Training for my first time at the Mitsubishi Motors Cup

Lucy Edmeades-Stearns (43) is based in Kent and this is her first time competing at the Mitsubishi Motors Cup on her 12-year old horse called Rumpelstiltskin. Lucy bought Rumpelstiltskin to ride in dressage. After an operation to ease a breathing issue, the pair started eventing and they're now off to the Mitsubishi Motors Cup, which takes place on Tuesday 2 - Wednesday 3 May.

I’m Lucy Edmeades Stearns and my horse and I are very excited to have qualified for the Mitsubishi Cup.

I first met Rumplestiltskin (Boris) in Essex in 2012. It was love at first sight, my head was saying no (he was five-years old and had done absolutely nothing), but needless to say, my heart won and two weeks later Boris was on the other side of the Thames at home in Kent.

I’m married with one son (a member of the West Kent Meopham Pony Club ) and work part time on our livery yard. Our home is also a weddings and functions venue so there's never a dull moment!

Boris is a very soppy horse, but also has an extremely grumpy and territorial side if you disturb him when he's in the stable.

The road to the Mitsubishi Cup

Our first show together was a very quiet local dressage show; we entered the Prelim and the Novice. 

Boris was a little spooky in the warm up, but going ok. As we were called to go into the arena, he froze and could only be persuaded to move if he was allowed to follow my mother. 

In the arena, we trotted round looking at every single gap and shadow, all the while I was thinking “How on earth am I ever going to get this horse round a cross country course, let alone jump?”

The bell went, we started trotting down the centre line, but as we got to X he spotted the judges in the box and refused to go any further, I had to retire! 

Not the best of starts to our competing career, but since then we've done a lot of desensitizing(although he still likes to follow my mother - now known as Boris’ granny - to the start of the various phases when eventing!).

In 2014 Boris had to have a tie back operation (at the recommendation of our Vet – Tony Warr).  His breathing is a lot better but he does make a noise (something we decided to mention on commentator’s notes on the entry forms).  

In 2015 (the year we thought we might actually be able to start affiliated eventing) he managed to slice his chest open on a gate (another six months off). We managed to finally do our first affiliated event at Littleton Manor in October 2015 and in 2016, we had our first full season of eventing.

2016 was an awesome year for the pair of us and we found ourselves qualifying for the Mitsubishi Cup at Firle in August.

Let the training begin

Training for the Mitsubishi Cup started in earnest early in the new year and had been going very well until Boris came in from the field hopping lame.

I tried to stay calm and not panic but that didn’t really work! After a frantic phone call to my lovely (if a bit grumpy!) farrier (Tim Andrews), we decided that it was probably an abscess. 

Tim came out immediately, took his shoe off and discovered a bruise. Boris had to have three days off – this didn’t seem to be a hardship for him in any way -  he got to stay in bed (his favourite place) -  while I worried about whether he would be fit and sound enough for his first event at Poplar Park the following weekend.   

Thankfully he recovered well and we headed to Poplar Park.

It was an early start for us, but this is the best time to travel, especially when you have to go through the Dartford Crossing with a horse! It was our first event in 2016 (and our first ever 90).

The event was to going to be the big test to see what progress Boris had made in a year. Well, he flew round and it was a brilliant feeling. We only had two stops and it was a great start - giving us one or two things to work on in training.

Our final outing before the Mitsubishi Cup was Munstead. Having such a busy schedule meant that unfortunately there's been no time to fit in an extra one before the big day!

We decided to enter the 100. Afternoon times meant there was thankfully no need to worry about an early start (good news as the clocks went forward)!

Boris went round really well and we even managed to do our cross country inside the time. I'm so pleased with the result and looking forward to heading to the Mitsubishi Motors Cup next month! 

Get fit for eventing

Thinking of getting out on the eventing circuit? Follow Lucy and Boris' training regime to get you both match fit. 

MONDAYS – Fast Work.   A very important part of Boris’ training.  He'll have to be extra fit because of his tie-back operation where it was discovered he has a partially paralysed larynx.

TUESDAYS – Flat work

WEDNESDAYS – Day off or lungeing

THURSDAYS – Show jumping

FRIDAYS – Hack or Schooling

SATURDAYS – Long Hack

SUNDAYS – day off or short hack.

After a ODE competition Boris is given two days off.

We also regularly have lessons with Mark Boxall, an experienced Aussie coach for all disciplines.  Every so often we'll go cross-country schooling.  We're lucky enough to have our own schooling course, which we hire out (70 cm – 110 cm) but it's important to give Boris the challenge of unfamiliar places. The places we use are Lodge Farm, Matfield, LMEQ and Chilham.