Sophie Jenman’s first Badminton Horse Trials: our last major run at Belton

  • Another week closer to the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials and all is well with team Jenman!

    Geronimo (Al) and I have just had our last major run before Badminton at Belton Horse Trials, doing the CIC3*. Under Gill Watson’s watchful eye, All’s dressage continues to improve and I am pleased to say he scored 51.

    Showjumping is normally Al’s strongest phase, but we had an uncharacteristic 3 down, I feel I rushed him to get the tight time. But the lesson I learnt is to shave the corners without spoiling the quality of his canter.

    The cross-country was a great course to get my eye in for some bigger fences and the going was fabulous. Al was on good form and ate up the huge fences (above), but we did have a silly glance-off as I was not riding forwards to part b of 1 complex, which was a triple brush skinny.

    A bit more background

    Having told you all about Al last week, I’ll now give you a bit more info about myself and my set-up.

    I am 22 years old and live with my parents in Rochester, Kent. I run a livery yard with my mother with 19 liveries, plus 5 of our own; no staff so mum and I work hard! But we do have some very helpful liveries who help us when I’m away competing.

    Alongside running the livery yard, we have horses sent to us to be broken in, schooled or to be sold. I find I am teaching more these days and if that wasn’t enough, I work in the local pub 3 times a week.

    Sophie Jenman with her first pony, FollyEventing is in my blood, my mum competed to CCI4* level. I was riding before I could walk and got my first pony before I was 2 (Folly, pictured right).

    School wasn’t for me and I was more than happy to leave at 16 and went to work as a working pupil for Lucy Wiegersma for 14 months. It was a very beneficial experience; I learnt a lot and rode some amazing horses. It was great fun and I made some fabulous friends, one of whom is Hannah Chase who will be grooming for me at Badminton. I left Lucy’s in 2009 and have been working from home ever since.

    Sophie Jenman's familyMy family are very supportive and will all be there willing me on at Badminton. Pictured left are my boyfriend Giles Fouracre, me, mum (Kay), my sister Pippa, who is at Exeter university, and my dad (Mike).

    Training wise, mum is generally the eyes on the ground, but since 2011 when I met Gill Waston through the young rider squad I have been having lessons with her. I try to have a lesson once a month with Gill as she really understands Al like no one else. He can be tricky on the flat but she knows how to persuade him to give his best and she is often at the big events and helps me warm up (pictured below right at Belton).

    Gill Watson warming Sophie Jenman up at Belton 2014I also had some very worthwhile training over the winter when I went away for a couple of weeks to Tim and Jonelle Price and 1 week at William Fott-Pitt’s yard.

    This weekend I am at South of England, so will fill you in on my other rides next week.


    Full Belton report in H&H this week, out Thursday, 10 April.

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