Jemima is our very own little 'wonderhorse'! Homebred by Dixi, the Life Approved SHB(GB) stallion who we later bought because of Jemima, and out of Blue II, a lovely, genuine, but it has to be said, not the 'bonniest' horse in the world. Nevertheless, Blue II bred us several great youngsters, all by dark bay thoroughbred stallions, some coloured, some not, but all genuine and talented. Three have or still are eventing at BE level, with Jemima competing up to Intermediate level and Pogo (Puddledub Misprint) winning on her debut.
Jemima was shown inhand as a youngster, as both a hunter and coloured and had many successes including being Champion Coloured at the Scottish Horse Show as a 2 year old. She competed in the SSH Loose Jumping, in the days when you needed to qualify to get to the final which was held at the Highland Show. She qualified at Burgie and jumped her heart out at the final.
Her ridden career started slowly and steadily, being brought on by owner/breeder Fiona, and attending RC rallies and lessons, hacking out and schooling at home, and not making her first public ridden appearance until she was a five year old. This patience paid off, with her willingness to compete and particulalry jump, just oozing from her every pore! Fiona rode her to many 'flat' showing successes as both a Ridden Coloured and Small Hunter with wins in good company. Ibby Macpherson was the first to jump her public where she competed in a few Working Hunters, including an excellent 4th place in the Novice WH at Blair from 50 starters. Ibby also rode her in her first Arena Event showing the talent that would take her next career direction.
2002, as a 7 year old, brought the new direction to her career, adn Louisa Milne-Home took over the ride as she began BE eventing. Having never even seen an unaffiliated or RC/PC cross country course, Jemima competed at Scone Horse Trials in the Intro Section. An acceptable dressage was followed by a clear Show Jumping and although she took a step back at the water (gaining 20 penalties) she otherwise flew round the XC proving bold, keen and clever. Up to PreNovice at Floors Castle a couple of weeks later, she again went well with a clear XC until 2 fences from home where she was totally confused by a 'skinny' and had to walk home. Never was this to be a problem again, as after a bit of homework she learned to 'lock on' to any fence with a red & white flag either side and would often try and take on fences that were not even on her course!
Louisa rode her for a total of two seasons, meeting her at events and for the occasional lesson, with Jemima remaining at Puddledub for her daily and fittening work. This led to a great couple of years and some success and points too, as well as many 'if only' days too - but hey that is horses for you!
At the start of 2004 Louisa sadly decided that as she had got so much busier in her own yard, that she could no longer ride horses that were not based with her, and the ride was passed to Rose Macpherson, younger sister to Ibby and beginning to make a mark for herself on the Eventing Circuit. Rose and Jemima hit it off immediately and apart from a minor dissagreement at Hexham, never again had a Cross Country jumping penalty. They were a true joy to watch, and many of their rounds brought emotional tears to the eyes. Success throughout the season included some excellent placings and qualification for the Novice Championships at Thirlestane. Once she had amasses 19 points, it was decided to up her level to do a couple of Intermediates at the tail end of the season. This was to prevent her from gaining the extra 2 points she would inevidently collect if she remained at Novice level, give her more of a challenge and to gain her qualification to compete at Burgie and/or Blair the following year. It would also mean she could come out the next season with a warm up run at Novice before moving up to Intermediate perminantly. Although, as had always been her bugbear, the dressage was a bit tense and she had a couple of fences at each in the Show Jumping Phase, she once again showed her forte on the Cross Country, absolutely eating up the fences and the questions asked. We went into the winter very excited about the 2005 season, with runs at Burgie either 2 or 3 day event and Blair 3DE on the plans.
Jemima came into work in the early part of 2005 and went to sepnd the Easter Holidays with Rose where they both worked very hard on the Dressage phase and began to make huge progress with signs that Jemima could easily learn to enjoy that phase as much as the jumping.
She came home to Puddledub as Rose went back to University and the fitness work continued. However it soon became apparent that there was something amiss and an old problem had returned. Her heart had developed an Iregularly Iregular Heartbeat, preventing the full flow of blood around the body. Although not affecting her day to day health, it would however affect her ability to compete cross country. She was admitted into the Dick Vet for treatment, which involves stomach tubing the toxic substance quinidine into the stomach. This makes the heart rate race and in doing so it is hoped it will kick back into rythym. Although Jemima's heart came back into normal rythym for a while, it became irregular again and as the vets looking after her were concerned for her safety (horses have been known to drop dead while being treated), the treatment was stopped and she was brought home.
It took a while to come to terms with the fact that Jemima's Eventing career had come to an end, and although we had the consolation that she was still with us, we found it difficult to make any real plans for her in that year.
Early in 2006, is was planned that Jemima should revert to Working Hunter & Showing competitions, as her heart would not affect her performance over shorter distances and courses. Catriona Meikle came to try her and got on well with her and a long and busy season then ensued with countless successes in BSPS Intermediate Working Hunter, Working Hunter, Small Hunter and Ridden Coloured classes. Amongst her may successes she was Champion Coloured at Fife Show, CHampions Working Hunter at Fife Show, Reserve Champion BSPS WHP at Fife Show, Champion WHP at Black Isle Show, Champion Coloured Worker at the DABBS Masters, Champion Style & Performance at the CHAPS Championships and many, many other good wins throughout the year including at the BSPS Championships and the CHAPS Championships
She not only won the Scottish BSPS WHP Points Championships (with double the points of her nearest rival) but she also won the BSPS WHP Accumulator for 2006 too which covered all competitions throughout the whole of the UK.
All of this she did while also in foal, as she was covered in the April and was tested in fal before her first show of the season. She still jumped with as much enthusiasm as she retired from the ring in October as she did at the beginning of the season, but was beginning to lose her shape a bit.
Jemima then moved on to what we expected to be her final career, as a broodmare and mother. She produced a fabulous coloured colt in May 2007 (a month overdue!) and was covered again by our homebred colt Puddledub Phuket, producing a minimally marked filly in late May 2008. As she foals so late, it was decided to give her a year off from being covered and to cover early in 2009, but thoguhts changed and went back to the showring. She went to Kimberley Nicoll in Ayrshire in November 2008 and has absolutely reveled in being back in work. She went to her first ridden show in 2 and a half years in January '09 to Myerscough in Lancashire and jumped a fanatastic round to be 2nd in both the Open & Restricted section of the strong Mixed Height WHP class and qualifying for the Winter Championships.
Good luck to Jemima and Kimberley for this season. we will update this page with their progress and hope they meet their ambitions of qualifying for the RIHS and HOYS.
Because of the seasons plans, Jemima will not now be covered in 2009 and will resume broodmare duties in 2010.