Jessie Vanassche and Da Vinci II aka DV head to Badminton for the Mitsubishi Motors Cup BE100 Final with the aim of improving on their 2016 result, when they finished second in the BE90 Final. Based on the Isle of Wight nearly all competitions involve a 45 minute ferry crossing to the mainland.
Jessie who celebrates her 24th birthday on the Monday before Badminton, plans to have a lesson in the morning before setting off for Gloucestershire. Jessie trains with and works part-time for her cousin Sarah Holmes, at whose yard she also keeps DV. Jessie also works three days a week at her family’s garage, as well as helping her boyfriend on his farm. Recently she has been spending most evenings lambing, and with 1, 500 ewes to lamb she thinks her boyfriend is looking forward to her return on Thursday evening.
Talking about DV, Jessie said: “He is a 16.2hh warmblood, but he rides like a pony. He is really easy to do and very polite in the stable, but at competitions he puts his show face on and looks very impressive.”
DV started his eventing career back in 2008 with Terry Boon, who later sold him to a lady on the Isle of Wight who did low level dressage with him. Jessie’s cousin used to go and ride him and when the lady who owned him decided it was time to find him a new home, Sarah thought he would be perfect for Jessie. She tried him over a cross pole, which he jumped like a superstar and the deal was done.
Having competed at Badminton before, Jessie is looking forward to enjoying the atmosphere and the amazing feeling of riding at Badminton. There will no doubt be some large cheers as they gallop around the course, as Jessie told me that there are three to four car loads of supporters coming from the Isle of Wight.