Pha Mai Blue repeats history
Image courtesy of Ultimate Images Photography
By Nicki Strong, Amateur rider from Hampshire
I bought Blue in 2013 when I was looking for an ex-racehorse to start eventing with. My budget wasn’t huge so I had to go for a horse with potential as opposed to experience. After a long search I found Blue…he’d been trained by Jim Boyle, winning three times and placed nine, with earnings of £21,000. I loved that he’d had a successful racing career!
He was seven, and had started retraining with a lady named Kellie, showing promise with his jumping. She had done a little showjumping and a one day event with him, so he’d had a really great start but was still pretty green. As soon as I rode him I loved him – really trainable and with such a sweet attitude. He was perfect!
The first show I took him to he fell asleep on my shoulder. What a dude. Since then, we’ve done everything together. Hunting, British Showjumping up to Newcomers, British Eventing to Novice level, dressage to Novice level, combined training, happy hacking…
Last year we decided to some RC teams, starting with the 1m Horse Trials at Moreton in Dorset. I went without expectation, just hoping for a solid performance. He pulled off a stonking PB for a 29 double clear, which put him in fourth individually and we won as a team – this meant we qualified for the British Riding Club National Championships! I was completely gutted not to be able to go, but a house move meant it was impossible.
On 18th June 2017, we went back to see if we could qualify again…well he didn’t disappoint, and on the hottest day of the year he pulled off a 35 dressage and another double clear. History repeated, because again he placed fourth individually and won as a team so it looks like this year we’ll get our chance at the long format National Championships! It was no mean feat, considering we have no arena at home so have to do most of our schooling out hacking with the odd training session, and it was his first event back following a flint gash which had put him on box rest for six weeks.
He’s not just a one trick pony though (pun intended!), because last year he also qualified for the BRC National Championships in showjumping. So far this year, as well as the horse trials, he’s been placed at BE Arena Eventing, BE JAS competing at the championships at Hartpury, placed BD Combined Training, and had a handful of placings at both dressage and showjumping.
Because of the fact that he’s such a legend, we’re very fortunate to have won the Protexin Equine Bursary in 2015, are official bloggers for Horsehealth.co.uk (hence very well dressed pony!), and sponsored by Aubiose Horse Bedding.
He’s a complete allrounder – easy to do in every way, so much fun and just a kind, gentle soul with a big heart who loves his job. He’s my best bud and one in a million!