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Spencer Roe’s Latest Blog

It’s nice to be back in the UK now after spending the last seven weeks at the Sunshine Tour in Vejer de la Frontera, Spain. With a bit of down time before I head abroad again, I now find the time to write an update for you all. So here’s what I’ve been up to since my last blog…

The London International Horse Show – Olympia

Getting into the Christmas spirit at OlympiaIt was my first time at Olympia competing in the international classes; I’ve only ever done the Under 23 Young Rider Competition there, so I was really looking forward to experiencing the whole show. On the Thursday afternoon of the show I was invited to the British Equestrian Writer’s Association luncheon to receive an award from the Worshipful Company of Saddlers. The award was for ‘The best rider, 25 years or under, judged to have made a successful transition from Young Rider level to Senior competition, during which time they conducted themselves with maturity and dignity and presented their sport well to the media’. I gave them one of my classic ‘er’ and ‘um’ speeches; I think I’m getting rather good at public speaking now.

Later on that evening I got to meet the Duchess of Cornwall when she presented me with the Raymond Brooks-Ward Memorial Trophy as the ‘young rider to have shown the greatest potential for success in any FEI discipline’. It was a great honour to receive the award and I only hope I can live up to the expectation.

It was the first time at Olympia for Ballando II, he has never jumped in such a tight arena with a crowd so close, I think he coped very well and was pleased that he only had a fence down in both classes. So although the show didn’t go well for my horses in general, it was a very good experience for both them and me.

The Spanish Sunshine Tour – Vejer de la Frontera

Sunshine Tour

Because of the bad weather at the end of January, we decided to head out to Spain early this year. I felt my horses would benefit from working with the sun on their backs as oppose to the sleet and rain. On the 6th February we started out on our four day journey to Spain, which sounds like a long time to get there, but I like to make sure my horses all get there in good health. So we make three stops along the way, stabling the horses at different yards each night.

I usually use the tour as a training and warm up show for the start of the year, as most of my horses have been on rest during the winter. We didn’t go to win a lot of prizes, we went to gain experience. I feel that we achieved that on the whole and my horses are now ready for the outdoor season ahead.

I’m really pleased with my stallion, Chaccomo Agostini, who I took out there to gain experience. He only started competing in July last year, and although he is a 9-year-old and is a little bit behind where he should be at this stage in his life, he is coming on leaps and bounds. At the start of the show he was jumping 1.30m classes, by the end he was jumping 1.45m classes, I think he will be a promising star for the future.

Next Time…

This week I am heading out to Hardelot in France for their CSI *** show, where I’ll be taking Wonder Why, Chaccomo Agostini and Ballando II, before heading back for my sister’s wedding.

Spencer

Mark Farmer presenting Spencer with the award