Thursday 19th of September 2019
Features

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner Part 26 2018

We are celebrating your wins in our feature Winner Winner Chicken Dinner.

Find out all about this weeks winners, their horses and inspirations as well as learning what will be in their celebration ‘Chicken Dinner’.

If you have a win this week, we’ll help you shout it from the roof tops so get in touch at events@thegaitpost.com to be featured or tweet us @thegaitpost using the tag #TGPwinnerwinnerchickendinner 

All disciplines welcome.

This weeks winners

© Louisa Day Photography

Ellie Crosbie Horseheath BE90 winner

© Matt Nuttall Photography

Mel Betts Aston-Le-Walls BE80 winner

38 year old, Ellie Crosbie from near Tunbridge Wells won a BE90 section at Horseheath riding Bellatrix III.

Ellie juggles riding with working as a freelance journalist, running a busy cross-country schooling course (www.lodgefarmcrosscountry.com) and being mother to her 20-month-old daughter, Olivia.

© Louisa Day Photography

What are your aims for 2018/2019 for this horse?

Undecided. Bella is a homebred out of my old advanced mare, Spellbound VII, and – just like her mother – has been a quirky little so-and-so to produce. She’s only 15.2hh and I’m 5’8” so the plan has always been that she should go on to a junior, but I’m terrible at selling horses and she’s now eight, so who knows! We will probably do some dressage and showjumping over the next few months and see what the new year brings.

Is this your first time at this event, or are you a regular? If a regular, what keeps you coming back? If a first timer, will you be back?

It was my first time at Horseheath and I thought it was a wonderful event despite the Baltic temperatures. The cross-country reminded me a bit of Barbury in the way it swept backwards and forwards across the racecourse. Everyone was so friendly and the loos were out of this world: plush door knobs, carpeted floors and scented handwash. Bliss! I will definitely be back.

© Louisa Day Photography

Who is the biggest influence in your eventing career to date?

I love studying the top riders and watching how they do things – lucky for me that I can sometimes call this work!

When I first started eventing, for my 16th birthday present, I was given a course of training at Waterstock with the legendary Lars Sederholm and his family. It might have been 22 years ago, but some of the things I learned during that week have stayed with me right the way through. When you hacked out nobody’s bums touched the saddles. Everyone had to jock up their stirrups and stand up. This not only did wonders for your balance and strength, but Lars’ assertion was that if you’re not fit enough to cope with 10min standing up in the stirrups then you’re not fit enough to event.

Who is the unsung hero of your team and why?

My Mum. I’ve never met anyone who works as hard. I couldn’t do what I do without her, she’s my eyes on the ground and – quite often to my annoyance – she is always right.

What is the one thing you wish you’d known before you started eventing?

That it’s an addiction and one hell of a job to live without.

Describe the funniest “blooper” you have experienced eventing.

Two seasons ago, on another little homebred horse, I was in with a shout of winning an OI section at Great Witchingham. I had very early times, Norfolk is a long way from Kent, and so we’d left at the crack of dawn to get there in time. We arrived in the dark and I’d walked the course before the sun came up. All was going swimmingly out on course and, to my reckoning, we’d crossed the finish line under the optimum, which would have been good enough to win. Unfortunately the commentator pointed out that I had completely missed the second-last fence. I had galloped through the car park to get to the last – I did wonder at the time why there were so many cars parked on the course, but I had my head down and just kept kicking. That big fat E is something that still grates!

Which is your favourite event & why?

Barbury and Rockingham are favourites as I’ve always had great cross-country rides there. Locally, Chilham is picture-postcard perfect.

© Louisa Day Photography

What will be in your “Chicken Dinner” and what will you wash it down with?

Homemade Shepherd’s Pie and a glass of Malbec.

What is your current favourite lorry karaoke song?

My young daughter makes sure the only karaoke that happens these days is to her favourite Nursey Rhymes CD, so it would be a rousing rendition of Humpty Dumpty, Hey Diddle Diddle or Goosey Goosey Gander.

14 year old, Scarlett Lloyd from Essex won a BE80 section at Horseheath riding Tender VE.

What are your aims for 2018/2019 for this horse?

Just to have fun with him as he’s 18 years old and used to compete at BE90 as a 5 year old with my mum (Jannine Lloyd) but then had back and leg surgery which meant he became a pure dressage horse for the last 11 years, so he is just really enjoying being out eventing again although it’s only at BE80.

Is this your first time at this event, or are you a regular? If a regular, what keeps you coming back? If a first timer, will you be back?

It was my first time at Horseheath (although it’s a local). I will definitely be back next year as it’s a lovely event run by lovely people and has a nice atmosphere with a brilliantly designed XC course.

Who is the biggest influence in your eventing career to date?

My mum mostly, she used to event when she was still riding so I used to love going to the events and have just loved competing or watching for as long as I can remember.

Who is the unsung hero of your team and why?

My mum, because she does so much for me like driving, getting up at 4am most mornings; looking after my 3 horses when I’m away and just helping out when I’m competing as I usually compete more than one so it would be very difficult without her.

What is the one thing you wish you’d known before you started eventing?

How much fun it would be so I could have started earlier.

Describe the funniest “blooper” you have experienced eventing

When I was competing at Munstead (just an unaffiliated), it was Tenny’s first event that year and he was going very well up until we came to a combination that was a drop down and a skinny on a curve, Tenny over jumped the drop and was on the wrong stride for the skinny so he chipped in and sent me over the front, luckily I landed on my feet but I thought it was very funny.

Which is your favourite event & why?

I don’t have a particular event that I like the most, I love them all.

 

What is your current favourite lorry karaoke song?

Paradise by George Ezra.

52 year old, professional event rider Gordon Murphy from Surrey won a Novice section at Aston-Le-Walls riding Monbeg After Dark.

What are your aims for 2018/2019 for this horse?

He is my daughters’ horse, so she will compete him next summer and whenever she can in between university.

Is this your first time at this event, or are you a regular? If a regular, what keeps you coming back? If a first timer, will you be back?

I have been going to Aston for as long as I can remember. You are more than likely to see us there at all their events, it’s a great event and we can always rely on it for good ground.

Who is the biggest influence in your eventing career to date?

My Mum and Dads work ethic was definitely my biggest influence. Nothing comes easily and if you don’t put the work in you won’t see the result you want.

Who is the unsung hero of your team and why?

I owe a lot to my team who have always stuck with me from the very beginning. Jill Stanley has been running my livery yard since the day we bought it, many years ago. Every horse is looked after to the highest standard and although everyone at the yard knows how dependent everything and everyone is on her, she no longer comes to events so rarely gets the praise she deserves, as I would definitely struggle a lot more without her!

What is the one thing you wish you’d known before you started eventing?

I wish I had started eventing younger, I didn’t start until I was into my 20s so was a bit behind all the other young riders.

Describe the funniest “blooper” you have experienced eventing

A few years ago, I was competing at Saumur in France and my horse, Bones, decided that the trot up was not exciting enough for him, so, to everyone else’s amusement, he tripped me up and sent me somersaulting across the gravel.

Which is your favourite event & why?

Burghley was my first 4* and will always be my favourite event, I love the atmosphere and we always have a great time.

What will be in your “Chicken Dinner” and what will you wash it down with?

A roast cooked by either my wife or mum – of course I couldn’t pick between. And always washed down with a glass of Malbec.

What is your current favourite lorry karaoke song?

Whatever my daughter is playing, she controls the aux cord. (She’s the only one who can work it!)

45 year old, Mel Betts from Hereford won a BE80 section at Aston-Le-Walls riding Wood View Tom, a 15hh, 7year old connemara. Mel is a McTimoney Equine Therapist.

© Matt Nuttall Photography

I bought Wood View Tom (AKA Val) 2 years ago from Ireland as a 5 year old. I’d been looking for an older schoolmaster as I’m not a very confident rider, but couldn’t find one which was sound enough. He seemed nice and quiet when I tried him on a boiling hot day in the middle of a field in Sligo. However, he turned out to be a lot more green and sensitive than I realised when he arrived home! Aston was only Val’s second BE event, so the win was a bit of a surprise! It was a freezing cold, rainy day so not my favourite conditions for a road trip…

We didn’t have the greatest preparation to Aston as I fell off him twice in the week leading up to the event. To help with my confidence I watched several hours of pro-bull riding on the TV to de-sensitise myself to falling off – for them departure after just 8 seconds is a ‘success’ so it puts hitting the deck into a totally different perspective!! It must have worked!

What are your aims for 2018/2019 for this horse?

To gain confidence at BE80 level. It’s taken some time to find the keys with Val. He’s ultra noise sensitive and fresh grass is best avoided. Plus he also used to put his tongue over the bit a lot, but the Nule Schule verdinbend and a ported Myler 33 for jumping has really solved this.

We will do some arena eventing over the winter and see how it goes next year. If you plan too much, you can guarantee something throws a spanner in the works so I just try to go with what feels right at the time.

Is this your first time at this event, or are you a regular? If a regular, what keeps you coming back? If a first timer, will you be back?

I’ve been to Aston Le Walls several times with my other now retired ponies. The facilities are some of the best available. The surfaces are great to ride on – having the dressage and show jumping on a surface is great for an inexperienced horse – particularly if it rains – which it did!! We will certainly go back for schooling over the winter and probably a few competitions too. It’s over 2 hours from us but well worth the trip.

Who is the biggest influence in your eventing career to date?

Two people stand out: firstly, the legendary Monty Roberts. About 25 years ago I watched this guy persuading these naughty or frightened demo horses to do stuff which their owners had struggled with for years, succeeding in a matter of minutes. I knew I had to learn more, so some years and many demos later, I did a week’s special training at Monty’s yard in the USA and went on to take my exams with Kelly Marks. It’s helped me understand a little about the way horses think and behave.

The second person is a lady from Surrey called Jill Stone. She specialises in rehabilitation and improving poor performance. She has helped me with about 10 of my own horses over the years and taught me how to improve their gait basically through ‘body-building’ exercises, focusing on posture and engagement of the correct muscle groups with particular attention to symmetry. It means I can occasionally be competitive in the dressage with some very ordinary Irish bog ponies – if we don’t jump sideways over the white boards like we did last time!

Who is the unsung hero of your team and why?

My long-suffering husband Mike who holds the fort while I’m off playing ponies.

What is the one thing you wish you’d known before you started eventing?

Don’t buy one with turned in toes however much you like it! I bought one super pony who only stayed sound for 9 months. That was an expensive learning curve.

Describe the funniest “blooper” you have experienced eventing

Many come to mind, but one mentionable is at Val’s first 70cm unaffiliated one day event at Sapey in the summer. I was thrilled with his 25 dressage and double clear, until the next day when someone emailed me to say we’d missed out a fence on the XC. She was one of my McTimoney clients and the fence judge and had seen us fly right by! It was one of the easiest fences on the course and I hadn’t even noticed it when I walked it!

Which is your favourite event & why?

Solihull or Pontispool I think as they are both forward, well built, galloping courses.

What will be in your “Winner’s Dinner” and what will you wash it down with?

We took a mega picnic to Aston but the winning food item had to be the home made mushroom soup which defrosted super groom Sara Bowie and myself on the way home as we were completely frozen!! It was washed down with hot tea from the many flasks we took!

What is your current favourite lorry karaoke song?

I am completely tone deaf as anyone who’s heard me on the karaoke will confirm so it’s best to keep me well away from any singing!

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