Jessica Leroy, our south east brand ambassador, reminices the eventing season and turns her sights towards dressage in her October Equo brand ambassador blog.

So that’s the eventing season over for another year. I know it’s officially over when I’ve taken my tweed jacket in for its annual clean. I guess you could describe this season as ‘the one where it’s finally come together’, albeit with a splint hiccup at the beginning, which meant I didn’t actually get out to my first event until late June.

We’ve had Smokey for three years now and have worked our way up from BE80 to recently being placed at BE100 and from being a stocky five-year-old that didn’t know what a cross-country jump was to a handsome eight year old that now gets excited at the sight of a start box (well excited may be a slight exaggeration, he pricks his ears forward now rather than falling asleep…).

Smokey is the most laid back chappie anyone could imagine; he’s so laid back he’d be horizontal if he could, but he loves his job and wants to please. My Mum actually bought Smokey for herself but after several jumping lessons she was so fed up of being in the ejector seat that I was fortunate enough to land the ride, and earn the honorary title of ‘crash dummy’. I think it’s safe to say that Smokey’s back end can only be described as somewhat exuberant over a fence!

We set out this season with incredibly ambitious aims. I’ve always tried to aim high – that way I’ve always got something to work towards. This year we wanted to attempt to qualify for the Blenheim Amateur Dressage Championship and to also qualify for the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Cup. Well, we did neither of those, but, following a lot of hard work and determination we did manage to get a personal best dressage score of 32.3, to keep a clean XC score sheet for the whole season and to get two consecutive double clears to end the season on a high. I am over the moon about these results! Our Smokey is really starting to understand eventing.

Now that the nights are starting to draw in and the dreaded winter is on its way it’s time to focus on our dressage and showjumping. Behind the eventing façade we also have another horse – Hektikos. You may remember Hektikos as the pony that got ‘Equo’d’. He is the polar opposite of Smokey ­– a hot headed chestnut ex Racehorse. Hektikos is now 15 and following a lot of time off due to various injuries he is now coming back into work and we are commencing mission ‘Donkey to Dressage Diva’. I will tell you more about Hektikos but that’s a whole other blog for another time…

jessica leroy

Both our boys will be out at our first Equo competition on the 15th November at Cobham Manor Equestrian Centre competing in the Prelim and Novice. The overall aim is to have them both competing at elementary by the end of winter (I told you I like to aim high).

Watch this space and I will update you with our progress next month.