FMD crisis: how our leading riders are coping

  • Carl Hester

    Olympic dressage rider Carl Hesterhas recently moved into a new house just and is using his spare time painting and decorating.

    “All teaching on our own premises has been cancelled, as well as all our clinics and after hearing the news last night I think we will be lucky to compete before July.

    “The horses are ticking over and it is an opportunity, albeit through ahorrible cause, for training without other pressures.”

    Richard Davison

    Dressage rider Richard Davison is hoping for a place in the World Cup final in Denmark, through a wild card.

    “We’re keeping all the horses going -this is time for training, although as I am keeping Askari on the boil it isrequiring a lot of self-discipline to ride through tests. We are stillplanning as if we were going and show organisers are trying hard to findsolutions ¨ we cannot assume we are not going to compete.”

    Darrell Scaife

    Event rider Darrell Scaife has a yard of eventers fit and ready to run. “We have two schools and some set aside to work on, but it has been difficult tobe motivated. I am now pretending it is January and have chosen each horse’sweakness as something to work on and improve. It would be a lot easier ifeveryone had just shut down.”

    Jeanette Brakewell

    Olympic silver medallist Jeanette Brakewell has eight horses in work.

    “I am keeping them ticking over using the school and horse walker – the land is too wet to think of turning them out yet. But because I am able I have thetime to put more flatwork into the youngsters they are gaining a goodgrounding.

    “As FMD is obviously not under control I don’t think the first half of the season will happen, but hopefully we will get the second half.”

    Jo Trego

    Endurance rider Jo Trego is also a selector this year.

    “My horses are all fit and I am able to keep the horses ticking over.Although now it looks like the disease is out of control I am looking to what I will do.

    “If it goes on much longer then all the work we have done since last summer risks falling apart – if it gets worse it looks like the horses will probably end upbeing turned out for a couple of months during the late spring.

    “I can only feel for those really affected and can only imagine what it must be like if someone was to come and tell me they were going to shoot myhorses. The whole thing is tragic and affects everyone.”

    Barry Capstick

    Driving trials driver Barry Capstick has eight horses in full work at his yard in Gloucestershire.

    “The horses are literally going round in circles – on the horse walker and thenin the indoor school. We can’t do anything else with them. For once we have the time to concentrate on all the little problems that can get passed over during the season and are really going back to basics – so they should all be very good when we do get going -although I don’t believe we will have a season maybe just a few shows at theend of the summer.

    “I feel desperately sorry for all the farmers – the whole thing is a nightmare.”

    You may like...