Tag Archives: competition

Photo from hopedeamer1-21

Horse Scout Real: Jessica Springsteen

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

 

IMG_0163

Jessica Springsteen is one of America’s most successful showjumpers. She has won a number of International Grand Prix and more than a million pounds in prize money. Secondary to her riding prowess, she is the daughter of Rock legend Bruce Springsteen aka “The Boss”. Whilst reporting at the Longines FEI Nations Cup Final, Ellie Kelly caught up with the 26-year-old in Barcelona about horses, love life and life on the road.

You made it on to the American squad here at this prestigious team event, how did you feel about that?

I was so excited. I always wanted to come to Barcelona for the Nations Cup Final. To be picked for the team was a huge honour for me- to represent my country is always my goal.

 

Which horses do you have here in Barcelona and how would you describe them?

I have two horses From Rushy Marsh Farm- RMF Swinny and RMF Cecille

They are both the sweetest horses in the world; they are so cuddly and kind and have amazing attitudes. They are both so confident and brave that they make you feel so comfortable when you go in the ring, which makes it fun to ride. I love them both.

 

How long have you been riding them?

It’s a newer partnership with both; I started with Swinny last October and Cecille in January. With Swinny, I clicked with her right away, she’s just my ride but Cecille was a slower start but now I feel so comfortable with her at this level and we made a good partnership.

 

We witnessed a great win here in one of the individual classes- The Queens Cup. How would you sum up your performance?

I was so happy. Swinny jumped amazing and there was a lot in the jump off and that is where she shines. She is naturally fast so I could do extra strides in places where people had to leave them out and I was still able to be faster. She’s the kind of horse that gives you a lot of confidence and you really feel you can go in there to win.

 

You compete all over the world but what do you think of this event here in Barcelona?

I love competing in Spain. Everybody is so nice here, the spectators are so enthusiastic and it’s lovely and warm.

 

Describe your life as a professional rider

It’s a lot of travelling and living out of a suitcase but you do get to travel to so many amazing cities and venues all around the world and that is an experience that you would never really get otherwise. It definitely doesn’t feel like a job to me. I love it and I can’t imagine doing anything else.

 

How many horses do you ride each day?

Right now I have nine horses and I’ll try to ride about six a day. Any more than that and I feel like I can’t give them the proper work. I’m normally at the barn all day when I’m at home because I travel so much, so it’s important to spend time with the horses and make sure everything is going well with them before I head to the next competition.

 

Do you ever ride and compete younger horses?

I’ve just bought a six-year-old horse but most of mine are a little bit older because I am on the road so much that I don’t really have time to train the younger ones. But I definitely think that is the way to do it- buy them a bit younger and bring them on because then you really develop a nice partnership.

 

How do you manage competition nerves?

When I am really nervous, I just try to remember as much as possible that I get to do what I love every day and I am so lucky to do that. I try to just enjoy the moment with my horse as much as possible and I try to feel prepared with. My horse when I am going into the ring. I remind myself “you know what you are doing, just stick to your plan and try to enjoy it” and that always helps me.

 

How do you spend your downtime?

There’s not much of that. Whenever I have a week off, I try to go home to see my friends and family in New York and we have a farm in New Jersey.

 

You are dating Italian rider Lorenzo de Luca, what the gossip on that?

I’m very lucky (big grin). It’s really nice to be in the sport with someone who really understands everything it takes. We see each other quite often. At the same show pretty much every week which is really nice.

 

Who are your heroes?

Growing up I used to watch Laura Kraut, who I trained with for many years. She is amazing; she’s such a fighter and can ride any type of horse. Mclain Ward and Beezie Madden are great idols we have in the US and to be at the same shows as them, you learn so much just by watching. Then to be on a team with them now is really cool.

35235258_2160016947561126_7336715520743309312_n

Because it’s Great to be British!

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

 

 

Celebrating a great equestrian summer with Horse Scout

Oliver Townend

We may have lost the football and are about to be politically screwed by the rest of Europe but the UK have plenty to celebrate in the Equestrian world.

 

For starters, British riders occupy the top three spots in world ranking for eventing. In showjumping and dressage, we still possess the individual Olympic gold medal. In horse racing British trainers, jockeys and breeders continue dominate the sport, as was evident at the Investec Derby, at Royal Ascot and in recent bloodstock auctions.

 

It has been a brilliant year for our Horse Scout advocates too and we are proud to put our brand behind all of them. William Funnell has just won the Al Shira’aa Derby at Hickstead on the exciting homebred Billy Buckingham. The pair have also been named as part of the British squad for the Nations Cup at Hickstead later this month. A good result here could see them heading out to Tryon for the FEI World Equestrian Games in September.

IMG_0614

Not only is Oliver Townend World Number One event rider, he has an unbelievable three horses listed for the British squad heading to the World Equestrian Games, whilst Emily King recently won the Under 25 National Championships at Bramham.

 

The busy season is in full flow and we have a long tradition of hosting some of the greatest events in the world. With a most memorable Badminton, Windsor, Bolesworth, The Hickstead Derby and Royal Ascot behind us, we look ahead to the Polo Gold Cup, The Royal International Horse Show, The Festival of Eventing, the London leg of the Global Champions Tour and Burghley. At Horse Scout we have our finger on the pulse and it’s important for us to be in the thick of this sporting action, so we have a presence at all of these events.

 

We also have some great ticket giveaways and offers coming up so you can celebrate the best of British sport ringside.

 

Horse Scout are in partnership with the team at The Longines Global Champions Tour for their forthcoming London leg, which takes place at Royal Hospital Chelsea from 3rd-5th August. This means we can offer an exclusive 20% discount on tickets over the weekend. Plus we still have limited tickets available to join us in the GC Champions Lounge. Starting from just £50, the premium package offers access to the Champions Lounge Bar, where you can mingle with the riders, chairs and high tables, panoramic views and a free welcome drink. https://www.horsescout.com/longines-gct-london

 

Written by Ellie Kelly

Laura Renwick

Laura Renwick

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Laura Renwick

Laura Renwick

Laura Renwick has retained her position of leading British female rider for a number of years. She is certainly one of the busiest riders on the circuit and admits to sometimes competing more than 10 horses in a day. Perhaps surprisingly, Laura only started competing seriously at 26.  We caught up with the 44 year old at the Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show, to hear her story and find out what the season holds.

 

“I’ve got two top horses. Top Dollar VI has more ability than he has ever going to need but the rideability is always going to be a bit iffy so I have ruled myself out of selection for the World Equestrian Games this year but I am looking more towards the Olympics” she explains.

“I’m a bit short on top Grand Prix horsepower but we started breeding from some of my competition mares a few years ago and they are just starting to come through. So I’ve got some really promising young ones and hopefully this time next year, some of them will have reached fruition.”

Laura is married to former elite show jumper John Renwick, who gave up the sport in 2002 to focus on supporting his wife. She juggles competing all over the world with running the equestrian business and being a mother to son, Jack.

Amazingly it wasn’t until after the birth of her son that she started to make a name for herself as a rider. For many women, having children can force competitive sport to the back seat. Quite the opposite has happened for Laura, whose sporting career really started to take off after childbirth.

Introduced to horses by her mother, who owned a riding school, Laura was successful in show jumping from the age of 11. Prophetically, she bought her first jumping pony from John, her future husband.

At the age of 18, she questioned whether she wanted to make a career out of it and gave up competing for several years. “I was lucky that my parents supported me up to 18 but then but then I had to go it alone. This sport is tough, especially for anyone starting out and trying to support themselves. At the time I thought I should try something else.

Her sabbatical included being a flight attendant for BA and living in Spain. “If I had my time again I would have stuck at show jumping because it really is in my blood. That’s why I came back to it all these years later.”

Laura returned to the sport at the age of 25. She bought a young horse, which meant starting again from the beginning. Soon after, she met her husband on the competition circuit. To begin with it was purely a business partnership but it later evolved into marriage and parenthood.

“We bought some young horses together and in the early days whilst John was still riding at the top international competitions, I was producing the young horses. These are the horses that I am still riding now so it’s all been a working progress, we’ve learnt together. I think that’s why I have such a strong bond with our horses; we know each other inside out.”

As well as her training skills and empathy with horses, Laura is renowned for her fearless, competitive spirit. On a good horse, she would be hard to beat against the clock and has won a number of Puissance competitions. She won the prestigious Olympia Puissance last year, clearing 7ft on Top Dollar VI

A combination of skill, poise and style has garnered her sponsorship and she even took part in a risqué photography shoot to promote British show jumping. “It was a laugh and done to raise the sport’s profile, but I probably wouldn’t do anything like it again.”

This year Laura was asked to be show jumping ambassador for The Brooke charity’s “Every Horse Remembered” Campaign. I’m delighted to start my official support for Brooke as an Every Horse Remembered Ambassador. I’m looking forward to representing the campaign for Brooke in the British Show jumping scene” she said. “Horses have worked side by side with people for centuries, not least in the First world War. It’s vital that we remember the sacrifice they gave.

 

In order to stay in the game at this level, she and her husband have to be commercially minded. “We breed horses, train them and sell them, even some we would like to keep. John handles most of the business side of things now. He had a lot of injuries which is why I had to up my game and focus on competing.”

“We still have to make a living from it. Prize money in showjumping has gone through the roof, compared to what it used to be but you still have to have the horsepower to be at those shows with that prize money. You need to have a pool of Grand Prix horses to compete regularly at that level and the top riders have that luxury. So until you’re in that sort of league, you do still have to make your money where you can, so our horses are always for sale.”

Laura does not seem fussed that son Jack is more interested in football. “He can ride but has no interest in competing” she says. “I enjoy taking him to football training and have told him to work hard at it so he can look after us in our old age.”

The future looks bright for Laura and she hopes to consolidate her performance next season and “just keep enjoying it” she adds. Does she dare dream of future medals and team selection? “My top horse Top Dollar is more than capable. It’s just about hitting the form at the right time” she says.

 

Written by Ellie Kelly

IMG-9976

FESTIVAL FINESSE: GET YOUR GLAM ON WITH GLOW & DRY

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
FESTIVAL FINESSE: GET YOUR GLAM ON WITH GLOW & DRY
IMG-9976
If you are heading to the Cheltenham Festival, how do you fancy having your hair styled by a leading international stylist, just minutes away from the racecourse? 
The Cheltenham Festival is almost as much about fashion and style as it is about sport. It is one of those quintessentially English events where men and women alike go to great lengths with their appearance . We all know that looking your best for an event adds excitement and sense of occasion. Which is why Horse Scout partnered with luxury styling concierge Glow & Dry. A dynamic team of backstage stylists to race-goers. These guys have even worked on international fashion shows like Victoria’s Secret and other exclusive events around the world. 
Glow & Dry and Horse Scout have teamed up with smart hotel No 131, to present a pop-up salon offering Blow Drys and Up-do’s for the duration of the Festival. You can pre-book to avoid disappointment but there will be some walk in appointments available on the day. Prices start from just £40, so less than a bottle of champagne and a bad bet.
Glow & Dry was voted by Tatler Magazine as “Best All in One Service” for good reason. They are a luxury mobile styling concierge, offering a little black book of the best stylists who travel to you, wherever you are in the world. So if it is an event in LA, a smart party St Tropez or your daughter’s wedding at your home, they will source only the best stylist to make you look your best self. Their hand picked team has a wealth of experience in hair and make up, beauty, aesthetics, male grooming, personal shopping and fashion styling. Which is why Glow & Dry is recommended by Quintessentially, Harpers Bazaar, Forbes and Glamour Magazine. 
Written by Ellie Kelly 

 

8 TIPS TO STAYING COOL & CALM IN THE COMPETITION ARENA

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Horse Scout Blogger was speaking with a rider coming up to their first competition level hike. At home they have been performing well and are well prepared in terms of ability and focus and will do well if our rider focuses on what the horse needs from him……The BIGGEST secret to you performing at your best, when it counts the most, is learning how to keep yourself CALM and COMPOSED. If you allow yourself to get too nervous or too excited right before or during a competition, then your muscles will tighten up, you’ll lose your confidence and your riding will go right down the tubes!

This is what it means to CHOKE! The rider gets so nervous that he/she ends up performing tight and tentatively — a mere shadow of your normal self and this will affect your horses performance to as he picks up on your tension.

THE REAL CAUSE OF OUT OF CONTROL NERVOUSNESS

Runaway, pre-competition nervousness can come from a lot of different sources: how good the other contestants are; the level at which you are competing; how important a competition is; how big the crowd is (and possibly more important to you – who in it is watching you; whether you’ll ride well today and win; How will the going be; Will you remember your test/course/timings— the list goes on and on.

While there are many things about your competitions that can potentially make you nervous, the true cause of your performance-disrupting nervousness isn’t any of the things that I’ve just mentioned above. The real cause of your out-of-control nerves is you! That’s right! YOU make YOURSELF nervous!

What I’m saying here is very important — It’s not what’s happening around or outside of you that makes you nervous. It’s what’s happening INSIDE that is the real cause of stress!

So it is important to take on board: It’s not the size, skill level or reputation of the competition arena that makes you nervous. It’s what you say to yourself about them in the days, hours and minutes leading up to the competition that’s the real culprit in sending your heart rate and blood pressure through the roof! Nervousness is always caused by our inner response to the things that are going on outside of us. But here’s the good news about that: If YOU make yourself nervous, then YOU have the ability to change your inner response to calm yourself down under competitive pressure.

Most riders who get too nervous to ride well do so because of what they focus on and think about as the day approaches. They worry about how well they’ll ride, what people may think or say about them, etc. Focusing on any or all of these things will guarantee that your stress level will go through the attic and your performance will get stuck in the cellar! To stay calm under pressure, you must learn to go into competitions with a completely different headset and focus. I

 

What you need is a game plan;  a game plan is a series of little mental goals that you want to bring into the performance with you. If you follow this game plan, it will guarantee that you’ll stay calm and relaxed when you perform. Remember, being your best when it counts the most is all about being loose right before and during your competitions.

 

Leading up to your performance –

1. KEEP YOUR CONCENTRATION IN THE “NOW”

Train yourself to keep your focus in the NOW — especially during your performance! This means that leading up to the performance, you don’t want to think about and focus on the upcoming competition and its importance. If you want to stay loose and relaxed, you must learn to keep your concentration in the now. When you’re in the action, you want to focus on one present-moment play at a time.

2. RECOGNIsE WHEN YOUR FOCUS “TRAVELS” AND BRING YOURSELF BACK

Concentrating on what is happening now and reacting to that is key. Whilst you have to anticipate your next move you must live in the now in order function from a position of strength. If your focus moves to reflect on what has happened or you start imagining the future bring your focus back.

3. KEEP YOUR FOCUS ON YOU, YOUR JOB AND YOUR PLAY

Allowing your focus to drift to anyone or anything other than you and your horse will quickly make you feel nervous. Staying focused on you and your job will keep you calm and confident.

4. DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF WITH OTHERS! Comparison will always make you too nervous to play at your best.

5. HAVE FUN – Enjoy your job

Enjoying your performance and appreciating what is going well is the secret ingredient to staying calm and doing your best when the heat of competition is turned up high. When fun goes, so will all of your skills.

6. LEAVE YOUR GOALS AT HOME

One of the biggest tension-inducing mental mistakes that you can make as an competitor is to take your goals with you into the competition. Focusing on what you need to achieve will make you too nervous to perform well and, ironically, cause you never to reach them. Instead, leave your goals at home and keep your focus in the action, on “this” movement, this turn, this half halt.

7. KEEP YOUR MIND DISTRACTED BEFORE AND AFTER GAMES

Thinking gets most performers into trouble and makes them nervous. While you can’t really stop yourself from thinking, you can purposely distract yourself from it. So, in the days and minutes leading up to a big performance or tournament, keep busy. Do not allow yourself a lot of free time to think. If you are going through your test or riding the course in your mind. Think about HOW you re riding each movement or jump etc not how difficult its going to be.

8. KEEP YOUR FOCUS OF CONCENTRATION AWAY FROM THE “UNCONTROLLABLES”

There are a lot of things that happen in your sport that you do not have direct control over. Any time an competitor focuses on an “uncontrollable” (UC), they will get really nervous, lose their confidence and ride badly. So make a list of all of the things about this upcoming competition that you can’t directly control. For example, the officiating; the crowd; the future, such as the outcome, how well you’ll ride, winning or losing; how you are feeling that day; other people’s expectations; etc., and post the list in a highly visible. Keep in mind that these UCs are mental traps. They are lying in wait for you and every other competitor in that competition. Concentrate on the things over which you do have control.

Remember, if you really want to ride well, you have to stay loose and relaxed. To do this, focus on executing this GAME PLAN!

GoodLuck

 

British Dressage Team Quest – Find your perfect partners

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Its time to think about your competing strategy for next season. If you are a rider and thinking of taking up dressage or just getting out more with your horse? How about team dressage? British Dressage introduced the Team Quest competitions last year and this year it seems set to take off.

With 30 competitions scheduled countrywide in February its time to sort out some competition teams.  Each team has three or four members and the three highest scores count, with a reserve in case of any horse being unable to compete.

TQ Qualifying competitions to take place from 1 February 2015 to 31 August 2015. With eight Regional finals to take place in September, followed by a final championship to be held in November.

To take place all team members must have a minimum of a Team Quest Club membership (or any other paid category of BD membership), and all horses must have a minimum of a FREE Associate Horse Registration – This can be done online.

Teams are divided into three age categories – BYRDS Team members 16 and under, 25 and under, and Open Team riders of any age – and each competitor can chose to ride an Intro, Prelim or Novice test.

For the inaugural championship  in November 2014 there where not only prizes for the best performance but also . Best Dressed for amazing outfit coordination and inventiveness –  Which the Yahooligans took home. What caught the judges eye where the inventive clipped ribbons on the horses in support of a fellow team mate, who has competed in TQ whilst battling breast cancer. Then there is was also Best Team Spirit award which was awarded to the loud and lively u16s team, Chaos Cousins who could not be missed as they gathered round the arenas whenever their team mates competed to sing, dance and do whatever they could to settle their comrade’s nerves.

Norfolk Divas, Little Little Little and Large and The Charnwood Chancers were the three big winners at the first ever Team Quest finals over the weekend at Bury Farm, Buckinghamshire (1 – 2 November 2014).

Over the course of the two day competition, 195 competitors in 50 teams contested in one class per day – with the top three percentages from each team on each day combining to achieve an overall score.

Riders can choose which level they ride at, providing that all combinations are eligible for Intro, Preliminary or Novice (qualifiers) in accordance with BD rules.

Are you thinking of finding your perfect team horse, then have a look through our for sale pages.  Good luck with your Dressage Team Quest for 2015