Hi all,

This is my first blog for Saracen Horse Feeds, so thought I would introduce myself and my horses. My name is Paris Gainsford and I run a full livery yard in Essex.

Running a full livery yard can be hard at times especially in the depths of winter but with the tough times also come many highs and it gives me the opportunity to do what I love and work with amazing animals on a day to day basis.

I am lucky enough to have a nice string of horses for the 2016 season. My 3 top horses HollyPark Canon (pictured left), HollyPark Royale (pictured below) and Ghost Town GT (intro picture).

HollyPark Canon (Pops) who I have had the pleasure of owning since he was 4yr old, who is now 10yrs old, is the horse that really started my eventing career. Although my instructor Juliet and myself did often used to question it at times when as a 4 year old, Pops would do his best superman impression or would jump over the top of the wings and land back feet first over a pole on the floor.

Over the years though, Pops has taken me from BE80 to Novice with his first Intermediate entered for at the end of July. We have competed at Badminton Grassroots, and qualified for our first CCI* and Novice Regional Final. Over the last year he has really come into his prime, and with the help of Saracen Enduro-Performance, it really helps him fire on all cylinders, he looks and feels great and he knows it.

HollyPark Royale (Mitch) or also known as Ginge (pictured below), is a 7yr old unknown but he really is something quite special although a little hot at times but that might just be the red hair!! Mitch is currently competing at Novice level and is entered for the CCI* at Hartpury in August. As a team, we have very high hopes for this big hearted small horse and together with my instructors Juliet Cottey and John Bowen, we have slowly produced him to the level he is currently at.

Ghost Town GT (Casper) also acquired the nickname Wonder Pony because he never used to be very wonderful and standing at 17.2 is very much not a pony! It has been a difficult 2 and a half years with this now gentle giant. Unfortunately he came to me with a lot of issues, he was utterly terrified and had a tendency to bolt. It has been a slow process and testing at times but he has always shown willing to improve, he just had funny ways of showing it at times. The start of this season has been a little bit trial and error from his hard feed/turnout to biting/nosebands but with the knowledge of my support team and from Saracen we have really turned a corner.

Casper has all the scope in the world but it's always been about having him in a good happy place mentally, he has jumped clear at his last two BE100 and will be moving up to Novice within his next couple of events. We also have a small collection of hombreds waiting in the wing for their turn.

Oakleigh Temple (Danny) who is 4yrs old, has spent the last 6 months learning the basics, at home and away in different training environments. He is currently on a little holiday and getting fat in the field. The aim will be to get him in and back in work for the winter months, then he can start to go to a few local dressage and jumping shows with the aim of eventing in 2017.

We also have two 3 year olds and 1 yearling who all live out enjoying their younger years.

I am forever grateful to everyone involved in my journey. My team at home mainly consist of family members and close friends, as well as our hard working groom who works closely along side us to make sure our horses and our clients horses get everything they need.

Together with my instructors, they support me and encourage me to push myself and strive for the very best. My aim is to achieve 4* status. I am very lucky to have the support form Saracen and my amazing sponsors Voltaire Design, Sew Equestrian, Wheelbarrows Direct, Equ-StreamZ and Mirrors for Training.

I will be competing at my first Intermediate at the end of July, so will report more on that in August.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, and hope you all have a happy horsey month.

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