Excitement builds for this year’s Horse of the Year Show

administrator HOYS Ambassador

HOYS tickets are now on sale… how did that happen? Time flies by so quickly and before you know it we will be splashing the cash in the shopping village or being treated to an equine delight of showing, dressage, scurry driving, show jumping and Pony Club mounted games – to name just a few, the list is endless. HOYS will be here before we know it.

I am always so excited to hear who will be performing at Horse of the Year Show and to hear that one of the acts is LIMITLESS performed by Atkinson Action Horses has already got me so excited.  I cannot wait to watch this performance, I have no doubt I will be on the edge of my seat. Then I heard that the second display will be The Story of the Caspian Horse and this got me really intrigued; the idea of them doing horseback archery alongside a polo game and a driving demonstration sounds quite exciting. I don’t know much about the Caspian Horse but they look like they are a clever and versatile breed. I’m looking forward to learning more about them, even if they aren’t quite big enough to make a vaulting horse!

 

Home sweet home

In what has been a hectic few months there has been one constant – home. We are so lucky with where we live. Our farm has great fields (if a little muddy just now) and we have excellent trails around us. In my video blog this month I wanted to show the scenery that my horses and I get to enjoy – it’s not often I try to film as I ride and I soon realised I am not great at multi-tasking. Luckily my phone survived, and I was able to show what my horses and I are treated to everyday. It doesn’t matter that I have lived here my whole life, I am constantly in awe of its beauty. We live right in front of the Ochil hills and as soon as you see them in the lorry travelling back from a competition, you know you are home. Where I filmed is my favourite place in the world and it is also my favourite place to ride and run – I love it as do my horses.

We have been really lucky recently to have beautiful weather, especially after storm Doris caused chaos. Spring is well and truly upon us and it has been great to enjoy the sunshine.  The fact that the days are getting longer again also gives me so much more time with my horses before and after work. I am so thankful that after a day in the office I can come home and spend time outside with my beautiful horses – whether that’s riding or vaulting.  They make everyday special.

We recently had a Pony Club from Arran visit my Vaulting Club.  It is amazing to see how fast they picked up vaulting and it only reinforced my belief that there are transferrable skills over all equestrian sports.

 

FEI World Cup

It was a privilege to be at the FEI World Cup Vaulting final recently in Dortmund – an amazing spectacle for my sport.  It has been an honour this World Cup season getting to work with the FEI on the press release, social content and website content – I have to pinch myself at the fact that I am getting to write about a sport that I love so much and that has been a massive part of my life.

What an amazing competition we were treated to as well.  Every class was hard fought and everyone was pushing the boundaries of what we previously knew to be possible. I was lucky enough, once again to get to commentate for FEI TV, co-commentating with Rupert Bell. Rupert and the whole FEI TV team are so welcoming and it was great to get an insight into what goes on behind the scenes.

I am learning all the time. This has been my first FEI World Cup season working as a reporter and I have loved it. The atmosphere has been incredible and I love trying to find different angles from which to write about my sport.  My love for equestrianism doesn’t just stop with vaulting and I hope in the future I am able to cover more equestrian sports – I can’t imagine anything better.

 

Balancing work, coaching and training

I am looking forward to having more time to spend with my horses training and coaching – recently everything has been so busy that although I have done quite a bit of coaching I haven’t had much time to spend on my own training.  While I may not be planning to compete internationally as a vaulter anymore I really miss it when I don’t get to do it myself – it is a feeling that can’t be matched.

I have recently been offered some new opportunities including the chance to go coaching in Canada and South Africa.  Therefore as I also want to go to competitions abroad with some of my younger vaulters, I have decided that it is time to move on from my job in the Alloa Business Centre. It is the right time for me to seize new opportunities whilst taking with me great memories and all the skills and experiences I have gained. Whilst I am apprehensive about this new chapter, you have to take opportunities when they come to you and I am so excited to see where I end up.

I am really looking forward to spending the next few days solely with my horses before I head to Canada for coaching.  I would never have imagined I would get to experience all these unbelievable opportunities from reporting on Dortmund, coaching in Canada to the day to day moments with my horses – it’s unbelievable.

 

Hannah Eccles

HOYS Ambassador