There has been plenty of discussion about retrained racehorse Kauto Star following his Olympia performance...
"Horses are good levellers, aren't they? Even the best horses have off days, and everyone of us who has ever competed on a regular basis will have at least one moment when things just did not go to plan, leaving us somewhere between mildly embarrassed and downright mortified.
I have a whole catalogue of such incidents, most of which I cringe to recall. That Handy Pony class debacle. The time I ended up sitting in the middle of fence three in a showjumping round. The occasion my horse wouldn't go near the mirrors in an indoor arena and I couldn't even complete my dressage test.
But that's part of owning horses, and of being a rider, isn't it? None of us are infallible.
On Tuesday night, Kauto Star took part in a dressage display at Olympia. He came in quite sweetly, trotted and cantered round on each rein, and then... Well, things started going wrong. The steeplechasing great did not want to go forwards. He looked sluggish and awkward, and Laura had to use rather a lot of leg to get him to move at all. She's a four-star event rider, she's better than the vast majority of riders in the world, but for those few brief moments, her riding didn't look good.
"I think he wants to stop and stare at the audience," said Yogi Briesner, who was commentating on the demonstration. Maybe that's true. Maybe Kauto had done a bit too much work in the warm-up. Maybe he didn't like being out of his bed so late at night - his demo had moved from 6pm to 10.30pm. Who knows.
But from this demo - which slid from fine to poor in the space of a few moments - people are surmising all sorts. Kauto 'hates' dressage. He's miserable. He's being forced to do something he doesn't want to. He's not being trained well enough. He should have never left his racing yard. He’d rather do something else instead.
It wasn't a good demo, that's true. But Laura has had Kauto for a couple of years and done dozens of displays and parades with him, and there's never been one like this.
The internet can be a wonderful thing in the horse world. It can spread awareness when a much-loved pony has been stolen, it can help raise funds for starving or neglected equines, it can pinpoint moments of cruelty or wrong-doing.
But equally, the internet can be a rather harsh place. If we rode with dozens of cameras constantly following us, taking thousands of pictures, would there ever be a photograph that was less than flattering? Where our riding looked weak, our position wrong, our horse uncomfortable?
Few of us will ever ride on such a public stage as Olympia. But if we did, and it turned into one of those cringing moments where it didn't go at all to plan – would we cope with becoming the focus of endless debate and criticism? I've seen a number of the world's top riders go from winning medals one moment to having their riding or reactions ripped to shreds online the next.
Olympia wasn't the shining example of retraining racehorses that we hoped it would be. But Kauto looks healthy, he can go nicely (as every other demonstration has proved), he’s being kept fit and active with some schooling – he’s yet to compete and there are no immediate plans for him to do so - while also getting to jump a few fences and hack round the countryside.
All that shouldn’t be discounted because of one bad showing."
H&C's editor Victoria explains why we must all get behind Charlotte Dujardin in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards...
"Back in 2012, during filming of our hit series 'Carl and Charlotte: Dressage Superstars', we asked Charlotte Dujardin if she was nervous about the impending London 2012 Olympics. She simply grinned, and shrugged. 'It's just another centre line, isn't it?'
And that, to me, is what makes Charlotte remarkable. Faced with the biggest challenge of all, riding at her first ever Olympics at the age of just 27, dealing with an enormous amount of pressure and the crushing weight of expectation, she just smiled and treated it like any other competition.
Something changed that day, when Charlotte helped Great Britain clinch our first ever Olympic gold medal in dressage. People outside the horse world began talking about the sport, watching the performances, discussing the 'dancing horses'. Caring about our riders, their horses, our gold medals.
Laura Tomlinson (then Bechtolsheimer) started the new era for British Dressage; Carl Hester was instrumental in the sea change, but it was Charlotte who took it all stratospheric. Charlotte and Valegro - the girl who rose from work rider to mega star, and the quirky bargain horse who became a world beater.
As a pair they broke records and smashed stereotypes. Her name may sound upmarket but really she's a down to earth girl from Enfield. She has good-natured squabbles with mentor Carl Hester, teasing him mercilessly, calling him 'Grandad'. She laughs a lot. When it comes to voting, the 'Personality' part of the BBC awards often seems less influential compared to the performance aspect, but Charlotte satisfies both elements - buckets of character combined with a truly remarkable sporting record.
But does the wider world still see that? In the three years since that historic moment in Greenwich, when everyone was talking about the Dancing Horses, Charlotte has gone on to win European and World gold medals and hold her position as the world number one. In the horse world, they are as famous a combination as Posh and Becks, but beyond that? How many people have seen the list of nominees and wondered why a dressage rider is on there? How many have ruled out her chances already?
And that's why we must get behind Charlotte, just as we got behind Zara eight years ago (and I refuse to believe that it was only because of Zara's Royal connection). The horse world may be small, but we're passionate. We care about our riders and their horses. We don't have allegiances to teams, we may have a few favourite pairings but in general we just care about good performances, great partnerships, the simple magic of watching horses compete at the highest levels.
So for everyone who has ever complained that there isn't enough horse sport on terrestrial TV, who has ever got annoyed when eventers are referred to as showjumpers, who feels horse sport doesn't get the recognition it deserves, then vote for Charlotte. It's that simple. She's the best in the world, she's done more for the profile of her sport than we could ever have imagined, and she deserves every bit of our support.
So when Sunday comes, and Charlotte is there with all the nominees, I hope the public sees what we see. The giggly young lady from Enfield, her wondrous talent, and the phenomenal success she has shared with Valegro.
Hold your head up high this weekend Charlotte, and know the horse world is willing you on to victory. And as for the walk down to that BBC stage, in front of all those people? Well, just treat it like any other centre line."
Showjumper Yazmin Pinchen has been to a number of major shows but now it's nearly time for Christmas and some relaxation...
I have had a very busy last few months, going to a number of five-star FEI World Cup shows. It's so surreal riding in classes like that, with all the top riders. My first one was in Oslo, Norway – where it was extremely cold! Ashkari was feeling on top form but again I was really nervous. However, she jumped incredibly and we just touched one pole, but I was so happy to finish on just 4 penalties.
Then we went on to Helsinki, Finland where we jumped clear! It was the most amazing feeling ever. I was early to go so it meant I would be early in the jump-off too. I had plenty of time to make a plan but my nerves just took over, the minute I got into the arena I panicked and made one mistake and really paid for it this time, my mare went through the fence and we had to turn a circle. However, I pulled myself together after and finished the rest of the course clear.
My nerves can often take over so it's all about learning to manage them. Hopefully soon I'll get to grips with this and won't find myself in a situation like that again.
Last weekend I was invited to the World Cup show in Madrid. My stallion Van de Vivaldi jumped amazingly all weekend, he was 10th the second day and sixth in the 1.50m class on the Saturday. Unfortunately my mare did not jump well there at all, it’s a shame but I know it's not like her so I retired in the Grand Prix. She has a week off now before La Coruna, so we will be keeping an eye on her before the next show.
I have to say a huge congratulations to William Whitaker for winning his first World Cup class in Stuttgart. He made it look so easy! He's such a fantastic rider and deserves so much credit for that win, I can tell you those classes are very difficult and technical. Will just proved to us how capable him and his horse really are.
At home I have two brilliant girls working for me and keeping the other horses going while I'm away competing. We went to a local show the other day with the younger horses and, wow, I was impressed, we have some outstanding young horses and I cannot wait for them to grow up and jump bigger classes. It's so nice to buy horses young and produce them yourself, every horse we have we have bought young apart from one - Umorkus. It’s a real family effort in our yard and its great knowing the other horses are in good hands at home when I'm travelling.
I now have a week at home relaxing, riding the young horses and going to some shows and of course getting festive! December has come so fast, I have already done most my shopping online. I don’t think I have ever been so organized. I love this time of year, it's so exciting getting to do the Christmas tree and wrap up presents. I feel like I'm 10 years old again!
La Coruna will be my last show of the year, my horses will have a rest and then we head to Abu Dhabi in January for a month with the horses. Hope you all have a fantastic Christmas and get some lovely presents."
At the age of 34, H&C presenter Jenny Rudall has finally got her very first horse...
"All my life, I have ridden horses for other people, either retraining them or producing them before they go onto to do bigger and better things elsewhere. Never have I been afforded the luxury of having my own horse… Until now.
From the moment I made the decision to become a horse owner, I've been through a whirlwind of emotions. Firstly, the excitement - that 'oh my god' moment when I realise it's actually happened. The warm glow I get every time I say 'I’m off to ride my horse'. I know it might sound a bit smug to non-horsey people, but to anyone who has longed for - and finally got - a horse of their own, you'll know exactly how monumental it feels to say those words.
Then comes the feeling of total and utter fear. The realisation that you now own half a ton of living, breathing, money-eating equine, and that you're entirely responsible for keeping him happy and healthy, is pretty daunting.
The final stage is the mad frenzy of buying a whole array of equine necessities and, let's face it, a lot of ‘stuff’ you don’t actually need.
So how did I finally become a horse owner? Well, last month I went down to help get a horse fit for my friend, event rider Kate Tarrant. Kate wanted to sell Finn to a possible hunting home so he needed to get out after a bit of time off, and I was more than happy to help her out.
But I wasn’t prepared to instantly fall for the eight-year-old Irish gelding and certainly wasn’t expecting to be parting with a large chunk of my wedding fund to pay for him. Yes, that's correct, I did say wedding fund - thank goodness I have a very understanding fiancé. You may wish to refer to my earlier blog to learn more about him.
Kate innocently asked if wanted to have a 'pop' on Finn on the Saturday and by the Monday I was drawing down on our savings. In my defence, my fiancé was in attendance at the point of purchase and agreed Finn would make an excellent addition to the family.
Finn is now totally and utterly part of the team, but he does have to compromise slightly by living out. The wedding fund doesn’t stretch to full livery but he seems happy with his outdoor lifestyle.
Every time I ride him he brings a smile to my face and I still can’t quite believe that he is mine, all mine. I can get as attached as I like and I don’t have to answer to anyone, and I have to say it's absolute bliss. If we go to a competition, Finn can knock a pole, be a prat and come last, it doesn’t matter because he only has to impress me and he does that by just being him. Saying that, he may have to bring the odd rosette home to keep the other half happy...
Finn may be quirky and he does have an interesting showjumping style, but what he lacks in conformation (he is a tad long and who knows if he will ever grow into his back end) he makes up for in heart. From the moment we went cross-country schooling I knew straight away Finn was my perfect partner – after my fiancé obviously!"
"These days you don't get many kids on ponies casually jumping through fire or over a dinner table. But in this video, young members of the Cotswold Hunt take part in a 'trick jumping' display - with not a hard hat among them!
Obviously don't try this at home, and certainly don't be riding without a proper hat... But there is something quite remarkable about this British Pathe film from the 1930s, and it's definitely worth a watch."
Guest blogger Robbie Mason writes about Little Logic, a showjumping pony with a long and remarkable career...
"Little Logic was, by the very definition of the phrase, a VIP - a Very Important Pony. He originated in Ireland where he started his jumping just career like thousands of other ponies who go down that route. His records begin in 1990, where he contested smaller classes and progressed up the levels, competing at the Dublin Horse Show along the way.
In 2000, Little Logic made his way over to British shores, where he would go on to be ridden by some of the biggest names in junior showjumping. He was firstly ridden by Andrew Mizon and then his brother Alister, and among his successes with the Mizons, he finished in sixth place in the Horse of the Year 138cms final in October 2002. After a short stay with Oliver Liley, Logic became one of the many ponies to be riden by the Whitaker dynasty when William Whitaker took the ride for the next year.
At that point, Scottish showjumper Stacey Babes was extremely unwell and struggling to come back from illness. Her mother Muriel and father George needed something to drive Stacey's recovery and, knowing how much she'd always liked Little Logic, they decided to bring him into their family, something they kept as a surprise. When Stacey caught sight of him through her window on the yard she was made ever more determined to get back to full fitness before she was out of 138cms classes.
The target was made - Stacey rode Logic in the winning 138cms Scotland team later that year at Southview Equestrian Centre. After their performance, her proud dad George took the Scotland flag and marched into the arena as the Scottish National Anthem played.
Stacey's younger sister Stephanie then inherited the ride and over the next year built her own special partnership with Logic, but it was to be cut short at the end of that year, when Logic did a tendon jumping through a combination at a competition. The news wasn’t good and the advice from the vet was that Logic would never fully recover from the damage.
But putting him to sleep was not an option and Logic was put out in the field for the next two years to recuperate. During this time he began showing remarkable signs of recovery and, after many checks and careful consideration, it was clear that Logic wasn’t ready to stop showjumping just yet.
Soon he was back competing, first with Holly Rankin and then Claire Sharp, who both achieved great results with Logic in 138cms opens, Horse of the Year Show qualifiers and Scotland team events.
In early 2010, Logic became part of our family when my son, Robbie Mason, became the next in line to be taught by the superstar pony. Robbie had only entered the sport in 2008 after sitting on his first pony the previous year. We were a family with no previous horse connections other than the riding lessons Robbie's mother Tracey had attended as a child.
By this time, Robbie had finished top in the Scottish and Northern Equestrian points league for that year, but only at 70cm level. Logic really had a true beginner to look after this time.
With help from the Babes family over the next couple of years, Robbie and Logic progressed to 138cms tracks, represented Scotland on teams and narrowly missed out on a Horse of the Year Show ticket at the one and only qualifier they entered that year.
It was in February 2012 that Logic was once again to beat all the odds when he qualified for the Longines Royal International Horse Show for at Hickstead, with Robbie riding him round triple clear at Keysoe Equestrian Centre in Bedford. Logic was, by this time, estimated to be in his 30s.
Unfortunately, two weeks before the competition, Logic limped out of the field. He had jumped his last big track.
He was once again nursed to recovery and Robbie's little sister Aimie was now his rider. Aimie was still on lead rein and Logic's final job was to teach Aimie an introduction into jumping small tracks at local unaffiliated shows. Last summer they went to various local centres and had fun round 50-60cm courses.
The final miracle performed by this now legendary pony was this summer, when the confidence he had built in Aimie led to her pleading with us to take her to a British Showjumping event to try the 70cm class.
Robbie was competing at Bury Farm Equestrian Centre near Luton before going straight on to the Welsh Home Pony International at the David Broome Centre, South Wales. We decided that it would be nice to take Logic anyway and if Aimie got there and decided she didn’t want to do it, she could still have fun riding him around the showground and grooming him every day alongside all her friends from the show circuit.
She found the courage to participate and managed a fantastic double clear in her first ever 70cm course. Logic had spurred her on and given her the confidence, and Aimie now has the ride on a 128cms pony who we hope will help her become a regular on the British Showjumping circuit next year. Logic went back to smaller unaffiliated tracks and recently won first place at Muirmill Equestrian Centre at 50cms. ’
Aimie's double clear meant that she now shared pride of place on Logic's showjumping record, but unfortunately it was to be the last ever entry.
It was with the greatest sadness that we had to say goodbye, when he passed away in the early hours of Wednesday 29 October. He had become unwell the previous morning and the vet told us there was nothing more we could do except make him as comfortable as possible. We were with him to then end.
Logic was a very special part of ours and other families and we are so grateful we had the honour of his company. Logic had done so much for so many children at every level of pony jumping over the course of his life.
I'll always remember being at the Home Pony International at Rowallan Equestrian Centre in 2012. I was in the office where Robbie and Logic happened to be the picture on the BSJA Junior calendar for that month, which was hanging on the wall behind the counter. Claire, the owner, told me an Irish man had come into the office one time and when he saw the calendar he exclaimed: “My Lord, that pony looks like Little Logic!”. She'd replied, “My Lord, that pony IS Little Logic!”. His face was apparently a picture - he couldn't believe he was still going strong.
This was a pony who lived an incredible life and helped kids achieve incredible dreams. I am sure that everyone who knew him, as many people did, will always consider him a true great, a VIP indeed."
Would you like to write a one-off blog for H&C? Is there a topic in the horseworld that you really want to rant about? Something you want to get off your chest? Is there some aspect of horse-ownership that really makes you laugh? We'd love to hear from viewers who want to write a one-off guest blog post about everything and anything. Send a max of 400 words to [email protected], and we'll choose the very best to use on our site.
Our blogger Sarina Stokes won H&C's competition to write a guest blog for a year. Read her latest update to find out why the showjumping is still causing problems...
"Now the dark nights are here and the eventing season is finished, I've been looking back at our season. I have had plenty of lessons to learn from and also some great highs.
In August we went to Wellington to do another BE100, and once again we had a great dressage score - but two showjumps down again kept us out of the top 10. We seem to be consistent in that we are usually in a great position after dressage, and clear cross-country, but we we just cannot get a clear round in the showjumping! I am a great believer in it almost always being the rider's fault instead of the horse's, so lots more work needed.
All year my aim has been to go Novice, but with our showjumping lacking, I decided to try a BE100 plus instead for our last run of the season. I was so excited about doing a Novice-level dressage test and my mare really rose to the occasion, as once again we were in the top five. But the showjumping again proved our undoing. We were clear until fence five and she was jumping so well, and just as I thought "Wow we might actually go clear" we had a fence down. Golden rule - never think you may go clear!
Our last event was at Larkhill and we all got together from my trainer Jonathan Chapman's yard and piled into the big lorry. Setting off just before dawn in the dark felt like a great adventure. Normally I travel Cheeky alone and she creates such a fuss, so inthe lorry she has to have a partition between her and the next horse otherwise she makes a strange noise - like a dinosaur - all the way to an event!
Larkhill cross-country was the best course all year for me, it was galloping and some of the jumps were quite big. I had the benefit of a cross country walk with Jonathan, which was very insightful. Around fence 11 we had a skinny off an bank, down into the dip of the valley and back up a big step and a stride to a fence on top of the bank. Jonathan told me to collect the horse at the bottom to get some power to come back up the hill, and when I saw him standing on top of the valley as I rode past, it made me sit up and ride properly. We flew the skinny and the drop and sort of collected at the bottom, but by now Cheeky's blood was up and up the big step we went and, well, who needs a stride, she just bounced the fence off the step! Woo hoo! That was not in the course walk!
So now we are into the rest period, I am giving Cheeky a little time off, or less work anyway, and I am looking to the future and what we do this winter to get us jumping clears. If we can crack that, we can start winning a few rosettes, all year without a rosette, let alone a red one!
There is always next year to aim for now. Now the hard work really starts and I am looking forward to my next event already!"
Is keeping a horse in a stable full-time the same as keeping battery chickens in a cage? H&C's Editor Victoria reflects on one of the points made at the World Horse Welfare conference...
"When I discovered journalist Liz Jones was among the panellists at today's World Horse Welfare annual conference, I was expecting some fireworks.
The Daily Mailcolumnist is known for her controversial articles and her outspoken views, and she has often written about issues of animal rights.
But in the end only one of the statements she made today caused me to whip out my notebook, and it's been playing on my mind ever since.
Referring to the 'confinement' of horses, she said: "To me, stables are to horses what battery cages are to hens – they’re no different."
A few moments earlier, when talking about some of the things that appalled her, like horses in Ethiopia with wounds on their sides known as 'accelerators', or seeing a little boy beat a donkey with an iron pole, she also mentioned horses being locked up in their stables for 23 hours out of 24.
It made me wonder - can the three scenarios really be classed as similar levels of cruelty?
Horses have some basic requirements. They need food and water, they need shelter and their essential healthcare needs met.
Then there’s their quality of life. Horses should be free from stress and be able to express their normal behaviour, and they need space and freedom.
And that means some turnout time.
We all know the health implications of keeping a horse cooped up in a stable all day, every day. We know about stereotypies – more commonly known as stable vices – and we know about the problems caused by altering the horse’s natural lifestyle of trickle grazing and constant movement, such as the increased chance of colic or gastric ulcers.
I've talked to horse lovers with wide-ranging opinions, from those who think horses should only live out, who should be ridden without metal in their mouths or nailed to their feet – to those who compete at the highest levels, whose horses are treated as elite athletes and spend most of their time in a stable.
But most owners opt for a mid-way point, that of providing daily turnout for their horse with a warm stable to come into at night. Olympian Carl Hester will turn his hugely valuable dressage horses out in the paddock each day, and he’s far from the only top competition rider to do so.
But sometimes daily turnout isn’t possible. Sometimes because of short-term problems like water-logged fields, other times because turnout isn’t available or practical.
There are urban riding schools whose horses are stabled for most of the year, but who get a ‘summer holiday’ where they live out 24/7. Similarly lots of racehorses and working horses get to have a break out of season, some downtime in the field and an opportunity to be, well, just a horse.
The vision of all horses living out full time is an idyllic but often impractical one. Some are not hardy enough to live out, some would overeat if given unrestricted access to grass. Horse owners have restrictions on their own lives and time and most of us must make some sort of compromise, to strike a balance between our horse’s needs and our own. Many owners are governed by the rules and facilities of livery yards.
If horses who are stabled full time are given an occasional break and plenty of daily exercise, I can’t equate their lives to those of a battery hen.
Compare the existence of cared for but confined horses to those abandoned equines littered across the British countryside. The latter are given all the freedom in the world, but none of the most basic requirements.
If you had to be one of those horses, which would you rather be?"
It's the end of the competition season, so our blogger Alice Oppenheimer takes the opportunity to go on a girls' holiday...
"After the Nationals my main competition horses get to enjoy their well-earned two-week holiday. This means I get a chance for a break as well, so myself, Charlotte Dujardin, Jo (Char's personal trainer), Amy (my best friend) and Kate (my sister) all headed out to Tenerife for a girls' holiday.
I struggle to switch off instantly as I'm so used to being on the go all the time, but I tried to relax and make the most of being able to just lie around. We spent most of the time lazing around by the pool but also got up to a few activities, mainly to keep me quiet! We had another go on the fly fish and, having been chucked off it last year, I was desperate to stay on this time. Unfortunately, the boat driver was desperate to get us to fall off, but somehow we clung on - even if I did end up with major cramp in my arms. The driver got his revenge, however, when pushed Char into the sea when we got back on the boat! It was a wonderful holiday. There is already talk of going back again next year.
We always give the competition horses a fortnight break at the end of the season as they work hard mentally and physically while they are competing so I think it's important for them to have a complete break to recharge ready for the new season. After all, we get to the stage where we feel we need a break, so they must to! They have a couple of weeks just going on the horse walker to keep some fitness and out in the field to chill before I spend a week or so bringing them back into full work and concentrating on winter training.
Already I'm thinking ahead to next season. Bracks will shortly be stepping up to Grand Prix and Socs will be aimed at small tour in the near future. I'm also very excited about my young horses. Robin (Headmore Dirubinio), who will be six next year, is phenomenal. We chose not to compete him this year to give him a chance to grow into himself as he is a good 17.2hh, but he is showing huge flying changes and promising half passes, so he may be out contesting the Six Year Old classes next year. I'm also lucky enough to have a couple of very quality rising five year olds. Davina (Headmore Davina) is Robin's full sister and is another exciting prospect. I'm not yet decided on my plans with her, she may contest the Five Year Olds next year or I may keep her at home training. I also have another DiMaggio, Finn (Headmore Diffinity) who is buckskin (not orange!) out of Kelly (Celtic Rose III) who I used to compete and owned by Caroline Dibden. He will hopefully be competing in the young horse classes next year.
Finally, it was very exciting to be able to watch the British Dressage Nationals on H&C this year. It's so important that dressage gets exposure in order for the sport to grow, and I got many lovely comments on my social media after Del's fifth placed test was shown."
In the run up to the Polocrosse World Cup, Debbie Harris will be guest blogging for H&C. Read her post to find out more about the sport and her first year as captain for the UK team...
"Hi! My name is Debbie and I have been given the opportunity to share mine and my team mate’s journey on the route to the Polocrosse World Cup in South Africa next year.
So what is Polocrosse? Basically it is a combination of polo and lacrosse. It is an exciting team sport played on horseback with teams of six players each. There is a combination of skills required to make the game flow; horsemanship and stick skills being the main two. However other elements would be team and one-on-one attack and defence tactics. Quite simply you have a goal-scorer, a midfielder and a defence, each battling it out with turns, spins, flicks and pushes. Polocrosse is enjoyed by all; boys and girls, kids and adults. If you’re still learning to ride, there’s no better place to improve your riding skills than by having a go at this sport.
I have been selected to play for the UK at the Polocrosse World Cup along with seven others. This will be the fourth World Cup I will have played in and this time I have the honour of captaining the team. My team mates are Jason Webb (player/Coach), Danny Duhig, Joel Sics, Max Pedley, Charlotte Pykett, Racheal Duhig and Kerry Bean; while the reserves are Emily Gilfillan, Annie Mitchell, Alex Richards, Matt Smith and Will Halcrow.
So let me talk about the team; four women and four men make up the ever hopeful World Cup team. On a national club level we have all been playing against each other this year in the hope to stand out and be picked for this amazing opportunity to represent our country. Although throughout the selection process our coach Jason Webb has brought us together in various combinations to find our strongest team. In doing this we have played two international test series against Ireland back in July and more recently against the USA. The UK were victorious on both occasions, which provides some great preparation and allowed us to really stamp down for our place on the final World Cup team.
Look out for my next blog where I will be going through our winter training and preparations, and also I will be introducing the superstars, the horses!"