Georgia Butler and her horse Albern Moon Buzz, or Buzz to his friends are the newest additions to the Blue Chip Sponsored Rider team after winning a years’ sponsorship with us at this year’s Central and North West BE80T Final, held at Weston Park Horse Trials.
She has been in touch with her first blog, so have a read and get to know a bit more about this cracking pair!
This is Buzz. He’s an 11 year old 14.2 Welsh Cob and he has just won himself a year’s supply of Super Concentrated Blue Chip Daily Health Balancer, and a lot of smart kit for me, by winning one of the two sections in the final of the first Blue Chip Central North West 80T Challenge. I bought Buzz in 2014 as an “emergency purchase” after the TB that I had at the time was lame and I had nearly collapsed running 8 miles after the children round a fun ride. The justification was that he was small enough that he could be for my older daughter quite soon, but that I could have a bit of fun taking him hunting in the meantime. Fast forward two years, and it looks as if she won’t be getting her hands on him any time soon!
In 2015 I went to my first one day event for 15 years, at Stafford, after being persuaded by some other Pony Club mums, and I was hooked again straightaway – eventing is more addictive, dangerous and expensive than heroin. The addiction was fuelled and enabled by my friend Fionnuala who has a very nice homebred mare which she wanted to get going on. So in January 2016, along with the rest of the eventing world, we started work. The Blue Chip BE80T Challenge was announced in the Spring, and it was as if it was designed for us – 8 qualifiers held at all our local events in the North West and West Midlands, with a championship at Weston Park in October. We focused our training and competing around the Challenge, with Fionnuala qualifying by winning her section at Llanymynech in May, and I qualified a week later coming second at Somerford Park. Fionnuala made me wear a stopwatch there for the first time and if I hadn’t I certainly wouldn’t have made the time – teamwork works!
There has been so much more to learn and work on than I thought there would be – when I started out I thought a couple of xc schooling sessions would do the job! But it turns out that, according to Buzz, it is TOTALLY different jumping a xc course than it is going hunting, and it has taken us a whole season for him to get his head round the job and start going clear – he’s thrown in a lot of spooky stops. We’ve had lots of flatwork lessons with Sarah Probin and lots of jumping training with David Llewellyn and Tyler Cassells and we are coming on in leaps and bounds now. Buzz’s muscle and topline has improved and his canter is completely different – he could barely canter a 20m circle without falling into trot a year ago. Now we’re working on more activity and engagement and some lateral work, with the aim of guaranteeing a sub-30 dressage every time, and we go to Tyler once a fortnight on Monday evenings indoors where we are drilled over grids, corners and skinnies whilst chanting the mantra “rhythm, balance, line, gets it right every time”. Buzz and I also manage to fit in a bit of hunting. This is us shepherding the small people (red BE hat sticker clearly visible!)
Fionnuala and I and a few other friends (we are now drug pushers, trying to get as many others addicted as we can) are planning a weekend away in January to train with Sue Colley, one of the brilliant BE80T coaches who we have met at competitions this season. Then we will plan our 2017 season, with the goal of qualifying for at least one BE90 Regional Final and, ultimately……maybe?………. BADMINTON 2018.
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