Olympia is such a special show, and it was great to go this year as a spectator. It was a brilliant excuse to do some promotional work for my sponsors Noble Outfitters, Equisafety and Omega Equine, who had stands there – I did a spot of meeting and greeting as well as being a shop assistant…briefly!
Together with my other sponsors, Flex-on and Bed Down Horse Bedding, they’re all really exciting brands. Not only do they have super products, but such driven and refreshing people behind them too – I really enjoy being a part of each brand’s journey, watching them grow and getting excited about their plans and products.
I got to watch some jumping too and it was wonderful that Splash’s owners, Merna and Catherine had a win with the horse they have with William Whittaker, Lammy Beach – my claim to fame is that I won a 1.30m class on him once… admittedly with only four in it, but I don’t tell anyone that part.
As we gallop our way in to 2019, it wouldn’t be right to not look back on the year that was. Riding Splash clear round Badminton has got to be one of the absolute highlights (in fact of my life) – galloping over the finish line, realising in that breathtaking moment that we were clear and hugging anyone who came near in the following hour gave me a whole new understanding of the phrase ‘living the dream’. Not only that, but cruising round Blenheim with Freddie and Vinnie as well as two memorable rides at Bramham with Douglas and Ed have made 2018 a year to remember.
It is inevitable in eventing though, that despite amazing highs, there will always be lows. Losing Douglas has got to be the lowest point – each horse here is first and foremost my friend, ahead of any working relationship, which makes his passing all the more difficult. I miss him.
There is so much more to an event yard than the rider and horses. The staff that keep the show on the road and the band of professionals, farriers, physios, vets etc are an integral part of any success and I am so grateful to all of them for the continued hard work they all inject in to my little dream.
For me, without the owners of my horses I simply would not be doing what I do. I have some of the kindest, most generous and supportive people behind me with some absolutely gorgeous horses. With age comes experience and I am more than aware of how lucky I am to be riding for this lovely lot.
Simon has some terrible news to share with us
Simon and Splash have completed Badminton with a clear cross-country and are starting to think about the next big ‘B’...
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Thinking outside my bubble, I am thrilled for Ros Canter. She is (always has been) outstanding, and equally as humble – I have hoped for her success for many years and as a result, her win at the World Games was so, so thrilling.
I also am really pleased to see Piggy [French] back where she belongs at the top of the sport… another unassuming (and it has to be said incredibly kind) young lady with so much talent, who has pulled herself back from some pretty tough times to be stronger than ever.
Anyway, I hope you have had a great Christmas and I’m looking forward to keeping you up to date as we head in to 2019. I hope it’s a good one for each and every one of you as well as my own team. Thank you for reading and following my journey, I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride!
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