Hannah Eccles live from Canada!

sarahmeasom HOYS Ambassador

 What a month February has turned out to be. It seems that time is already flying by and before we know it, HOYS will roll around once more. This year we celebrate the 70th anniversary year of Horse of the Year Show and this year – more than ever – there are many surprises promised and many big acts to be announced performing at the show. 70 years – wow – testament to the incredible longevity of this world famous horse show.
The big news this month…Horse of the Year Show tickets go on sale on 28th February and trust me you do not want to miss out!!
I was delighted at the news that the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment musical ride are once again announced to perform at HOYS. I remember the honour of performing with them at the show in the past, what an incredible spectacle, their show was steeped in so much history and tradition, we were left in utter awe. Therefore I am delighted that they are one of the first acts announced for HOYS this year – I am more than prepared to be left in sheer amazement by their display. Bring it on!
HOYS 70th anniversary year is the gift that just keeps giving and this is exactly why you do not want to miss out. A second act has already been announced – the amazing Alizee Froment. She is bringing her exceptional dressage skill to the Horse of the Year Show stage. What I love about the two acts that have confirmed so far is that I have seen the Household Calvary before and I can’t wait to watch it again. As for Alizee Froment, hers is a display that I have never seen before which I am unbelievably excited to see. The show has a mix of everything for everyone. Unashamedly, I have been stalking her on social media outlets since the announcement and I am just amazed. Check her out at @AlizeeFroment.
As for me, it has once again been a non-stop start to 2018. We have been incredibly busy pulling together our routines for the start of the season which kicks off on 17th March. Time is ticking by and I feel pretty good with the progress of our vaulters as their routines are coming together. We are working on doing full run throughs, developing choreography and the small details that really set the routines alight. The first competition is always tough as you want to show how much you have improved over the winter but it adds to the pressure, so we are working on keeping our nerves at bay. It’s important to remind vaulters (and myself) that we don’t expect perfection especially not at the start of the year – you have to have something to build towards – but sometimes it’s easier to say the words and slightly harder to put them into practise.
Individually and with Pairs everything seems to be coming along nicely. As for team, we have an incredibly young team this year – who I fully believe have such an incredible future in vaulting. Being so young this is definitely going to be a building year, but we have so many great talents I can’t wait to watch and see them progress in the sport.
My vaulters were extremely lucky to have a flexibility and choreography session with Julie Campbell contemporary dance coach and choreographer who coached the 2016 winner of BBC young dancer of the year. In vaulting it is so important that all the elements come together. What you see might just look like a few minutes of vaulting but behind that comes thousands of hours of work be that working on our horses fitness and making sure they are kept in great condition to our vaulters fitness making sure they can safely execute their new routines. Down to the fine details of costume, music and choreography – everything needs to come together. We are incredibly thankful that Julie was able to come and do a session with our vaulters – they were all very inspired.
As you will see in my video (https://youtu.be/CzaLnkq4y38) I am writing this from an exceptionally snowy Vancouver. I am out here visiting my sister and in amongst hiking, skiing and eating the wonderful culinary delights Canada has to offer, we are busy planning, discussing and laying the ground work as we have some very very exciting news coming…..watch this space! All I can say is it’s great being back with my sister and fully focused on something we love!
For me this trip is a mixture of work, play and increasing fitness – I need to be 100% ready for what 2018 has in store. March and April already look action packed and the year shows no signs of slowing down. I love it.

Check out Hannah’s February video here: https://youtu.be/CzaLnkq4y38

HOYS Ambassador

Hannah Eccles