I have had a terrific summer which saw us secure Team Bronze at WEG in Tryon, USA. It was quite a dramatic time over there with hurricane’s, rain and the abandonment of the Grand Prix Freestyle. My own personal journey there as also fraught with problems! It has been widely documented this year that I have back problems - the downside of being a professional dressage rider. The issues started back in July when at Hartpury I had to pull out of competing in the Grand Prix Special as I had excruciating back pain. I had been keeping fit, doing lots of running and was the trimmest I had been for year! The Team GBR sports doctors sent me for an MRI scan and found a couple of prolapsed discs. The professionals suggested injecting my back with an epidural to relieve the pain. It was painfully close to WEG at the time so I just settled for lots of physio sessions with the team at Bisham Abbey. I hobbled through WEG with the help of the team farrier, Andrew Bowyer. He whizzed me around in a golf buggy which was so helpful. Returning from WEG I was able to rest it a bit so it settled down, but after I got the all clear I went for a run and within 10 minutes I was in agony. Back for a second MRI and this time I opted for the epidural which I had yesterday and I already feel lots better. It can last for 3-4 months with some major physio work so fingers crossed as I have some important events coming up!
I’m leaving for Australia on 26th November for a Masterclass in Sydney followed by four days teaching. I then fly down to Melbourne for four more days teaching, then back to Sydney to fly home. I get back on the 10th and I get married on the 15th!
Darren and I are to be wed in a restored Elizabethan mansion, called Shaw House in Newbury. Followed by a party in a beautiful converted barn. We’re so excited to see family and friends on this special occasion, even some I haven’t seen for a while!
Then I’ll be off to the Olympia Horse Show to watch the dressage which I’m really looking forward to. I have had the honour of being invited back to take part in a celebratory parade on the Thursday evening for the medallists from this year. I think it’s wonderful that for the first year ever, the owners have been invited to join us. It’s fabulous for them to receive the recognition they deserve and we can celebrate together as a team.
Then we have Christmas and New Year and to top it all off we’ll be jet setting to the Seychelles on our Honeymoon for two weeks of sun, sea, sand and wedded bliss!