Guest Blogger

Jess' Guest Blog - Eventing Season

My eventing season with Smokey has been one heck of a roller-coaster. We’ve had some great highs, some frustrating lows and some loop-the-loops thrown in for good measure!
The start of the season didn’t go quite as planned. Smokey decided to practice his javelin shot and sent me head diving into the fence whilst training at home. The result was serious concussion and whiplash. That was me out of action for over a month and a good while before I was competition ready again.
When we got out competing our first event at Chilham Park International didn’t quite go to plan either – we had a solid dressage and show jumping but an incident on the cross country course meant we were held at the start of the course for over an hour. On setting off Smokey was struggling so I held my hand up, retired and called it a day at fence 9. Turns out he needed a wee! It wasn’t surprising he couldn’t jump. Certainly no hard feelings at the end of the day but just lot of giggles instead. If only horses could talk!
Onto Tweseldown next and the stars finally aligned for us. A new personal best dressage, an unlucky pole in the show jumping and a super-fast and clear cross country. He jumped his heart out for me and we ended a very respectable 13th place out of over 40 competitors.
The next few events went from strength to strength for us. A fantastic 2nd place at Borde Hill, qualifying us for a spot at a regional final over a very testing cross country track, a clear cross country at Rackham in the 100 height giving us a top 20 finish and also a great 6th place at Eridge International Horse Trials with another very strong dressage score and double clear over some challenging fences.
The end of the season unfortunately didn’t go quite to plan either with a slip in the show jumping at Smiths Lawn in Windsor Great Park and withdrawing before Cross Country. We still aimed to get back for our Regional Final at Broadway but with timing and fitness issues we took the tough decision that horse welfare came first and forfeited our place.
Although our season has had some lows, we have had our best season to date with 2 top 10 placings and 2 top 20 placings as well as personal best dressage scores and completing some of the biggest tracks we’ve jumped. With winter on its way it’s head down and focusing on dressage and show jumping ready for next March when the eventing begins again – not with one but with two horses to compete now! Welcome to the team, Major Bailey.
I look forward to updating you again soon with my progress on Smokey and Bailey, and as always, a huge thank you the wonderful team at eGlove for providing continued support and such wonderful gloves for me to train and compete in!
Jess x