Jodie's Blog - "You Know You Can, Now Show You Can"
As the dust settles on a very busy December/January, and my first BE entry goes in for Oasby ’19, I felt it a good time to reflect on the season gone and the hopes for the season coming.
2018 was a really big year for Team Pops! We finally made that big step up to Intermediate then 2* and in true Clover fashion, she didn’t disappoint!
Our first 3 day of the season was also our first International trip back in May, and Clover’s return to the homeland - Tattersalls. We had the most incredible week which put our sights firmly on a step up. Catton Park was to be our first Intermediate and it felt very surreal looking for green markers round a bloomin’ enormous track! She felt incredible, barely noticing the step up (or the width of the huge tables!!).
After 2 Intermediates where I made mistakes and got us technical eliminations by missing fences (!!) I realised we were playing with the big boys and I needed to wise up. James Oakden has played a huge role in Clover and my training over the last 18 months, and I needed him to instil the confidence that 2* was within our reach. We based ourselves at Dunbog with Team Oakden and gained daily from their wealth of experience and expertise. This resulted in a storming clear inside the time at Burgham, and a sure-fire belief we could event at this level. I credit them entirely with changing my mindset that this was achievable for a very amateurish dentist and her fluffy Irish pony!
Our biggest achievement last year was at Gatcombe in our first 2*. Whilst on paper it didn’t look like a great day (40 faults on the XC), she was beyond exceptional amongst a class of professionals! The track was causing complete carnage with eliminations and retirals left, right and centre. James said to me as we went into the start box “You know you can, now show you can” and that has never left me. He truly believed we could do it, and a trainer with that confidence in you is worth their weight in gold. Clover came back from the cross country a better horse for doing it.
In classic ‘Jodie-fashion’, whilst sitting one evening at our final event of the season, Osberton, I decided to buy a newly backed 4 year old, unseen in Ireland (as you do)! And so the complete babe that is Blossom (Monbeg Breeze) came into my life. To say I had forgotten what it’s like to have a baby horse is a complete understatement! But I’m loving getting to know her and look forward to plenty of fun together.
As the season came to a close, and Pops got fat and fluffy (with a little Chris Bartle demo thrown in for good measure), my 7-year-long dream came to fruition and I bought a house with land and stables to finally have Clover and Blossom just outside the backdoor. We will miss Dunbog and Team Oakden terribly, but the aim is to be there twice a week to continue the incredible work they have done. I thank them for believing in us when we maybe didn’t believe in ourselves. Huge thanks must also go to our sponsors Apt Cavalier, Dave Cameron Photography and Riding with Confidence Scotland for all their support and encouragement this season.
The aims for next season start with the Intermediate at Oasby and I have everything crossed for a 2* (now 3*) entry at Blair in the Autumn. Long term I would love Pops to do an Advanced, but we shall see where the season takes us.
Eventing season 2018; lots to work on, lots to like, and lots to be so proud of! Eventing season 2019; filled with lots of promise! I read a quote the other day that said “The best view comes after the hardest climb” and I couldn’t agree more.
Jodie, Clover & Blossom
Photography by Dave Cameron Photography