Thanks to Bransby Family Fosterer, Lissie, for the following update on Oakley from September 2020:
We got Oakley from Bransby Horses when he was a 5 year old; my aim has always been to compete to a high level with him in Endurance, and maybe one day a European/World Championships.
Oakley’s novice season went really well, he achieved Grade 1’s in all his novice competitions and I really enjoyed getting to know him more and finding what works for him. He upgraded to Open then Advanced, and came 2nd in his first 80km race which qualified him for FEI (international races).
I took Oakley to Windsor in 2019 with the hope of completing our first FEI* 80km, however, Oakley found the atmosphere at the venue a little too much and got quite stressed, meaning we didn’t make it to the start line. I was devastated, we had trained so hard and Oakley was feeling better than ever! But it wasn’t Oakley’s fault at all, everything just got a bit too much for him.
It took Oakley longer than expected to recover from his incident at Windsor so we didn’t compete for the rest of 2019. I used the winter to make sure Oakley was as prepared as he could be for his next attempt at an FEI*. I didn’t want another repeat of Windsor so we did a lot of work to replicate competition so Oakley was prepared both mentally and physically for his next attempt.
I had hoped to re-attempt his FEI* in April 2020, however this sadly got cancelled. After a few months of not competing, competitions were slowly starting again, which is when I decided to aim for the FEI* 100km at Lavenham.
Oakley was surprisingly really calm at the venue and he was amazing throughout the whole day. I am so proud of how he coped with everything – we’ve come along way since that first 32km Novice competition! Crossing the finish line in first place after 100km on a horse that almost didn’t survive his first few days of life, was a special moment!
I can’t thank Bransby Horses and Nicki enough for trusting me with Oakley, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for him!
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