Mad notions,Kim the wonder mare and no more wonderly wagon on tour

Vector and friend grazing on the banks of Lake Como.

I was born on the 7th November. It turns out,so was Lucinda Green and also Bettina Hoy. Sharing a birthday with these two legends was CLEARLY a sign that I was destined to follow. It’s in the bag,as they say. I remember watching Badminton on the tv with my mother as a small child-BruceDavidson and Jj Babu,Lucinda and all the greats. You can’t help but feel that the sport was somehow more authentic back in those days. Anyway.

As an event rider,I doubt you could find a better role model than Lucinda Green. Not only is Lucinda the most outstanding rider-still capable of outriding most top riders in the sport and twice as stylish as any of them-she is also a phenominal human being. She is a unique blend of many extraordinary qualities and as a trainer,she is able to motivate and improve everyone from beginner to 4*. I decided one day that I wanted to have a lesson with her,and just like that Blackhill Eventing training clinics was born. Lucinda came over. Blyth and Clayton and Jock came over. I made some great friends and clients through the clinics and  all sorts came from it-education,buying and selling horses and some really very nice sandwiches too. Two lessons with Lucinda has given me a whole new way of teaching a horse to be responsible for itself whilst listening to you. Combining this with my good knowledge of producing young horses to showjump has led to me producing and selling a number of horses that have all gone on to enjoy successful eventing careers-this in turn has made many new friends and contacts for me. I have much to thank Lucinda for.

(For anyone interested,she will be here on 24 May-enquiries to me on FB)

The buying and selling started totally by accident. I had a wonderful Dutch horse who I wanted to go on and go showjumping. At the time,I was gung ho on a career eventing and so myself and his owner-breeder sold him to a jumping yard in Dublin. Of course then I decided I wanted to showjump and regretted horribly selling him,but he is in a wonderful yard in Italy on the banks of Lake Como. I’m so pleased for him and for his fabulous owner,who so kindly keeps me updated frequently.

I loaded the horse up to deliver him to his new owner,into my absolute wreck of a rice horsebox-it was so heavy that going over 40mph was out of the question and whilst it did the job and I appreciated it,I always felt like the poor country cousin arriving at shows and events.

The guy who bought my horse looked at me long and hard. He pointed to an absolute mammoth of a hairy bay yak in the field and said ‘I tell you what. If you can catch that,you can have it. It’s no use to me and its clogging the place up.’ Challenge accepted….It was pouring with rain and howling a gale,and the horse frankly didn’t give a fuck what I wanted-it was starting to look like we might need a safari park ranger with a tranq gun to resolve this situation. One by one,this game of equine ‘Challenge Anneka’ attracted more players-in the horse world,’refusal to be caught’ ignites a determination in the catcher like no other-if it took six weeks,this equine blunderbuss catchee was being caught,the end. And catch it we did. It was shoehorned into the craphole trailer and off we went. Closer inspection revealed that this monster was a mare by the name of Kim,6 yrs old and by a little known stallion in Donegal Called NC Amiro, who is now in real demand as a sire for event breeders.

Well Kim wasn’t going to event,anyway. She was huge and solid. She was also an absolute angel. I had never much liked mares-so opinionated and such divas. Awkward old cunts,in my opinion. Kim sorted that out for me and she turned inside out in a month. She was kind and genuine,brave and so keen to work with you. She was such a revelation that now I only ever buy mares,and I love them. Kim was here for about 8 weeks. I advertised her,sold her,made a huge twist on her and went straight to Westwood to purchase a brand new horsebox. And just like that,Blackhill Eventing horse sales was born…..


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I am a Sports horse producer based in Ireland. That sounds very grand....the reality is that life here is crazy-trying to fit four horses,200 cattle,a baby and a husband into a day results in tales of the insane and a feeling of lurching through life with no clue what's going on. I have a keen interest in everything from planets to bones to quantum mechanics,and am a perpetual asker of the question 'why?'.

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