Between my last event and the next one, I had the devastating news that my dear friend, fellow coach and event rider had sadly died.
Tom was a friend who Ant and I have known for many years, we had much in common, both having none horsey parents and both learnt to ride jumping gorse bushes and having to ride what we were given rather than being bought easy schoolmasters.
He was an outstanding coach and rider, much better than me on both counts, he once won young instructor of the year and was incredibly talented. I will miss his valuable knowledgable and common sense advice and also his brilliant humour, we shared the ups and downs of our equine life, mostly by texting each other at the end of a long day, we had an agreement that what was said in text, stayed in text. I will miss sharing how amazing or how rubbish our horses were going, sharing our clients successes and dramas , picking each other brains on how to improve a horse or clients skills (although I think I picked his brains more than he mine!) and laughing at Ants jokes, he loved Ants humour. Toms death is such a sad loss to this world, photo Tom riding his lovely intermediate horse Logan.
It felt surreal to be going Eventing the weekend after this awful news but I found it was best to keep busy. I just prayed 4 year old Dippy was going to look after me as I was feeling so very sad. Dippy somehow pulling off a 24 dressage, one pole SJ and a clear SJ to finish in 3rd place, XC video here. Four days later I took him to the Ledbury Pony Club dressage champs at Gadbury and he won the prelim class on 75% even beating a horse who had been to the Badminton Grassroots Champs this year, luckily my sponsor Jess Staines was there to take some super photos of him wearing his sash.
Dynamo one of my other 4 year olds now has an extra special sentiment to me as it was Tom who came with me to Ireland to buy him last October. Dynamo is a lovely horse to ride but riding him is tinged with sadness as every time he goes nicely, I want to text Tom to tell him how well the little chestnut horse we chose is going…..