Arctic Soul fact file
Owners: The Soul Syndicate
Rider: Gemma Tattersall
Age: 11 (foaled 2003)
Country of birth: Ireland
Dam: Dream Cocktail
Damsire: Roi Danzig
Previous career: racehorse, started four times without notable success
British Eventing (BE) points: 525
First BE event: Burgie, June 2009, with Nicky Roncoroni — he finished 11th with a 32 dressage and 9.2 time-faults across country
First BE event with Gemma Tattersall: Tweseldown, March 2012 — he won with a 26 dressage and four time-faults across country
Best four-star result: fifth Burghley 2014
Number of BE career wins: six
Number of FEI wins: one, Balcarres CCI2* 2012
Number of 2014 starts: 10 (three withdrawn before cross-country)
Number of 2014 top 10 finishes: five
Number of occasions when he had cross-country jumping penalties in 2014: one — he was eliminated at Badminton for jumping the wrong side of a flag in Huntsman’s Close
Gemma’s thoughts about Arctic Soul
Gemma on his dressage: “At home he’s lovely, but when he gets to an event he’s actually crazy. Elodie Frost [Gemma’s yard manager] does nothing else but walk him up and down all day — she spent the whole day at Badminton walking up and down the shute because he was so scared.
“He certainly takes a bit of calming influence from all of us — me, Elodie and my mum [Marcelle]. We all do some calming of Arctic Soul — he’s got a typical thoroughbred racehorse brain and wants to run, so he has to learn that he has to do dressage and stay on the bit.
“But he’s very genuine and he wants to do it right. He just gets worried about the atmosphere, but he’s really starting to learn that it’s not so bad and hopefully he will start to settle in that phase.
Gemma on his cross-country: “He’s incredibly straight and scopey, and we’ve got an amazing partnership. His gallop is in another league to anything I’ve ever ridden in my life — it’s like driving a Ferrari.”
Gemma on his showjumping: “I’ve done a lot of jumping him through lots of different types of stuff at home and we’ve taken him out showjumping. I like going showjumping, so he goes on the truck and we go and jump two rounds of showjumping.
“We always go to Hickstead twice a year and I think that helps the horses and myself immensely because you have the atmosphere there and you jump in different rings. You have to take yourself a little bit out of your comfort zone and jump a couple of bigger classes. If you jump a 1.30m at Hickstead in the jump-off it’s 1.40m, so that makes you think. I think sometimes it’s great to take us event riders out of our comfort zone in that phase.”
Read the full interview with Gemma Tattersall in the November issue of Eventing magazine, out Saturday, 18 October.