Millstreet wasn’t a great event for our team this season.
During the cross-country phase of the CCI****S whilst lying in first place AMAZING VIII owned by my mother Caroline Harris sustained a catastrophic limb fracture and was subsequently PTS on course. It was the most awful thing but the whole team at Millstreet could not have been more professional and as a team we want to thank them for their help and support and all the support messages we received from the wider eventing community.
I started riding AMAZING “Maisie” when she was just 4yo. We bought her with co-owner Sue Nicholls from the late Downes Howard who had found her on a farm in Germany. She was Westfalian bred with very little blood but she always had the most tremendous engine and loved to gallop.
As a young horse she was a total nightmare to train – constantly spooking and stopping. She was always a brave horse and would jump a big fence but she was always terrified of fillers, ditches, water and any fence which you couldn’t see the landing. She developed a wonderful habit of stopping and snorting and making a complete fool of me at every opportunity. I lost count the amount of times I fell off.
After a lot of perseverance and plenty of help from many people Maise soon became once of the best horses on the circuit. She won the CCI***S at Barbury as an 8yo and went on finish 6th in the CCI****S8/9yo at Blenheim in her first attempt at the level. She gave me my first Nations Cup team appearance at Fontainbleau where we won team Bronze. She had multiple double clears at CCI****S including the British Open and finished 2nd in the CCI****L at Blair. The following year she contested her first Badminton where she went beautifully; lying in 4th after dressage after the 1st day and remaining well in contention heading into cross-country. Unfortunately she sustained an injury during the cross-country which we believed had ended her career. She was retired to stud and we spent the next three years trying to get her into foal.
After a number of failed attempts at insemination we made the decision to bring her back into work. After a long rehab she returned to competition in 2018 and felt not only like she’d never been away but honestly felt better than ever. She jumped double clear and finished 6th in the CCI****S at Millstreet and then went on to win Team Gold representing Team GB in the Nations Cup in Waregem.
In 2019 she jumped more double clears at CCI****S including finishing 6th at Bramham and going onto finish 3rd at Camphire in the CCIOS**** representing Great Britain on the Nations Cup again.
Amazing was the toughest and most courageous horse I have ever ridden – her tenacity and strength of spirit where what made her the exceptional horse she was and she has left an enormous hole in our team. I am so grateful to her for everything she has done for me and I can only hope that she knew how much we loved and respected her.