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After what seems like an eternity of insane winds and endless rain over here in the UK, there was a brief respite this week. Yep, for a whole 24 hours there was no wind, no rain and, after a long hiatus, that strange yellow orb – the sun – even made a brief comeback. Sadly, it didn’t last and the snow moved in the very next day, but for a few golden hours, it seemed that Spring was finally on her way, and with the eventing season just around the corner, spirits were given a much needed boost.
A much needed reminder that those weeks of fitness work in the driving rain would all be worth it in the end! But while my four legged friends may be nearing peak condition, ready to leap out of the start box as soon as the season starts, I must admit to being a little less dedicated to my own fitness, and may well need to have an oxygen mask waiting at the finish line.
I’m fairly confident that I am not the only one, but as dressage Queen and all round goddess Jessica von Bredow-Werndl kindly reminds us, it’s only fair on our trusty steeds that we are as fit as they are! So once this snow clears, I will be lacing my trainers up and heading out on a few runs. Unless it rains again…
U.S. Weekend Preview
Don’t forget to submit your entries today, closing day for the February Eventing Academy at Stable View (Aiken, SC). Come and enjoy schooling and a low-pressure and affordable competition opportunity. More information here.
Friday News and Reading
If you need any help kickstarting your fitness routine, and are worried about how much you should be doing, the wonderful Maeve Sheridan over at Activate your Seat has kindly provided a handy little guide. Literally no excuses now, not even on bad weather days – you can always lift a couple of weights while watching the snow fall outside…
Monica Spencer isn’t the only Kiwi flying Stateside this month. Her compatriot, Matthew Grayling will also be making the trip, along with his long term partner Trudeau. Basing with none other than Mr Martin, they have their sights firmly set on the 5* at Kentucky. 60 year old Matthew clearly isn’t feeling his age, and hasn’t discounted a Paris call up either. Watch this space!
Speaking of Paris – in an Olympic sense that is – if you fancy taking a trip out there yourself, then the folks over at Racing Breaks have put together a pretty snazzy package to make your Olympic dreams come true. You’ll be treated like a VIP, with accommodation, concierge and Gold standard hospitality all included, as well as your choice of Eventing, Dressage or Show Jumping tickets. There’s an option to build your own package too, if you want to extend your trip – or maybe even take in all three disciplines. I mean, you might as well make the most of the journey! But be quick – places are limited, and you don’t want to miss out!
As the proud owner of a couple of OTTB’s myself, I know how special they can be with a lot of patience and the right training. If you’re in need of any hints and tips as to how to get the best out of them, then who better to turn to than the legend that is Tina Cook, British Olympian and all round Wonder Woman. She grew up with racehorses, and has successfully trained a fair few OTTB’s herself. It’s not always the easiest of tasks to convince an ex-racehorse to adapt to a slightly steadier pace of life, but as Tina has proved on more than one occasion, it can be done.
Finally, I leave you with a star of the future. You heard it hear first; ten year old Ella James Winn is certainly one to watch. The tiny little rider has been riding ever since she could sit up in the saddle, and is already clearing 5-bar gates on her equally brave pony, Sidney. As if that’s not enough, she’s also jocked her mum off, and has managed the same feat on her mother’s Connemara, too. Future 5* winner? You can thank me for the tip later.
Boyd Martin has settled in at his winter home, none other than Stable View. Have you been following along as he trains his new OTTB Remi at the venue? Check it out.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the eventing season is nearly upon us, and what better way to get into the groove than with some hints and tips from Eventing Power Couple, Tim and Jonelle? Enjoy, and get ready to go eventing!