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Although this year’s eventing season is now over, if you want to get an upper hand on your performance in 2019, you need to start working on it well in advance.

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

1. Make a plan. Work back from your main goal, for example a CCI*, 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 early in the winter 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…

Starter cross-country event

Date: 17 November
Venue: Field House, Staffordshire
Details: “These are smaller arena events aimed at encouraging the more inexperienced horse/rider combinations. The competition will be run on the main outdoor arena and will include a mixture of showjumps and portable cross-country fences, the water and steps will be included. Heights range from 60-70cm and 80-90cm.”
Enter now

Unaffiliated dressage

Date: 17 November
Venue: Tumpy Green Equestrian Centre, Gloucestershire
Details: “This is an open event, suitable for all ages. Classes range from intro to elementary.”
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Jump & go

Date: 17 November
Venue: High Plains Equestrian Centre, Riding Mill
Details: “This very popular, fun event is a great way to experience showjumping without having to wait around hours for different classes. It is a cross between a lesson and a competition as help and guidance is given by BHS accredited professional coach Julie Howard. Each session lasts approximately 1.5hours (max one session/two heights per rider). Competitors warm up in groups of between four and six riders, then jump the first course and jump-off if clear. Then the course is raised and the same thing happens at the next height. The results are calculated at the end of the day when all groups have finished and rosettes are posted out. These rounds also act as qualifiers for the 2019 UK Riders Series. Heights range from 55-65cm up to 85-95cm.”
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Unaffiliated dressage

Date: 18 November
Venue: Mullacott Event Centre, Ilfracombe
Details: “This competition features classes ranging from intro to elementary.”
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Extreme power X show

Date: 18 November
Venue: Inchcoonans Competition & Livery Yard, Errol
Details: “This competition features a round of showjumps before a course of rustic fences, with an optimum time allocated for each class. An optional joker fence will also be included on each course. Heights range from 30cm poles on the ground/cross poles up to 95cm.”
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Eventers’ combined training

Date: 20 November
Venue: Kings Sedgemoor Equestrian Centre, near Bridgwater
Details: “This event has the option to compete in the combined training or just dressage. Tests range from BE91 p to pick your own and jumps range from  70cm to 1m+.”
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Marie Ryan clinic

Date: 22 November
Venue: Lincomb Equestrian, Stourport On Severn
Details: “This clinic is with international event rider Marie Ryan. There are dressage, showjumping and cross-country sessions available.”
Enter now

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