Let's help Jo and Frankly realise their potential.
Eventing is a unique combination of dressage, cross country and show jumping in one exciting activity. It’s a sport that engages all ages and has equal opportunities to compete. However, funding, unless a corporate sponsor is found, is extremely difficult. Lack of funding often halts the opportunity that a talented rider with a talented horse may have to progress to a top flight level of competing – even, possibly, to an Olympic standard.
I like to think that my story is a casebook about how you can achieve things against the odds because I come from a non-horsey family and we didn’t have much money.
I started to learn to ride at a little local riding school and although my parents paid I also helped out on a Saturday to get extra rides. Even at that age I had this underlying determination to ride and I was often put on young, very naughty horses. Even then I remember thinking that I wanted to be the best rider and get the best out of any horse I rode.
This was start of a long journey which laid a precedence where we could only afford horses that other people didn’t want. But it taught me that with a little bit of understanding, a huge amount of hard work, lots of love and patience it was possible to take somebody else’s cast offs and make something of them. It’s all about communication.
Enter Frankly. I bought him at Malvern Performance Horse Sales. Frankly wasn’t immediately eye-catching and the handler had to chase him round with his clipboard to make him trot! I saw those 2 strides of trot and thought “I quite like him”. No-one else thought “I quite like him” so I was only bidding against the meat man.
Frankly was only 2 and you don’t start working a horse until it’s 3 and half or 4 years old. I tried to start to break him in but he was very scared and distrustful. It took about 3 months before we could even sit on his back and even after that he was quite unpredictable. He bucked quite a few of my friends off but we realised he was reacting due to anxiety not to naughtiness.
Once I started training him, he’s shown huge potential from the very start.
- Year one of competing him he was placed in 7 out of his 8 events. Winning 3 of them.
- Year two of competing him he was either 1st, 2nd or 3rd.
- Year three he was placed in 16 out of his 17 events.
This is my journey so far and now that I have a horse like Frankly I know there is so much more that we can achieve together. Eventing is a very expensive sport and funding this is a constant challenge which my friends and family do their best to help with. However, none of my friends have yet won the lottery and our bid to get sponsorship from local businesses is not, yet, proving successful. So, we came up with the idea of a supporters club called Friends of Frankly - the aim of which is to give interested people a chance to support and get involved with a competitive horse and rider striving to compete at international level.
Thank you from Jo and Frankly.