After her exploits at the CSI4* event in Gorla Minore, Grand Prix Show Jumper and MicroPerformance+ advocate, Julie Andrews was back in Italy to compete in the Busto Arsizio CSI2* competition, where we managed to catch up with her for a few minutes.
Q, So, tell us Julie, how is everything coming along so far this season?
Julie; Pretty well actually. In April we came up against some very tough competition in Gorla Minore, but picked up a few wins as well as placing. In the last 2 weeks the horses are going well, and I am excited about the three new additions to the team
Q, Tell us a little bit about your horses.
Julie; Two of the horses, Ayrton IV and Wilando B compete at the top level. The new additions are Madinah who is an eleven year old mare and spent a bit of time with John Whittaker, and a 9 year old French gelding called Alvaro Mongrenier. Then there is a young 7 that I part own year old called How Easy – certainly one of the future.
Q, Do you ever breed your own horses?
Julie; unfortunately not. It would be amazing to produce a horse that can go all the way to the top, but Breeding is a very long job and as we only do it on a very small scale, hence it’s far more of a lottery! So we concentrate on developing talented horses instead.
Q; What do you look for in a horse?
Julie; Well, mostly 3 things;
Scope; obviously as you need the horse to have the ability to clear the jumps
Carefulness; which is very important to make sure you don’t leave fences down
Honesty; with some very challenging courses around, you have less time and angle to content with, so the bravery and honesty of the horse plays a crucial part in making a success of it.
Q; Have you seen any big changes in the sport?
Julie; I think the courses are more difficult to execute these days, and whereas before a strong rider could achieve good results, that is no longer enough. Riders need to be fitter and good rider-horse combination is vitally important,
Q; what’s in store for the rest of the season?
Julie; I was planning to participate at the Nations Cup in Uggerhalne, Denmark, but I came home early as I felt my horses had jumped enough recently and were ready for a couple of weeks in the field and going to the beach. However I plan to take part in the CSI4* level at Hickstead and Bolesworth in the summer.