My name is Alice Haynes, I am 27 and based in the heart of horse racing in Newmarket, Suffolk. I have a pre-training racing yard which helps fund my expensive hobby of eventing, and this year I am your 2019 H&H Badminton Mitsubishi Motors Cup blogger.
I have three horses, (all grey) varying from the new kid on the block, Freddie who is a four-year-old, Hyacint DHI, a seven-year-old competing at novice/CCI2-S, hoping to step up to intermediate later this year; and finally Murph (Slieve Rushen Frank), the fabulous six-year-old Connermara pony who has qualified for the Mitsubishi Motors Cup at Badminton in the 100 class in around a month’s time (30 April-1 May).
I broke him in as a three-year-old and produced him — he even went novice at the end of last year. He has serious potential and I wish I was a kid again as he would be the dream FEI pony. The phrase ‘not all heroes wear capes’ definitely apply to this pony, although I’m sure a cape would suit him!
There is no better feeling going into a fence knowing even if we are slightly wrong, it is like he says ‘don’t worry mum, I’ve got this!’
Murph stepped up to BE100 level at Horseheath last year, where he produced a double clear and we got our regional final qualification for Badminton. He spent the rest of the year doing five-year-old classes and then went to Weston Park for our regional final attempt, where we finished second and qualified.
At the beginning of each year I set goals for myself and each of the horses. Qualifying for the Mitsubishi Motors Cup was one of my aims last year, and I was thrilled to have done so as it was my last opportunity as I intended to take Hyacint up the levels over the next few years (you have to wait 10 years after your final intermediate run before you can have another go at riding at the Mitsubishi Motors Cup).
I train with Carolyn Watson, who is great for flat work, and also Sharon Hunt, with the odd grilling from Caroline Moore (please see clips from last week in my video). But to be honest, the less work for Murph the better as he likes to be fresh and being based in Newmarket gives me no excuse not to have him flea fit!
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My intentions/dream is to be writing a blog in five year’s time as I prepare for my first ‘real’ Badminton! But we will make the most of the experience of this year as a first-timer rider, so please follow my journey for a look at my daily life and how we prepare for the big day and look out for us and cheer us along — you won’t miss a 14.2hh who thinks he is a lot bigger and a jockey who I’m sure will be grinning from ear to ear. Then all I need to do is continue to dream for five years!
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