Jess Burnham, 13, from Piercebridge, completed her first season of British Eventing in 2017 and with Kayla, her dun mare, the pair progressed from BE80 to BE100 U18 with many top ten placings.
Jess was also the only member of the Zetland Hunt Pony Club to qualify for all three disciplines at the Pony Club Championships at Cholmondley Castle, Cheshire.
Luxe equestrian writer, Deb Smith, caught up with Jess as she prepares for another exciting year…
Top 3 tips for anyone else thinking about starting competing (any age)…
Strive to deliver your personal best at competitions as opposed to setting out to beat others, no two sections are the same.
Every rider should try to view the fence with the horse’s eyes.
In eventing it’s all to play for! It’s never over until you’ve completed all three phases of the competition – that being the dressage, show jumping and cross country. When your dressage hasn’t quite gone to plan, or you roll a pole show jumping, you can still win it!
Lastly, there is always another day! This sport is all about demonstrating the partnership you share with your pony. Celebrate your successes and learn from your lows….. it’s a tough sport, so it’s important to keep your feet firmly on the ground but at the same time remain positive.
Top 3 treats for your horses after a hard day competing…
No matter what time we get home, the ponies are always turned out for an hour or so to stretch their legs.
Lots of extra carrots at tea time and Kayla loves the odd haribo too!
Electrolytes and a big fat hay net and a day of rest the following day.
Top 3 words that sum you up…
Modest, competitive and determined.
5 year plan…
I see myself competing at the top of my game with a yard full of ponies at home – don’t tell my dad the latter, we are already on the search for another addition!
Apart from Max and Kayla, which horse would you add to your stable tomorrow… if you could?
Valegro – I would love to sit to his medium trot!