What does a successful competition yard look like? We’ve put together some of the best images from our Access All Areas at Katie Jerram’s Essex base, which lends itself to a fail-proof daily routine that produces champions.
Katie and her mother, Jill, walk on to the yard to start mixing feeds. Jill and Mike Jerram live in the farmhouse on Collins Farm, where Katie grew up. Katie travels five minutes from her home in High Easter.
The staff — head girl Jo Jack plus Hannah Godfrey, Kevin Joplin-Smith, Will Morton, Sophie Chambers and Katie Fox — arrive. They start delivering the feed buckets, hanging haynets and giving fresh water. There are 40 stables divided across six yards and all are deep littered, with the droppings and wet removed daily.
Katie and Jill return to the farmhouse for breakfast. This is Katie’s chance to make phone calls and send emails. Katie describes a wall calendar hanging in the kitchen as “my bible — it’s in front of me all the time”. This is a record of who is where and who is visiting every day of the year.
After breakfast Katie fills in the day’s riding plan. She rides at least nine horses a day herself, varying the routine with schooling and hacking. The Jerrams’ arable farm is two miles away and they have 800 acres of land altogether. There is also a three-and-a-half mile gallop track close by.
Katie is back on the yard by 9am latest. Several days a week she fits in training sessions, including riding clinics, makeover days and judging conferences.
Having been riding and/or teaching all morning, Katie likes to eat lunch on the go. Staff have an hour for lunch.
All horses are groomed in the afternoon, with manes and tails pulled as needed. Trimming takes place every day as well, rather than doing it all in one go the day before a show.
Stables are prepared for the evening while Katie and Jill start mixing feeds. If the team is showing the next day, loading the lorry is the final job that needs doing.
On a normal at home day, Katie aims to finish on the yard between 5pm and 6pm.
Don’t miss Access All Areas with Katie Jerram in the 7 May 2015 issue of Horse & Hound maagazine, on sale now