Gemma on Arctic Soul, who is currently up for sale unless Gemma can put together a syndicate to keep the ride on him
Gemma Tattersall’s eventing season has come to an end for this year, and she's facing the prospect of losing her top horse…
“So it’s the end of the season again and it seems to have flown by, with the usual mixture of highs and lows. I am very lucky to have continued support from a fantastic bunch of owners, sponsors and my team at home without all of whom I would struggle to do anything so a big thank you to all of them.
Highlights of this season for me have been selection for the World Class Elite squad and being part of the winning FEI Nations Cup team. This new eventing series has been a great opportunity for us to get to know other future team members and compete together under pressure, in preparation (hopefully) for championship team selection. I think all of us involved have very much enjoyed being part of it and to win the series and beating the ever dominant Germans was icing on the cake.
Another top moment was coming fourth at Blenheim CCI*** with Arctic Soul. It was confirmation that we are on track as a partnership and it was exhilarating to be the only person in the whole competition to go inside the time cross country. This achievement was, however, tinged with sadness as the current owner of Arctic Soul needs to sell him so I am currently in the process of trying to put together a syndicate in order to keep the ride and hopefully secure my place on the British team. So pass on the word and hopefully someone out there can help me keep the ride on my beautiful boy.
Even though the season is over we are still very busy. I am off to Ireland for the Goresbridge Going for Gold sales with three lovely young horses I produced for Donal Barnwell. Fingers crossed all the hard work throughout the year will result in some good sales and maybe even replicate the success of the previous two years by getting top lot. It is usually a pretty manic week, but always good fun with a great bunch of characters - and as they say, a change is as good as a rest!
The Australian International Three-Day Event (14-17 November) in Adelaide is fast approaching... And they've organised a publicity stunt with a twist!
"When the organisers of Barbury Horse Trials painted Laura Collett’s horse with the Union Flag last year, the photos were everywhere - it's not often you get to see a top rider in a dress going cross-country on a painted horse, after all. This year the Aussies have taken it a step further. To promote the upcoming Australian International Three-Day Event, Olympic silver medallist Megan Jones has been pictured riding her Olympic horse in little more than her underwear and body paint.
After spending a whole six hours in make-up, which is an undertaking in itself as any horsey girl knows, Megan braved the outdoors to ride round town and promote Australia’s only four-star event. At least Australia's climate is somewhat better than here in the UK!
It certainly is eye-catching and an incredible piece of artwork - you really do have to look twice to see that there's something amiss with her jods and tailcoat. But it does leaves the H&C team wondering, what next? Is there a British rider out there willing to going even further and take on the role of Lady Godiva? Watch this space…"
Our blogger Sharon Hunt may not have been out competing at the very top level of late, but her other horses have been keeping her more than busy...
"Hi all, I only have one event left now - every season seems to go past a little quicker each year. Although my top event horse Maisie hasn't been out competing at top level, I still have had a great season.
Superman, or Loughnatousa Fabio, has been unreal. He's never had a cross-country penalty and he has been in the top five of 10 of his 11 starts, with three wins. He is a real super star for the future.
Blazing Scot also jumped double clear in every event and had several placings, I have decided to give both horses an autumn holiday now as they have achieved all their aims.
Aways needing a project, I have purchased two lovely mares, HSB Harriet and Tadmus Star. They have just been placed in their first event and have we have one final event in two weeks' time. They are great jumpers so lots of fun to be had this winter.
My showjumper Double Whammy has improved so much this summer and has now won a few Foxhunters. I hope to jump her in some winter qualifiers, she is definitely an eventer turned showjumper.
The clinics are really taking off too, I've been to Aberdeen, Belfast and and will be in Edinburgh soon. I have had a great time and met some fantastic people. I will be helping BE this winter too with their clinics and am currently doing my BS level 3 so hopefully be an accredited showjumping trainer before too long.
A very busy winter ahead and some big plans that should be exciting, but winter isn't here just yet..."
Gemma has had a busy season - but even she has to make time for schooling the horses and making adjustments when things don't go to plan...
"Sorry for the lack of blogs but the season as always has been really busy. Busy or not, you have to make time for schooling, so as prepration for Blenheim I took Chico Bella and Arctic Soul to Rosamund Green Farm for a little cross-country tune-up. It is a great facility with pretty much every cross-country fence imaginable and, although it is a long way from us, it is always worth the trip – hope you enjoy our little video of Artic Soul above.
Chico Bella has been on great form recently and felt great schooling, so hopefully she is ready for Blenheim. She is doing the Eight- and Nine-Year-Old CIC*** and should be pretty competitive, if things go to plan!
Arctic Soul has been a bit trickier this season. We had a whoopsie at Bramham and I fell off, which I think has really knocked his confidence. We have gone back to basics and have spent a lot of time jumping at home, rebuilding his confidence in himself and in our partnership. We also tried a few different bits and I think have found the right one now. There are so many variables that sometimes it takes a while to get everything right. As you can see from the video, he is back on form and like his old self again.
We managed to get him back on form just in time as we were lucky enough to go to the WEG test event in Haras du Pin a few weeks ago. It was an amazing experience and he ran really well so I hope we are ready for Blenheim but we shall see.
Keep everything crossed for us and hopefully we will see a few of you there!"
H&C's web editor Victoria is starting to wonder if Michael Jung is actually human...
"The year is 2029. Determined to end the British stranglehold on the European Eventing Championships (Team GB won all but one European team gold from 1985 to 2009), Germany created a Terminator and sent him back in time to dominate the sport and defeat all rivals. His name is Michael Jung.
Okay, okay. He's not a cyborg and we're pretty sure he hasn't done any time travelling, but we're convinced Michael Jung is superhuman.
He is the only person to ever hold World, Olympic and European individual titles at the same time. If you look at his championship record, it's simply littered with gold - including two at London 2012. He's Midas and Goldfinger, all rolled into one, with a shot of Goldschlager added for good measure.
Don't get us wrong, his team mates are somewhat impressive in their own right, but since Michael travelled back in... Sorry, since he arrived on the scene, it's become Germany whom the other nations fear the most.
Michael has ridden at Grand Prix level in both dressage and showjumping, and that kinda helps when you then concentrate on eventing. His test yesterday at the Europeans was unreal - he finished 8pen ahead of William Fox-Pitt, his nearest rival. Few riders were breaking the sub-40% barrier when Michael saunters in on a new team ride and goes SUB-THIRTY. Yes, that's right, 28.8pen, translated into dressage speak as 80.93%. If he transferred back to the flat, even Charlotte and Valegro would be quaking in their patent boots.
Nor does he have just one horse to thank for his success. La Biosthetique Sam FBW is the most famous; but there's also Leopin FST (Luhmuhlen winner in 2012), and now Halunke FBW, his ride here in Malmo, looks set to join his string of eventing marvels. Jung is a geniune horseman; a gifted producer of youngsters. Other riders' careers seem to ebb and flow as their top horses come and go, or drift in and out of form; with Jung it wouldn't surprise me if he stayed at the very top for decades to come.
You might imagine this ruthless eventing assasin to be pretty terrifying; but he steers clear of the Schwarzenegger-esque black raybans and leather jacket (a cunning disguise, perhaps?) and comes across as really rather lovely. He has these direct blue eyes and a permanent slight smile; like he finds the whole eventing world faintly entertaining. He gives no impression of ever suffering from nerves; he certainly doesn't seem to go for arrogance or anger.
When he held the lead throughout the entire of Badminton, he'd attend the daily press conferences, calmly saying: "Yes, the horse was good, he went well," with his trademark smile. On the final day, when his horse touched the final fence and it cost him the title, he was still radiating benevolence, nodding and smiling despite that final blow. "Yes, the horse went well, it was just unlucky, but that is the sport," he said, with a little shrug.
Just watching him go cross-country makes him look like he and his horses are computer programmed. Nothing seems to faze him - even when the rain hammered down during his round, he still produces a perfectly-timed textbook clear to go into the final phase with several fences in hand.
Whatever this eventing terminator pulls out the bag tomorrow, you can be sure of one thing – it's not so much a case of 'I'll be back', because Michael Jung is going nowhere."
Sharon Hunt has been in the spotlight recently after deciding to downscale her eventing operation...
The weeks are going past so quickly and so much seems to happen, it's hard to remember all that goes on. The horses are all really coming on well and the youngsters are improving so quickly they are beginning to feel like established grown-ups. I may not have been competing at top level as much as I'd like recently but the pleasure I get from producing horses is so great that I am happy to be patient for now.
I was recently asked in an interview about my change of direction. It is true that I am working towards my coaching qualifications and have a couple of showjumpers - but my passion is still eventing, I just don't have so many horses as I have had previously.
The article has led to a few asking me if I am not eventing anymore, this certainly isn't the case. As you can see from my video I have a whole team of fantastic youngsters to ride particularly Veyga and Loughnatousa Fabio, who are eight and seven-year-olds. I also have a new ride that has flown all the way from Australia; 'Blazing Scot' so there is plenty of eventing to be done and lots to look forward to."
"Don't live in pity - I don't want pity - I want people to enjoy life like me." Barbara Angel, who has fought breast cancer, had a mastectomy and is still undergoing chemotherapy, completed the Badminton Horse Trials Grassroots Championships last weekend. Watch her inspiring video message above.
Our roving reporter Jenny Rudall has been at Badminton all weekend, filming for 'Rudall's Round-Up: Badminton' and 'Badminton: A Rider's View', starring Francis Whittington and sponsored by Saracen Horse Feeds. Watch her final video blog reflecting on a brilliant three-day event.