It’s been a busy week for WOW’s eventing ambassadors. Paul Tapner and Francis Whittington went to Aachen, Germany to represent their respective countries in the Nations Cup competition. Francis had the unenviable task of going first! The day before travelling out, Francis had competed in the Open Championship at Gatcombe but his hopes of retaining his National title were dashed when he had a fall at the water. Before anyone starts feeling sorry for a sodden Francis, he didn’t actually get wet, he managed to land standing on the log in, with the reins still in his hand. Clearly with luck like that on his side, going first in a Nations Cup held no fears. Francis completed the CICO*** with out difficulty in 16th place on Easy Target, who now heads to the European Championshp; although the British Team was sadly eliminated after a close-call decision on whether a rider was the wrong side of a flag at a corner fence.
Team Australia fared rather better in Germany, finishing fifth overall at the nations Cup. Paul Tapner finished 21st after a rather unfortunate 16 penalties in the show jumping marred an otherwise excellent performance by Indian Mill. “We were pleased with our overall result, but the Germans (who won) just outclassed everyone,” said Paul later on Twitter.
While the men on Team WOW had an easy life riding just one horse all week, Kitty KIng took one horse to Aston Le Walls and then went directly to Hartpury CIC*** to ride Persimmon and Ceylor LAN. Both those horses went double clear and finished eighth and seventeenth.
This weekend sees our riders competing on National classes at the likes of Bicton Arena and Solihll before the big push for the Autumn championships begins.
Just before the 2014 event season kicks off we have a chat to WOW Saddles sponsored rider, Kitty King, and find out what she has planned for this year…
“After the event season finished last year all the horses had a break and then came back into work in November so they were all fit and raring to go come January when the jumping and dressage training began. My year started off amazingly when I got a call from Yogi Breisner to say that I had been selected for the World Class Performance Squad! This means that I get access to lots more training and support, as well as additional funding towards my regular training. I have already been to William Fox-Pitt’s yard twice for training, Aston Le Walls all weather cross country course and the Unicorn Centre and it has been fabulous!”
“We have the first event of the season this weekend (1st March) where I will be taking one young horse for their first event. Then the older horses will run at Oasby the weekend after, then all going to plan it will be Aldon and then Gatcombe – fingers crossed the weather doesn’t ruin plans!”
“I am really excited about the season – Persimmon is aiming for Tattersalls 3* and Zidante is aiming for Badminton so we have some big plans! Hopefully all the hard work will pay off! I have a new mare called Creevagh Cooley, owned by Lindsay Caldwell, and she will hopefully do the 6 year old classes, meanwhile Ceylor LAN will be getting mileage on the clock at one day events before hopefully doing Le Lion 7 year olds at the end of the year.”
“WOW have been out and checked my saddles so we are raring to go for the season!”
What helped diminish unsightly and uncomfortable skin lumps on Francis Whittington’s ride Sir Percival?
This video shows WOW’s sponsored event rider Francis Whittington at Burghley 2011.
“The horses are now all much freer through their shoulders both on the flat and when jumping. I love the ease of adaptability to fit different horses, being able to fine tune them and make subtle changes to the balance while on board which would be impossible in a traditionally flocked saddle. Sir Percival had lumps on his back before I started using the WOW on him, and they are now diminishing. Not only do they sit well on the horses but I can now ride in comfort too,” he says.
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