I will never forget the year at the Royal International Horse Show (RIHS) when my mother was persuaded to pay the most extortionate price so that my sister could have her fortune told.
The woman began by stating a few facts, just to prove her validity as a fortune-teller: “You’re a rider” (Susie was dressed in full hat, gloves and boots), and: “Your pony has an Irish connection” (true, but most have). Anyway, my intensely naïve sister was entranced and, wide-eyed, awaited her fate which was typically: “You are going to have a big win very soon”.
After much squealing and excitement, Susie was invited to pick a magical gem from a bowl (which to the untrained eye could easily have been mistaken as a bowl of common gravel, but trust me when I say that the contents were magical) which would supposedly give her the luck she needed for this ‘big win’ and allow her to fulfil this superb prophecy.
Back to camp she came, proudly displaying this life-changing thing of power and planning how she would frame the blue sash she was to win the next day. This, as you can imagine, was received with great hilarity. But although everyone warned her to manage her expectations, on the basis that every child in the class possessed an identical magic gem, Susie had no ears for it.
You can probably see where this story is going by now and, sure enough, the next day Susie won (pictured top winning the supreme at the RIHS this year on Boss), all because of this wretched stone. In fact, despite being very successful before having acquired it, every win she has had since that day has obviously been solely down to its wonderful powers.
I have to confess that I’m not immune to such beliefs myself. Only this year I have had to switch back to my old, very small jacket and ditch my beautiful, brand new, made to measure one, because I can just tell it isn’t lucky. How else would you explain a very prosperous year and then suddenly, just as the new jacket comes, being repeatedly second without a win for what feels like weeks on end? Coincidence? I think not.
My mother, thankfully, is completely on my side for this one, and will gladly let me wear my lucky jacket. Quite frankly it would be hypocritical for her not to be as someone who has a whole outfit especially for when she wants a win, regardless of the time of year. The ensemble consists of a white shirt, blue jumper and a now holey blue skirt with red and white stripes, which is more commonly referred to as the ‘lampshade’ by those who have the pleasure of seeing it regularly.
Clothing, I believe, is a crucial part of good luck. My friend Rapha Redfern, who can be found on the showjumping circuit, was telling me how she once made the grave error of wearing a pair of purple knickers rather than her usual white ones, which naturally had disastrous consequences. She was unable to get her horse so much as near a fence until she had changed back to her white ones, and he then jumped a perfect round. But it goes further! For now, if she says “purple knickers” as a rival’s pony is coming to a fence, she swears that they will have it down (although this trick is used sparingly, for fear of it wearing off).
Like this? You might also enjoy reading these:
And so the moral of the story is that for goodness sake do not disregard superstitions as a myth, because honestly, they are paramount for your success (and I am not saying this light-heartedly). And if anyone has any suggestions as to how to transfer luck from one jacket to another, would you very kindly get in touch?