Event rider and freelance journalist Arabella Clegg chats with Jodie Amos to find out how this years event season has been.
1. How has the season been for you?
“It’s been a frustrating season really; both my top horses have been off with injury. Nothing major and both are back in work.
On top of that I got kicked extremely badly in the lorry park after my second rider had finished competing in the BYEH (Burghley young event horse) class at Hartpury. We were untacking the horse and he got frightened and double barrelled me. I am extremely lucky in the grand scheme of things and suffered a lacerated liver. Due to this it brought my season to a rather abrupt end and most of the horses have had an early finish to the season”.
2. Favourite event of the calendar year?
“I love Bramham, it’s a great event for the older horses and it falls at a good time of the year (usually early June). The cross country course is one of the best we have.
I am also particularly fond of Blenheim, it’s local and caters for the younger, less experienced horses stepping up to the CIC three star level in the Autumn and can give a great idea as to how they may progress for the following years”.
3. How do you get your horses fit and healthy to compete at this level?
“After the horses winter break they will do 5-6 weeks roadwork and will look to have their first jump some time in January. I am extremely lucky being based at Aston Le Walls equestrian centre, as well as the fantastic facilities here I also have access to a couple of gallops within a 5 minute radius. I will use these three or four times before the first event and then building up to the big events and three day events the horses will gallop every four days. The choices of the gallops are one with a nice steady incline and the other is like you are galloping in to the sky, the hill is very steep.
When stepping the horses up to the higher levels, the demand on the horses wind and lungs becomes greater. I had a horse that would cough each time I got on it and then it would be fine but going cross country I always felt he didn’t sound quite right, nothing horrendous but in need of some help. When I started using the Haygain steamer I noticed a huge difference, not only in this horse but any horse that comes in to the yard benefits. It’s become a maintenance factor on a daily basis”.
4. How as a rider do you keep yourself fit?
“I’m not a fan of the gym, I do make myself go occasionally. I’m a big believer of being fit for purpose. When I get to the yard some days I will go for a run around the cross country course. I have recently got in to pilates and I try to go twice a week and I can feel a massive difference in my core strentgh”.
5. Aims for 2018
“My two top horses Figaro Van Het Broekxhof and Wise Crack are both being aimed for four star runs again. Figaro will look to go to either Badminton or Luhmulen, dependent on how the fitness work goes between now and then. The latter will aim for Burghley.
I’m excited about an eight coming nine year old I have, Spring Power, who I would like to aim at some nations cup events and then Blenheim or Boekelo CCI three star.
6. Do you have any OCD/quirks?
“Completely, I’m mad about it! Having finished the season a lot earlier than planned has given us even more time to clean. We have re painted the whole yard, power hosed all the stables and the lorry is absolutely pristine ready for next season.
I’m the sort of person that if there is a piece of straw on the yard I have to pick it up, but my head girl is pretty much the same so it means we are a spotless yard”.
7. If you could ride any horse past or present who would it be?
“I have always loved Lenamore. Even though there are some amazing horses out there currently, he is still my stand out. He was such a machine and so incredibly athletic”.
8. Do you have time for anything else away from horses?
“I used to enjoy playing tennis and would like to get back in to that again. I actually got married this year, in Greece, so we had a lovely time away for ten days. I grew up in France and did a lot of travelling when I was younger and I think it is very important to get away, so I always try to have some time when the yard goes on shut down for everyone to have some proper time off. I have family in Australia and the Caribbean so trips to both of those are on the agenda, as well as organising our honeymoon, ideally to south America.
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Hydration is probably not the first thing that occurs to us approaching winter but as vet Stephanie Davis, DVM points out, it can be a big issue.