Meet Laura Swinnerton!
Meet Laura Swinnerton, our newest Team Supplement Solutions member, who owns 2 horses; Molly & Gali. Molly currently competes up to 2* level and they are aiming to step up to 3* this year. Read on to find out what Laura has been up to in recent weeks...
"The event season is in full swing and Molly and I have been very busy training for our early season 2* campaign. The last few weeks have been a bit up and down, as is often the case with this sport, but I’m pleased to say we are back on track now and excited at the prospect of moving up a level later in the season!
Having had 3 solid runs at Intermediate level at the beginning of the season, we headed to Bicton at the end of April for the CIC**. This was an important run for Molly and I as it contributed to the selection process for the European CIC** GBR Team, for which we are currently on the shortlist. We had been working hard on our dressage over the last few months and stepped up our training with two sessions with Richard Waygood in the week leading up to Bicton. Molly felt on great form and I was confident we could achieve a score in the low 50’s. Imagine my disappointment when we ended up with 62.2!! That was the first sign that this just wasn’t going to be our weekend…. The following day we had a poor showjumping round for 2 down, however it was certainly not going to be a dressage competition and Molly and I set off on the cross-country meaning business, knowing that a good round would rocket us up the leader board. It was a pretty serious track, but Molly made nothing of it and with the intense section of the course behind us I kicked on to the last 5 fences….then it went wrong. We tipped up over a ‘straight-forward’ table fence and ploughed head-first into the ground – evidenced by the grass stains on my hat and dirt marks on poor Molly’s face. Thankfully we both walked away from it relatively unscathed, albeit obviously gutted after having such a brilliant ride up until then. Not exactly the result we’d been hoping for!!
A few weeks later we headed to Boomerang in Berkshire for 2* team training. Luckily by this time I was back up to full strength (having had to withdraw from Aston le Walls Intermediate the previous week due to severe rib pain), although the aftermath of Bicton was quite apparent in our jumping session and we understandably had a bit of work to do to pick up the pieces and restore our confidence in each other. I also took Molly for a play round the cross-country course and by the end of it we were both on flying form again. A further jump session with Richard Waygood a couple of days later was just what we needed before heading to Rockingham the following day for the CIC**.
Credit: Julia Shearwood Photography
With it being our first competition back after Bicton I was slightly anxious at coming straight out at 2* level, but I needn’t have worried! Molly pulled off her best test yet at that level to knock a whopping 15 marks off her score from Bicton to score 47.2 which left us in 12th place overnight! The following day she jumped a super show jumping round with just one down and then absolutely stormed round the cross-country feeling back to her normal, bold self! We even jumped an Olympic fence – something that has been a little ambition of mine ever since they started cropping up at BE events around the country. We ran steadily as I wanted to make sure we were both confident and had a good run to get us going again which sadly meant we dropped down the order a bit, but the main aim was to put Bicton well and truly behind us – mission accomplished.
To top-off a great weekend, I then discovered that Molly and I were now qualified to compete at CIC*** level – how exciting!! It’s a great feeling to know that we are climbing the ladder slowly but surely. We now have a few weeks until our next event so will be busy training and getting out to some pure showjumping and dressage competitions – there is always work to be done and improvements to be made in this game. We now need to try and better 47.2 next time….!"
Find out more about Laura on our Sponsored Riders page, including what supplements she feeds Molly & Gali.