easibed met up with our sponsored rider Chris Smith who’s been notching up his successes at shows including Bolesworth and Hickstead this summer and already has three horses qualified for HOYS…
What is a normal day on your yard?
I’ve currently got 12 horses and have lots of help running the yard from my family.
I took three of my older horses to Bolesworth earlier this month (June) – Elmo Hill, Warriors Glory and Bono L – so when I got home my main focus was to concentrate on the younger horses and take them to some local shows.
I ride everyday and aim to finish my main workload by 1.30pm. This usually means getting on the first horse between 7.30am and 8am. My sister Christina helps by getting on the yard for 6am to feed the horses. My Mum Cheryl helps me with swapping over horses as I ride throughout the day.
Having all my horses ridden by 1.30pm allows me to do other jobs on the yard and to teach riding lessons. It’s not unusual for me to be teaching at home at 9.30pm. Every Wednesday I teach at Dean Valley which is a local competition/livery yard about 30 minutes from home. Normally I start around 2pm and I do six hours of teaching. I have between 10-12 regular clients every week at Dean Valley but I’ll teach up to another 10 clients per week at home.
If I have spare time on the yard I enjoy doing the farm work and looking after the land to get the place looking as best as we can.
What do you have planned for the rest of 2017?
My next big show is the Scottish Summer Extravaganza at the end of July. I am taking about six horses. My goal there is to pick up a few more HOYS qualifying tickets (on top of the three I have already!)
My hopeful horses to qualify are:
Newcomers class – Contento, a seven-year-old gelding by Connor owned by Lesley McRoberts.
Foxhunter class – 10-year-old Bono L owned by Emily Whiteside. I am really hoping for some luck in this qualifier as in the two attempts I’ve so far had, I came fourth and sixth with the fastest times but an unlucky pole falling.
Elmo Hill, an eight-year-old owned by myself and Gillian Milner. He’s already picked up one HOYS qualifying ticket in the Talent Seekers class, but after his performance at Bolesworth he really has a good chance in the Foxhunter class too!
Finally, again the seven-year-old Contento is also in this class which is a big ask but I believe he’s more than capable and if anything it’s good to teach these younger horses how to jump round such technical tracks.
After that we head to the Hickstead Royal International Horse Show for three days where I will take Warriors Glory, the eight-year-old stallion which has qualified HOYS Foxhunter and HOYS Grade C. He will be jumping the B&C final at Hickstead, which he qualified for at Morris Equestrian in March.
I’m also taking Bono L for the B&C Qualifier which is actually held at Hickstead the day before the final. He came fourth in the same qualifier in March at Morris Equestrian so he is in with a good chance to qualify. It would be great to have them both in the final to jump in the main ring at Hickstead and give myself a really good chance of a high placing in the final.
After that I’ll compete in some more local shows before the National Championships at Stoneleigh. I’ll decide which horses to take there nearer the time.
easibed hopes to catch up with Chris again later in the year to hear more about the shows he’s been in and what he’s doing at home.