Monday News & Notes from Fleeceworks

This incredible shot of Anneli Drummond-Hay (who would go on to be the first-ever winner of Burghley!) when she was just 16 at the Junior European Championships has been doing the rounds on social media over the weekend and all we can say is WOW.

Happy whatever-day-of-the-week-it-is! Time means nothing and UberEats means everything, and the thought of leaving a start box again one day in the not-too-distant future is the glue holding it all together right now. If I seem a bit giddy today, it’s because the weekend saw me get my first jump with my trainer in about 11 weeks, and for 45 blissful minutes, life was truly, utterly wonderful. I’ll be dining out on that feeling all week, and I suggest that if you can, you leave the ground this week with your horses. It’s the easiest pick-me-up I can think of.

National Holiday: It’s National Wine Day, baby, and I’ve been training for today’s celebrations for two months straight.

Your Monday reading list:

British five-star eventer Matthew Wright is at the helm of a new initiative to offer mental health support to riders. Riders Minds comes complete with easily-accessible online resources, an inbuilt support system, and a 24/7 hotline for anyone who needs a listening ear. In a sport that often makes us believe that toughness means soldiering on silently through any kind of pain, this is a seriously welcome network. [New service to support all riders’ mental health]

Jan Byyny is the latest rider to take part in Athletux’s A Letter to Me series, and it’s a good one. “You are going to go so many places with this dream of yours, but there will be disappointments and you will never forget the moments that did not go according to plan, or the words spoken to you,” she writes in an inspiring retelling of her story thus far. Monday motivation – sorted. [A Letter to Me – Jan Byyny]

Want to take this extra time away from competing to make sure all your dressage scores are sub-30? This quick read from Dressage Today gives you the tools to tackle a common eventer issue – tension through the back. You’ll be well prepared to ride for swinging, fluent, authentic paces before you know it. [Go Down to Go Up: Promoting Relaxation in the Horse’s Back]

Stephen Bradley looks back on his 1993 Burghley victory and man, if you love a fine eventing vintage, you’ll love this. American Thoroughbred lovers, you’ll love it even more. Promise. [Memories from the Vet Box with Stephen Bradley]

It’s a listen rather than a read, but pop this on while you’re mucking out this morning. Back in 1986, the legendary Ginny Elliott was a guest on the classic Radio 4 show Desert Island Discs, and she’s every bit as charming and open as you’d hope she’d be. It’s fascinating listening and something a bit different from the usual horsey interview. [Desert Island Discs: Ginny Elliott]

Monday video from Fleeceworks: Motivation and, um, muscles.

In need of a bit more pep in your step this week? Try inspiration pecs – sorry, that’s Panic at the Disco songs, as per British eventer Alex Bragg, who probably says some interesting things in this video, but we can’t remember. Anyone else feeling a bit warm?