It still feels like a dream when I think about us competing at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy last August. It would not have been possible without the help and backing of all my supporters and friends, not to mention trainer Andrew J Murphy, chef de equipe Regine Fitzner and groom Debbie Winchester who made the journey to Caen with me - and of course my sponsors Simple System Horse Feeds! I cannot thank everyone enough for all their help, advice, use of lorries etc… the list is endless!
I am also very much looking forward to the trip back to the Virgin Islands later this month to meet up with Regine. She has been to the International Paralympic Convention and the FEI symposium - all since August - and says she has lots of news on the competition front to discuss with me. I am really looking forward to that trip not only to catch up with Regine but also to see my Dad and family/friends and to have a proper break - it has been a full on 2+ years since Rhapsody came back to me after London and we started preparing for WEG. Apart from the competition aspect, on a personal front during that time I have gone through two redundancy processes and started a new job (thankfully) - which has all added to the pressures of life generally. I have never felt more that my batteries need recharging than I do now and two weeks in the sun in the middle of winter will do very nicely thank you! But no one with any interest or connection with sport generally can fail to notice that now all thoughts are turning to Rio. The social media is increasingly full of reports of countries and individuals searching for sponsorship/funding/backing - call it what you will - but the pressure is on to do what it takes to get to Rio! From my perspective - January 2015 starts the qualifying process for Rio and with only a limited amount of annual leave from my job - and a limited amount of funds - I was very pleased to see that there is going to be three 3* star internationals being held in England this year which will all count towards the all important rankings list for Rio. It will be a challenge to qualify but I am in a better position than I was before London and plan to at least give it all I've got!
In the meantime Rhapsody is feeling fab and looking great thanks to the feeding regime from Simple System… I have been looking for some competitions to go to after Christmas but they are few and far between at the weekends so we may not get out until after my holiday which is a shame… but there is another goal I have set myself for 2015 and that is to get together a freestyle routine that I can ride at BD level - so perhaps we can work on that in January instead!