The 2020 competition season has been somewhat different to most years! Nonetheless, it was great to see Team BETTALIFE® Riders managing to get out and compete where they could! Cerys Withey (@jumping.bryan on Instagram) is a showjumper from South East England. Take a look at her end of season round up below.
This year has been something none of us would have expected back in January. It has been very difficult for everyone to cope with, we have all had to deal with this complete new way of life given to us because of COVID.
I was gutted when everyone came to a halt back in March. There were so many shows I was looking forward to; Blue Chip Championships, Chepstow International, Bolesworth International – they were all cancelled. I decided to use the time in lockdown to give my horses a break, they were put out in the fields for a month or so to just be horses. It felt very strange, the season hadn’t even started and they were already being turned away.
I brought them back into work in May. Ryan went off for some schooling with my instructor Ruby & I started getting Brian fit again. After a month at Ruby’s, Ryan came home and we started preparing for shows to start up again. Arena hire started first, we went to a few different places to get us back into the swing of things. Both boys were going well and I was itching to get back out into the show ring. It had felt like forever since we’d last been to a show by that point!
After 4 1/2 months of no shows, on the 12th July we were back out! A very keen Ryan won the British Novice and just had a pole in the Discovery. The week after we were back at our first stay away show since February with both boys. We were all a bit rusty, which was to be expected. Ryan jumped a couple of lovely double clears in the British Novices. Brian, after a sticky start, had two 5ths in the 1.20’s to end the show on a high! The training continued and the boys were on top form. We went to the Young Horse Show at Weston Lawns next. Ryan qualified for the 5yo final (1.05m) to have an unlucky pole in his biggest class to date. Brian had an incredible win in the 1.15 open!
We then continued on to Pyecombe, where Ryan jumped his first 1.10, we were over the moon about! Then came along Hickstead, our favourite show of the year! It was just me and Brian this time. He pulled it out of the bag to qualify for the Main Arena in both of our classes! I couldn’t have been happier with how he jumped for me. He won the first 1.20m qualifier out of 90 people. He then finished in the top 3 in the first 1.10m qualifier out of 150! We had an unlucky pole in each of the finals. But we did finish 7th in the 1.20m final as the fastest 4 faulter.
After Hickstead we had some fun! We went on beach rides, long hacks, water treadmill sessions and just kept the boys ticking over. Ryan was happily jumping consistent clears around Discovery. Brian had also qualified for the silver league final at ‘HOYS’. This was held behind closed doors at Aintree due to the COVID restrictions.
Shortly after Aintree at a show Ryan had an unfortunate accident. I fell off and his bridle wrapped itself around his legs causing him to panic. He ended up flipping over the arena fence. I had never been so scared in my entire life. Somehow he came out of it with no serious injuries. He is now on a break, recovering having regular physio sessions. I am hoping he will be back to himself very soon.
It is now November and we are back in Lockdown until 2nd December, shows have been stopped again and we are only travelling if essential. I really just want life to go back to normal, it has been such a tough year. At this moment in time I don’t have many aims set in stone for next year, as we really don’t know what next year is going to bring. I am hoping to keep the boys in work over winter as they haven’t had a very busy year.
A big goal of ours for next year is to go to Oliva Nova in March for the Spanish tour, it has been a dream of mine since forever and I would love to go just once for the experience with both boys. But of course we will have to wait and see what the restrictions are like nearer the time as to whether it will even go ahead or not.
Overall it’s been a very strange year, it definitely hasn’t gone how I would have ever expected but I am just grateful that my family are healthy and we are safe, the horses are well and we did have a few months to have fun at shows. I also feel so lucky to have the support of my amazing sponsors behind me through this time, a huge thank you to BETTALIFE® for sticking by me and being a huge part of why my horses feel so amazing! Brian is on PharmaQuin Joint CompleteHA to keep him feeling supple and his joints supported & both boys are on the PharmaTRAC Digestive Support to keep their gut healthy and reduce stress and anxiety levels! I wouldn’t use any other supplements since trying BETTALIFE®!
Follow Cerys, Brian and Ryan’s journey on Instagram – @jumping.bryan
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