One for the kids…

We love the new Junior X-Air Dazzle Plus… Perfect for any child with a new riding hat on their christmas list.

With an eye catching coloured dazzling centre panel, with a sparkling silver vent to make sure that you are noticed when riding. This children’s ventilated riding hat has a lightweight injection moulded shell, with a soft 4 point padded harness, and incorporates a vented air flow system.

This hat has a quick release buckle to make it easy to use and has a specially designed cartoon character lining.

Available in sizes: 6¼ – 7¾*

It comes in a range of colours: Black/Black, Black/Pink, Black/Silver, Navy/Navy

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The Plumpton baselayer receives great complements.

Lovely comments from Lisa Bates, who was the winner of our Plumpton baselayer.

She told us “the fit is perfect, the neck is comfortable, the arms are long enough and i have long arms, the stretch is fabulous, its the perfect length too, super pleased, a big thank you, i’m going to look super smart on Saturday”

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Plumpton

LONG SLEEVE CROSS COUNTRY TOP

This practical yet stylish long sleeved cross country top is made from a textured breathable fabric that allows heat and perspiration to escape, helping you maintain a consistent body temperature. Reflective branding on the sleeves will help keep you illuminated at night and in poorer weather conditions whilst still looking stylish.

Sizes: XXS-XXL

Fabric: Polyester

Colour: White, Black

The Diary of a Cornish Eventer

We first met Emily when she arrived to take part in the training weekend with Piggy French. After a great two days of training with Piggy French, Emily has agreed to keep us updated with her progress and how she intends to put the training into practice…

Over to Emily…

“Let me introduce myself… My name is Emily Dunstan and I am 22 years old. I am an amateur eventer based in Truro, Cornwall; where at my parent’s small holding farm on the outskirts of the city centre I currently keep my two horses. I work as a Systems Development Officer for Cornwall Council and more recently have taken on a second job as a waitress to help fund my eventing dreams.

My Two Best Friends
Newbridge Lady, Sprite, is a 21 year old chestnut mare and is my horse of a lifetime! Sprite may only be little at 14.3HH but she has a HUGE heart and always wants to please. Sprite was my first horse and was brought just for a happy hacker but over the 11 years of owning her we have turned our hands and hooves to pretty much everything. We have learnt so much together and for that I will be forever in her debt. Over the years we have successfully competed up to unaffiliated eventing 1 metre, but with her age creeping up… (shhh don’t tell her) I have dropped her down to BE90 and have now affiliated to British Eventing.
My second horse is Call Me Divine, Lola is a 6 year old bay mare by Kings Composer. Lola is a little bigger than Sprite at 16.2HH (my little and large). I wanted to give Sprite a bit of an easier life so I thought why not buy an unbroken 3 year old… this has definitely been a massive challenge as Lola is quite ‘quirky’… let’s just say I can sit a pretty good buck and perseverance became my favourite word! However those days are very few and far between now and I am so proud of her – and me to be honest, as I have had to have some pretty big brave pants on at times! Lola oozes talent and I am very excited for her future.

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My 2016 season overall has been brilliant despite a mishap at the beginning. Lola unfortunately got injured attempting (but failing miserably) to jump a five bar gate so Sprites quieter life wasn’t meant to be… although I don’t think she minded!

Our first event was Lahnydrock Horse Trials which is based in a beautiful setting on national trust land. Sprite won the class 13 points in front of 2nd. We then entered our first BE90 at Chepstow. Sprite again gave me a fantastic day finishing on her dressage score of 23! Another big highlight of 2016 was being in the winning team at the British Riding Club Area Qualifier, Sprite also won her class individually too! This meant we got to go the championships at Swalcliffe only a couple weeks later plus we would be doing roads and tracks for the first time ever. Unfortunately the champs didn’t go as well, Sprite loved the roads and tracks but the hard ground didn’t suit her one bit. Looking back I think the long drive in hot weather took a lot out of her as well and I will always bare that in mind for events in the future.

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Once Lola recovered from her injury and I got her back up to fitness we entered our first BE80(T) at Bicton. I was so pleased with her storming around the long cross country and we ended up 5th. Lola then continued on to do Treborough Hill BE90 and Bricky BE90, no placings but was super thrilled with her cross county rounds. We also entered a local event Four Burrow Hunt Horse Trials, it is renowned in Cornwall for being a challenging course! Lola had won the 80cm class the year before. Our dressage was in typical Cornish weather in the pouring rain but she came out with a good test of 28 followed by a super double clear inside the time. This resulted in us coming home with the red frilly again. Photo of Lola jumping the Cornish wall credit to Rachael Bromage Photography.

Near the end of the season Sprite and I also had our regional final at Pontispool, I have literally never been so nervous!! We didn’t have the best dressage score I would have hoped but had a strong double clear inside the time. The placings were tight as you could imagine but my little super star did it! So we’re off to Badminton Grassroots 2017!! Sooo stupidly excited!!

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In October we won a fantastic prize from Toggi and Champion, I won so many goodies and 2 days training with Piggy French!!! The training was epic, it was so educational and useful – will definitely use the things I learnt for Badminton Grassroots.

Sprite and I rode at Olympia last year in the British Riding Club SEIB Quadrille Final. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget, our theme was the Wizard of Oz and I was the one wearing the red shoes. The West Country Equine fair has asked us to do a demonstration this year and I can’t wait to get Toto back under my arm again! More recently Lola and I did the BRC dressage area qualifier, our team didn’t get place but it was only Lola’s second novice test and we had a great score of 70.71% to earn 4th place.

My other winter plans are to practise practice practise the dressage and show-jumping with Lola and continue to have fun with Sprite. We have Christmas team jumping coming up soon so I’m sure that will be a load of fun… did I mention its fancy dress!
Hope you all enjoyed my first blog and I’ll be sure to write again soon

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What to expect from a professional hat fitting carried out by a fully trained fitter.


A riding hat is one of the most important investments you can make to protect yourself in the saddle. However, more people are buying online and risking ending up with an ill-fitting hat. At best this can cause discomfort or leave you with an unsuitable purchase. At worst this can seriously impair the hats ability to do its job in the event of a fall.

Champion recommends that online purchases are avoided unless replacing a correctly fitted hat like-for-like. Ideally, anyone looking to buy a new hat is advised to visit a BETA-trained retailer for free, professional fitting and advice.

 

So what can you expect from a professional hat fitting?

 

  • Certificate: Retailers should have on display an up to date certificate stating they have had hat fitting training from a qualified body. 
  • Up to standard: The type of hat you choose is usually determined by its purpose; a trained staff member should be able to recommend a range of hats to suit your requirements, advising upon safety standards whether you’re a happy hacker or competing in a chosen discipline. 
  • Getting the measure: Even if you think you know your size, a staff member should take a measurement. The tape measure should sit a fraction above the eye brow and skim your ears, just as your hat should. Remember to wear any glasses and your hair as you would when riding; a different hair style could affect fit. 
  • Right for you: Different models of hats vary in sizes and shape, so a staff member may try different options to find the best fit. They will look for a hat which sits firmly and evenly on your head with a little space by the temples, and the strap adjusted to sit snugly below your chin. The hat should not rock, tilt or come down over your eyes as the fitter gently manipulates or taps it. Your eyebrows should follow the movement of the hat. If this doesn’t happen the hat may be too big. If you can’t feel the top of the hat on the top of your head it may be too small. 
  • Snug as a bug: If replacing an old hat, you might feel the new hat fits more closely than you’re used to. This may be where the foam in your hat has deteriorated with wear causing it to loosen over time. For that reason it’s advisable to replace your hat at least every three-five years (or immediately if it has suffered an impact – even if it looks fine on the outside). 
  • Check point: It’s likely that a fitter will check the fit several times to ensure the hat is suitable.

 

Champion recommends all hats are professionally fitted. Details of trained retailers near you can be found at www.beta-uk.org.

All Champion hats carry the BSI Kitemark – an assurance that they continually meet rigorous standards when tested in key areas. You can ride with confidence when you choose a professionally fitted Champion hat. Our reputation is based on safety.

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The Champion Puissance rider reviews

Evolution Puissance

Low profile lightweight fibre glass shell

Highly ventilated airflow system

Synthetic suede finish with high tech spacer and synthetic leather strips

Four point padded synthetic suede harness with rear drawstring

Quick release buckle

Sizes:

6¼ – 6¾* (VAT exempt)

6⅞ – 7¾

Colours: Black

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Rider reviews

Kimberley Barclay: I was quite nervous about trying the hat as I had open head brain surgery last year which has made wearing hats uncomfortable however I was pleasantly surprised with how comfortable and lightweight this hat was and I coped no problem riding in it too.

Rachel Holden: The Puissance hat is also very stylish. The hat is light Wei and has a nice secure fit without feeling too tight. The leather harness is lovely and soft making it very comfy to wear.

Emily Dunstan: The Evolution Puissance Riding Hat, I found very attractive and cannot wait to wear it at my next competition. It again was very comfortable and when I looked back at the pictures think it looks very smart and professional. I love the shimmer effect up the centre panel, I feel it is not to in your face like some of the hats on the market at the moment.

Plumpton Baselayer Giveaway T&C’s

Plumpton Baselayer Giveaway

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WIN A LONG SLEEVE CROSS COUNTRY TOP

This practical yet stylish long sleeved cross country top is made from a textured breathable fabric that allows heat and perspiration to escape, helping you maintain a consistent body temperature. Reflective branding on the sleeves will help keep you illuminated at night and in poorer weather conditions whilst still looking stylish.

For your chance to win one of these lovely baselayers and help you fight the frosty mornings simply:

  • visit and like our Facebook page
  • like the competition post
  • comment on the post with your top tips for keeping warm in winter

 

Entries close Friday 18th November

Winner will be announced at 5pm

 

Terms & Conditions
Champion Plumpton Baselayer Prize Draw – Terms & Conditions 09/11/2016
This is a competition to win one Plumpton baselayer
To enter you must Like the Champion Equestrian Facebook page and Like the Champion Win post plus post a comment of your top tips for keeping warm in winter in the comments section of the post. –
Everyone who has liked the Champion Facebook page, and commented will be entered into a prize draw to win a plumpton baselayer. Only one entry per person. The winner will be selected at random by an unbiased member of the marketing team. -The Prize Draw will be on Friday 18/11/2016 at 5pm. The winner will be announced on the Champion Facebook page. The winner will also be contacted via Facebook. If the winner does not respond or doesn’t accept the prize within 20 days the prize will be forfeited and the prize may be redrawn at the discretion of the marketing team. No cash or other substitute will be given in the place of the prize. There is no purchase necessary to enter or win and any purchase from Champion will not increase your chances of winning. -Champion reserves the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify this competition, or any part of it, at any given time. This is determined by and is at Champion’s sole discretion. -By participating, entrants release Champion from any and all liability for any claims, costs, injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by their participation in this competition. – Champion are not responsible for any costs incurred by the winner -Use of Winner’s Name, likeness, etc.: On entering this competition, the winner agrees and consents, without further authorisation, compensation or remuneration of any kind, the use of his/her name, photo, and/or likeness and answers submitted, in any and all advertising, promotion and other publicity conducted in any form or media and with no limits in time (including any time after this feature is no longer in effect). -This competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook

Competition winners review the Ti22

The Champion Ti22 Body Protector

Cutting edge comfort & flexibility achieved through revolutionary SegTek construction

Unisex flexible segmented style body protectorHeavy duty YKK zips, military grade outer mesh, ultra lightweight foam and cool feel titanium coloured inner lining

Channeled airflow hole heat release system

Slip it on, zip it up and fit for ease of use

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Rider Reviews

Kimberly Barclay: So far the body protector is my favourite as it is so lightweight and simply amazing! You don’t even know you are wearing it as it is so light, extra cut away around the arms has improved the movement capabilities. It looks really smart, and i am so pleased with it!
 
Rachel Holden:The Ti22 is an unbelievably light back protector. It is really flexible and not at all bulky like many other brands. I am really looking forward to getting out on the cross country in it next year.
It is unbelievably light and so flexible you don’t even know you are wearing it.
 
Emily Dunstan:The Ti22 body protector is awesome!!! With all the small individual panels it is very comfortable and flexible. I always dread putting a body protector on and have always felt restricted. It allows a great range of movement especially in the shoulder area, folding for a jump was just as natural as without it. I feel I am able to breathe and it is surprisingly lightweight which is amazing. Even when jumping into the water at Piggy’s I didn’t once feel it catch the saddle like I have with others. 
 

Piggy French Training Tips

Our riders who were all riding beautiful chestnuts, were the competition winners.

Emily and Sprite, Rachel and Monty & Kimberley and Charles.

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Day 1: Show Jumping

Rachel and Monty were first to start into the arena and started to warm up. Monty an 11 year old homebred gelding quickly settled and started working well in his new surroundings. Piggy encouraged Rachel to use the whole arena when warming up and work on transitions not only directly from walk to trot, trot to canter and back but also transitions within the pace.

Piggy wanted the riders to be aware of their new surroundings and the potential outside influences that could disrupt the horse’s rhythm when jumping their round. It is good for riders to make a mental note of things outside the arena that could cause a spook. Piggy gave the riders some great tips:

  • When at an event make sure you take the time to really know the Show Jumping course. Having confidence in where you are going on the course will allow riders to focus on the horse and its way of going.
  • At an event firstly walk the course and then if possible take a few minutes to watch several riders go, then again take another couple of minutes to watch one more before you go in.
  • Make a plan for the warm up will help stop nerves taking over, the warm up is not only a place to warm up your horse’s muscles but also to ensure your horse is listening to you, so that he feels supple and attentive to the aids.
  • Some horses will need more to warm up than others, it really does depend on the horse and what work best for them.
  • When riding the course focus on the quality of the canter and allow the fences to come to you, keep the engine running through the corners and stay focused on the centre of each fence. Piggy wanted all of the riders to start focusing on the quality of the paces especially the canter

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Day 2and straight into dressage training.

All the riders were set the task of learning a BE test and were encouraged to warm up in the normal way and then straight down the centre to be judged and videoed by Piggy.

The video recording of the first test allowed the riders to hear Piggy’s comments whilst watching back the footage.  Again for the riders, the advice to improve the tests was based around quality of the paces, tempo and rhythm and the 3 P’s preparation, preparation, preparation.

Small adjustments to tackling the individual movements of the test made such a difference to the overall marks. For example when riding the Trot – walk – trot  movement, which should be 3-5 steps of walk, Piggy encouraged the riders not to leave asking for the trot too late and think ‘forward’ throughout the walk using alternate leg aids. Work out how long is needed for your horse to prepare for the upwards transition. Emily and Sprite could allow 2-3 steps of walk and then hit the transition with accuracy.

Piggy also recommended that all the combinations work on improving their free walk back to collected walk transition. The walk phase of the test can often be over looked when training at home but valuable marks can be gained. The lengthening and collecting of the reins is an exercise that needs lots of practise. It’s an ideal exercise to practise when out hacking. The lengthening and shortening of the reins should be seamless, smooth movement of hands down the reins without tension from the horse as the frame of the neck changes.

Piggy reminded riders to shake out their elbows and shoulders regularly to release any tension being held in the rider’s arms. This small exercise really helped all of our riders mentally to stay more relaxed. With ‘bottom half long and top half tall’, riders worked on their positions. Piggy helped each rider work on individual parts of the test and then back to the centre line to re-ride the test.

Rachel, Emily and Kimberley all showed marked improvements in their 2nd test and came away from the test riding session with lots to work on at home.

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Lunch and then on to X-Country practice. With the ground very wet we had to move our X-Country style fences to the arena. A combination of skinnies, corners, coffin and challenging lines gave the riders plenty to think about.  The warm up was based around some forward and back work in the canter. Piggy want to see them extend the canter through the long side and collect the canter on the short side, all in a jump seat with no disturbance in the rider’s position or the tempo of the horse. This was a very good exercise to show how independent the rider’s seat was and how against (if at all) the horse was against the hand.

Piggy encouraged all the riders to drop their hands to the base at of the horse’s neck, allowing the hands to rest on the wither was valuable to avoid the riders arms and wrists getting tense throughout the x-c course. Placing the knuckles on the horse’s neck will also help support the rider when needing a strong half halt with added leverage against the neck…

Practicing in the arena improved the accuracy of the riders approach to each fence and particularly to the double of skinnies in the corner of the arena. There wasn’t much room for error without causing a run out, which made the riders up their game!