here in France, with lots of demonstrations going on which have led to road blocks and some serious traffic jams all across the country. As you can imagine, this has made travelling horses and making plans quite difficult! However, us horsey lot have to be resilient and there has been lots of last-minute changes, but sadly we did have to admit defeat with a few shows as we just couldn’t take the risk of being totally stuck on the roads with horses on board.

We did make it to Rouen with my main girl Thais. In my vlog this week I go through all the show prep we do at home before we head off to competitions. Watching it back made me realise how much we all put in to get to shows, whatever the level, but it is usually always worth it and it was for Thais and I this week.

We had a fab time, getting placed in the 1.45m and, wait for it — also jumped our first Puissance. What an experience! I have to say that big brick wall is quite intimidating when you walk into the ring, especially when you are not on an overly big, typical Puissance type horse. Luckily Thais doesn’t know this and would take on the world if we asked her to, which is a nice feeling when you are approaching a huge obstacle!

She was amazing and went three rounds, which we are all mega pleased with and I can’t wait to give it another shot. This mare just keeps on amazing me with her bravery and scope— I am so lucky to ride her.

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So that is it for us at Team Williams in terms of competitions for 2018 and all the horses will have a bit of break before we hit the road (hopefully!) again in January. It’s been a great season for me, with brilliant highlights with Thais, especially in the Hickstead Speed Derby and this weekend in the Puissance. She’s proved herself to be pretty multi-talented and I can’t wait to see what next year brings.

In the meantime, I will be heading to Olympia next week then catching up with my family in the UK over the festive break — I’m very excited about that, and the turkey!

I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas and I will catch up with all of you in the New Year.

K x

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