5 months ago by Mikhaela McDonald
The Long Road
Being an equestrian enthusiast, follower, competitor and owner of Event horses (affectionately named horse mad), my blog for IWD focuses on a lady who has demonstrated extreme perseverance in her career, and I believe whether you are ‘horsey’ or not her story will resonate with many of you.
Piggy French, now March, recently celebrated her first five-star (the highest and toughest level within the sport of eventing) win after 25 attempts, and a decade competing at that level. You may be interested to know, equestrian sport is currently one of only two Olympic disciplines which allow men and women to compete against one and other under the exact same rules, the other being sailing.
Most athletes, focus on themselves, whether that be getting fit, wellbeing, training etc but those who compete with a partner, who is an animal, have to think about them. Their health, wellbeing, fitness, training is like any athlete individual, and I can assure you, no animal is more prone to injury – primarily self-harm, as any horse owner will be nodding furiously in agreement with this statement.
So when success finally happens, it is when you both, at the exact same time, are at peak performance. Any horse owner, rider or trainer reading this will know, that point, can at times, be a sheer fleeting moment. In Piggy’s case she won by minute margin of 0.3, but that was all she needed for the win.
I can’t help to liken this process to the cycle of matching clients and candidates, in that both the candidate and the client have to feel there is a suitable match to progress. What often happens is one feels positive and the other does not, so the complex and winding quest for the ideal match continues until the ideal partnership is united.
In the sport of eventing, Piggy’s sheer determination, never giving up attitude, working correctly with her horses in times of health and seeing them through injury, eventually paid off and she was rewarded with the opportunity for the ultimate career win. Whilst it is widely recognised Piggy is a talented and hard-working rider, trainer, competitor and owner, it was her perseverance that has been commended throughout her career and that won her the coveted title.
The inspiration to me is the ‘keep going’ attitude, the respect for the horse, and for the sport which, will, if you keep going, give you that fleeting moment. And that is all you need.