When things don't quite go to plan

      Sophie Jenman and Ghost Buster Fortuna HH


An Eventful Life filmed all competitors on cross country at

Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing 2019 - find out more here


Our reporting focus is usually on the those who do well at events, which may leave the general reader with an impression that everything must go swimmingly at all competitions. But the truth is, as we all know, that for every winner there are many more tales of how things can go awry

At the Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing two riders on lovely grey horses attracted our attention during the dressage on Friday; Sophie Jenman riding Ghost Buster Fortuna HH in the Dodson & Horrell British Novice Championship and Alice Rocher riding Dassett Supreme in the TopSpec Challenge for the Corinthian Cup so we thought we would keep an eye on them during the next few days of competition. As it turned out, things didn’t quite go to plan for either of them …

Sophie’s horse really caught our eye as they went around the arena, initially because he was such an attractive horse with lovely movement but then because he put on a bit of a show! Although he threatened to wave at the judges just before entering the arena, Sophie very capably got him back on track and, while some of the test was very nice, the tension remained for a score of 37.3. We had a chat to Sophie after the test, not knowing that we would also be seeing her in unusual circumstances later that day



Later that afternoon, Sophie was walking the cross country course when an knee injury flared up. Paul Higgs, who was setting up our cross country video cameras for the next day’s filming, saw Sophie trying to hobble back to her lorry and offered to drive her back only to discover that we had interviewed her earlier.

Sadly, Sophie’s injury meant that she had to withdraw her three horses from the competition at the Festival and she spent most of Saturday morning at Basingstoke Hospital.  

“They said possibly I have damaged my PCL or severe cartilage damage” Sophie told us later from home (as she was icing her knee)” But until I have an MRI scan, which will hopefully be within the next week, I don’t know want I’m dealing with. It’s extremely frustrating as I was hoping to be heading to Blair at the end of the month”

We’re also heading to Blair Castle and really hope that we see Sophie there for a follow-up interview …..


      Alice Rocher and Dassett Supreme


Alice Rocher and Dassett Supreme also caught our eye with a very good test on Friday, ending the dressage phase in second place on a score of 26.5 in the TopSpec Challenge for the Corinthian Cup.



They added one rail in the show jumping but Alice did mention in our interview that she was a little worried about the water and sadly her prediction came true

Dassett Supreme slammed on the brakes as he approached the second water complex, depositing Alice on the other side of the fence and heading off on cross country without his rider. He was caught and returned to a disappointed but unhurt Alice, almost exactly at the spot where we were standing!

It never ceases to amaze us how resilient eventing riders are – we send our best wishes to both ladies for much better luck in the future and thank them for allowing us to share their stories of ‘when things don’t go to plan’


      Dassett Supreme heads for home but is caught and re-united with Alice