Artemis goes bare
Sapey (2), Herefordshire
AFTER years of intermittent lameness, Erica Murphy never imagined that her BE80(T) winner, Welton Artemis, would ever event again, but last year, at the age of 16, the mare returned to competition after nine years on the sidelines.
The key? Going barefoot. “I bought her as a five-yearold and started competing her the following year, but didn’t get very far because every time she set foot on a cross-country course, she ended up crippled,” explained Erica.
After numerous examinations, vets narrowed the problem down to Artemis’ feet and, in a last-ditch attempt to keep her sound and in consultation with a remedial farrier, Erica took off her shoes.
“I started doing low-level dressage and gradually built up to jumping again; she felt like a new horse,” revealed Erica.
“I only have a small window of opportunity to compete each year — the ground mustn’t be too hard or soft — but when she’s right she’s so much fun.”
Artemis wears Cavallo hoof boots for road work, but does everything else barefoot.
“I keep her off the wet, muddy ground; she has a really deep bed and when she is trimmed my
farrier only rasps a tiny amount of hoof at a time to keep adjustments to a minimum,” Erica continued.
Six years ago novice winner Lynne Zijlmans went to Ireland to buy an experienced hunter. She came home with a “ginormous and very beautiful” four-yearold, Mr Black II, by the prolific showjumping stallion Vechta.
“He has a temperament to die for and can do everything; he events, hunts and I can tootle about alongside my 10-year-old daughter on him,” said Lynne, a former master of the Cotswold Vale Farmers.
Georgia King dominated the BE100 under 18 section, winning with Mojo IV and finishing third with Drop The Subject.
The 15-year-old daughter of National Hunt trainer Alan King started eventing three years ago and is a member of the Tedworth branch of the Pony Club.
“My mum [Rachel] evented a little bit, but I mainly got into it through the Pony Club,” explained Georgia, who has had her winning ride for three-and-a-half years. “Mojo is a cross-country machine; he locks on to everything and is so forward-going.”
The Lucy McCarthy-designed cross-country courses were wellreceived by riders at all levels.
“There were a few challenging questions in the novice,” said Lynne. “The quarry with a big drop down and a turn up over a skinny was a good ask, as was the hedge to a corner.”
‘So much fun’: Welton Artemis and Erica Murphy, BE80(T) winners