Tales from Bolesworth: ‘don’t touch me, but watch me’ – meet the ‘opinionated’ former event mare showing her talent in the jumping world *H&H Plus*

  • This time last year, Fourfields Darc Maxim was gearing up for her first novice eventing run of the season.

    Fast forward 12 months, and Rachael Heald’s seven-year-old mare is excelling in a new discipline, with two wins across the CSIYH* classes at the Dodson & Horrell Bolesworth International Horse Show with rider Joss Williams.

    “She did a lot of eventing and it gives you that different ride. I saw a long one across the middle of the arena and I knew she was going to stay straight and keep coming,” said Joss, after taking Sunday’s Al Shira’aa 1.30m jump-off class.

    It was a real tricky course and there were questions everywhere. It was a class field and she was probably the underdog really, considering she’s not been produced through the showjumping age classes and she’s never been abroad, while a lot of these will have been to show after show.

    “She’s a bit of a mare – she’s very opinionated. But she loves the job and she loves jumping. You wouldn’t know how good she is, she’d never let you know.

    “She does love an atmosphere, as much as she doesn’t like people, she does like them to watch her – ‘don’t touch me, but watch me’.”

    The VDL Douglas x Maximum Clearance mare twice competed at the British Eventing Young Horse Championships at Osberton, competing there as a four-year-old under Lauren Blades and as a six-year-old with India Nichols.

    “She’s going be something special – very special,” said Joss, adding that eventing experience has given the mare the edge in the showjumping arena.

    She’s seen all the big marquees, she’s seen the people, the water around the edge of the arena [didn’t bother her] as she’s had a bit of life experience, which I think stands them in real good stead.

    “Eventing teaches them where their legs are. It gives them a proper education and it does them the world of good.”

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