Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…

Back home after a fantastic weekend representing Carleton Riding Club at the BRC Combined Championships.

We’d qualified in the 80cm Senior Team. Now you may remember, we had a bit of a mare at the Qualifiers and got there by default. So I was determined that we would hold our own at the Champs.

This was our second Champs. The first one wasn’t our finest hour. So again, I wanted to show we’re making progress at these big events.

So pleased to report we did! The Team came 10th overall. And we put a score on the board. OK so it was still the discard score but we did good.

Buddy was rather apprehensive and so was I wasn’t sure which Buddy I was going to get. When he had a spook on the way down as someone came out of a port-a-loo, I feared the worst. But after a good warm-up he soon settled and was flying the practise jumps.

Soon it was our turn to go. He was so busy shying at a fence, he took an ages to lock on to number 1. It was a tricky SJ course with 3 planks on a half circle and a bounce!! And lots of twist. I rode him forward with determination and trusted him to jump. And jump he did! We flew round in a fast time and a clear round.

Then it was off onto the XC element. He flew the first two, then had a nappy moment towards 3. I wasn’t having any of it!

We were clear till he slipped coming round the corner and lost impulsion. I know I didn’t ride it well so picked up 10 faults the refusal. Cleared it at the second attempt though. Knowing I’d had a stop, I took my foot off the gas. But he still came home with plenty in the tank!

Absolutely thrilled with my little boy today. It was a huge step up for us and he rose to the occasion. And yes, I burst into tears when we were done.

It’s taken blood, sweat and tears (not to mention the bumps and bruises) to get this result today. Not to mention the training and guidance I’ve received from some amazing trainers. Being away at camp definitely seemed to do the trick.

Now I know he can do it, there are no excuses.

Massive thanks to my wingwoman Sam for chauffeuring us, supporting us and listening to me bang on about how proud I was of Buddy. And to my team mates for making it such a fun weekend. Wonderful to feel so supported by a lovely club.

I know I’m not the best rider and Buddy isn’t the best horse, but today I felt like we were more than good enough to be there.

We shall sleep well tonight.



Took Buddy to Carleton Riding Club’s first show of 2023. It was a beautiful morning as I sat having breakfast in the conservatory. Fast forward a few hours and it started to rain as I loaded Buddy. The closer I got to Easton, the heavier the rain got.

Tacked Buddy up and my thinking was do the course walk, then ride him in. They’d sensibly delayed the start of the class till after the emergency test thing. Went to check and once more, I’d missed the course walk.

Cracked on instead. Poor Buddy was soaked and so was I before we’d even jumped a fence!

Soon it was our turn. Entered the ring, only for the commentator to call out the wrong name. Quick trip to the box to sort it out and we were off. Super pleased with Buddy. He stormed round the 70cm. I’d seen a few fences causing issues in the 60cm so was mindful. Would have had a faster time too. We had a bit of a stag leap over the second to last fence. It meant I landed in a heap and had to get my knitting back before heading to the final jump. Still thrilled with a clear round and 4th place.

Then it was time for 80cm. Hallelujah, I walked the course this time!! It was a very twisty course, but looked easily doable. Popped Buddy over a couple of fences and he felt really good.

I got a big Gung-ho and pushed him out of his rhythm a few times. So even though we had a fast time, we had 3 down. Still I don’t care as he didn’t refuse and was definitely up for it today.

I’ve been playing around with my stirrup length and have found that just by putting them down one hole, it’s made a massive difference to the way I ride. I can now really get my leg on him before a fence.

I may have been rather moist and had to peel my riding tights off. But I’m a very happy girl today. Oh and my new show jacket is lush!!