After her horse of a lifetime suffered a fall while eventing, Beth Hutchinson thought her days of competition were over — until she discovered the world of veteran showing.
This season, Beth, who works as an operations manager for a pharmaceutical manufacturer, is set to compete her 19-year-old bay gelding Tamiros (Tam) at the Olympia International Horse Show in the SSADL ridden championship next week (16-22 December).
“I Bought Tam as a potential eventer when he was a five-year-old,” says Beth. “He has the breeding for the job as he’s by the showjumping sire Voltaire, but when he arrived he was wild and spent most of his life on his hind legs. Despite this, he was the most talented horse I had ever ridden.”
After some work at home the pair successfully competed at elementary dressage, in showjumping and at British Eventing novice level. That was until Tam took a crashing rotational fall at Kelsall Hill at the last fence after jumping the “novice round of his life.”
“Tam not only lost his confidence but sustained an injury to his suspensory ligament, which never left him and this ultimately resulted in retirement aged 13,” continues Beth.
“I was heartbroken to know I would never ride him again so I reluctantly turned him out and sold all his tack. He just hated retired life.
“Miraculously, after about three years at grass, he suddenly appeared sound in the field. This was when someone told me about veteran showing. Being a stunning looking horse I brought Tam in from the field and gave it a bash. He immediately qualified for the Veteran Horse Society championships in-hand. We took the job a little more seriously from then on.”
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In 2017, Beth risked getting back on board and qualified for the championships again in the ridden finals, achieving top 10 finishes at the champinships.
“This year we turned to chasing an elusive Olympia ticket,” says Beth. “I almost gave up after winning many classes but being piped in the championships. After standing reserve in the penultimate qualifier in September, I found there was one last chance in Scotland. The following week we went to Ingliston where Tam seemed to rise to the occasion and gained the championship and qualification.
“I hope our story might give others hope and persuade them not to give up!”
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