Start winning the 2020 eventing season, now: how to hit the ground running

With the 2019 eventing season now all but a distant memory, if you want to get an upper hand on your performance in 2020, you need to start working on it well in advance.

Here’s some helpful pointers on how you can best prepare over the off-season months from New Zealand international event rider, Jesse Campbell (pictured), who has several four- and five-star completions to his name:

1. Make a plan. Work back from your main goal, for example a CCI2-L*, and plan your events and gallops accordingly.

2. Gently build your horse’s fitness using a variety of surfaces when hacking. This helps condition the horse’s body for the upcoming season.

3. If you’re training a new skill (rein back, flying changes etc), then work on this as early as you can so that it is established by the time you need to execute it in competition.

4. Get some lessons. Training with professionals in the winter will not only help improve you, but your trainer will also get to know you and your horse better during this time.

5. Go to some dressage and show jumping competitions. This will help horses relax and as a rider you can try new things without it being the pressure of a British Eventing event.

Now you’ve got that advice in mind, take a look at these pre-eventing season competitions available to enter where you can put this advice into practice…

Arena eventing clinic

Date: 11 January
Venue: Downe Farm Event Centre, Devon
Details: “This clinic is perfect for either first-timers or those preparing for the eventing season ahead. Group sessions are available over heights ranging between 70am and 1m+.”
Enter now

Arena eventing

Date: 11 January
Venue: Beaver Hall, Leek
Details: “This involves a showjumping course followed by a timed cross-country section. The winner will be the horse with the least penalty score, closest to the optimum time. Heights range from 30/45cm with no back rails up to 90/95cm”
Enter now

Introduction to cross-country

Date: 11 January
Venue: Cottingham Equestrian Centre, Cottingham
Details: “Held in our indoor arena, we have a lovely range of working hunter style fences from 50cm upwards. This clinic is specifically centred around riders new to cross-country, and nervous and novice combinations. It is also perfect for green or young horses. Sessions will be help in groups of three riders in one hour slots.”
Enter now

Jeanette Brakewell cross-country clinic

Date: 12 January
Venue: Field House, Staffordshire
Details: “This clinic is one not to miss with the prolific five-star and Championship event rider.”
Enter now

Arena event training

Date: 18 January
Venue: Greenfields of Avondale, Scotland
Details: “This training is offered to either individuals or groups over poles and portable cross-country fences. Suitable for all levels.”
Enter now

Winter one-day event

Date: 26 January
Venue: Tumpy Green Equestrian, Cam
Details: “This event, run on an all-weather surface, offers class from 20-30cm (may be assisted) up to 85cm.”
Enter now

Pre-season three-phase speedy event and combined training

Date: 23 February
Venue: Quainton Stud, Buckinghamshire
Details: “Get ahead of the game this event season with this all-new two-phase (showjumping and cross-country), three-phase (dressage, showjumping and cross-country) and combined training (dressage and showjumping). Dressage and showjumping on all-weather surfaces, with cross-country on well-maintained, great draining grass land with all-weather take-off and landings, including ditches, steps, mounds and a water complex. For the two-phase and three-phase competitions the cross-country course will consist of a minimum of 10 fences.”
Enter now

Visit equo.co.uk for full competition and training listings

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