I regularly visit my good friend Holly Gillott at Fox Covert Horses, which I'm sure you have all read about how she improved my show jumping in the space of literally 10 minutes! After spending a few days with Holly I went from jumping 1.10m courses with the odd pole here and there, to actually winning 2 classes in a row at Arena UK against 70 odd competitors and against top riders. Holly installed so much confidence into me that I even tackled my first Foxhunter 1.20m track only feeling sick once! I'd like to think Holly know's me better then anyone when it comes to riding and what horses I like. Going back 4 years ago when I first met Holly after ringing up an advert for Puzzle. I like to put it all down to fate, I was meant to have Puzzle & meet Holly. The website I found Puzzle on was under construction and they had mixed up all the adverts, putting the old ones on the first pages and new adverts right at the back. It was getting late, around 11.30pm and I was on page 39 out of 40. I was tired but something told me to look on the last page... There she was. Pokeys Puzzle. As I read the advert I instantly became excited and was hoping she was still for sale being on the last page you automatically think old advert! I rang up first thing the next morning to find out Holly had only just uploaded her advert that night... Now it was definitely fate! We went straight away to try her and as soon as she brought her out the stable I knew she was the one I had been looking for over the past 2 years. Puzzle was one of Holly's first project horses that she had kept a year to bring on and sell to fund university. I bought her there and then subject to 5 stage vetting which she passed with flying colours. At that time I was only looking for a Pony Club horse maybe to try a few BE90/100. Well 4 years later she has taken me all the way from BE90 to CCI*.
I was on holiday when I first got a text from Holly to say she had a horse in "that had my name written all over it!" I can only afford to keep 2 horses, and don't have enough time or stables to own 3. (Holly knows this!) It was only when returning from holiday that I went to stay again for a week with Puzzle & Candy. She told me again about this super talented mare that would suit me down to the ground, but I tried to block her out! It was the mid week and Holly & her partner Graham were headed out with the Quorn Hunt. I couldn't take any of mine because they had too much on that week. Holly suggested that I should take this mare she had been telling me about. I said only if it will look after me, but I won't be jumping anything! Well she was good as gold, I ended up jumping everything! Hedges, post and rail the lot! I just seemed to click with her like I had rode her for years. It was like riding Candy but with Puzzle's brain! I took her round the farm jumping all Holly's cross country fences. I knew there and then this horse was for me. That night I made a fairly quick decision to sell Puzzle to fund the purchase. I don't have the finances to go out and by another top event horse so buying a top 3yo seemed the next logical thing to do. Holly knows a top horse when she see's one and this one has the ability to hopefully go all the way with lots of time and hard work.
So I wish Sam & Puzzle a very successful partnership, which I have no doubts about what so ever. Puzzle has given me the best 4 years and I owe and love her a lot, but now my journey continues. It is set to be a very interesting 2012 with 2 young horses aiming for the Lycetts 4yo & 6yo finals held at Osberton. And who knows this horse could be the one to get to the very top.