Hi I'm Sarah-Jane Brown and I run Shoestring Eventing, hopefully many of you will know me from there, but for those of you that don’t let me introduce myself.
I am 44 years old (old in eventing terms), work full time for Cornwall Council as a Health and Safety Inspector and based in Cornwall literally 30 miles from Lands End. I rent a small yard with no facilities and do the horses myself. I face many of the same financial, time and facility pressures that the great majority of amateur riders experience. I am a driven and competitive character which sometimes means I take things a bit seriously!
I have evented for 20 plus years and produced two horses to intermediate one reaching advanced and 3 star. I am rebuilding currently having had a confidence breakdown last year but have two lovely horses of my own to ride. My confidence was so low I didn’t even want to canter the horses but with help and support I came out the other side.
Ellie (Rising Sun Lady)
Ellie is a 14.2 (only just) 9 year old Irish Chestnut mare. I bought her 3 years ago as project to produce for a couple of months and sell on again. She is one of my real favourites with a real cheeky character, feisty to ride yet as genuine and safe as they come. She can be pulling the most horrid faces at me because tea is 2 minutes late, yet sweet as pie with the yard owners 4 year old son.
When Ellie arrived with me the first time I jumped her it involved crabbing sideways demolishing a number of fences. Little would I believe a number of years later she would be jumping Newcomers and have won a couple of BE100 classes!
This year we are aiming to step Ellie up to Novice level eventing.
Fliss (Dolmen Du Concorde)
Fliss has been with me just over a year. A 15.2 8 year old bay Irish Sports horse she has huge talent. We have spent the first year putting the basics in, building her strength up and gaining her confidence. She is a bit of a worrier but once you have won her trust will try so hard for you. Unlike Ellie she is not the brightest in the world but equally a heart of gold.
She is established now at Newcomers level show jumping and had a limited eventing career last season just running two events both double clears at 80 and 90. This year she will start the season at BE100 level and look to move up to Novice in the summer.
It would be unfair not to mention the rest of the Shoestring equines. My horse of a lifetime Sarnita is 20 and now retired. She helped me achieve my dreams of riding advanced and being placed at Intermediate / 2 star. We also competed abroad and had some great times together. I am very hopeful Kensa who is 3 year this year will follow in her mums footsteps.
As I write this blog things have been quiet for a few weeks as I damaged ribs in a fall a few weeks ago. I have clambered back on but too sore to do much more than hack. Hopefully fully recovered soon as plans to kick start the eventing season in March.
I look forward to keeping you up to date with me news but please also feel free to follow me on social media: https://www.facebook.com/shoestringeventing/ or my website: https://shoestringeventing.co.uk/
Kensa Ellie Fliss