Mitsubishi Motors Cup

Tuesday 30th April - Wednesday 1st May, 2019 #MMCup

Sarah Charnley: Horses and my other hobbies

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Where on earth does time go! We are now just under four weeks away from the Mitsubishi Motors Cup. I’m pretty sure as you get older, time goes much faster. Take my advice youngsters, get out there, work hard, play hard and do your very best.

Besides my passion for eventing and horses in general, I have always played a lot of sport and in particular hockey. I have played at National League and Regional level in my younger days and still enjoy playing at first team level at Louth Hockey Club. It’s a great way of keeping fit and it’s a real team sport. Riding is great, but it is an individual sport, although you have the support around you, in hockey you have to work as a team to win. I have been privileged to have made lifelong friends all over the world through both sports. Grooming for event rider Ros Canter is also a real hobby, which is also helping me with my own riding. Before I started helping Ros, I did a lot of volunteering. Whilst volunteering in various roles I tried to learn from every experience. Whilst fence judging at top events I would watch how the professional rode different fences and listened to their comments while walking the course. Dressage writing is another great thing to do as you get to listen to exactly what the judge is looking for. We all benefit from coaching, but to actually work alongside different judges, you learn a lot.

Nothing comes for free, so in order to enjoy life I found a job that I both like and can make a difference in. In my role as a Building Control Surveyor, I inspect, check and enforce the Building Regulations. It is a team effort too, as we work with clients, architects and builders to ensure the work carried out in our area conforms to the Building Regulations and it fulfils the clients’ needs. It’s great to be out and about and meeting new people. I don’t think I have ever had a day where I haven’t wanted to go to work. Don’t get me wrong I would love to be riding all the time, but this career has given me the opportunities to do both.

I do believe that we never stop learning. When I started riding we were taught to grip with our knees and fold over a fence. Over the last ten years, I have had to learn how to ride in the new style. You certainly can teach an ‘old dog new tricks’ because I am that ‘old dog,’ figuratively speaking! I firmly believe I am riding better now than I have ever done and that’s thanks to everyone who has helped me over the years.

As the Mitsubishi Motors Cup is fast approaching, it really is becoming more real and Etie and I are working hard towards it. We were again lucky to beat the weather and compete at Lincoln Horse Trials on the Friday. This event has always been known to attract some top riders and it is a lovely competition with an up to height show jumping course and normally quite a technical cross country. The ground was wet, but the organisers, officials and volunteers did a tremendous job. I am thrilled to say that Etie and I won our BE100 section on the Friday but sadly the weather set in and the event had to be abandoned part way through Saturday and was cancelled on the Sunday, which was disappointing for all, but couldn’t be helped.

Until my next update, happy riding and hopefully the snow has gone for good!