I could write a book each and every year on the trials and tribulations of the working showjumper. Mr Stockdale did tell me it was probably the only way I would ever earn a decent sum, by writing about my varied, and often painful equine experiences. However I decided when I was 12 years old that I would be an international showjumper, and that is what Mum and I, with her old trailer and a welsh cob set out to do.
It's been a journey...
So riding for a variety of people, and on many horses [most of which were not designed to jump what I aspired to jump] I have, with some good supporters and eventually awesome horses, jumped internationally and do so now regularly. Living the dream can be frustrating and tiring. Over night trucking, flooded stables, fighting off the odd immigrant and battling with paperwork are all part of the package. A good show, the national anthem if you are super lucky, a few euros in the bank and happy owners are what we aim for.
I could bore you with the injuries, a few screws in my leg, a stitched up chin, which got infected when jumping in France- thank you to Olivia Poole's Mother, nurse in a previous life who sorted that out one year ago in Le Mans. The heart break of losing rides through sales, or worst of all losing a horse to colic- Carnaval Gem 11, never to be forgotten.
For me next year needs to see some of the young ones we have been producing slowly show what they can do. My best friend Weston needs to keep winning me those euros, someone has to pay for the diesel. Some new rides should see me hopefully step up into some bigger classes with success. The select team of loyal supporters are hugely appreciated and need to stay on board to enjoy the ride further.
Aspiring equestrians, keep working at it. If you have tenacity, determination and energy you can achieve. It may not be easy, yet should be so satisfying. Find your inner strength, you will need it, keep your integrity and look after your horses. That's the RM Equine philosophical bit. Signing off for 2015.