Welcome to our feature, 10 minutes in the tackroom. This is a regular feature where we ask riders, businesses and charities 12 questions and they have a maximum of 10 minutes to answer them.
This week in the saddle we have Helen Francis, you can follow Helen on her Facebook or Blog page.
Tell us about your horse
I currently own 2 horses:
Balenciaga II (or Rodney at home) is a 7yr old British warmblood by Cheers Cassini. If Rodney was a human he would be a young George Clooney – he’s such a dude and handsome with it. He is also a natural athlete and I’m hoping he is going to be my championship horse. I’m aiming him for the Newcomers regional finals for 2019.
Action Z II (or Princess Zee at home) is a 15yr old Belgian warmblood by Animo. She is the first horse I’ve produced myself, competing in British Novice, Discovery & Newcomers regional finals and at the National Amateur & Veteran Championships.
Tell us a horse joke
Q: What did the horse say when he fell?
A: “Help! I’ve fallen over and I can’t giddyup!”
What do you do when you aren't with your horse?
You’ll find me either in the office where I work full time as an Executive Assistant to fund my expensive showjumping habit or curled up on the sofa at home with my nose in a book.
What do you love about the horsey community?
The unwritten acceptance of looking a mess! Horsey folk appreciate that it’s OK to have hay in your hair (and not know about it). We don’t judge each other. My colleagues in the office on the other hand are not quite as understanding.
What do you dislike about the horsey community?
I hate the riders who think it’s acceptable to coerce the collecting ring stewards into slotting their numbers onto the board – and the stewards who allow them to do it.
Do your family share your passion of horses?
Yes and no. My Mum is my super groom/ show manager / number 1 fan and Dad has the invaluable job of keeping the lorry on the road. As for my brother – he is terrified of horses. I don’t remember the last time I saw him anywhere near a horse.
Tell us your funniest horse related story?
I spent 9 months on an event yard learning an all-round equine education. My boss sent me to a dressage competition on my 14yr old Grade B showjumper Smartie Sometimes. Half way through the test Smartie decided to spice things up a bit, sized up the white boards at A and made a run for it. After exiting the arena, the judge got out of the car and told my boss off for laughing at the competitors! He was in hysterics. Smartie was excused from dressage competitions after that.
Who is your favourite famous horse rider?
Scott Brash. He has such an affinity with his horses – you can tell that they are jumping for him and not because of him. He always pats his horses at the end of each round too and you can tell that it’s not just because the cameras are watching him.
Read more about Scott Brash Here
Who is your favourite famous horse?
Holly Smith’s ride Quality Old Joker. He has a fabulous way about him and I love his wily expression.
Read more about Quality Old Joker here.
How many times have you fallen off?
Countless! I even managed to fall off in the car park at Addington Manor after I had finished competing…whilst dismounting!
What horsey product can't you live without?
Botanica Natural Herbal Cream. I use it on everything and everyone, horse, dog or human. I call it the Magic Cream because it just works
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself?
When I was 7yrs old I danced at the renowned Sadlers Wells Theatre in Clerkenwell, London as part of a dance competition. I was a church mouse!
Well done Helen, You have completed the #10minutesinthetackroom challenge. Don't forget to visit us for the next few weeks to read all the #teamequissimo team members entry.
If you would like to take part in the challenge please email info@equissimo.