Anthea bought Jake (aka The Wing Commander – because of his moustache and his herd management in the field) in the spring of 2004 – immensely fat and incredibly unfit but very willing.
His first competition was the Welsh Champs near Oswestry in June – already much fitter and with a waistline, he still wasn’t ‘fit’, so Anthea walked/ran every speed that began with a S (6, 6.5, 7 or 7.5) to help keep him in one piece, they finished the POR in one piece and surprised a lot of selectors (some of whom had been very vocal about their disapproval of her purchase) by getting a 30 point canter, and a respectable PTV score – even if his jumping was not very stylish.
In the remainder of 2004, they scored respectably in the English and Scottish Champs as well, and then missed the British at Oasby as Jake contracted harvest mites and lost a load of hair from his legs and saddle patch (Anthea competed on Katie Morgan’s ex-endurance mare, Cass). Still, they made the cut for the FITE Champs at Zweibrucken in Germany, and that was where they discovered his fear of flag-bearing and love of dancing to Brass bands (no joke when in a public square with unfenced spectators!). Competed as non-team rider.
2006 they competed at the FITE Champs that was held on Exmoor – again as a non-team rider – Jake and Anthea were placed in the top ten. At Exmoor they discovered he really hated a camera flash and ended up reversing quietly out of most squad photos while all the other horses pricked up their ears.
2008 saw them at the FITE Champs in Lamotte Beuvron, France as part of the actual team. Still mad about brass bands and military music, he danced throughout the whole opening ceremony – so much that a Spanish spectator thought he had Spanish blood and was very disconcerted to find a round Irish Cob in our stables rather than the fire-breathing circus horse he’d seen in the main arena. Jake and Anthea retired from International competition/selection after that competition.
They did compete at all major competitions in 2005 & 2007 won at least one major UK Championships near Salisbury.
Jake and Anteha enjoyed doing unaffiliated dressage up to Medium level in the winters as well as Indoor TREC competitions – but while they were great fun, they were rarely placed as Anthea was usually judging other classes first and frequently had 5 minutes or less to warm up.
In 2009 they competed in the inaugural Pro-Am Trec Challenge at the Royal Windsor Horse Show – Jake blotted his copy book by jumping out of his stable (the tented kind) to try to join a Military procession 3 times – his hatred of camera flashes blew their score in the bending and the sound of a massed bagpipe band ruined his chances in the s-bend – but Martin Clunes fondled his moustache and theye had great fun making idiots of themselves (through gritted teeth!). Polly bought Jake from Anthea at the end of 2009.