Competing successfully on both the showjumping and eventing circuit

Competing successfully on both the showjumping and eventing circuit

Our ambassador Rachel Williamson competes successfully on the showjumping and eventing circuit.  Read below how she manages to balance them both.

“I have personally found that to successfully balance both a showjumping and eventing style career,  all of my planning at home and for the show season needs to be carefully thought out and planned accordingly for each horse.  Not everything will go the way I want it to, so it’s important to add in some wiggle room to allow for problems and issues that may arise.

Firstly, I plan the eventing season with my 3 boys, who are all competing around the same level.  I work out where they need to be going and what the main aim is, I then decide where they’ll go to tick over or gain qualifications, and then where they’ll go if any planned events are missed due to possible cancellations, a horse being lame or if the show has genuinely not gone to plan and we haven’t gained a qualification.

Next up is planning my show jumping season.  It’s a lot easier to plan the show year when all the horses are established at higher levels as I  can be more specific on where I go and plan everything they do around the big shows. I decide which showjumping shows I’m going to aim high at and which showjumping shows I’ll go to in between, which are normally qualifying classes for whichever show I am aiming for. For example, I have the Highland Show planned with the jumpers I have just now, and I have all the qualifier dates in the diary that I can go to when I’m not eventing. I like to figure out the eventing season plan first as I find it much easier to work around those. Some BSJA shows can be held on a Wednesday/Thursday too, leaving the weekend free for an event, and vice versa.

Around all of this, I also need to take into account the young, competition livery horses that I will have to compete with as well. This year, I have decided to only have a couple of young ones to ride at some of the BE events and none to show jump at a lower level.

Alongside all of the planning of shows, I like to plan all the training that we need to do and attend and have an individual plan on how to get each horse as fit as they need to be for their first events. This includes everything; gallop work, hacking, flatwork, and jumping. As you can imagine, it takes a long time to plan out the whole year hence why I try to do it as early in the year as possible.

I’m working hard and looking forward to the season ahead.”

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