Road to HOYS: Rider who broke both elbows in fall to still get her dream ride at the NEC

  • Rose Sinclair-James had dreamt of riding at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) for as long as she can remember, and with a stunning new horse to ride, she thought 2021 could be her year.

    However, at the start of the season Rose had a rotational fall across country while out eventing, breaking both her elbows in the process.

    Rose bought her chestnut ladies’ contender Cloneyhea Clancy in October 2019.

    “My mum, Kay, couldn’t come with me to view him over in Ireland so I went alone,” says Rose. “I got to Clancy at 11pm and by midnight I was riding him under the lights. I fell in love with him, we agreed the sale and I made the journey back home to Wales.

    “In the coming days, my house sale fell through, meaning I no longer had the funds to buy my dream horse. My non-horsey grandmother, Sonia, saw how devastated I was, and both her and mum pulled together to ensure Clancy became part of the family.”

    Covid struck and Rose’s plans were put on hold.

    “We used this to our advantage and had fun with no pressure,” she continues. “We started off the 2021 season with great hope, placing well in our first HOYS ladies’ qualifier. Then the weekend after, my world came crashing down, quite literally, when I had the fall with my old event horse.

    “Having never broken a bone in my life, I was shocked and gutted beyond words, and it really got me down. I was so disappointed that I would be losing yet another season with Clancy.”

    At the time, Simon and Natalie Reynolds were producing Rose and Kay’s lightweight hunter Under Attack. Witnessing Rose’s situation, the pair offered to produce Clancy for the rest of the qualifying season.

    “I was completely shell shocked by their offer and couldn’t believe my luck,” says Rose. “Fast forward six weeks, and with the help of the super-talented Faye Ludlow, who very kindly took over the reins in my absence, it happened. They won the HOYS qualifier at Stoneleigh. I had made the 10-hour round trip to watch and it was so, so worth it; it really was the best day with the best people.

    “I really can’t thank Simon, Natalie and Faye enough for all they’ve done for me. They made what had the potential to be the worst year, the absolute best! This will be my first ride at HOYS and against all the odds, and all being well, Clancy and I will be riding through those magic curtains into the International Arena at HOYS.

    “I will love every single second and remember just how lucky and fortunate I am to be there, as we all are. I will never forget the kindness shown to us this year; it really is showing at its best.”

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