Annie Joppe – Now it’s Chiara’s turn!

Things have moved on swiftly since my last blog and this one is, I’m afraid, rather late.
The first goal set was to complete a second 40 kms novice qualifier with Chiara.  She didn’t get a lot of work since completing her first 40 kms in May; one full week off followed by rather intermittent training and schooling as everything was based around Fantom’s training for his 160 kms 3* ride.  We didn’t even get a chance to do any loading and travelling practice at all.

I had made arrangements to ride with my crew Katherine on her new FEI horse; only a small ride for her!  This was reassuring as Chiara can still be somewhat erratic and still needs a little confidence boost.  Chiara had been on her Steady Up Advance supplement for a few weeks now and it would be interesting to see if she is more settled and less tense.

Loading actually went smoothly with only a small hesitation and travelling, once we had started moving, also passed without incident and Chiara only had a sweat mark on her quarters where she has a stiff muscle area.  Note to self; arrange a massage for her to work on this area before her next competition.Chi at Boconnoc 2016

On arrival she did seem a little calmer than usual and behaved beautifully in the vetting,
standing quietly to have her pulse taken which was only a little elevated.  Tacking up as usual was the most stressful part, attempting to ‘decorate’ a moving target is no mean feat!  Off we went with our companion and Chiara leading most of the way through the beautiful Boconnoc estate (an area where horses are usually forbidden).  The course was lovely through ancient woodland and tracks finishing with a long canter through ‘Paradise’ – a truly stunning park, complete with herds of deer.

After a little cooling (she didn’t need much) off we went to the post ride vetting.  Cool, calm and collected; Chiara had a low enough pulse for the top grade.  An excellent result and an enjoyable and fairly relaxed competition, the only blot being me managing to get my foot under one of Chi’s.  Sound horse, lame rider!

Now the focus was firmly fixed on Fantom, although Dilmun had started some gentle exercise as a precursor to topping up his fitness for another 1* in August.  My aim with Fantom was to build up the targeted training to total approximately 80 kms a week for the two weeks prior to the tapering week.  This consisted of a mixture of sustained canter work either on the beach, around the cross country course and around a large sandy fallow field close to the dunes.  We mixed this up with interval training, schooling and work on the Pessoa interspersed with strategic rest days after the more intense work.  By the time the tapering week had come around I was fairly confident that the training Fantom had been doing was spot on and he felt good.

My own training, however, was definitely not all it should be.  When competing at Euston Park with Dilmun I had managed to forget my all-over fleece saddle cover and I therefore had to do the whole 80 kms without.  Not only did I have scrapes and blisters on the inside of my knees, but also wounds where a seam on my thighs had been rubbing.  The following week doing 68 kms with Fantom complete with saddle cover, I had taped up the grazes but found to my horror that all around the edge of the tape my skin had blistered! I spent the next couple of weeks pretty sore and unable to do my leg exercises or much running.  Another lesson learned!

Fantom had his new shoes with front pads put on a few days before the competition and benefited from a message from Kate McCarthy who had also obtained a small gadget that fitted to her iPhone enabling her to take thermal pictures of Fantom highlighting any hot spots – absolutely fascinating.

After a long drive of 8 hours, via Bristol airport to collect Kiwi our Dutch crew, we arrived at Fant finishing Kings (002) 2016King’s Forest.  What a beautiful venue and so well laid out.  It’s amazing what a bit of sponsorship can do to transform what is one of the UK’s top endurance competitions.  The following day I had a little ride out in the forest to familiarise myself with the start of the various loops.  In the afternoon was the pre-ride vetting.  Graham was to trot up Fantom for me so we had a little practice.  I have never seen Fantom behave so badly!  He alternately stood on his back legs and kicked out behind and sideways, eventually managing to catch Graham’s arm with one of his back feet.  I trotted him up in the vetting not wanting any of my crew injured.  This was the only time I have ever felt fearful doing a trot up but, of course, Fantom behaved himself perfectly…

5.30am and start time!  It had been light for hours and Kiwi and Katherine had also been up for hours feeding and walking Fantom.  The tack went on, more walking in hand, then up I went to do the warming up at a slightly faster pace.  Oh no, Fantom was back to the bad behaviour, leaping and making butterfly motions with his front legs (he must be double-jointed he’s so flexible).  Off we went with Fantom taking a bit of a hold but then settling into his stride just Crossing the Line King's 2016behind the leading pack.

Loops came and went in a blur with quick and fortunately uneventful vetting in between.  We maintained a good pace averaging about 16.5kph for the first four loops riding with the leading group.  Disaster struck when the sun burst through making the already humid woodland pretty unbearable.  I had to take a 10-minute break at a crew point and receive some intensive sloshing myself which completely revived me.  Unfortunately, that meant that I was a bit off the pace and posted quite a slow loop.

I had such great comments from the Dutch vet at the penultimate vetting that I decided to go for it and see who I could catch on the last loop.  As it turned out I only managed to overtake one rider but clocked my fastest loop at just under 18 kph and cantered over the line into 3rd place and a Championship qualification.

Well apart from the small blip, the ride went to plan and Fantom will now have several weeks Fantom King's 2016off, possibly coming back into work in October to do some schooling and low level dressage as a base conditioner for his bid for the Euros in Belgium next year.  I had prior to this ride decided to withdraw myself from the squad for this year as the Worlds were re-allocated to Slovakia in September rather than the hoped-for France in October.  This would not have allowed sufficient recovery time for Fantom and would have involved a long, long journey across Europe.

On my return I discovered that somehow Dilmun’s mane had been shortened (this is his crowning glory).  Wizard’s tail had also been drastically and mysteriously shortened over the last few weeks and now I know the culprit – little Miss Chiara!  Total disgrace!  Horsey hair extensions anyone?

Horse Of The Week – Emma.

Emma 1This is Emma, also known as Running Riot. This lovely Irish Sports Horse is owned by Louise Robson who explained: “Emma is 34 years old and has been a very busy girl in her younger days. Emma loved nothing more than popping fences and has competed up to Fox Hunter in affiliated British Showjumping. That’s not a mean Emma 2feat for a little 15.2hh Irish sweetheart. She is such a special horse, one in a million with a super temperament and a heart of gold.”

“Emma has had a very busy life, and we needed to find something to help keep her mobile.  After trying various different supplements, we found Emma 5Feedmark’s ExtraFlex HA with Rosehips and it really suits her! At the grand old age of 34, Emma is still loving life and bossing her field pals Emma 4around. It helps to keep her joints freer and more mobile. She is our little star and we love her loads.”

A FREE tub of ExtraFlex HA with Rosehips is on its way to Emma 3Emma for being our Horse Of The Week!

COULD YOUR HORSE BE THE NEXT HORSE OF THE WEEK? Each week, the Feedmark team select a horse of the week from reviews, letters and emails sent to them. If you would like your horse to feature, then please send your horse’s details in to .

Horse Of The Week – Milly.

Meet Tailor Made MJ, a Welsh Cob cross Trotter. Milly is her stable name, and she stands at 14hh. She is owned by Elizabeth Taylor, who explains: “Milly was born and bred by my Mother, and we have owned her ever since. At 19 years old, Milly will never leave us. Due to her age, we mainly do showing but we still do the odd bit of show jumping too.”

Milly 1 EDIT“Milly was born on 6th June 1997. My Mother rode her as a teenager, and then my sister rode her as a teenager, and now I have her for showing. Milly has won numerous rosettes and trophies through showing, showjumping and gymkhana. She has also won at some county shows such as The Bakewell Show, The Suffolk Show and The Royal Norfolk Show. I showed Milly at The Suffolk Show recently, and came 6th out of a very strong class. All of this is in aid of our dream to qualify for Olympia, as we would love to compete there, and hopefully win! Milly has produced three fantastic foals; they were three beautiful dun fillies. The first foal has gone on to do dressage, the second foal became an all-rounder, and the third foal went on to be a show jumper.”Milly 2 EDIT“We have used ActiVet for around 4 years now and love it! We wouldn’t be without it – we are still showing and jumping Milly, and she even competed in affiliated show jumping, which she could not have done without ActiVet. We have tried numerous other supplements before, but we will not change from ActiVet now!”Milly 4 EDITA FREE tub of ActiVet is on its way to Milly for being our Horse Of The Week!

COULD YOUR HORSE BE THE NEXT HORSE OF THE WEEK? Each week, the Feedmark team select a horse of the week from reviews, letters and emails sent to them. If you would like your horse to feature, then please send your horse’s details in to penny@feedmark.comMilly 3

Horse Of The Week – Izzy.

Izzy 2This is Izzy the Appaloosa, who is owned by Susan and Kelvin Russell. Susan explains: “Izzy is ten years old, and 15.2hh. We have had her since she was just a yearling. We currently hack out with Izzy, and school her, but we would like to get back in to showing her this year.
Izzy 1Izzy did very well at showing when she was younger, with a first, second and a fourth at The Royal Three Counties Show, lots of firsts at the BAPS (The British Appaloosa Society) Championships, and numerous wins locally. We haven’t done so much competing lately.”

“Izzy has always had tired and weeping eyes, even on windy days. However, since she’s been on Feedmark’s Eyebright she has had no sign of weeping eyes at all, and it has been three years now! As you Izzy 3can see she is very pink, and she always wears fly mask. I can’t stress how clear and bright Izzy’s eyes are, Eyebright is great!”

A FREE tub of Eyebright is on its way to Izzy for being our Horse Of The Week!

COULD YOUR HORSE BE THE NEXT HORSE OF THE WEEK? Each week, theIzzy 4 Feedmark team select a horse of the week from reviews, letters and emails sent to them. If you would like your horse to feature, then please send your horse’s details in to .

Horse Of The Week – Zarina.

Zarina 3Meet Zarina, Feedmark’s new Horse Of The Week whom is owned by Charlotte Lee. Charlotte explains: “Zarina is a 12-year-old KWPN by Zarina 5Matterhorn. She stands at 16.1hh and is six years of age. Together we compete in affiliated Showjumping, up to 1.35 metres.”

“Zarina is currently winning at 1.30m level, she was selected as part of the final 12 on the International Experience Programme which is Zarina 9run by British Showjumping. Zarina also won the 1.20m Open at Devon County Show recently. We started competing at international 2* level this year.”

“I bought Zarina from Holland as a green 7-year-old Zarina 4after she had bred 2 foals. Produced from a completely wild, novice horse up to the level she is competing at now. It has been a very long journey but we have persevered, and have made huge improvements Zarina 7over the last couple of years. She’s an out and out jumper who absolutely loves her job, and gives her all every time she enters the ring.”

“My plans for Zarina 2 smallerthe future are for us to compete at a show abroad by the end of the year. I am also aiming to jump a couple of 1.40m tracks by the end of the summer, and the long term aim is for area trials.”

ExtraFlex HA with Rosehips has helped dramatically Zarina 6 smallerover the last year. I started feeding this supplement in order to maintain her joints now she is jumping at a higher level. Her results in the ring have reflectedZarina 1 how well she is obviously feeling!”

A FREE tub of ExtraFlex HA with Rosehips is on its way to Zarina for being our Horse Of The Week!

Zarina 8Would you like the chance to win a tub of your chosen supplement? If you would like your horse to feature, then please send your horse’s details in to .

No British rider has ever won back to back individual titles at young rider level so we are really setting the bar high!

water houghton 1The start of the 2016 season certainly wasn’t ideal – losing lots of events to the weather all across the country. Given that I missed planned ‘runs’ early on it feels like the season is only really getting started in May / June time! Having said all that – we’ve put the disturbances behind us and are now firing on all cylinders.

water houghton 2

Livingstone won the u21 national Championship at Houghton a few weeks back. He’s very established now at 2* level and it wasn’t really on my original plans at the beginning of the year but a bad run in deep mud in Belgium meant we needed to hold fire a bit + have a nice confident run. He was seriously impressive all week, leading right from the start and finishing on his dressage score. My main aim for him this year is to be selected for the Young Rider Europeans again, held in Italy at the end of September. No British rider has ever won back to back individual titles at young rider level so we are really setting the bar high!
Adele 97 has come on so much this Spring and is really starting to strengthen her core muscles. She had done a few 1* in Germany before she came to me but was very weak and wasn’t use to my way of going. She is a phenomenal jumper but there wasn’t really any gears and a bit dead off the leg. There’s still a long way to go with her but she’s made huge strides forward going clear XC round her first CCI2* after just 2 intermediate runs! This Autumn will be one of consolidation for her; she is still only 8 so there’s no rush. Watch out for this one though because she will be seriously special one day!

I’m lucky enough to have another advanced ride in Collien P 2 – another grey mare!! We headed off to Houghton to do the 1* for qualification after only having about 10 days. Our second XC school was over the warm up fences the day before XC day – not recommended at all. Although it didn’t cause problems, she made the track feel ridiculously easy and was in the lead going into show jumping. Unfortunately there’s a bit of work needed in this phase so she had a couple of rails down but an incredibly exciting first run and I’m now looking forward to the rest of the season to develop more of a partnership.

badminton 2The younger horses have come on really nicely too. Elstar has made a super transition up to Novice this year, winning last time out after 3 consecutive 2nd places earlier in the year. She still hasn’t had a dressage score below 29 and is a bit of a dressage diva! Esprit has also bagged a couple of good placings too with a 2nd place at BCA. They will both be aimed for their first 1*s this Autumn. I have started both of their Eventing Careers and it’s very rewarding to see them progress as well as they have done.

badminton2I’m very fortunate to have some great supporters, whom without I simply wouldn’t be able to do what I do so I am very grateful for the support that Feedmark give me. The quality nutrients, vitamins and other food groups mean that my horses can perform at their very best. In a sport where 0.1 can be the difference between winning and losing, every small detail is crucial. Small changes to the horses’ diet has enabled me to maximise their potentially and hopefully leading to successful results! It was great to meet up with the Team at Badminton, where I was doing the ‘Guinea Pig’ test. They can offer really professional advice and always have great deals on. Make sure you check the website to which shows they’re at and don’t forget to pay a visit!!

Will Furlong


Horse Of The Week – Martha.

Martha 6Our new Horse Of The Week is owned by Kym Wilson, who explains: “I’ve owned 8-year-old Martha, a British Warmblood, since she was 4-years-old. I didn’t go out to buy a 4-year-old, but completely fell in love and bought her anyway. I only wanted something I could call my own, after riding my daughter’s horse.
Martha is a loving mare, and not at all mareish. She really loves fuss and will stand for hours to be cuddled.”Martha 8

“During the first year we played and got to know each other, as I’d been a happy hacker up until I bought Martha. I then decided that I wanted to do more, so I got myself a trainer. I went from a wobbly, unbalanced rider (kick to go, pull to stop) on a 5-year-old unbalanced horse, to a balanced rider, and a reasonable combination.”

Martha 7“I started to do low level unaffiliated Dressage and Show Jumping, and also did an adult camp. I then went on, at 46 years old, to do my first ever One Day Event. It was Martha’s first one too, and we were placed 10th out of 40!”

“Unfortunately, I had a fall last year, which was all my fault, and broke my ankle. I therefore spent most of last year regaining my confidence to do Cross-Country and Show Jumping again. A few weeks ago, we completed our first Martha 9ODE since the fall, and went double clear.”

“Martha is my horse of a lifetime, which my hubby fondly calls my obsession!”

“I use Benevit Advance from Feedmark as Martha was a little lacklustre last year, and I wanted something to pick her up so tried her on this and haven’t looked back since. As Martha is a good Martha 10doer I don’t feed her that much hard feed, so I wanted something that would give her the minerals and vitamins that her diet was lacking.”

A FREE tub of Benevit Advance is on its way to Martha 5Martha for being our Horse Of The Week!

COULD YOUR HORSE BE THE NEXT HORSE OF THE WEEK? Each week, the Feedmark team select a horse of the week from reviews, letters and emails sent to them. If you would like your horse to feature, then please send your horse’s details in to .

Martha 3

Horse Of The Week – Arawak Prince.

Arawak Prince 2This is our new Horse Of The Week, his name is Arawak Prince. This chestnut is 20 years old, and stands at 16.1hh. Arawak Prince is an Irish Thoroughbred, whom has raced in the past and has won prize money for it. Jan Nagel has owned Arawak Prince for 4 years.

Jan explains: “I bought him from aArawak Prince 3 friend who could no longer keep him. He is retired from ridden work now. I kept Arawak Prince as the companion to my youngster and now as the companion to my mare, who is the youngsters mother.”

Arawak Prince 1“Arawak Prince is a box walker and can end up with really fat legs when he is stabled. Now I’ve found No Fill, his legs look great when he is kept in and he seems much happier.”

A FREE tub of No Fill is on its way to Arawak Prince for Arawak Prince 4being our Horse Of The Week.

COULD YOUR HORSE BE THE NEXT HORSE OF THE WEEK? Each week, the Feedmark team select a horse of the week from reviews, letters and emails Arawak Prince 5sent to them. If you would like your horse to feature, then please send your horse’s details in to .

Horse Of The Week – Billy Boy.

Billy Boy 3Meet Billy Boy, an 8-year-old Cob cross. He stands at 15.1hh, and has been owned by Samantha Ellis for 4 years. Samantha explains: “Together, Billy Boy and I do mainly dressage and showing. He was placed 2nd in his first RHIS Coloured Qualifier this year.”

“I bought him as a stuffy 4-year-old, and backed him. We have done a little of everything together including cross-country. Billy Boy has taken a long time to mature and finally, this year, he has come in to his own. I hope to compete side-saddle on him next year and continue competing in Working Hunters.”Billy Boy 2

“Billy Boy is a fab horse to have on the yard, and is definitely one of the family with his cheeky little ways. He is extremely willing, and wants to please all of the time!”

“I first noticed that Billy Boy was a little less smooth in his movement last year, and after trying a few different supplements it was recommended that I use Feedmark’s ExtraFlex HA with Rosehips. I gave it a go, and I have to say that his former fluid movement returned within two weeks. Billy has bloomed in condition and his legs look slim and defined. He Billy Boy 1has a better length of stride, and his jumping has improved. It has definitely made a huge difference to Billy Boy”
A FREE tub of ExtraFlex HA with Rosehips is on its way to Billy Boy for being our Horse Of The Week!

COULD YOUR HORSE BE THE NEXT HORSE OF THE WEEK? Each week, the Feedmark team select a horse of the week from reviews, letters and emails sent to them. If you would like your horse to feature, then please send your horse’s details in to .

Horse Of The Week – Dee.

Dee 9This is Dee, a 19-year-old Thoroughbred. She stands at 17hh, and is loaned by Megan Pollitt who has been loaning her since 4th July 2015.

Megan told us: “Together, Dee and I primarily do dressage and hacking, but she has previously evented. We competed in a Dee 7showing show shortly after I got her, where she was placed in every class and was foot perfect. Unfortunately, since then we have had no more outings due to our lack of transport. Dee has been working Dee 6beautifully in the arena and we hope to compete in dressage competitions next month!”

“Since putting Dee on ActiVet in November 2015, the changes have been outstanding! She is so flexible, she Dee 5really works her back end and is really balanced which shows in our schooling. Out hacking she’s up for anything and loves to be out, always has a spring in her step! It’s lovely to see her playing in the field, galloping full speed, bucking vertically and turning like a games Dee 3pony! I wouldn’t choose any other supplement!”

“Dee is a one in a million horse and I’m so thankful I have the chance to loan her. She’s loved by everyone at our yard and has the sweetest character! She’s like an overgrown dog.”Dee 4

A FREE tub of ActiVet is on its way to Dee for being our Horse Of Dee 1The Week!

COULD YOUR HORSE BE THE NEXT HORSE OF THE WEEK? Each week, the Feedmark team select a horse of the week from reviews, letters and emails sent to them. If you would like your horse to
, then please send your horse’s details in to .