The diary of a Cornish Eventer – the final run!

I feel like I’ve just blinked and another week has gone by. The Mitsubishi Motors Cup is scarily close now! Sprite and I had our final run at the weekend at Bovington BE. Even though I have never competed there myself I did attend this event about 7/8 years ago when my sister-in-law was competing.

Seeing Kerry-Ann compete at many events is how and where I found my love for eventing!! At that moment I never dreamed I would be riding my one in a million pony on the renowned Badminton Estate! Kerry-Ann is currently expecting her second child with her due date ‪on 2nd May!! So come on little one, hurry up so you and mummy can come and cheer us on!

Our final run went really well – 24 dressage, unfortunate 4 faults showjumping and another fab confident clear cross country to come away with 6th place. The question is… are we now ready? I don’t think I will ever be as ready as I would like to be but all 3 test runs have made me aware or should I say reminded me of few things. For example:

  1. Sprite can be sticky over the first few XC so ride positively and attack the fences.
  2. Double check times again and again and again! Also tell everyone around you so they know as well!
  3. If in doubt – PKC!! Point, KICK and Close your eyes!

There’s lots more but let’s hope I remember them all on the day!

One minute I think I am OK, then the next I go into a panic that I’m not. Sprite is as fit as a fiddle; I have a check list ready for when the time comes to pack, so not doing too badly!

After seeing the fences come out on the Cross Country app I did have a mini meltdown as they look really scary! To be honest they terrify me but I can’t wait to give them a good crack! Over our 11 year partnership this will be the toughest course we have ever done! I love a good challenge but don’t get me wrong I will be running to and from the portaloo an hour before my time I’m sure!

We had a great lesson last week over some technical XC fences such as skinnies, angled fences and steps, all things we are going to see on the tough course. Sprite was great and listened to me really well so fingers crossed we can apply that to our all-important round. We have a flatwork lesson this week to work on the area’s we have lost marks from our 3 tests.

All the hard work is now done! Now to keep Sprite ticking over and injury free pretty please with a cherry on top!!

Written by Emily Dunstan at EMD Eventing


Champion Riders Weekend Round Up

Champion brand ambassador Kitty King had a busy weekend at Bicton Arena. Drewmain Firefly contested his first Novice and did a lovely test to score 27.8 with a super double clear picking up a few time faults to finish 5th. Then it was the babies turn with MHS Fernhill Finale doing a lovely test to score 31.5 and jumped double clear in the BE90 HC.

The Last Euro didn’t do quite as good a test as he is capable scoring 32.8 but made up for it by jumping a great double clear to finish 7th in the BE100. Then Cristal Fontaine competed his first BE100 and did a good test to score 30.8. He was unlucky to rub two poles as he was a little distracted by the tents and busy trade stands but jumped a super confident clear in the cross country.

Emily Dunstan received a box of Champion goodies ready for the Mitsubishi Motors Cup held at Badminton on the 2nd and 3rd May and Sophie Wells had a busy weekend teaching and riding with Tia keeping an eye on things!

WIN! Tickets to the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials

With the ‘Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials’ just 10 days away we are giving our followers the chance for, not one but two lucky Champion fans to each win two free seats aboard any one of the four Saturday Coaches travelling to the Badminton event, from Manchester/Chester, Plymouth, Peterborough and Brighton, on Saturday 6th May 2017.

Voucher/tickets for the Saturday Coach includes entry to this prestigious event. In addition, the selected winners will win either a Champion Riding hat or a Champion body protector. The winner will be fitted at Badminton, on the Champion stand and have their selected prize delivered to their home address afterwards!

To enter this fantastic prize draw simply head over to our Facebook page HERE

Champion Safety Products “Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials” Competition ‘Terms & Conditions’

  • This is a competition for two people to each win two Saturday Coach Voucher (including return travel and entry) to Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, for Saturday 6th May 2017
  • Vouchers, includes coach from a designated collection/pick up point and entry into the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials. To view the routes and pick up points, click here:
  • Plus, each winner will win a Champion *safety product; either a Champion riding hat or body protector, to be expertly fitted at Badminton and delivered to their home address afterwards.

To enter you must

1 – Like the Champion Facebook page

2-  Like the Champion Competition Post

3 – Tag the person you want to go with

-Everyone who has liked the Champion page, and tagged who they want to go with in the comments will be entered into the prize draw. 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 28th April 2017 at 10am, where two winners will be selected at random. 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 by 10am on Monday 1st May, 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

(*Products maybe substituted for products of equal value if required)


Izzy Palmer reviews the start of 2017 and her first International

It’s been a busy few months since my last blog as competition season has got under way. At the end of January I took part in my second ever demo, at the para coaches symposium down at Moulton College. It was a great learning opportunity, getting to ride and have feedback from a list 1 judge, especially now that we are riding new tests. I took touchdown who I haven’t ridden out and about very much so it was good to get him out and practice away from home in a different atmosphere. I also got to see Sophie ride her Rio medal winning freestyle which was amazing as I had never seen it before!

In February I took Noki and Touch to squad training and we also did our first competition of 2017, a qualifier for the KBIS gold semi finals in June. It was the first time riding the new tests in competition with both boys getting good scores with lots to improve on. Sophie also took Touchdown to Bishop Burton regionals in February to compete in the Advanced Medium Freestyle gold section which she won with an incredible score qualifying him for the British Dressage Winter Championships.

March was a super busy month!! At the beginning we were invited to the podium squad training to ride the new tests in front of an international judge, which was an incredible opportunity. I took both Noki and Touch, riding a test on each getting very helpful feedback. Whilst we were down in Gloucester, we also had a trip to the BHS coaches convention where Sophie was a guest speaker/rider. She took Touch and I as her ‘guinea pig’, it was an amazing learning experience riding in front of a bigger than expected audience!! I also became young disability sportswoman of the year for 2016 at the Leeds sports awards which was amazing!!!

Then it was onto the Nirvana Spa British Dressage Para Gold Winter Championships, we took Touch to do the Freestyle class on the Saturday as I have never ridden a freestyle on him before. I was really pleased with the test, getting 75.5% as I’m still getting used to riding freestyles (only rode one for the first time on Noki last summer!) and focusing on the movements, riding it like any normal test.

Then on the Sunday it was championship day, riding the old tests and as a grade 3 for the last time. Touch was amazing in the arena becoming the grade 3 Winter Champion and so was Noki coming third with a few rider errors!!

Then in the last week of march we headed off to my first 3* International abroad in Deauville, France. I was really excited to have been selected on both Noki and Touch!! We arrived on the Tuesday and had training sessions in the competition arena on the Wednesday and Thursday familiarising ourselves with the new environment and getting used to the different atmosphere.

After trot ups were passed on the Thursday, competition began on the Friday with the team test. I was rather nervous and didn’t ride as well in the arena as I wanted to but I was still super pleased with a 2nd for Noki on 69% and a 5th for Touch on 68%. Both boys were great in the arena and really showed me the way.

On the second day with help and reassurance from my mentor and trainer Sophie, I felt much more relaxed and confident going into the arena. Both boys gave me their all with Touch winning the individual and Noki close behind in 3rd. This was totally surreal!! I could not believe it!

I then got through to the freestyle on the Sunday with Noki as he had the highest average score over both days, I couldn’t wait to dance again with the gorgeous golden boy!! I really focused on riding the movements and enjoying it! We got 73% and won the class, which was very surreal again! I really hadn’t expected anything like this to happen at my first international abroad, I still don’t think it’s fully sunk in yet!! I am so grateful to be riding two such wonderful horses, who give me their all every time they go into the arena. They really are the best dancing partners any girl could wish for! And I’m also very fortunate and grateful to have Sophie, as without her none of this would be possible. She has so much knowledge, and shares this with me, helping me develop as a rider, learning from her wonderful boys, I couldn’t ask for more.

Next will be the KBIS gold semi finals which are in the middle of my GCSE exams! For now it’s back to school with lots of revision, not fun! And training which is definitely way more fun!!

Izzy Palmer

Champion Riders Weekend Round Up

What a weekend it has been for our Champion brand ambassadors. Sophie Wells kicked it off with a flying start taking the Prix St George Freestyle National Championship title with C Fatal Attraction at the British Dressage Winter Championships, on a whooping score of 75.75%.

Sophie followed this up with another win the next day on Valerius taking the Intermediate Freestyle National Championships title with another fantastic score of 75.83%.

“I’m so proud of my boys. Reece was a little on edge tonight but found a tonne of expression. I always dreamt of winning at the winters or nationals, and to win 2 in 2 days is a dream,” said Sophie.

Pippa Funnell enjoyed the spring sunshine over at Burnham Market Horse Trials with two of her youngsters. Maybach finished 8th in his first CIC** and Billy Walk On gave Pippa an excellent feel in all three phases in his first CIC*** and enjoyed some well-deserved carrots!

Pippa said, “After so many years doing this sport so much of the buzz is the thrill of an exciting young horse stepping successfully up through the levels. Sandman, Majas Hope and Billy the Biz all double clear feeling in great form.”

Over at Ascott Under Wychwood BE90, Kitty King took some of her babies out. MHS Fernhill Finale completed his first ever competition posting a 29 dressage and jumping a great double clear to finish 9th. Along with Cristal Fontaine who also went very well scoring 28.8 in the dressage and again jumping a fantastic but steady double clear to finish just outside the top 10.

Emily Dunstan enjoyed their final run before they head off to Badminton to take part in the Mitsubishi Motors Cup. They posted a 24 dressage, with an unlucky pole down in the showjumping and a fantastic clear cross-country to finish 6th.

Johnathan Bowman rounded off the weekend with a win at the Welsh Masters on Marcel des Rosier.

Congratulations to all our riders.

#ChampionRiders #BuiltonSafety

The diary of a Cornish Eventer – Less then 3 weeks to go!

Ok so can someone please slow time down?! It is going far too quickly for my liking! Tuesday marked 3 weeks to go! That’s only 20 days… eeeekkk!!

It’s been go go go the past few weeks. Recently I swapped my wellies for high heels and headed off to my cousins wedding in the glorious sunshine! It was b-e-a-utiful!! My cousin Jane looked gorgeous and everyone had a lovely day filled with fun, love and laughter. Of course I managed a quick ride at stupid o’clock before getting ready… best bit is my friend was also just as mad and joined me!!

Sprite was getting quite hot under all her winter fluff, so that has all been taken off and she’s now looking super-duper smart and is much more comfortable! In a short space of a week we’ve managed to get our first two events of the season under our belt.

Firstly we traveled up to Wiltshire for Portman BE where we had a really good first run. 3rd after dressage but sadly two poles in our dreaded phase of showjumping cost us. However focusing on the positives (something we must all do!), Sprite ate up the XC going clear and inside the time. I started the day feeling stupidly nervous, more so than normal but think that was down to “pre-season” nerves, anyone else get them? Although by the end I was grinning from ear to ear! Even with 2 poles we still managed 10th place. It was so nice to be back out doing all three phases and get our eye back in the game!

Four days later the car and trailer was loaded up again and we headed off to a local ODE; it was so lovely only being 20 minutes down the road for a change! Sprite did a lovely test to score 24.17 which was the best dressage in our class yet we still had great comments and feedback from the judge where there was room for improvement. Showjumping went in the right direction and we only had the one pole. Sprite then gave me another awesome round cross country, literally pulling me into everything! We weren’t allowed to wear a watch so it made me really appreciate British Eventing for allowing us now. Judging the time to be in a 15 second window is so difficult and we didn’t manage it this time but wasn’t far off so only had 1.2 time faults leaving us on 29.37 taking the win.

I think I feel pretty organised at the moment, well I kind of have to be I suppose, fitting everything in around both jobs. My forever supporters (mum and dad) have been absolutely fantastic helping me out when I’ve needed!

My Mitsubishi Motors Cup entry has been DONE!! Riders have then been asked to fill in a survey for our XC commentary – must admit that was pretty exciting! The cross country course has been published and is looking… urmm… beefy… technical and definitely challenging but did we really expect anything less!? Brave pants are already packed!!

Looking ahead – we’ve got one more event planned at Bovington this weekend then I’m buying the biggest roll of bubble wrap possible for Sprite! If anyone has any good links feel free to send them across 😉 (if only!). We then need to practise a bit more jumping at home on grass and touch up on the areas we can in the dressage. It’s all systems go!

Written by Emily Dunstan at EMD Eventing

Champion Riders

The first few Champion Safety Wear Pony Club Race Days have been held over the weekend. It is lovely to see the next generation of jockey’s race and collect there prizes.

We also supported the South of England Horse Trials and loved seeing the horse and rider combinations clearing the Champion fence.

#ChampionRider #BuiltonSafety

Successful weekend for Izzy Palmer and mentor Sophie Wells

Congratulations to brand ambassadors Sophie Wells and Izzy Palmer on there successful weekend at CPEDI De Deauville. This was Izzy Palmers first time competing abroad  and with her mentor Sophie Wells at her side they exceeded all expectations in the Grade IV and came away with two wins, a 2nd, 3rd and 5th with Touchdown and Pinocchio.

Sophie Wells dominated the Grade V with a hat trick of wins including an international PB in the Team Test of 75.5% and a fantastic 79.675% in the freestyle.