After the BHS Spring Convention, Whoop and I were planning to have a little rest but 'best laid plans and all that...'
I have engaged TSM Ltd to represent me to the media and to sponsors so Becky Taylor came up to the yard and we had fun doing a photo shoot in a howling gale! I am so pleased to have Becky and Tim Smith representing me as they are so knowledgeable and well-respected in the industry.
I have also found a great sports psychologist to work with in Gary Diplock of Mind 4 Sport. Gary and I get on really well and seem to be on the same wavelength, so far! I hope that we can work together to improve the mental side of my performance.
I have been working out a new freestyle programme for Whoop as this year Grade 3 moved from the short to long arena. I think we have come up with a cracking routine. Kay of Equidance is going to do my music, she loves my sort of music, so hopefully it'll be something really special for us to dance to. Now I just need to add some polish and sparkle ready.
Now, I am in the final throws of preparation before Whoop and I leave for Germany at the end of the week. Zoe West, my competition groom extraordinaire, is coming with me and then Annie Wright, my chiro and Mum are meeting us out there for Mannheim CPEDI 3*. We will be staying at Ellen Bontje's yard before the show and then returning for a week before we head off to Roosendaal CPEDI 3*. This will be our first big international competitions representing Canada - I'm so excited!!!
Gosh! It has been a while since I last posted an update. Since last time, I have been crazy busy.
First of all, Whoop and I have got a new sponsor - Bliss of London- Saddles of Distinction. Nikki from Bliss came out and we tried some saddles and I particularly liked the Bliss Paramour. It is super close contact but still gives the rider lots of support and the horse has maximum freedom of movement. I chose to have the nubuck covering and serge lining to give me optimal grip and to allow the saddle to mould most closely with Whoop's back.
A couple of weeks later our bespoke, custom made saddle arrived, complete with a beautiful Maple Leaf decoration and Whoop and I have been in heaven ever since.
Earlier this week, Nikki came out again to check the fit, now the flocking has settled a little and to take some photos of Whoop performing in his new saddle.
Then, the Canadian team trainer, Andrea Taylor and Ashley Gowanlock,
Canadian dual-Paralympian came over the pond to see us for a short week. We had a great time playing with Whoop and Darcy, and Andrea got to see me training Whoop with Gareth.
Next, Whoop and I were off to the BD/ Nirvana Spa Winter Open Para Championships. Whoop was rather a cheeky chappy but nonetheless we came 2th in the Grade 3 Championship and one of the judges had us to win!
Two days later, we were off out again - this time to Bishop Burton Para show for Hickstead qualifier classes. Whoop won both his tests, so far he is unbeaten in any Grade 3 qualifier tests!
The following Monday, we were out again - this time as guinea-pigs for the BHS Spring Convention taken by Stephen Clarke. Whoop was a total super star - 'worth his weight in gold' according to Stephen! Whoop loved the audience and chapping and even Stephen's microphone keeping popping didn't phase him.