The Perils Of Show Jumping Sport - 16
Well, I know I've been a bit lazy with the blogs lately - things just have been so hectic. But, whereas my stories normally are of the brighter, funnier side of show jumping, I’m afraid as I’m writing this one I m struggling already to hold back the tears in my eyes....
Yesterday we lost our beloved beautiful black beauty - our ten year old Lady’s Queen - in a very bizarre event, which to be honest, even twelve hours or so later I still can’t get my mind around.
As all of you who follow our blogs know for Sam and I, our horses to us are first and foremost, living and breathing personalities who allow us to compete with them. They, like us, have good days and bad days, and even don't-want-to-get-out-of-bed-days!! But they more often than not go through the start gate and like us, want to win.
Lady’s Queen found us by default really; we had been on a buying trip in Germany and had tried her among others for a client, and actually liked her at the time but she had been over their budget. I had seen another little horse which I had thought would be handy for me for the smaller classes and so we had purchased it. However, there was something about Lady, and fate meant for her to join our team, as the deal didn't work with the other horse and we decided after a bit of persuasion to our sponsors that we would upgrade to her. And so Lady’s Queen arrived at Sanremo, Italy, show in June 2013, an empty, ribby, gawky looking mare with TERRIBLE feet! I remember the Italian farrier looking at her feet and his headshake surmounted all language barriers! However she went out that first show with me and showed her potential straight away, being placed every day, and we all instantly fell in love with her.
Over the weeks she bloomed, she filled out, her coat grew ever glossier and she lost her nervousness around strangers; we trekked her all over the world and in one year this mare saw so many countries and places: from taking me around the arena at Monaco with fast cars roaring past, to jumping with Sam over the biggest fences without batting an eye in the main arena at Spruce Meadows in Canada, to walking through St. James’ Park with me through all the tourists taking her photo on the way to the arena at the London LGCT, and to our proudest moment when she took 2nd place in the ranking class at Vilamoura Champions Tour this month in Portugal. My my my....how our gawky mare grew - into a true Queen.
Lady’s Queen went to the trot up at Mijas in Spain where she was actually due to only jump the last two weeks with Sam before going home to the main farm in Ireland to have a few weeks eating grass. Something happened - we still don’t know what and she fell back and hit her head fracturing her poll. She died with people who cared around her, although Sam and I weren't there, which I guess hurts the most. With her not just a horse died, but a lot of hopes and dreams, we’ll have a lot more horses for sure, who’ll probably win a lot more classes, but we’ll only ever have one Queen.
To everyone who has written, sent messages and called - thank you so much. The show will go on for the WKD Team, it is beyond our pay grade to understand why these things happen and I promise the next blog will hopefully be back to its normal usual self....at least I know that with us, Lady with able to shine and I’m sure that means something.
REST IN PEACE, LADY'S QUEEN