A HUDDERSFIELD rider is looking forward to a successful year.
Nicola Marshall and her horse Horace Wimp are planning several events.
And they have been given a boost as Nicola, of Fenay Bridge, has won a year’s free supply of shoes for her mount in the PRO FEET ‘Win Free Shoeing for a Year’ competition.
There was a record number of entries for the Horse and Hound online competition.
She said: “At first I couldn’t believe I’d won. When I opened the email I had to read it several times to check I wasn’t seeing things and to fully take on board I had actually won!
“I’m absolutely thrilled as this ties in so well with the plans I have for my horse, Horace Wimp, this year – to have his feet in tip top condition will be a great bonus!”
The 17hh Cleveland Bay came to Nicola on loan from a friend in February, 2006.
He was an eight year old then, who was very confused and had a tendency to run away from anything he didn’t understand, making him fairly difficult to ride.
After two years of hard work and determination from both Nicola and her trainer, Heather Hopkinson, Horace has come on so much so that he now regularly competes at Riding Club and Team events.
Much to Nicola’s delight, she now owns Horace and has great plans ahead for him. She has registered him with British Eventing for 2009 with the intention being to compete him at several one day events this year, and ultimately qualify for the Grassroots Festival in 2010.
She said: “Horace has matured such a lot and his attitude to his work has improved. He now actually believes he can do it rather than the old attitude of putting his hooves over his ears and saying la la la I cant hear you.
“I decided to have a go at Dressage to music at the beginning of January at Bromley Farm, Wortley. I had watched them do it the month before and I thought Id have a go.
“I picked music from the Broadway show Barnum which includes various tempos of music which enables you to walk, trot, medium trot and canter. The entry for the class was low but none the less he was a little gem and tried his heart out . . . so much so we won at our first attempt with a score of 68.8.
“I’m hooked now and I hope that it has inspired my other dressage friends to have a go.
“Mum very kindly bought me membership to British Eventing for Christmas so we are looking forward to affiliated eventing this year, as long as we are not balloted out our first event will be at Kelsall Hill in Cheshire.
“Our next outing is a trip to Bishop Burton in Beverley to have a lesson with four times British Champion and Olympic medalist, Mary King, organised by Area 4 of the British Riding Club. I’m so excited. I just hope that Horace sticks to his new years resolution and behaves himself.”
Horace’s farrier Byram Thorne, from Stainland, said: “When I first started shoeing Horace, about 18 months ago, his feet were prone to cracking and splitting. The toes were overlong and he had no support to his heels.
“After 10 months of careful trimming and balancing every four weeks there was a marked improvement and I am now able to shoe him on a six week shoeing period.
I am looking forward to seeing how PRO FEET will help me with his feet.”