We catch up with north-east brand ambassador Claire Taylor to find out what happened at Oakley's first showjumping competition.

As per usual Team Taylor have been having a very busy time. I’m sitting here writing this blog with a coffee in hand, having come in from riding in the pouring rain; I’m trying to decide if I have any muscles that don’t actually hurt!

Some of this muscle-ache is down to a tough, but brilliant, jumping lesson with Oakley yesterday. A couple of weeks ago I took Oakley showjumping for the first time – he has little jumping experience, but was popping fences well at home so thought that I would give it a go. I was confident after a good warm up and he coped brilliantly with the busy arena.

However, once in the ring he went very green on me. Although he did jump a few fences he was quite naughty and we didn’t complete the course. I left feeling frustrated, disheartened and a little embarrassed, especially as he had been going so well!


Images: David Sharp Photography 

Nevertheless, my motto is to keep kicking on, so this feeling didn’t last long and I decided that a lesson was in order… Initially Oakley tried his naughty tricks, but by the end of the session he was popping round a small course with no issues. I will have a few more jumping lessons with him before we attempt to leave the ground at a show again, but hopefully now we can this most unusual bad day behind us.

Prior to this, Oakley attended the dressage at Willow Banks, where he surprised us all by gaining both first and second place in his tests, scoring 69.78 and 66.98% respectively. We also won a free training session at Willow Banks and some lovely Equo Events rosettes!

Oakley will hopefully be attending his first showing show at Easter; he has started having a play about in the double bridle and his long term aim is to compete in his first HOYS qualifier in August… but that is very much up to Oakley, of course!

Patch has had a quieter few weeks, but we did manage to attend some Trailblazers showjumping at Speetley Equestrian. She jumped as well as ever and finished fourth. Patch is also going showing this month – she will be heading to Willow Banks (I love that place!) in a weeks time. Entries for Newark and Nottinghamshire County Show also close within the next week and I will definitely be entering her into her first Senior Showing Qualifier.

Meanwhile, Monty Brown is going very well, although he is as sharp as ever! There is nothing competitive in the pipeline for him just yet, although he attended some dressage and showing prior to his holiday. He will hopefully start jumping, and eventually eventing in the next few months.

In other news, we are very pleased to say that GT is sound and well after his suspensory injury. He is currently at Mummy Taylor’s and when the horses at our yard start living out again during the night GT will return to us to start his rehabilitation work.

Classy is also very well and is due to foal in just five weeks! Look out for cute baby pictures next month!

So, with four horses in work, a baby, a wedding to plan and that thing called work, I wonder when I will get chance to sleep or eat… and I wouldn’t change it for the world!

Take care, Team Taylor

Find out what else Claire Taylor and her team of horses have been up to in her other brand ambassador blogs.