A new sponsor secured for Team Jones and what to look forward in July to the season end
With competition teams in lockdown, it’s been riding but not as we all know it… horses and riders learning to cope with the new norm. In early March it all looked so good – not just for Team Jones but equine owners across the UK – winter was done, spring was around the corner – and then the pandemic struck and there was a new norm.
Richard and Alfie had just won the Lincoln OI Horse Trials, up and coming horses Grafics and Financial Express had put in equally good performances, all after foot perfect starts to the season at Oasby Horse Trials. A few weeks before Victoria made the expedition north to the dressage season’s first Premier League where a fabulous 68.2% earned her and her top dressage ride Extra II a top six position in a huge and very competitive PSG Premier League competition. It meant they were knocking on the door for the 69% international qualification figure.
Now some of the smaller competitions are set to open up, the future is looking bright again. Team Jones secured a new sponsor in the shape of (pardon the pun) saddle pad designer Sedelogic. Sedelogic is new to the UK but comes with a prestigious pedigree as an innovative Dutch developer of a range of shock absorbing, simple and flexible pads, clinically proven to reduce pressure and enhance performance. Being able to work with two international riders was a coup for the new company and a real advantage for Team Jones. Richard and Victoria have both found them to provide superior comfort for all their horses, with particularly striking results in the more sensitive horses – ‘they are simply the best, and we couldn't go back to riding without them’, Victoria says.
A helping hand
A lot of horse owners were faced with the dilemma of how to look after competition or just leisure horses at a time of limited exercise and training visits during the lockdown. As a result the team at Lowlands Farm were keen to help sponsors Dodson and Horrell advise their customers on ways to regulate their horses' food intake at this time of enforced rest or limited exercise. Their advice with helpful hints on how to deal with over fresh horses can be found on this link.
The future’s bright
Meanwhile, while the horses have had a welcome ‘equine sabbatical’ holiday. Richard, Victoria and their team were able to bring on their youngsters without the pressure of an upcoming event, and the yard had a spring clean and makeover. Alfie’s Clover, still a relatively young horse, has been on sabbatical, ready to pick up where he left off but refreshed and revitalised.
Although it's unlikely that any top competitions will be back on the calendar this year, there should be smaller competitions to look forward to and Richard is still hopeful that some bigger competitions will open up later on. So Grafics is still being aimed at Osberton 3* in October. Watch this space...
About Team Jones Team Jones is based at Lowlands Farm in Rutland. Richard Jones is emerging as a top international eventer – in the top ten at Burghley and at Blenheim in 2018 – and his wife Victoria is going from strength to strength, building her international dressage career. The team has just finished a cross-country training field to add to their facilities so that training can go on for youngsters and established eventers alike. Team Jones is sponsored by leading horse feeds manufacturers Dodson and Horrell, saddle pad designer Sedelogic, e-bikes provider Eco Voltz, sports photographers Julie Priestly, artist and photographer Deanne Ward, and IBA International media relations consultancy. Find out about what’s happening at www.teamjonesequestrian.com, follow them on Twitter and Facebook, and check out the Instagram account.