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A review of a wonderful year by Rising Star Winner, Samantha Osborne

It’s been an action-packed year for Samantha and her horses   

Samantha Osborne was our very first Equilibrium Products’ Rising Star winner back in 2013.  We are so proud to support Samantha as she continues on her equestrian journey.

Samantha says,

‘2018 ended on a high on 17th November at the 2018 Retraining of Racehorses (ROR) End of Season Party and Awards Evening when Stilo Blue Native was crowned the 2018 Heart Throb Heart Award Winner.

300 entries were narrowed down to 24 by ROR. The public then voted for their top 3 horses in each category and the final 4 winners were decided by ROR patron and racing heroine, Clare Balding.

I was very surprised and thrilled to win the award. It was very nerve-wracking to be interviewed on stage but I was delighted to receive such beautiful prizes (a ROR rug, trophy and framed certificate) as well as the recognition for Blue.

Stilo Native Blue (Blue)

The season started in April for Stilo Blue Native. He was still racing in summer 2017 and so his first show was an unknown quantity without having transport to socialise him and build mileage with small road trips. We journeyed down to Doncaster Northern Racing College and competed in the Aintree Novice qualifier. Blue received some very impressive feedback from the judges and we were lucky enough to get some magazine recognition for the win. I was overwhelmed by the support on social media; it was a teary and proud first step back in the ROR showing world after a long break.

Wining Streak

Blue continued this winning streak and at his second show where he won and qualified for Horse and Country Racehorse final at Scotland. His third outing was a trip back to Doncaster for the NCPA Yorkshire Branch Summer Show where he experienced an indoor school for the first time. He wowed the judge again and won both of his classes gaining a qualification for NCPA POYS.

I then decided to take him to NCPA POYS, Liverpool for his first championship show and yet again he picked up three class wins and reserve horse champion. Blue won his first sashes at this event but the biggest surprise was when Showing World Magazine arrived in the post and we featured as their ‘In the Spotlight’ article for the second time in 5 years.

It was a tiring show given the fact I travelled from The British Elite Championships back to the yard to bath and plait in the middle of the night before setting off to the next show without sleep. At The British Elite, I was lucky enough to win with Jo Snelling’s Valerock St George and we gained a place in the evening performance supreme championship.

Blue’s final show was at our local equestrian centre. He won his class and took champion of the ring at NCPA Northern Spectacular and then went on to finish reserve champion to a previous HOYS winning 15 SHP. It was nice to come back from our final summer show with a championship win and yet another sash! 

Choices to Make

Unfortunately, I could not attend the ROR Championship Show despite entering as we didn’t have the funding for transport and stabling but it is on the top of my wish list for next season. Blue has really low mileage and is a genuine novice and so it may be too early to expect him to compete in the open ROR / HOYS classes in 2019 but perhaps by 2020 he will be ready.

I am also keen to begin his jumping education in spring (as he is currently on holiday) and my main long term aim is to compete in the ROR Bronze League SJ competition. I have always dreamed of show jumping and hope to pursue this ambition in coming years. Equilibrium Products sponsored rider, Pippa Allen, is a huge inspiration to me and lives close by. I hope to seek tuition from her father, Peter, next summer.

Talisker Bow Bells (Bow)

Talisker Bow Bells has enjoyed a year out of competing due to being gelded but I hope to compete him in WHP classes next season. He has really matured and blossomed this year, and has enjoyed jump schooling at home, hacking out and XC schooling.

Bow and Blue are best friends on the yard. I feel very lucky to have two handsome geldings with some larger than life personalities.

Thank you Equilibrium Products

This year’s results would not have been possible without Equilibrium Products. Blue wears his magnetic chaps every day to help keep his limbs blemish free for showing. Show horses are exposed to schooling in deep sand, galloping on hard show grounds and stabling for nights in winter and so the magnetic chaps save hours of cold hosing and stable bandaging and keep him windgall free.

Blue is lunged and ridden in Stretch and Flex breathable lightweight wraps as well as over reach boots to prevent him pulling shoes off as he is such a big moving horse. They are washed weekly and have held their shape and Velcro stickiness all year, proving to be hard wearing and great value for money.

As I begin jumping training, I will really rely on massage therapy to ensure Blue is comfortable when building and using new muscles. As part of his warm up and cool down routine, I intend to use the massage pad which will allow me to ride Bow as Blue cools down wearing his pad. Time is very tight in winter and I am very stretched in my full time job as an English teacher and so this product is a life saver!

I am very proud to fly the Equilibrium Products flag and still have to pinch myself at how lucky I was to win the Rising Stars competition in 2013.

Rising Stars led to some of the most amazing opportunities including: winning the TSM BETA International Sponsored Rider Award, writing for Horse Magazine and attending the Showing World Magazine Ball with the Equilibrium team for two years in a row.

Thank you for all of your support since 2013!