Page 102


Photos by ES Photography

It has been a very busy and tough few weeks with the horses with many highs and lows! I knew going into this adventure, things wouldn’t always go to plan, but I didn’t realize just how differently things would pan out.


have been competing non-stop the last couple of months with getting Cuppi qualified for WEG and helping Piggy getting more experience. I have absolutely loved going to all the shows; from the one-day events to the three-day events, all come with a thrill of being able to compete on the international stage. We were recently in Ireland with both horses and went to the Tattersalls International three-day event. Piggy was competing in the CCI2* and Cuppi in the CCI3*. The aim for Piggy was to get some mileage under his belt and have a positive learning experience for him, which he did. He is always tricky in his dressage but his cross-country and show jumping are naturally easy for him. The plan with Cuppi was to go and get his final qualification needed for WEG and put in a solid performance. His dressage went well, not exactly how I wanted it, but nevertheless, a decent performance. His cross-country track was large but very clear and it required a bold and scopey horse so I was confident Cuppi would be more than capable. I had ridden Piggy before Cuppi in the cross-country and realized that the ground was riding incredibly heavy and he wasn’t able to travel across it all that well. I kept this in mind when I started off my round with Cuppi but by the time Cuppi went, being the last horse of the day, the ground was incredibly deep and very difficult



to jump out of. This unfortunately was what caught us out and at fence number six, an open oxer, he pecked on landing and simply tripped over onto his side. It was a very soft landing thanks to my Hit-Air Airjacket and Tipperary body protector, we both came out unscathed! I had luckily entered Bramham CCI3* the following weekend as a back up to Tattersalls and had to make very quick arrangements to re-route there after Tattersalls. We arrived back in England on the Monday and made a very quick turnaround to Bramham on the Wednesday. I hired a lorry and drove Cuppi four hours up to Yorkshire on my own; this was a daunting experience but one I really enjoyed as I felt really focused by the time we arrived at Bramham Park. I drove into the show grounds and remember thinking, if my lorry is struggling to get up these hills, how is Cuppi going to cope! The best part of it all was that I had to be towed into the show grounds as all the lorries were getting stuck in the mud! Definitely not something I have experienced before in South Africa! After settling Cuppi in and making sure he was ok after travelling, the very first person I saw was Patricia Clifton at the stables. Patricia has been very influential in introducing the FEI in South Africa and has played a huge role in getting South Africa in line with FEI regulations. We were chatting about the event and got on to talking about the course when Ian Stark, the course builder, came and joined in the conversation. I don’t know if this was meant to be a blessing or a

Sporting Horse Magazine Issue 19  

July 2014 Edition of Sporting Horse Magazine

Sporting Horse Magazine Issue 19  

July 2014 Edition of Sporting Horse Magazine