A difficult start to the season with personal challenges that have brought @TeamJones together
Behind any successful team, there’s a deeply human story. It’s been a difficult start to the 2023 eventing season for everyone with poor weather and event cancellations. But like every story of difficulty and challenges, there’s sometimes a backstory that beggars belief. After a highly successful 2022, Team Jones was on a roll, but since the beginning of the year Richard has been flying the flag alone as his wife Victoria has been battling with Chronic Lyme Disease.
Richard and Victoria with Alfie
For several decades Victoria has suffered intermittently from what was diagnosed as the debilitating and elusive illness ME. Despite this she has managed an accomplished dressage career that has seen her represent her country on several occasions, and together with Richard, built the highly successful Team Jones Equestrian. However, when she fell severely ill earlier this year, referral to a leading specialist led to a revolutionary diagnosis of Chronic Lyme Disease, which astonishingly, was also attributed to her past ME.
Victoria was immediately admitted to the clinic to undergo a highly intensive and multi-faceted treatment programme which has seen her on numerous daily IV drips since the beginning of April. Treatment will be ongoing for most of this year, and it will be a rocky road, but Victoria and her consultant are very confident she will make a full recovery. Amazing for someone who has suffered from this disease unknowingly for decades. Moreover, with the perseverance that has got her through this critical time, she is determined to get to Badminton to support Richard and Alfies Clover in their quest to better their 2022 10th place.
Richard and Alfie at Badminton Horse Trials 2022 (Photo credit: Nico Morgan Media)
Keeping the Team Jones enterprise and family life rolling has definitely been a tough task for Richard. With cancellations due to bad weather, Alfie has just had one run in the Open Intermediate at Lincoln this season, but Richard is fully confident that his highly experienced and successful campaigner has never been fitter or more ready to take on the world’s most demanding 5* in just a week’s time…
If you’re not going, you can watch it every day on Badminton’s TV channel.