‘Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy’ – Blog by Katherine Bentz
RoR would like to introduce Katherine Bentz. Katherine will be writing her weekly blog exclusively for the RoR website over the the coming year.
“I’ve always been a horsey girl and longed to have my own horse. My parents always said ‘not this year’ or ‘maybe when you’ve finished your GCSE’s/A levels/Degree/Masters. I should point out that I was not a novice, I had ridden a lot of horses, evented and worked at my cousin’s professional dressage yard in South Africa.
At the age of 24, I managed to save up enough money for my first horse and after months of looking, I found Classic Statement, aka George. He was a seven-year-old chestnut gelding who raced three times with Rose Dobbin and was bred by Shaun Boker. I fell in love instantly, his trot was so expressive, he had a great attitude and felt amazing to ride… I was hooked!
Within a couple of weeks he was home, my very first horse. The first few weeks were great, but following a short weeks holiday, George had other ideas. He had decided he no longer wanted to hack on his own, wouldn’t go near one end of the arena or go over a pole on the floor. His tantrums were honestly a cross between a Lipizzaner and an American Rodeo, didn’t anyone tell him we were going to event?
My dream horse was turning out to be a nightmare!
Nearing the point of desperation, a very close friend suggested I try her trainer, Russell Cooper, so we got to work improving my riding and while I may not have made it to the ‘scary end’ of the arena in our first lesson, we were a lot closer. Following this we spent months gaining confidence, learning how to manage the ‘orangutan’ and building the relationship between George and I. I can’t tell you how many evenings my boyfriend/mom/dad spent leading us around to try and get to C or walk over a pole. Those nights were the hardest and most trying to get through, so many people told me to just give up.
That summer was spent watching lots of people I knew eventing and I was desperate to join them. After a camp with Russell at Aston le Walls, winning a local show jumping competition and qualifying for the Sunshine Tour, we were ready for our first unaffiliated event. It finally started to feel like we were getting there!
It was at this point that a friend of mine mentioned the Retraining of Racehorses Eventing Championships. Though I knew we would not be able to qualify that first year together, it immediately went onto my bucket list as something to aim for, I knew it would be the ultimate show of just how far George and I had come. I had my eyes firmly set and I was going to get there.
I hope you all will enjoy our weekly blogs as we continue to train and prepare for the RoR Championships.”
Next week: “Our first BE Event and hopefully qualifying for the RoR Eventing Championship”