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Simon Grieve’s eventing blog: some devastating news

I think there is a myth that professional riders don’t get attached to their horses because they are just a number. I can safely say that this theory is 100% untrue, certainly in my case after the past few weeks! We lost Douglas (pictured at Bramham earlier this year) recently and the experience has hit home to me how much I care about each of the horses that I ride. He was a wonderful horse and has left a huge void in the yard.

Keeping myself busy has been an important way of getting on, although it’s amazing how doing most things remind me of him because he was such a fundamental part of my day to day life.

We’ve been showjumping, which I love and there are some fantastic venues in the BS (British Showjumping) calendar that we have been to recently. Onley Grounds is turning out to be a fantastic competition centre, not only is the main indoor arena a brilliant size, but the canteen and viewing facilities are great — I’m looking forward to going there more this winter. Splash (Drumbilla Metro) finished second in the Foxhunter last week and the others jumped super rounds putting a smile back on my face — horses are such a great tonic sometimes; the ultimate leveller.

I felt very privileged to be invited to a Caroline Moore lecture demo as a guinea pig. I’ve known Caroline for a very long time now and she’s a great mate. It was brilliant fun and she is an asset to have on the floor — her training techniques and ideas always seem to be one step ahead of everyone else and her enthusiasm is infectious, which is what sets her apart as a trainer. It was a super fun and informative evening.

Taking part in the British Horse Society’s charity race at Newbury last month has been a highlight of 2018 for me. A Flat race over one mile was a wonderful experience. I enjoyed it so much that I’m wondering why I never became a jockey being the right size and with plenty of enthusiasm, but sadly I think I’m a bit too old and chunky these days! It was such a cool experience going behind the scenes in the weighing and changing rooms and getting a feel of what these amazing athletes experience.

On Cockney Boy at Newbury

Cockney Boy, my ride was travelling really well in second place up until about three furlongs out, but then ran out of steam which was a shame, but I loved every second — even though I’m not the best loser!

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My mum and dad came to watch which was amazing, and added to that, my partner James made an appearance too, made it a wonderful day with some of my favourite people! Talking of favourite people, fellow event Louise Harwood enjoyed it too, especially as she beat me, but we are trying to come up with our next challenge, so any suggestions are welcome.

Amazingly some of the horses are back in work already after their holidays, so I’ll keep you posted about our fun and games in the next few weeks.

Simon

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