Commitment - Ambition - Dedication

Its been a while since my last Facebook post and there’s lots of news, so apologies in advance for the mammoth post! As …

Its been a while since my last Facebook post and there’s lots of news, so apologies in advance for the mammoth post!
As many of you know the year got off to a difficult start, so I was really delighted to get out eventing in April after the doom and gloom on the yard in March. The relatively quick return to competition was entirely down to the dedication and hard work of the team at Stockley Farm, who did an amazing job to prevent the spread of the strangles.

The season was ticking along nicely, with Lorna Soame’s Andreas picking up two placings at both his runs, including a second at Aston Le Walls in May and qualification for the Gatcombe Intermediate championships in August in the process. We were all set to contest an advanced at Little Downham in June, when our hopes were dashed when Alfie sustained an injury following his run at Aston Le Walls. Luckily it was only minor, but still required a significant period of rest and rehabilitation which wiped out the rest of his eventing season.

Very sadly, this coincided with a downturn in my mother's health, but it did allow me to devote myself to mum and my family when they needed me most. Mum passed away in August and I miss her enormously. She was such a support and positive influence in both my life and my equestrian career. Due in part to mum’s poor health, I decided to reduce the number of horses on the yard earlier in the year and said a sad goodbye to Lorna Soame’s Zaldatus. We did manage to squeeze in a couple of events before he left, resulting in placings and a successful step up to Novice.

Ritson’s Opinion aka ‘Bird’ has also moved to pastures new and is embarking on a drag hunting career down in East Sussex. I know he’ll be delighted to ditch the dressage and spend his days flying over sizeable hedges. Despite his previous antics – he managed to hold himself together for all of his BE100s, bagging four double clears from four events, being placed at three… So you never know, he may continue his eventing career at some point in the future.

My five year old Happy Dayz is really living up to his name – his workmanlike approach and huge enthusiasm for life always brings a smile to my face. I’ve also been riding Charles Phillips’ PLS Ballinagore (Harley) another real crowd pleaser, and you can’t fail but have a cracking day out with lots of laughs with owner, Charles.

Four year old Rocky, banked a very respectable showing at the Hartpury Four Year Old Young Event Horse qualifier, especially given his low mileage during the season. He’s a big horse with bags of promise, so I’m not in a rush with him.

Confetti is now a mum of three, giving birth to her third foal in May. My stepson Freddie was keen to name her, so she’s called Olive or Olivia when she’s being naughty!
Chilletti – Confetti’s first foal out of Chilli Morning is now three and will soon be ready to break in. She’s not quite as big as I’d like and unless she somehow finds a bit more height over the winter she will be contesting pony classes when she is older!

Although the 2017 season isn’t quite over yet, I’m looking forward to next year and will spend much of the autumn bringing Alfie back into full fitness. I’ve no doubt that 2018 will have its moments being the first season I’ve competed without mum. Hopefully I will do her proud and she’ll be looking down enjoying every minute of it with me.

Photos are of Alfie, Bird, Bertie and Happy competing at various events this season


26 comments on “Its been a while since my last Facebook post and there’s lots of news, so apologies in advance for the mammoth post! As …

  1. Clare Turner

    Good luck Helen! Sorry to read that this year has been so tough! Xxx

  2. Alison Pitman

    I’m so sorry to hear about your Mum – big hugs xxxxxx

  3. Kerry Kemp

    Sorry to hear about your Mum Helen. Bet Lindsey is loving Birds new career!!!

  4. Fiona Harper

    Wishing you good luck for next season and beyond, love from all the Harpers xx

  5. Heidi Bates

    Helen, so sorry to hear about your Mum. The support they give their horsey children is selfless and it is difficult to go on without them. Thinking of you x

  6. Penny Nicholas

    Well done Helen and so sorry to hear about Janet. I did message you which I hope you got. X

  7. Katherine Rhodes

    Hi Helen, I am so sorry to hear the news about your Mum, I have such fond memories from my childhood coming and staying with you all at Willow brook, Mrs Cole (because that’s how you addressed friends mums in those days) always treated me as one of the family. All the best with the next season, I’m sure your mum will be looking down feeling very proud of you.

  8. Mary Dollimore

    Not the best if years Helen, but I’m sure 2018 can only get better. Good luck x

  9. Andrea Moxey

    Sorry to hear you lost your mum, better times ahead for next season x

  10. Julia Andrews

    Helen your mum will be with you every step of the way – roll on 2018!! x

  11. Jo Lubbers

    So sorry to hear about your mum Helen x x

  12. Emily Williams

    Aww Helen- didn’t know your lovely Mum had passed on. Was so nice to see you at Hambleden. Xx

  13. Mel Cox

    So sorry to hear you have lost your mum. Thinking of you. Xxx

  14. Sophie Hawkins

    So sorry to hear about your mum, I have wonderful memories of her from pony club times and coming to ride Dancer at your house. Looking forward to following your journey next season. Sending love ❤️ xxx

  15. Shelley Payne

    I am so sorry to hear about your mum, she was a wonderful lady, I’m certain she is enormously proud of you & will be with you in spirit in all you do xxx

  16. Sarah Cowley

    Helen, so sorry to hear about your mother. Here’s to a better end to the year and 2018

  17. Jan Reeves

    A tough year Helen, it’s been lovely to see you out and about though, I love Happy he’s such a cool dude xx

  18. Toby Michael Blake

    So sorry to hear about ur mum. Promise i will come amd visit u before u have retired!
    Sending lots of luv xxx

  19. Joanna Adams

    Such sad new about your mum x keep going and I look forward to seeing confetti babies out competing x

  20. Debbie Sands

    Sorry to hear this has been such a tough year for you Helen, but it sounds as though the future is full of optimism and promise. I wish you all the love and best of luck for the future.

  21. Jane Perry

    So sorry to hear about your Mum – knew she was ill but didn’t realise she’d passed away – what a sad year it’s been for you. Enjoy a peaceful winter and look forward to seeing you and Alfie out and about again new year.

  22. Vanessa Bull

    Helen, So sorry to hear that you have lost your Mum. She was a strong and generous lady. I’m sure that you will miss her enormously. Keep smiling & remember the smiles & the laughter. Vx

  23. Harriet Bridger

    Sorry to hear about your mum Helen. She would have been enormously proud of all that you achieved and she was a lovely lovely lady. Good luck next season! Lots of love xxx

  24. Clare Chamberlayne

    Well done dearest Helen for staying so strong despite such an emotional and challenging year. 2018 can only be better.

  25. Katie Dumas

    So sorry to hear about your Mum Helen. All sending much love & hope to see you soon Xx


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