Monday 25th of January 2021

Baby excitement at Goring

Spring definitely seems like it has finally sprung despite the April downpours causing events to sadly abandon after all the hard work from the organising teams.

As the garden unfolds from the constraints of winter and new shoots appear and newborn lambs skip around the fields dizzy with new found freedom, for eventer Victoria Clarke, the springtime air gave her more than she bargained for as she enjoyed a course walk around Goring.

Victoria takes up the story…

“We headed to Goring Heath on Saturday 2 April for the last event for my horse Luna before my due date, which was meant to be the 8th April.  We were planning on heading to South of England even before it had to abandon, but Sophie Jenman, who is riding Luna for me at the moment, suggested we went to Goring as South of England would be cutting it a bit fine if I had gone over my due date.

It was only Luna’s second event this year. She has just turned 8 and I have had her on loan since June 2015, having previously spent most of her life in a field. I had only had her for a month before I fell pregnant, and since then Sophie and I have produced her. She has done a lot of dressage, combined training and show jumping through the winter.

The XC phase is her least experienced area at competition level due to the season finishing last year before she was fit enough to run and having been XC schooling after a problem at her first run at Poplar Park, I was very keen for her to run cross country again. She did a good dressage test at Goring for 32, which I was pleased with. Following the dressage I wanted to find a good spot to watch her go cross country so I walked up to the course with Sophie but somehow ended up walking the whole thing. Luckily I had her little dog Treacle to help pull me up the steep hills!

I had to have a sit down while they tacked up for showjumping and watched her warm up. However, as I stood up to video her round, my waters broke as she jumped the first fence.

I waddled over to Sophie’s mum  Kay and boyfriend Giles, and said “Guys I don’t mean to alarm but I think my waters have broken”. In which Kay replied: “Yes I think they have but let’s just watch Luna, she is jumping so well”, so I propped myself up against the judges box!!

On finishing her round, Fiona Fouracre, Giles’s mum, who volunteers a lot of her time to British Eventing in the south of England, called the ambulance over to checked me over. I wasn’t having any pain or contractions so the best they could do was help clean me up! I had no change of clothes so the paramedics gave me a blanket to preserve my modesty for the remainder of the day.

Sophie show jumped and quickly went cross-country on her other ride, Lady Elfreda owned by Fiona Fouracres (while I was in the ambulance), which went very well. They finished 9th on their Dressage score of 30 and I was very insistent that I wanted to stay to watch Luna run cross country as I didn’t want to withdraw. However Kay, quite rightly, told me we had to start to head home just in case as I was so far from my designated hospital. Thank goodness she did because as soon as we left Goring, my contractions started.



It was an eventful two-hour journey in the back of the horsebox as my labour progressed and at one point I had to wee in a bucket! My other half Hayden was there to meet me when we arrived at Darenth Valley hospital.

I wasn’t in the best state as things had speeded up pretty quickly. I had matted hair, my sweaty top pulled up, dirt under my nails, no trousers or knickers and was still in my wellie boots (it was not ideal!). 

Luckily I had arranged a birthing pool, so it was a bit like having a bath. Within one hour of arriving I was already 10cm dilated and ready to push, however it was not that straight forward and it took another three and a half more hours before our gorgeous daughter, Esmé arrived on Sunday morning at 2.05 am weighing 6lb 14.

She is doing really well and has already been to the yard to meet Luna! She will definitely be a yard baby!! I think if the Jenman’s had listened to me and run Luna Cross Country I would have been pushing in the back of the horsebox!! Our next event with Luna is Keysoe and will be Esme’s first taste of Eventing.”

We look forward to seeing Esmé out on the eventing circuit and send our congratulations to Victoria and Hayden.

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