Written by: Tara Punter PR
This August saw the launch of a series of test events across multiple sportstaking place in Tokyo, Japan. As the organisers of next year’s summer Olympics get into the final stages of their preparations. One of those events was a trial run of the eventing set up. And Haygain rider Georgie Spence was among the international cohort of riders invited to take part. That gave us the perfect opportunity to catch up with Georgie to find out how the trip went. As well as how her preparations for Olympic selection are going.
SO, LET’S KICK OFF BY HEARING HOW YOU FELT WHEN YOU FIRST HEARD YOU WOULD BE TRAVELLING OVER TO TOKYO FOR THE TEST EVENT.
“It was a truly amazing experience. From first day that I found out I was going, it was a brilliant whirlwind! It was exciting to learn more about how the horses would travel, the prep they would need before the competition and what it would be like to actually be away there.”
WHAT WERE THE PREPARATIONS LIKE FOR TAKING HALLTOWN HARLEY ON SUCH A LONG TRIP?
“We moved Harley (Halltown Harley) onto a different feed and hay before he left so that he had time to adjust, and thankfully all the fitness work and training went smoothly in the run up to leaving. I competed at the Plains in America last year which Harley flew to, but the flight to Japan was much longer.”
HOW DID HARLEY MANAGE WITH THE LONG JOURNEY?
“He travelled like a dream. He is always a great traveller, but you never know how something so different will go but he was fab. He’s a lovely horse to have around and is a complete pro. Alex VT travelled with the horses and her attention to detail is incredible. So I felt very lucky that he was in safe hands!”
IT CERTAINLY SOUNDS AS THOUGH THE PREPARATIONS WERE SUCCESSFUL THEN! WHAT WAS IT LIKE WHEN YOU GOT TO TOKYO?
“Hot! It is going to be a scorcher of an Olympics, that’s for sure. The humidity was a real shock, and I’m sure that everyone from Team GB who was there have learnt a lot about the types of horses and rider that they will need to take to the Olympics to cope with the conditions. I’m sure you’ll understand that for now, Team GB want to make sure they all that information is kept to ourselves so that we have that as an advantage next year!”
IT’S GREAT TO SEE THE THAT THEY HAD HAYGAIN STEAMERS READY AND WAITING FOR THE EQUINE COMPETITORS, WERE MOST RIDERS USING THEM?
“Yes, the Haygain I was given was a real god send and several of the other riders were using them. For me it was really important to keep the consistency as with the change in forage (which was very different to what we use at home), I definitely felt happier knowing that we were we feeding to have a healthy horse!!”
WELL DONE ON COMING 4TH IN THE EVENT! AN AMAZING RESULT. WHAT’S THE NEXT BIG CHALLENGE FOR THE TAIL END OF THE SEASON?
“Thank you! Well, Wii Limbos plan was to go to Burghley but sadly we had to re-route to Blenheim as he hurt his back after his dressage. I then have a smart 9yo Cooley Legaland who is going to the 8/9-year-old class at Blenheim.”
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN THE EVENTING SEASON FINISHES FOR THE YEAR?
When the season has finished the horses all have a holiday. But we try to stagger their holidays so that half go out and then when they come in, the other half go out. That means we don’t go from very busy to nothing and then have everything in again. I am planning a holiday to India with my boyfriend, one of my best friends Liv Catton and her boyfriend over New Year. It’s great to get away and do something ‘non horsey’ for a bit. And then it will be back to it in January in lots of dressage and SJ! It’s going to be an exciting 2020 and I would like to thank Haygain for their advice, in particular Jemma for the support, I look forward to many more years working together!
Keep an eye on Georgie’s progress on her Facebook page here