Australian 19yo FEI Eventer Eliza Harvey has recently relocated to Hartpury University in the UK, to pursue her equestrian dreams while continuing her studies. Eliza will update us here on the in’s and out’s of British Eventing, and what it means to be a YR based overseas.
Hello everyone, and welcome back to the Lumiere blog!
I think it will be hard to top the past two blogs, as the response we have received is simply incredible. They have resonated with thousands of you, and I have received so many messages (thankyou!). I am very excited to start blogging about what I am learning here at Hartpury in the New Year, but for now, I think an update is due!
For those new to the blog, I left off with the news that my top horse, Evergem Perfection (Ollie), severely injured himself on the plane over from Australia. Ollie is my baby in every shape and form, he's the once in a lifetime horse I dreamed for years of owning and travelling the world with, and simply put, he is my best mate. Understandably, we were all shattered and unsure of what the future would hold.
I am very pleased to update you all that, at this stage, things are looking much more promising on all fronts and Ollie is recovering well. We powered on, one day at a time... I put my 'big brave pants' on, made a lot of phone calls and emails, and Ollie is now on a rehabilitation plan I think will suit him very well. He has begun treatments with the 'ARC Equine" machine for 3 hours every day, has his Incrediwear socks on overnight, plus his daily sports vibe and everything in between... If you ask anyone in the barn, they will tell you he is the most spoilt boy ever! Bollie deserves the world, and the world I shall give him (aka unlimited carrots and scratches)! He has this week begun walking out (actually it is more like taking me on a walk) at 9 weeks post accident, and I can't stop beaming!
I truly have had a bit of a shift in my perspective over the last month. We had big goals, 4* events just within reach, academies, coaches, our last year of young rider's and 'all that'. I was so excited. With Ollie now, I focus on the little things. How he enjoys his 5 minutes of walking, how he let me give him a hug (big deal, PDA is a nono to him), how happy he is in the mornings when people arrive and when tour groups come through. My love for my horse overrides any feelings of possible loss, and this is my greatest advice to anybody in similar situations to me. We have a long time in this sport to achieve, and life is far too short to be so fixated on the negatives and forget the beauty that are these animals right in front of our eyes. Remember that we wouldn’t be here without our partners in crime, and it is our job to love them 'through sickness and health'!
Having said that, I am still a rider with a job to do and was fully aware that I had to be out competing next season. Through a stroke of luck, and the power of Facebook, we are incredibly excited to welcome to the team 'KIKI III' owned by Sophie Lammas. Kiki is a 9year old ISH, who is well established at 100/105 level eventing and showing super potential for the star classes. I am having a fabulous time working with her under the guidance of our new coach Nick Gauntlett, and can't wait to hopefully get out and about early next year.
Another grey- of course! Welcome KIKI III.
On a personal level, I am seriously getting to work in the gym and tackling any rider unevenness under the guidance of PT Meg Roberts, which is a great way for me to maintain my focus each week. I have also received the exciting news that I received a place in the TASS Dual Career Accreditation Scheme, which means as an officially recognised 'Student Athlete' I am able to receive extra academic support and lenience for when competing, training and University start to clash. It's pretty exciting to recieve this as a rider, as it recieves applications from a range of sporting athletes. So, there really is no excuse now! From an academic standpoint, classes are going great and I topped my class in our first assignment (slight brag I'll admit, but it feels like a VERY long time since I last did an assignment and I was nervous!). We are slowing down with only one exam left and everyone heading home for Christmas. Unfortunately Aus is a little far to just 'pop' on home, so I will be hanging out here with my beautiful ponies, and hopefully maybe will see some snow (they tell me I am crazy for wanting this)!
I got to pat Velegro at Your Horse Live, major fangirl moment!
To all the beautiful souls who donated, thankyou thankyou thankyou. We have put these funds aside as we slowly build our resources to hopefully source another horse early next year. A huge congratulations to the winner of the $500.00 Lumiere voucher Juliana Brennan, please be sure to send us an email!
Harry, owned by Merron Norman.
So alas, piece by piece, with a full heart, incredible support from you all and 2 beautiful ponies, we start to re-plan, re-route and soldier on. They never said the road would be easy, and my oh my is it full of surprises, but I couldn't be happier to be journeying down this crazy path. Positivity attracts positivity, and remember, you can't have a rainbow without a little rain!
A huge thankyou to Lumiere for their unwavering support this year, I am so very grateful. And, thankyou to you all for following along our journey, and your many many kind messages. Here's to an even better 2020!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Liza, Ollie and Kiki x
P.S. Have you checked out Lumiere's Christmas bundles? They are fabulous if I do say so myself!