First-timer tales

A sur­prise qual­i­fi­ca­tion for a na­tional cham­pi­onship

Your Horse (UK) - - Contents -

WITH­OUT EX­TEN­SIVE FA­CIL­I­TIES it can seem im­pos­si­ble to achieve your eques­trian dreams, but that wasn’t go­ing to stop vet Juli­ette Ed­monds and her horse Jess from reach­ing for the stars. Af­ter reg­is­ter­ing with British Showjump­ing in 2016, the pair have gone from strength to strength and are now gear­ing up for their first na­tional cham­pi­onship. “I’ve had Jess, also known as Guess Again II, for 12 years. She’s 22 now and we’ve been keen even­ters, com­pet­ing up to British Event­ing novice level,” says Juli­ette. “I reg­is­tered with British Showjump­ing as I felt Jess was strug­gling with main­tain­ing the fit­ness for event­ing. She still loved jump­ing though, so I thought we’d try some­thing new. “We’ve been com­pet­ing at British novice and dis­cov­ery level for a year now, but we don’t get out to com­pete very of­ten, per­haps once ev­ery two months. We also haven’t got many fa­cil­i­ties at home – just a sta­ble and a field – and we strug­gle to prac­tise jump­ing. In­stead we do a lot of hack­ing to im­prove our fit­ness and school­ing for sup­ple­ness. “This win­ter has been tough, with lots of mud and snow, and dur­ing the week a lot of our school­ing work has been in the field or on the farm track – of­ten guided by head torch. “In De­cem­ber 2017 I took Jess to a jump­ing com­pe­ti­tion at Keysoe for a bit of fun. We’d orig­i­nally en­tered a dis­cov­ery class, but the class was very full. I didn’t fancy hang­ing around in the cold, so I switched my en­try to a British novice class in­stead. “We popped round, post­ing a double clear and had smiles on our faces for the whole round. Amaz­ingly we man­aged to win the class, only to then find out it was a qualifier for the Blue Chip Win­ter Cham­pi­onships. “At the cham­pi­onships, she jumped a nice round in the novice but rolled two poles. In the dis­cov­ery, we went clear – pos­si­bly the best we’ve ever jumped – but sadly rolled three in a fast jump off. Jess tried so hard and I’m re­ally proud of her.”

“Amaz­ingly we man­aged to win and qual­ify”

A l ack o f fa­cil­i­ties hasn’t ham­pered the pair’s t rain­ing

Juli­ette keeps Jess fit w ith lots of hack­ing

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