What does 2018 have in store for Hannah Eccles?

sarahmeasom HOYS Ambassador

I can’t believe how time has flown since Horse of the Year Show – and what a show it was! Full of drama, excitement and incredible skill.  Since then everything has been quite action packed. I was lucky enough to go back out to South Africa for another month of coaching in the sunshine – much needed before the harsh winter that would befall us. Then I attended the FEI World Cup Vaulting qualifier in Madrid and co-commentated for FEITV. As a result I was then asked to be main commentator for FEITV at the FEI World Cup Vaulting qualifier in Paris – such an incredible experience, I often have to pinch myself. The past months have also seen me cover more Driving and Jumping and I have loved every minute of it – I really hope to do more in 2018.

 

 

On the home front 

Training has been going really well and my horses are looking great – fingers crossed.   We still have a few months before our first competition which takes place in March and so far everything looks to be on track! I am so happy with the improvement my horses have made over this winter and it makes me incredibly excited for the upcoming season. We have a lot of young vaulters in our club and I think this could be an exciting year for them.  We have a long way to go, but we are getting there.

 

Christmas & New Year’s resolutions

I had a lovely, relaxing Christmas and New Year spending time with family, friends and of course my horses – it was really nice to spend the time training together without the pressure of competition.  I am not always one for setting New Year’s resolutions, however, I have certain things I would love to achieve this year.  As a lunger and a coach I often miss vaulting myself so I am making a determined effort to make sure that I am putting enough time into my own training. It is going really well and I am training more and more on my youngest horse Jack – the horse I am vaulting on in my video this month (which you can watch HERE).

This year I am also putting more emphasis on my own fitness. It is very hard going from competing internationally and having a rigid fitness routine and short and long term fitness goals set out, to self-motivating, but I recently joined a new gym and I feel incredibly determined. This week my alarm has been set for 5:15am to get a gym session in before the day begins. Hopefully I can keep it up as it makes me far more motivated for the day ahead (if not a little more tired). My horse Billy and I are also hoping to do some Liberty training in 2018 – that is a big aim of mine, we have dabbled before but hopefully we can make proper head way this year. I will keep you up to date with our progress.

 

Looking forward to the year ahead….

I am excited for the 2018 year, a year full of adventure, hard work and I love the prospect of not knowing where you will end up. I have some exciting things planned and coming up which I will tell you all about in the coming months – but it is going to be a thrilling year! Therefore, I need to be physically ready and have my horses at the peak of their mental and physical fitness.

It has been a pretty tough winter here in Scotland and we have been struggling with freezing temperatures and lots of snow.  There has been a couple of days this winter where we have decided to keep our horses in as the weather has been too unpredictable or our farm road has been too icy.  Therefore we have just made sure that they are getting plenty of exercise to keep them fit, healthy and active.  However, my horses love the snow and when it’s not too stormy they love nothing more than getting out and rolling around and playing in it.

On the extremely cold, dark days – I often think back to our shows at HOYS for extra motivation to train hard.  The feeling of standing behind the curtain, the applause from the crowd and the unmatched atmosphere – there was nothing like it and it spurs me on to give even more and train even harder as horses and vaulting have given me the most unforgettable memories and opportunities.  It was 2014 when my sister and I won medals at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy and were then invited to perform at HOYS, and I feel so honoured to have had that opportunity.  Now 2018 and once again a World Equestrian Games year – how time flies – I can’t tell you how excited I am to be an ambassador for the Horse of the Year Show in this its 70th year – what an honour!

Tickets will be on sale soon so keep an eye out for the release date so that you can secure your seat to what will undoubtedly be the best 70th birthday party you’ve ever been to. Dates are 3rd – 7th October, Birmingham’s NEC Genting Arena – see you there!

Watch Hannah’s January video HERE

Hannah Eccles

HOYS Ambassador