Rupert Update

It appears this will not be Rupert’s year – regretfully he will be spending the English summer resting instead – which put us out of WEG contention and further competition plans for 2014.  We were indeed victims of this year’s badminton course.  When we hit the back rail of that oxer early on course Rupert sustained an injury that (in hindsight) is what caused our trouble later on course and resulted in our day ending at the Mirage Pond. His prognosis is all positive which is great,  he is just in need of a little time and rest. 

This is of course the reality of  the sport we are in and the ups and downs that comes with horses.  I wish we were able to do more to help with the WEG effort,  I can only wish team Canada the very best (bon chance!) in France this summer.

Rup and his (Tim's) chickens!

Rup and his (Tim’s) chickens!

Thank you to the many sending  cheer and support in our direction, it is always greatly appreciated. Rup and I will be doing what it takes to come back stronger and better in 2015.  Being the little fighter that he is he is equally dismayed over this turn of events, but for now he gets to spend some quality time with Tim’s Chickens….who by association…are some pretty famous chickens right now!

Reb and Rup



Days at the office

By Jacky Green Equestrian Media

After the glamour of Badminton getting back to competing young horses is always a great way to make you realize it is a hell of a long journey from the baby stuff to 4 star!

With Rupert not set to come back out til mid June Rebecca has been picking up rides and getting back to basics.  Mister Tea had a novice run at Pontispool and despite spending three quarters of the day waiting for his start time went really well and with his double clear round a testing showjumping and cross country upgraded to Intermediate.  Caroline Powell has kindly left the ride with Rebecca as the plan is for Mister Tea to run some intermediate events and find a nice new owner….contact Rebecca for more details!

With Tim and Jonelle racing off to three day events left right and centre it has been busy at the barn.  A new recruit showed up for three days and then waited until Tim and Jonelle departed for Tatterstalls before announcing her resignation!  Some people just don’t have what it takes to work with horses so that was a particularly frenetic week after that!

Rory is Rebecca’s young horse who was bought from Richard Sheane in Ireland this past winter after having basically just been backed.  His plan is to contest some unaffiliated competitions, find his feet in the baby event world, travel to a few events (if there is ever a space on the lorry!) and spend the first half of his 5 year old year getting some worldly knowledge.  Hopefully he should be rocking round some BE 100’s come August and follow in Rupert’s illustrious footprints in the future.

Last weekend saw Rebecca competing at Mattingley with three rides:  Christina Knudson’s lovely Watervalley Lockey Guy who is delightfully easy and finished runner up in his novice section, Mister Tea in his last novice start for 7th and the latest addition to Rebecca’s string, Confidential.  Confidential is known as Joey at home and has a rather chequered past and a few firm opinions about life.  It would appear that Joey was a little reluctant to embrace the sport of eventing but he had reckoned without one very determined jockey that left him in no doubt that the only way was forwards!  They completed their first event without troubling the leaders and no doubt Joey will be back out pretty soon!


The Weeks after Badminton

By Jacky Green Equestrian Media

After the heady excitement of Badminton it was back to the day job for Rebecca and she was out hacking and schooling on the Tuesday morning at Mere Farm.  With a couple of weeks gone by the reflections are as ever, with Rebecca, positive.  “Rupert really could not have jumped better”.  At the time Rebecca was disappointed in her dressage score but in hindsight, again, she is pro active about it, “We have just got to keep putting our selves in that atmosphere” .  Being able to look at the good bits and enjoy them and analyze the bits that did not go to plan and take something from them is what marks out the professionals from the also rans.  It is also why Rebecca and Rupert managed a top 12 placing at their first Badminton and a coveted Bronze Horse Trophy.

The same kick on attitude appears to be dictating the rest of 2013 for Rupert and Rebecca.  Whilst it may be tempting to be conservative with the fall plans and just hold out for the Spring prior to WEG Rebecca plans to take Rupert to Burghley, arguably the toughest 4 star in the World.  “Rupert came through Badminton really well” she enthuses and adds “I am here in England to learn, get better and be competitive at the big events”.  It’s a brave move but undoubtedly Rebecca is right.  We all know it can go just as wrong when you try and “save” a horse and who knows when she will have another chance at Burghley so that’s the next big one for Rupert.

Rupert aside (Yes, there is another part of Rebecca’s life!) the last couple of weeks have been hectic.  Ready, the loyal canine companion (except when it comes to hacking) and Rebecca have moved out of Maizey Manor Farmhouse and into the urban streets of Marlborough.  Not that she is sleeping on the streets I might add, but into a town flat with Kiwi’s Cam and Darnelle Price.  As Rebecca says, “I seem to be surrounded by Kiwi’s here in England” but hey, they are a pretty great group!

The parents made the long trip over and as ever were amazing, meeting lots of Rebecca’s new friends and hosting a great birthday supper at Coles which was attended by….allot of Kiwis.  To break the pattern Sinead Halpin came over on a flying horse shopping visit which involved endless hours trundling the length and breadth of the country looking at various ponies which also meant late nights catching up drinking wine!


An Archive of old Posts – We seem to have lost old blogs – Still trying to retrieve!

Post Bromont thoughts…

Jun 19, 2010

Posted by Rebecca in Talk | 1 Comment

I have been asked by many over the past month… for some reflection on the year so far….

On Feb 28th, the day of my rotational fall – I could not have been angrier. My plans and goals for the spring were pretty clear, and after a solid Fairhill finish in 2009…. I thought we may (finally) be on our way. And indeed we were, until the second to last fence at Pine Top that day. “DAM IT”…. just didn’t quite sum it up !!

After that initial wave of anger, I recall a huge sense of relief upon receiving results of that initial Xray taken in Thompson – knowing I could and would recover from squished ribs and collar bones (right Will ?!). I have so much to be grateful for of course, and am humbled by the realization that not everyone is or was as lucky as I that day, but the overwhelming effect of my fall was amplification of my determination for achieving the original season goals I had set out for myself.

It bears repeating that nobody accomplishes anything in this sport (or any sport for that matter) alone – even when things ARE going well. So when you hike up the ‘adversity quotient” the role of others takes on a whole new meaning. My recovery and successful return to competition is the direct result of the efforts of my Family, Friends, Coaches, Employer, Employees, co- workers & Students.

In the early weeks my own energies were obviously focused on “healing”, with the later weeks dedicated to strengthening. I rode as much as possible, jumped as much as possible (wearing my air vest…wasn’t going to risk a stupid fall setting me back again) , sought out physiotherapy, introduced myself to yoga and exercise my body could handle, chatted with sports psychologist Dave Freeze, and paid special attention to the quality of my diet.

While the biggest hurdle presented by the fall was the interruption of my own PRACTISE, it also became an exceptional opportunity for Rupert practice – when David took the horse on for the 6 full weeks of my “lying around”. By mid April I was back in the tack with a seriously new & improved Rupert. From that point on, I dedicated as much energy to mental preparation as to my physical training. I had to make every competition count, because there were so few of them!

I was not nervous to be back competing, but I did feel the uncertainty that goes with so few practice runs, and the pressure of knowing there would be no second chances. In the end it came down to the fact that I am sitting on a truly remarkable horse that was well prepared for the task, and to the faith I have in his abilities.

It is a good time for Canadian Eventing, with enough rider depth, quality & experience to make the selector’s job refreshingly miserable. It is a wonderful (and novel) feeling to be exactly where I hoped to be – come mid June. The rest is up to me, but “the fall” is officially history, and I feel more than ready to tackle the challenges / opportunities ahead.

Taking the Long Way Around…

It’s been said that “if you can find a path with no obstacles,

it probably doesn’t lead anywhere”.

cheers Rebec



Jun 13, 2010

Posted by Rebecca in Talk | No Comments

Clear show Jumping today gave us a second place!! Rupert looked great this morning in the jog and jumped fantastic for a clear round.

Rupert’s breeder and owner Caroline Bazley was there to watch her boy all week end, she only gets to see him once or twice a year, so was a great week end for her to see.

We head homeward tomorrow… I will write more soon… for now, I am just so proud of my pony and I will get him home to his paddock!


4th after XC!

Jun 12, 2010

Posted by Rebecca in Talk | No Comments

We had a great ride…I am so happy with the day.. We were 12 seconds over the time, and that moved us up to 4th! The track rode very well, and as expected the time was hard to get. Rup felt a bit impressed at the beginning but only got better as the course went on, he certainly finished today a more mature competitor! I also learned from the ride, and pretty sure we can shave those 12 seconds next time! I was so happy with his fitness, he was full of running at the end of the track and cooled out very well.

We are now out hand grazing, he looks great for tomorrow morning, he can go back to his stall and sleep!


Dressage Day

Jun 11, 2010

Posted by Rebecca in Talk | 1 Comment

Good boy Rup! We had a good test today, scored a 54 and are now in ninth. Our trot work was really pretty good, and the canter was the best it has been in the ring. The horse has improved so much in the last year and it was really fun to be able to go in and show him off…not just manage what i have.

I had a great surprise on Tuesday night… my mom showed up… she just appeared at the barn while we were doing lates… I had no idea she was coming! Too cool, thanks mom!

Gina my working student is along for her first three day experience and first time out of the USA… she had Rupert looking beautiful… thanks Gina and to Lisa Barry who braided him!

The cross country course looks great. There is certainly plenty to do and the time will be hard to get imagine. I am excited for tomorrow, but have a big job to do… so gonna go to sleep now!


Bromont Arrival

Jun 8, 2010

Posted by Rebecca in Talk | 2 Comments

Rupert, Gina and I arrived in Quebec yesterday afternoon. I was in Middleburg for the past 3 days, getting some lessons and horse shopping with a Student. (Congrats to Stephanie Shepherd on her new pony…. Archie!!) It took us 13 hours to get up here from the Burg, which was not too bad; it was an easier drive than I thought it was going to be. I cannot believe that this is my first time to Bromont, it is beautiful here. Rupert traveled well, I was a bit worried for him, because he was the only one in the trailer, but he was ok. David arrived last night so we had a lesson this afternoon, and Rupert was great… so hopefully he keeps it up all the way to Friday! We have Jog tomorrow afternoon 3:00… Then I hope to walk the course… will let you know how it looks. The weather forecast is not to bad for the week, but so far we have had some thunder lightning and hail… and it is bright blue sky now… !


Countdown to Bromont

Jun 8, 2010

Posted by Rebecca in Talk | No Comments

One Week and a bit until Bromont… and I am feeling pretty good about it! I have had two competitions under my belt this month Chattahoochee Hills and Virginia HT. Rupert Gina and I headed Chatt hill and for our first one back. Was great to be competing again, and Rupert was very good finishing second in the Advanced. Jessica Phenix won the division…. great for her as it was her first advanced back after the birth of her son. David came down to help Jess and I, so it was cool for us Canadians to take the top two! This was my first time to this event, and Carl’s place is fantastic will be fun to return there for the AEC’s in September.

The next week end I rode four at VAHT. This was a very busy weekend; Dana and I were there with the 4 horse that I was competing, her horse that she was doing the one star on and Izzy (reb v horse that is for sale… so we bought her along to show to people.) I was so excited for Dana; it has been a long time coming for her to get to a one star, she now has a great horse and did very well on the week end!

For me, 3 of the 4 were really good! Rocky Rupert and Margaret all come home with red ribbons! The fourth horse was a mare that we brought over form Ireland this winter, she is a great horse and always very quiet and sensible… this week end she was doing massive “airs above ground”… so we did not make it past the Dressage, there was obviously something bothering her, so I did not run her cross country… next time!

I am going to head up to Middleburg for this week end and take a few lessons with David before making the long trek to Quebec. Rupert feels great, he has never felt so good on the flat and he also feels the fittest he has been… we are ready!


Rolex Week

Apr 21, 2010

Posted by Rebecca in Talk | No Comments

Just wanted to say GOOD LUCK to all those at Rolex this week… is pretty exciting. I will head up tomorrow afternoon to watch and cheer for the week end. It is going to be interesting to see all the improvements to the horse park, I was there last summer for the NAYRC and it was certainly a construction zone then, so to see what has been done now will be fun. Little Rebecca is there already, doing her business girl thing with the Hit Air vests! Rupert is also there already, I cannot wait to ride him on Friday. I will be able to ride him around the grounds, which will be great for both of us… Some could say… ”I’m riding Rupert at Rolex”!!

Want to say a special good luck to Steph Rhodes Bosch and Port Athority this week… Those two have been on a steady climb to the top since the beginning and it has been so fun to watch.

The exciting news of the day for me is that I jumped Rocky today… and It felt pretty darn good. I have to say Rocky felt great, now that he has some stability in his life again, I can feel all the good work that Sinead did with him. I am so lucky that my horses were able to keep progressing while I was healing.


Clinic – BC Style!!

Apr 21, 2010

Posted by Rebecca in Talk | No Comments

BC certainly is beautiful!

Here is the BC version of stalls!! And if it rains?…You are welcome to hang a tarp!!
I just returned on Monday from teaching a clinic in BC. I just had to share with everyone the great clinic they put on up there. The clinic takes place at an Event site that I grew up competing at… so it was so fun to go back there and be reminded of where I started out! Johvale, is a farm in Small town British Colombia, that hosted the clinic of over 100 riders, 7 instructors and a sport psychologist that took private appointments throughout the week end. Every one Camps out (literally) for 3 days and and takes advantage of all that is going on. It is three days of cross country… which was great I thought. Of course there was a progression to each day so that it was good for the horses, but it was really good practice for the riders. It is so true that cross country riding ends up being the least practiced phase of our sport outside competition, So it really is good when we have multiple days to work on “stuff”!

It was also good to see Mom and Dad again… they are well and busy of course! Even got to teach mom on her horse in the clinic… so that was fun. Got a quick visit in with Meg, one of the two sisters… she drove me to the airport so we got a 2 hr chat… which was so nice.


Back in the Saddle!

Apr 15, 2010

Posted by Rebecca in Talk | 1 Comment

Horseback View!

I am riding again, and I am feeling pretty good about it. I have been healing very well and my body feels stronger each day. I have been so lucky in my career so far not to have had many injuries… so this is definitely a new feeling for me. I am used to the program of rehabbing horses from injuries; but waiting on myself to heal is a new circumstance for me. I am so accustomed to feeling pretty strong, and it is such a strange feeling to feel weak at the thing I am so used to doing.

I even had a dressage lesson yesterday… mostly canter work… as it is going to be a bit longer before the sitting trot really works! My horses are doing well. I think Rocky is still a bit confused as to what has happened over the past 6 weeks, as he has had a few different riders while I was healing and for this horse, (eventhough he was ridden very very well) that is hard for him … he can be an emotional dude and consistency is key for him.

Although David has threatened to not give him back…I pick Rupert up from his dressage boot camp next week! The work that Rupert has received with David over the past 6 weeks… may even be worth a few broken bones…! I got to see the two when David brought Rupert up to The Fork CIC and rode him for the CIC test ride, which was a lovely test! I was so nervous; watching my horse go is way more nerve racking then riding that’s for sure! Although we have been getting better and better in the ring, the dressage remains to be Rupert’s difficulty. The horse has the ability; he is just tricky and is going to take time. I am sure that David has helped to speed up my timeline… and I cannot wait to sit on him again.

Over the past 6 weeks I have had a lot of time to think and reflect on my fall. Mostly I feel lucky, it could have certainly been worse, and I feel so lucky that Rocky was not hurt. Pretty much the moment after the fall I wanted to know why, why did we fall??? What I do know is that I am sure Rocky did not see the fence. It was one of those falls that happened very quickly, I did not see it coming; leaving the ground I thought we were ok. Why didn’t he see the fence? My first reaction was certainly “what did I do wrong?” Then it was, “did the horse just make a mistake?” Then I was so mad at the fence design. I think that when bad things happen we all want an explanation as to why, and I am sure the answer for me lays somewhere with a combination of all of the above factors plus the reality that what we do has risk, and nothing is guaranteed.

I will take these lessons but also I know that Rocky is a fabulous horse and athlete and I have had many xc rounds on him that were bold and focused, I really look forward to this again!