Gloucestershire-based showjumper Joe Fernyhough is one of the brightest young talents on the national circuit right now, but even the likes of Ben Maher and Scott Brash need a bit of extra help occasionally and 20-year-old Joe has enlisted none other than dressage gold medallist Charlotte Dujardin to help with one of his home-breds.
His nine-year-old Calcourt Particle was having a few issues with his rideability and, through the use of some family connections, Joe secured a lesson with the reigning Olympic champion recently, revealing that she’d been “really helpful” in helping the pair make progress.
“Charlotte lives in the area and my mum [Ali Fernyhough, 2014 national dressage champion and former show rider] used to go for lessons with her when she was doing dressage – and obviously Charlotte did showing before turning to dressage,” Joe told H&H.
“Calcourt Particle is the only horse that’s a bit difficult just with the rideability. The jump is fantastic – that’s not an issue at all – but getting to and from the fences was, and to be competitive at that level he has to be a bit more rideable, so he’s one I’ve taken to Charlotte for some help with.”
Charlotte went back to basics with Joe and his chestnut, who jumped the 1.55m International Stairway at South Of England last weekend (13 June).
“Charlotte’s tough but brilliant,” enthused Joe. “She was realistic and sensible and a thoroughly knowledgeable horse person. She said there was no physical reason why he [Calcourt Particle] can’t do what I need him to do, so she worked on doing very basic things but just to a very high standard.
“Most jumping horses can do the dressage moves – we can use them as a nice training aid – but for this horse it’s about enforcing basic things on the contact.”
Joe added: “She was really helpful and I’d love to go to her again, but she’s obviously very busy! But the horse is definitely going in the right direction now.”
Calcourt Particle is one of several top class horses bred and produced by the Fernyhough family with the Calcourt prefix. Joe is currently aiming for Royal Windsor Horse Show in a couple of weeks, where he’ll be contesting the under-25 national class on Sunday, 4 July.
“My dad [Rowland Fernyhough] actually won the grand prix there and the Olympic Trial, so it would be great to add my name to some of the silverware too!” said Joe.
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