March/April’s issue of British Eventing Life featured an article by Blue Chip sponsored Eventing rider David Doel. He talks about having to dress up as Santa, his upcoming competitions and the Blue Chip products he is currently using.
Read more below:
A winning resolution
Young event rider David Doel reveals his hopes for 2012 and why playing Father Christmas at Avon Vale Pony Club is all par for the course as an Eventer.
By the time you read this, Christmas will have long past. However, as I write this at the beginning of January my efforts over Christmas are still being regaled by Pony Club mothers who tricked me into appearing as Father Christmas at my local Pony Club (Avon Vale) for the Junior Christmas party. It was lovely to see so many young ladies desperate to see me! Unfortunately they were only five years of age and waiting for a hoof pick from Santa!
I then managed a few days away on holiday with my – not quite as desperate to see me – girlfriend, but had to come back to work over Christmas as all our girls have their time off then. Excitingly, while I was away Father ‘Blue Chip’ Christmas arrived at Reybridge with a pallet load of goodies for us. Blue Chip are a new sponsor for us for 2012 and the horses are already reaping the benefits of their balancer and joint supplements, while my team are looking good in their new jackets and coats.
Like with everything what goes up must come down and, rather disappointingly, we were brought down to earth by our vet who arrived for the annual MOTs on all the horses. One of my Young Rider squad hopes, Cartman, has been sidelined until the middle of the season with a joint problem. This was a big blow as he was one of main hopes for selection this year. Luckily, my other two older horses Koyuna Sun Magic (Fox), and Kings Cross (Jake), had a clean bill of health, so although I would love to find another younger 2* horse to run alongside them (any offers welcome!) they are both heading for the first OIU-21 trial at Adlon in March.
We are now beginning to do exciting things in between the long, boring hours of hacking. We have been showjumping at our local centre West Wilts, where the competition has been pretty hot between us Eventers on the newly updated surfaces. It is great to be jumping some slightly bigger tracks but still just as frustrating when you have a pole. Fox makes the 1.20m feel small, but trying to bounce his 16.3hh frame off the boards is quite an art. Roll on the spacious grass arenas!
We have also been out dressaging. I have ridden my first Advanced Medium in a BD competition at Summerhouse and was delighted when Lady Inchcape gave me 67.9%. She also commented, after the test, that Eventers often ride more positive centre lines than some dressage riders, as we tend to ride with a bit more attack. I wondered how she knew I was an Event rider? But my mum pointed out that my rather ‘sleek; TB type horse did look a bit out of place among the other Warmbloods.
The other highlight of my day was beating my mum in the medium class on not one, but both my horses. She has now decided that perhaps her horse needs my longer legs, so I acquired another ride!
The start of the New Year is rather busy on the training front for us. Next week we are off to one of my favourite places, the Unicorn Centre at Stow-on-the-World, for two days. This is part of the World Class programme which I am delighted to be a part of. Not only do we have top class trainers to work with on the flat and over jumps, but the food and hospitality are fantastic. I will then head off to my dressage trainer, Adam Kemp, for a week’s square bashing. I cannot quite decide if being away from home with three horses is a holiday or not?
By the time I write again the season should have started and we will find out if all this preparation is going to produce the required results. Watch this space!