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Madison: My Final HorseQuest Blog!

Just like that 2020 is almost over and with that comes the end of our 2020 HorseQuest bursary!

What a year it has been, one that none of us could have ever anticipated when the winners of the bursary were announced in February. It all changed very fast however when we went into lockdown in March and even now in October we are still in no terms back to any normality. Since my last blog post I have spent a week competing at Arena UK at our first (and probably only!) stay away of the year. Oliver jumped amazing, a bit unlucky with poles at the beginning of the week but managed to qualify for the 6 year old final and have a good round in a big final. Really pleased with his 6yo year, definitely a lot fewer competitions than planned, but I can really feel him maturing into a (fingers crossed) future grand prix horse!

We are now entering the indoor season and can hopefully keep competitions going without any future lockdowns! The plan is to compete at the British Showjumping Winter Premier shows and to be consistently jumping 1.30s ready for his 7yo season next year.

With the end of the training bursary here, I thought it would be a good idea to wrap up with what I have used my bursary for and how it has helped me...

Trying to self fund (and some help from my parents!) my riding career along with a full time job proves quite difficult and rarely leaves much money left over for activities such as training and arena hires. I have always prioritised going to competitions over training, which yes i love competing but what is the point if you haven't put in the training at home?

This bursary has allowed me to financially have the chance to put my training more in focus, especially when competitions weren’t running. The competition results I have been having speak for themselves, proving putting the training in will always improve your results.

At home we only have a 20mx40m arena, which I am so grateful for, but a small arena like that is quite limited in terms of what I can do. Although great for everyday flat work and pole/small jump exercises, there is no way to fit a full course of 1.30m jumps in. With a young horse especially there is a lot of work that needs to be done at home rather than at shows so I have been able to travel and train for several new trainers as well as doing arena hires of a full showjumping course. I have been given the opportunity to train for trainers such as Tim Page, Philip Spivey and of course, William Funnell and see how different trainers work and what works for me.

With the HorseQuest bursary I received the opportunity to travel down to the Billy Stud for a lesson with William Funnell and I can easily say this was a massive highlight of my year (will admit there wasn’t much competition for that spot this year). The lesson was a big turning point in my riding this year and even now, over 2 months later I am still working on the pointers he gave me. I am hoping to go back for some more training in the future as was definitely worth the 4 hour journey for a lesson!

Also included in the bursary is free advertising on the HorseQuest website for any horses you may have for sale. Even before the bursary I have always used Horsequest to advertise my horses, always having very easy and quick sales.

So the end of my horsequest bursary does however mean the 2021 spot will be up for grabs for the next lucky winner! I can not recommend you all to apply enough! This will help anyone at any level, just look at the 2020 winners, young and old, ponies and horses, in school and full time work.

Try and make your application show how hard you are willing to work to reach your goals and how this would help you on the way. Show everyone your achievements and failures, what you have already achieved and where you are looking to go. We all like to keep it real on social media so definitely be proud and show yourself off but also be able to laugh off your not so fine moments!

I will forever be grateful for the team at HorseQuest for choosing me for this opportunity.

They have been amazing helping us this year, especially during the pandemic! I really can't thank them enough and hope they know how much this is helping us. Keep an eye out on HorseQuest socials to see when next year's applications open and hopefully you will be the lucky winner!

Madison x



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