After five or six years away from the British showjumping circuit, I’ve rejoined, and this time with my little Connemara standing just about 15HH – and he’s been amazing! 

Realistically, the only reason I affiliated him was because I fancied a week away, and what better place to go than the Arena UK festival in September, with good friends and good parties. So, two days before the start of the show I got us affiliated and now here we are just over a month later with all four British Novice double clears and our first Discovery double clear. 

Horse Jumping

I used to jump my lovely Dutch warmblood mare up to around 1.15 metres many years ago, but when I started walking the British Novice course after years away from showjumping I was feeling quite nervous. To make things a little worse, on the Sunday night there had been a torrential storm and all the outdoor arenas were completely flooded for the first day of the show, meaning we were going to end up jumping in the spooky indoors at about 8:30pm. 

Well, considering Arlo has never been a show jumper and this was his first ever British Novice, I had nothing to worry about for a lovely round with just an unlucky four faults.

And then, well, it was onwards and upwards from there.

Horse with prize rosette

By the end of the week my wonderful little Connemara had got three British Novice double clears, qualifying for his Grand Prix on the Sunday. And not only that, he came second out of more than 80 horses on one of the days, and then on the Sunday in his Grand Prix came third! He might have been the smallest horse on the show ground, but he proved just how cool he is day after day.

So, obviously, now we’ve decided we’re show jumpers.

And therefore off we went to our next competition, a two-day show at Forest Edge. On the first day we gained our fourth British Novice double clear with a win (with a hangover, too) and I stepped him up to jump his first Discovery on the second day for a double clear and third place.

What a star he is!

Anyway, with all four British novice double clears, we have now qualified for second rounds in just over a month. How lucky am I to have such a versatile little horse?!

I’m even feeling a little braver and think we might get up to at least Newcomers. I guess we’ll see!

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