MEET ISABELLA MACKENZIE OUR “SCOTTISH LASS”

So here it is the first of my blogs for eventing worldwide.

My name is Isabella Mackenzie, I am 16 years old and I live in the north of Scotland.

This year is my 5th Brand Hall One Day Event 2014 year of competing in British Eventing and I hope to be campaigning in 
Junior trials onboard my new noble steed Romario II. I have had Rommie for about 2 months now and he is definitely very different to the little pony I used to ride.

This brings me on to how I started eventing. When I was 11, I had grown out of my 12.2hh welsh pony and it was time to go shopping for a new pony. This was how I came across my pony of a life time, Smurf. Smurf was advertised in the local advertisement paper, the Scotads, as a 5 year old blue and white Connemara cross American paint pony. Mum thought we might as well go and try this odd bred pony as my little brother had a rugby match in the area.

Brand Hall One Day Event 2014

As soon as I sat on him I knew he was the one. Despite not being able to get him to canter on one rein and him having a bit of a stop in him I still liked him and asked if we could take him on trial. Once on trial we experienced a few scary moments, one of which he bolted with me on our first hack. Nevertheless, I still knew he was the one I wanted. Slowly over our first winter we got to grips with each other more and began to establish his non-existent flatwork as he had originally been broken in western.

In 2011 I started my eventing career; in 2012 I then moved up to BE100 and qualified for Badminton grassroots. 2013, we had a great time at Badminton coming 8th and then we moved up to novice in preparation for 2014 which has been my most exciting year competing in eventing. Last year Smurf and I campaigned in Pony Trials which was an amazing experience.084

In just a year I learnt so much from competing against lots of talented young riders and receiving some great advice from very influential people. Smurf was no longer just the ‘Scotads’ pony but the ‘Scottish’ pony. We were the only Scottish partnership competing in the trials which made it more special. After achieving some pleasing results in our first few trials we ended up competing in our first CCI*. When we first bought Smurf I didn’t think in a million years that we were going to be competing in CCI*s.

However, not all good things last forever. Towards the end of our amazing year I began to notice that Smurf had lost his ‘ping’ that made him special in his jumping. After many x-rays, MRI scans, flex tests and weeks at the vets it was finally concluded that Smurf had ripped a deep digital flexor tendon and that he had navicular disease. I was told that he wasn’t going to be able to compete at the same level again. All I wanted for this special pony was for him to break the mould and show that despite his height and breeding that he could in fact be one of the best.

DSC_9587Smurf has now finished his 3 months of box rest and will now be chilling in the field till I bring him back into work in September. From there we will find a loan home for him where he will have fun with a little person at lower levels.

So my first event on this season is Burgham Horse trials where I will be competing in the ONu18 on Rommie.

Fingers crossed everything goes to plan.

Love Isabella xx

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