Hello From Across the Pond

News from 2016 EN Blogger Contest winner Kathy Carter, who's unashamedly over-horsed.

So, I am thrilled to have been chosen as the 2016 Blogging Contest winner for EN, thank you, readers and Chinchillas! All of the contestants were amazing, and I very much enjoyed reading their posts. I will be posting regularly from now on, and look forward to sharing with you news, reviews, interviews, reportages, features and chat.

Currently over the pond in the UK, it’s the end of what’s been a lovely Indian summer — and we have some fabulous events coming up, including Burghley, Blenheim and Gatcombe. Being situated in what is a beautiful part of the UK, but is also, geographically speaking, in the Arse End of Nowhere, the South East of England International is probably my nearest large forthcoming event, with a CIC**.

My horse is Badger, a 10-year-old Irish Sports Horse. I’m admittedly over-horsed. I had him shipped over from Ireland, having ridden him and had a fleeting holiday romance with him, and when my 15.2-hand Connemara type stepped off the lorry, I swear I almost fell over. An almighty, 16.2-hand gangly 5-year-old beast stumbled off, and proceeded to keep growing in all directions. A classic case of being blinded by love.

Anyway, my instructor says he’s a bit of a bully — he isn’t strong in a pulling sense, but uses his bulk to his advantage. He’s very clumsy, electrocuting his ears on a piece of electric string fencing (unseen by both of us) earlier this year, and helpfully landing on my toes.

We do a bit of everything, but we are both lazy in the arena, and I seem to take every opportunity to practise my free walk! He’s by a leading jumping stallion, the same as GB rider Tina Cook’s late eventer De Novo News, and has the same strong facial features as Herman (as in Munster, named because, as Tina told me, her beloved horse had a ‘big ugly head’ when he was young.)

I have designs on the Kent & Masters Arena Eventing Series in 2016, as well as some Autumn Drag Hunting. Badger had a serious illness, which I will undoubtedly write about as it is interesting, over 2015-2016, and we are taking each season as it comes, and just having some fun.

So I look forward to sharing my writing with you — if there’s a UK event or ‘happening’ that you’d like to hear more about, a rider of any nationality that you’d like me to get down and dirty with, in the journalistic sense, or a Big Issue you want to hear about, let me know in the comments, or Tweet me @kathysirenia. Go Eventing!