Lovely words from Flora Young

Having a Champion hat on my head has always been a no brainer…whether hacking, hunting, training or competing, so at Chatsworth International I announced I was being supported by a brand where safety was paramount.
I would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank Team Champion for all their help, support and advice during 2017. Here’s a snapshot of our year together and here’s to a safe 2018.

#BuiltonSafety #YoungAmbition

Success for Izzy

Congratulations to brand ambassador Izzy Palmer Dressage and Touch for completing their qualification for the Winter Championships on a fab score of 73.9%
#ChampionRider #BuiltonSafety

12 days of Christmas arrives at Champion

We can’t wait for the 2nd December to arrive as it signals the start of our very special 12 days of Christmas giveaway.

The competition will run every other day via our Facebook page.

Terms & Conditions

This is a competition to win selected prizes over 12 days

Prizes are subject to change depending on stock availability

To enter you must;

  1. Like the Champion Equestrian Facebook page
  2. Like the Champion competition post
  3. Comment on the competition post

Everyone who has liked the Champion Facebook page, liked the competition post and commented will be entered into the prize draw to win the prize available that day.

Only one entry per person per day.

Entrants must be based in the UK to be eligible.

The winner will be selected at random by an unbiased member of the marketing team.

The Prize Draw will take place the following day at 10am after each competition post, apart from the competition post on the 22nd and 24th December, where the prize Draw will be at 10am on the 3rd January 2018.

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 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

Lightweight, modern and stylish

The popular Evolution Puissance riding hat is perfect for all disciplines. With a low profile lightweight fibre glass shell, this hat is a lightweight modern choice for everyday riding and competition use. The Evolution Puissance offers a highly ventilated airflow system to ensure maximum comfort with a synthetic suede finish, high tech spacer and synthetic leather strips offering not only safety but style as well.

#ChampionEquestrian #BuiltonSafety

A day with Sophie Wells

Wow, where do I start! What a fantastic day!! Not only did I spend the morning with the ever-inspiring Sophie Wells and her sponsors (drinking plenty tea too of course!) I had the opportunity to watch Sophie do what she does best on her handsome Jorge… wow. To watch such an amazing pair work together was just mind blowing, it was so lovely to listen and watch, Sophie talk me through what she was doing and she just had an amazing approach to her riding, I could have watched all day and I loved being able to chat and pick her brains about her horses. It was so inspiring to hear her journey and watch how they work together.

I then met the gorgeous Noki … again WOW! What a gentleman, I met the lovely Izzy and I was able to pick up a lot of helpful tips as Sophie was teaching that can help my core and balance. It was so great to chat to everyone (although I was fairly quiet as I was so over whelmed and in awe!).

After that I had a lesson on my super younger horse, the golden pony Cali. I thought this would be a great experience for her as we (or more I) have a lot to work on and my other horse Tally is having a trailer break. Cali was a star she settled in so well and I have taken a lot away from my lesson with Sophie to help me help my horses when I’m riding. I think I could go on forever! I love learning especially when it comes to my horses, I know I can always improve and if something is going wrong it is something I’m doing wrong and having opportunities like today is just so insightful and encouraging! The whole day was just so fantastic, and I can’t describe how grateful I am, once again it has reminded me how passionate I am about my horses and with the hard work and determination t can be possible to reach your goals!!

Cali absolutely loved chilling with the big boys too! It was like she’d been there all her life she was so relaxed in the stable, she just fitted in so well! Think she had the hots for Jorge too!

Then it doesn’t stop there… I also was lucky enough and won a new Champion riding hat, body protector, Toggi Saddlecloth, riding tights, fleece top, gilet, rain coat AND some gorgeous long riding boots that fit my short legs I felt amazing, I really can’t describe how grateful I am for this opportunity, such amazing products and such wonderful people giving me their time. Thank you so much Sophie you always inspire me and HUGE thanks to Champion for such an amazing opportunity once again!!

Nikki Clark

The Piggy French Weekend from a winner’s perspective! 

Well it all came as a bit of a surprise for me, Martin, my partner had entered the facebook competition on my behalf so when he called me to tell me that we had won a weekend training with Piggy French at her yard in Maidwell and £1000 worth of Champion and Toggi gear, I was super excited but also a little shocked! I then google mapped Maidwell and the nerves kicked in, it was going to be a long journey, Jason has never travelled that far and I don’t have my own transport. Luckily Martins lovely parents Jane and Paul agreed we could use there lorry – Thank You!! So after a few sleepless weeks our road trip begins!

Due to the six hour journey from Cornwall to Northampton, Piggy kindly let us stay the Friday evening. On arrival Jason was pleased to get off the lorry, I took him for a grass pick, then decided to take him for a hack on the amazing bridleways around Piggy’s yard. We even managed to watch a hot air balloon take off.

Jason then got settled in to his massive stable for the night, only being 15hh he looked tiny, he had better not get used to the luxurious lifestyle!

Finally, day one of our exciting weekend I couldn’t wait to meet the champion team, Piggy and the other lucky prize winners, Annieka and Christie.

At 10am we were warmly welcomed by the Champion Team and there was a huge box for each of the winners, having not entered I had no idea what I had won but had been asked for a few sizes. We were then given our boxes and was asked to try everything on…..Wow……Christmas had come early!!

There was so much stuff….

  • Champion Evolution Puissance hat
  • Champion Ventair Deluxe Hat
  • Ti22 body protector – this was very flexible and comfortable, it didn’t effect my riding and you don’t even notice you are wearing it.
  • A white and beige pair of Gatcombe Breeches.
  • Catton Winter Cream (Long sleeve technical top).
  • A gorgeous royal blue Ardsley Cobalt (padded Gilet), this has elastic down the sides so doesn’t restrict when riding.
  • Aberford Riding Coat – I love the longer length of this coat, it keeps the rain from dripping down straight on to your jodphurs.
  • Cartwright Long leather riding boots, these were very soft and comfortable.
  • Toggi Socks
  • A white toggi/champion saddlepad for Jason.

Luckily everything fitted and the hats and body protectors were professionally fitted to us by Julia and Grenville from Champion and we put on some of our new riding gear ready for the afternoon show jumping lesson.

Piggy then arrived and introduced herself to us, she was absolutely lovely and so welcoming. She took us on a tour of her yard and talked us through the day to day running of a competition yard, the horses routines and we asked any questions we had. Piggy mainly had youngsters in getting them ready for next season, whilst her big horses had been turned away for a rest. It was good to see all the horses relaxed and happy in the stables and to hear her talk about all her horses as individuals, whilst they came over for a stroke. We talked about training and fitness and how much horses should do, but it all depended on the individual horse and their needs. Piggy has a 60 x 40m arena with the most amazing views, a horse walker, a large stable block with hot shower facilities and heat lamps to dry them, and the quarantine stables where our horses stayed.

After lunch, it was showjumping time! We all had a 45 minute private lesson with Piggy, it was great to watch Annieka and Christies lessons and pick up some tips. Showjumping has become our weakness over the last eventing year as I’ve had to concentrate more on our cross country and dressage. I was last to go, Jason felt a bit tired today compared to his usual self, I think the drive and the stabling had taken most of his energy! We started off warming up over a jump, working on getting him straight whilst keeping the revs up, we then moved on to a course. Jason felt a bit more forward over the course and I worked on riding good lines. Jason is a bit of an overgrown pony, so will quite happily motorbike around if you let him. I was pleased with the way he jumped but I will practice more over the winter months working on being accurate through my lines, especially off the corners and getting straight.

 

Day 2 

Dressage morning. Jason was a bit more awake today, he had recovered from the long journey. Dressage is something I’ve grown to enjoy always having something to work on and improve. I wanted to show Piggy how he goes and what she suggests to help improve my marks. So we warmed up and Piggy loved his consistency through the contact and outline. In the warm up he highlighted a few issues we needed to work on, in the canter transition he kept doing a small jump up in to it and the trot needed to be kept active. We worked on both of these by doing lots of short and quick transitions between gaits. We then ran through the dressage test which she filmed and critiqued, then we talked about my test and how I could improve it.

Some of the tips I was given:

  • Do the trot transitions on the straight, on the bend he may mistake it as a canter aid. (I had to do 3-5 steps of walk over A)
  • From  free walk to medium walk gradually pick up the reins, doing this I found he naturally lifted his out line as soon as I started creeping up the rein, rather than quickly taking up the reins where he then hollowed and jogged.
  • If he is not responding to my leg do a quick kick with both legs to get him listening.
  • Use the corners better as it gives you more room to prepare for the next movement.
  • If you learn the test well, you can ride it and not have to think about it.

We then did the test again taking in to consideration the tips Piggy had given us, there was much improvement. I felt that I didn’t rush the second test giving me time to prepare and ride all the transitions well.

My best comment of the day was “when he goes well, he goes fantastic!” Yay…my hard work is paying off!!

It was great watching Annieka and Christies lessons after.

We had another great lunch provided by the Champion team, I was feeling rather full, forgetting my lesson was striaght after lunch – bad idea!!

Next up was the cross country style arena lesson, as I jump smaller than Annieka and Christie I had a lesson on my own. Piggy had set up a coffin style jump with a water tray, two corners on a dog leg turn, 2 angled doubles and a wider styled jump. We warmed up over a single jump starting lower then bringing it up. We then moved on to the angled doubles this caused us quite a problem, I’m so used to Jason locking on and taking me over the jump when he didn’t understand the angled double he ran out, but it highlighted that my legs and hands weren’t quite working together to give him the confidence. Once I managed to get my legs, seat and hands all coordinated I could feel Jason pick up and feel more confident in what I was asking of him. This was a great exercise and I am going to work on it over the winter period getting the jumps narrower to make my riding more accurate.

This is the angled double, I had to pick a line and ride it.

We then moved on to the corners, the wider styled jump and the coffin, incorporating the angled double as part of the course. Again we worked on riding accurate lines, especially on the dog leg turn between the two corners, when I got it right Jason kept the forward momentum and took me in to the jumps with confidence.

After the arena jumps, we went and had a play in the water jump in the field, this is Jasons favourite….he is a proper Cornish water boy!

I would like to thank Champion and Toggi for organising a once in a life time opportunity, the fantastic prizes and the hospitality. Piggy for the fantastic teaching and allowing us to come up for the weekend, letting us have a glimpse in to the busy competition life you lead and Martin for not only entering me in this competition but also being driver, photographer and helping me out all weekend.

By

Vicky Mather

 

 

 

#KneesupFriday

Our lovely competition winner Vicky Mather and the gorgeous Jason at our Piggy French training weekend. If your heading out this weekend don’t forget to tag us with #ChampionEquestrian on your adventure

#BuiltonSafety #ChampionRider