Fantastic form

The busiest time of any equestrian person`s year has continued with great form for my horses and I.

Super Nova has maintained her outstandingly consistent form, finishing 1st or 2nd in her previous 8 runs without a pole all season. At Burnham Market (her first 2*) she showed her incredible speed for a small young horse as we were 1 of 4 horses out of 185 who jumped the track to finish inside the time. On this occasion we finished just behind the winner after a long, but very fun journey with my co-pilots; younger sister Kitty and Greenberry (relative of Willberry the Wonder Pony). With more high percentages and British Dressage Elementary wins alongside a win with 81% dressage at Sapey eventing, I can`t help but be hugely excited to take Nova up the grades next year to help showcase her talent.

It is very rewarding to be able to maintain form across the board – horses of all ages and stages of education have been making great progress and brought in great results. Last weekend saw Belclare Warrior bring home a win, finishing on his 22 dressage for the MacEwan family who have trusted me to help produce their lovely young horse. Alongside this our delightful homebred, Greenhays Midnight Magic did not want to be outshone by her travel partner for the day and after several double clears at BE100 jumped another tidy double clear with an improved dressage test to finish 4th.

When it comes to the young horses that is where I think my approach to training and time given makes a worthwhile difference, benefitting their future careers. I have recently put Tia, a smart 2 year old filly back in the field for a winter break having started the basics and had tack on and done extensive ground work. Homebred Eric (3) followed on showing his bold attitude and has been happily working in different places with tack on and lunging over poles, planks and water trays. When it comes to the ‘older’ young horses I have been hugely impressed by both 5 year old on the yard. Jonogored is hugely relaxed like Greenhays Rufus but has moved on further in his education showing some outstanding flatwork and making 1.30m fences feel far too easy for a young horse that is still developing more power!

As many equestrians know the sport can be challenging but you have to stay motivated and I think a fitting quote for this blog is “you only get back what you put in” Catherine Cox/

Alexa x

Tables Turning

Never did we expect my gorgeous little Super Nova to come up trumps so quickly! I have produced her since a just started 4 year old, and she had 6 months off last year due to my accident. I feel she`s benefitted hugely from developmental time, all-terrain lunging and walking out by hand with me!
We followed our title at Inter-County dressage with bronze at the Inter-Regionals, helping our team hold the champion cup! Kitty also did well given her limited experience with fantastic schoolmaster, Ogue Caviar who I`ve produced after Milly Earnshaw gave him a great start. Just outside the top 10 with 5th on the 2nd day she helped her team claim 3rd out of 42 teams. Next we`ll be off to the Home International in Lincolnshire.
The saying “BETTER NEVER STOPS” is holding true for us at the moment – our busyness has been rewarded by 2nd at Nunney International and Treborough for Nova, before stepping up to Novice at Bicton Arena where we produced a win at first attempt. Something special to celebrate as it was another series of firsts – Nova`s 1st Novice, 1st win and my 1st Novice after my accident. Helen West built a big bold track with technical questions for the level and Nova ate it up making nothing of it!
Equally homebred, Greenhays Midnight Magic has also proved what an exceptional pony she is – 6 years old and consistently jumping double clear at BE100. Bold, brave and careful is quickly being matched with her improvement on the flat which will make her competitive for the higher up prizes.
The next generation have kept the excitement up! I am starting the 2 and 3 year olds this summer with necessary intensities. Meanwhile the ‘big boys’ at 5 have been showing their class on the flat and jumping but are benefiting from being given the time to mature and learn about life through things such as off-road hacking through narrow tracks, low branches, patchy light etc. This will help them become the polite, manageable competition horse we need more of.
The horses will now have a quieter couple of weeks to recover from a busy couple of months!
Next up: Home International, Moreton BE, West Wilts BE.
Alexa x
Inspirational quote:
Life will only change for the better when you become more committed to your dreams than ever before. (My phrasing of a Billy Cox quote)

Inter-County Champion!

Super Nova stole the show with over 90% at the British Dressage Youth Inter-County Challenge. A week later we scored 94% at our squad day in preparation for the next stages, that week I was told we had been selected for the Inter-Regionals at the end of May! Marks are awarded for rider position and effectiveness influencing correct way of going. It’s a fantastic feeling to be awarded like this on a horse I have produced from a weak and undeveloped 4 year old with a summer off due to my brain injury.

To follow this with Nova proving she’s certainly not a ‘one trick wonder’ was extremely exciting. At Bicton May spectacular showjumping she jumped clears up to 1.10m with fast jump offs resulting in winnings and qualification for the 6 year old championship in the main ring where she jumped fantastically. A day later she did another tidy double clear at Pontispool BE100 to finish 5th.

Partner in crime Greenahys Midnight Magic also jumped several clears on a ticket at Bicton and then stormed round Pontispool to finish on her dressage score.
We have had hugely exciting news – Nova and I have been selected for the BD Youth Inter-Regional competition and I have been awarded the Hannah Francis award for my recovery from brain injury and overcoming adversity.

It is very special to be recognised by the legacy Hannah left, she has been a huge inspiration to me. Her positivity helped me realise that you need to make the most of what YOU HAVE not what OTHERS HAVE. My attitude to recovery was shaped around learning and being motivated by Hannah and her achievements. If you haven’t read about or donated to Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony charity, please do.

Milestone Motivation

At the time of my accident last summer, dreams shattered – it looked and certainly felt like there was nowhere to go. That was until I woke up to the fact that dreams can change depending on your circumstances. I may have been hoping to be a British team debutant this year (no longer able to happen) but I am incredibly lucky to have a very talented and trainable team of young horses, most bred by our own Greenhays Stud.

As Storm Trentham, founder of DBA Sports says “Dream, Believe, Achieve”. The latter two were lacking at the early stages of my recovery, step by step they built up and my confidence has grown thanks to the support of family, friends, medics and sponsors. Celebrating the marginal gains along the journey has been essential to help maintain motivation and drive towards significant milestones. Social media has provided a great platform for this.

I also have to thank my four legged friends, who have played a significant part in my journey. Important members of many dreams, their affection and occupation facilitated forward progress. Winning my first competition back and several British Dressage outings after was hugely rewarding, it felt a significant milestone for my recovery. Ogue Caviar has been consistent and Global Super Nova my 6 year old has come on the quickest of any young horse I have produced to date, together we earnt 86% in the BD Youth B squad test. Alongside Kitty and Caviar (who have got to know each other well in a short space of time) we have been selected to represent Dorset at the Inter County Challenge.

Then my gorgeous little homebred, Greenhays Midnight Magic joined Global Super Nova cross country schooling where they quickly had me not able to resist jumping the Novice fences, it felt so easy, making me quick to enter my first event! I couldn’t take the smile off my face as I spoke to Chris and Keith, our South West start box team (a good follow on Instagram and Facebook for eventing fans). Being on a homebred I have produced from the start felt so special, a tidy double clear to finish on our dressage score earnt s 2nd place.

We followed this by taking both mares to our first British Eventing outing after my fall. The weather was good at Bovington, the course well-presented and the mares made the most of it! Two, easy double clears in the BE100 and BE90 meant Nova finished 3rd and Maggie 6th.

I was lucky that I never lost the ‘bug’ but it looks like I’ve had a booster now! Feeling very happy, I look forward to seeing the year since my accident pass shortly and my university exams to finish at the end of May, so our team can make the most of summer.

I hope everyone is having an enjoyable and successful time with their four legged partners.

Alexa X

Next outings:
 BD Youth ICC Bicton Arena 5th May.
 British Showjumping May Spectacular Bicton Arena 26th-30th May.
 British Eventing Pontispool 31st May.

April Update

After the great excitement of finally getting our first run at Munstead Horse Trials we never thought we would be left with my top horse Ogue Caviar still waiting for his first proper run at the beginning of May! The British weather has been unkind to the early event organisers, well over 30 days of eventing have now been cancelled. Every rider is in the same disappointing position, but it has left Caviar short of the necessary qualifications for the young rider national championship at Houghton. Luckily we still have another season in young riders, we will now focus on proving ourselves ready for next year and earning a much sought after place at the festival of British Eventing.

My gorgeous little mare, Global Super Nova has clocked up two more top 5 placings eventing. She is loving her job, learning quickly and putting a huge smile on my face! For a five year old she finds everything so easy, her talent has us all very excited!

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Nova`s favourite move - just making sure everyone knows how talented she is!

Between several cancellations Great Gatsby fitted in a tidy double clear and 6th place at the beautiful Port Elliot Horse Trials. For any grassroots competitors reading this I highly recommend putting it on your list of aims for next year. There is nothing better than riding around well designed courses on lovely parkland ground, the organisation was the icing on the cake.

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The young horses are enjoying the kinder weather, which has allowed us to turn them out 24/7 and crack on with introducing them to new aspects of life.

After the recent excitement of Badminton and Kentucky 4* events I am very pleased with my decision to put my smart thoroughbred mare to Ramiro B, sire of Cooley Master Class (1st Kentucky) and Cooley SRS (2nd Badminton). This will combine the very best thoroughbred jump racing lines, St de Saint (by Cadoudal) x Turgeon (USA) with Ramiro B`s substance and proven performance in the sport. Greenhays Reflection is still only 4 so she will return home and gently continue her education before making a serious impression on the eventing world when she is 6!

Finally I would like to thank Keratex hoofcare for choosing to support me, it means a huge amount to a young rider like myself to have such a prestigious company on the team. Keratex share my belief that hoofcare is hugely important, they have developed a fantastic range of products for every hoof type and their related problems along with armory to equip you with the right products to protect your horse against the elements. For more information take a look at their website http://www.keratex.com/

We are expecting two new faces at the stud this year, so keep an eye out for adorable photos when the moment comes.

I hope you’re all making the most of the long awaited weather! Alexa

Video of Ogue Caviar training over the Advanced fences at Rosamund Green last week.

Flying start!!

The eventing season has quite literally got off to a flying start with excellent performances from Greenhays Great Gatsby, Greenhays Midnight Magic and Global Super Nova at Munstead! The event organisers did really well to run the event given the recent British weather. Ogue Caviar was rather jealous when the ‘young guns’ left the yard for a weekend away, he has after all missed the first two events of the season both due snow. Nevertheless he has shown a huge improvement in his work already this year, and new found speed on the gallops today! I now look forward to getting his season underway at the South of England OIu21 in 10 days time.

It was hugely exciting and rewarding to have good results all round at Munstead with a stand out performance from Global Super Nova, a horse I purchased as a very green 4 year old last year. Her wonderful ‘on side’ attitude shone through and despite never having jumped on grass she finished an impressive 0.3 behind the leader in the BE90 (her first event) on a score of 24.3. She is definitely a horse to watch in the future and I look forward to competing in some 5 year old classes later in the season.

To those of you also eventing – good luck! 

Alexa


The Alternative Routine

Happy New Year! 

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

 Today I am at uni, so this morning I attended 3 hours of lectures and snuck in a pilates class before Economics later, this is really helping my fitness and flexibility as the event season nears. At the moment my Business Economics lectures/seminars are on Mondays and Fridays which now form the horses days off, this gives me plenty of opportunity to train the horses around my uni work.

I am unbelievably excited about the team of young horses I will be campaigning for the 2018 season. Breeding, backing and producing young horses is something I am very passionate about. Greenhays stud our small family run breeding programme is providing some lovely canvases to work on. We all eagerly await our first homebred entrant in the young event horse classes this year. 

My stand out goals for the year would be:

  • Young Rider trials – OIu21s
  • Cic**
  • Young Horse National Championship
  • British Eventing Novice Championship

Therefore we will be targeting Young Rider & 2* classes with Ogue Caviar & Young Horse classes with GH Reflection, Greenhays Rufus, Greenhays Midnight Magic, Global Super Nova & Jonogored.  

Meanwhile Kitty, my younger sister will start her first season with new horse ‘Armada Great Gatsby’ competing in the BE100u18 classes. 

For those of you who are unflamiliar with the horses/don’t follow my social media sites (you should!) here is an introduction to the horses of Team Palmer 2018.

Ogue Caviar – 9 year old 16.2hh dark bay gelding by Ars Vivendi out of a Cavalier Royale mare. Best results include x2 wins BE Novice, x2 wins BE100, British Riding Club Dressage Championship winner, highly placed at the Youth Dressage Inter-County & Inter-Regional and Home International. This season was a cracker for this horse, finishing as the winner of the Riding Club most British Eventing points won on a single horse in the 2017 season. Caviar’s main goals for this season include Young Rider trials and the National YR** Championship.


Global Super Nova – 5 year old 16hh bay mare by Numero Uno. She will be new to competing this year but has shown huge talent in all phases whilst training. I believe Nova has all the attributes to do well in the KBIS young horse classes this year and hopefully have continued success at the young horse championship.


Greenhays Midnight Magic – 5 year old 14.2hh dark bay mare out of Greenhays Moonlight by Ganton Rufus. Aiming for 5 year old classes and BE100 this year, but sadly due to her size she will need to be sold at some point during the season. I look forward to following this exciting homebred, certainly an FEI Pony European prospect!


Greenhays Rufus – 4 year old homebred bay gelding by Ganton Rufus out of Ben Faerie dam line. A lovely elastic young horse who will contend the 4 year old classes later this year.(foal photo)

Greenhays Reflection – 4 year old full thoroughbred dark bay mare by Saint De Saint (Cadoudal) out of a Treason mare. I was lucky enough to be given this beautiful mare before she went to pre-training. A blank canvas with an impressive jump and quick brain, should be one to watch.


Jonogored – 4 year old bay gelding by Verdi with Quidam De Revel dam line. Adopted big brother to Rufus, together they make a wonderful pair of friendly faces. Massive paces with a jump to match, definitely an international horse to come!


Armada Great Gatsby – 7 year old 15hh dun gelding. Aiming BE100u18 but will also be ridden by me when Kitty is busy with school work.

Grand Finale As The Curtains Draw On The Event Season!

A fortnight ago Ogue Caviar rounded a fantastic season with yet another win at Calmsden (2). Everything achieved this season has rewarded patience, perseverance, passion and much more. Not only has Caviar given me the most successful and enjoyable season on the eventing front, he has taken me to the British Young Riders Dressage (BYRDS) Inter-County, Inter-Regionals and most recently the Home International where we achieved 4th place in the Young Rider Elementary National Championship! I was pleasantly surprised to see that I held the highest average score (91.1%) in the BYRDS SW league this year, for which the dressage tests are judged on the rider and their influence on their horse’s way of going.

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9th Bicton International cic* (Jayphotos)

I have calculated some fun statistics and listed them below. (Caviar’s BE record)

  • Average finishing score of his 4 wins this season – 23.1
  • 100% clear cross country record since 2014 (The start of his eventing career)
  • 11/13 runs top 10 finish
  • 62% top 4 finish
  • Average time faults 3.1
  • 85% runs 4 faults or less showjumping

Now for the interesting part – average dressage scores….. (the lower the score the better)

  • 2014 (35.6) previous rider
  • 2015 (30.7)
  • 2017 (25.6)
  • 2018 (20.6)?!!

Although the event season is over and Caviar is enjoying a lighter work load, I aim to qualify for the British Dressage Winter Regional before continuing jump training for next season.

Meanwhile Team Palmer recently welcomed another beautiful four legged friend, Great Gatsby. After saying goodbye to Jamiraqui, letting him go on to teach another young girl the eventing ropes, Gatsby was quick to catch our hearts. Whilst Kitty started settling in to life in the sixth form at school, I seized the opportunity to give him a test ride! We were very happy with 6th place in the BE100 at Calmsden and I look forward to helping Kitty progress with him.

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Great Gatsby

A gap year before starting at The University of Exeter (1 hour commute from home) this year has enabled me to take a step back, re-focus and realise how much I want to succeed. Therefore I feel time spent producing ‘the next generation’ was well spent. Luckily I have a good base to work from, backing and producing the young horses myself. Four horses later and I am a fully trained rodeo winner! (As I found out at a Cowboy themed party this Summer). I find myself gazing at our young home bred horses willing them to mature like a vintage bottle of wine. Nevertheless I am kept well occupied with the here and now! Balancing producing a minimum of 6 horses for next season, part-time work schooling/teaching with a university degree Business Economics and too much fitness/flexibility work!

As Barry Finlay once said “Every mountain top is within reach if you keep climbing”. A motto I will be working over the winter months.

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Greenhays Popsong Steals The Show

Homebred Greenhays Popsong stole the show at Keysoe BE90 starting out with a fantastic dressage of 25.5 and following it up with a great jumping performance inside the time to take the win! He also won his previous outing a week before in two competitive British Dressage Elementary Classes with 70% scores. I was very pleased that his great performance was recognised by a well earnt H&H write up! It has been such an honour to breed, back and produce such a talented and kind pony. I will be very sad to see him go off to his new home tomorrow, but I am pleased that he has found someone aiming to utilise his potential.

Ogue Caviar has put in two brilliant runs at Novice placing 3rd (Mount Ballan) and 4th (Keysoe) with Sub 30 dressage tests and double clear on his last outing. He next heads to Pontispool BE Novice, before concentrating on getting some scores on the doors BD aiming for Home International selection!



4 year old Greenhays Midnight Magic (homebred) has started her ridden career as she means to go on. After just 10 weeks under saddle she went to her first show this week and came 2nd in the Cricklands Showjumping! She has already proven her bold and carefull approach to jumping, and has been very straight forward to back. She is now for sale, and looking for a jockey with ambitions of making a British Team! 


3 year old homebred Greenhays Rufus has made a serious impression on us after his short time in being backed. Another easy going, classy young horse with paces and athleticism to die for! He has now gone back out to enjoy some luscious grass with his mates Greenhays Eclipse (yearling) and Jonagored (3 year old) my new purchase!

Although Kitty is in the middle of her GCSE exams at the moment, she took some time out to jump her pony Jk in the main ring at Devon County. I was really impressed with the improvement in her riding and she deserved the beautiful clear round she produced for the Dorset Academy Team who together finished a 2nd.


I hope you are all enjoying your horses and glorious summer weather as much as I am at the moment!


Best wishes, Alexa

Consecutive wins BE

I am very happy with how Ogue Caviar has matured this year. Jumping straight in with a settled performance at Moreton for 10th place but then excelling at Tweseldown and Aldon International taking the win at both! Firstly with a 23.5 Dressage double clear and then with an 18.8 double clear, beating the likes of Olympic event riders Kitty King, Mary King and William Fox-Pitt. Improving by 5 marks on the flat each week with lots more to give. This horse proves that hard work and patience pays off with exeptionally talented horses that are slow to mature.
Dialetto has also had a great start to the season. At Moreton he did a 33 Dressage double clear but added lots of time just schooling him round as we didn’t know how he’d cope with the mud, needless to say he loved it! So at Tweseldown I stepped up the goals and he responded by doing a stylish double clear inside the time finishing joint 4th but dropping to 5th on optimum time as he cruised round being the bold horse he is. 

These horses will aim to step up to Novice at their next runs but first Team Palmer have 3 at the British Riding Club National Championship and Caviar at the British Dressage Netional Petplan Finals.

 A solid start to the season for Kitty at Aldon International last weekend, finishing with a double clear in the BE100u18 with her pony Jk. Time faults pushed her just out of the placings. Not a bad result considering that she is not doing as much riding as she would like to at the moment due to her focus on GCSEs. Kitty looks forward to building on this performance next time out as Jk is feeling better than ever!