Get to know Cranford Stud Eventing!
Hello and welcome to our first blog for Stitched Equestrian, we are lucky enough to be sponsored by the wonderful Victoria and her support has been crucial to us, it’s fair to say we’ve definitely looked a little smarter too since meeting her. Fun fact she actually helped us design our logo for Cranford Stud Eventing too!
Cranford Stud Eventing is made up of married Italian rider Giovanni Ugolotti and Canadian rider Kathryn Robinson. We are based at a beautiful yard in the heart of the Cotswolds, we currently have around 20 – 23 horses in and some youngsters in the field to keep us busy!
Highs and Lows
Over our eventing careers we’ve both had many highs and lows, that’s the sport, but it’s important to always make the most of the highs and enjoy them when you get them.
Kathryns most memorable high would be completing her first Badminton Horse trials in 2016 on Let It Bee, she had produced up the levels. It was a very special day and took a lot of hard work to get there, there really is no feeling like jumping the last cross country fence at Badminton as well as a little sign of relief.
Gio’s has been lucky to do Badminton a couple of times and his most memorable would be completing on Oplitas and Cult Rewind. Also, one of his biggest highs was completing at WEG on Stilo Kontika a very special to horse that now happily enjoys his retirement at home with us in the field.
There can be lots of lows to the sport, but none can quite compare to losing your top horse that you have produced, which happened to Kathryn in 2018, Let It Bee sadly had a heart attack while running cross country. He left a massive hole in the yard and our team’s hearts but especially Kathryn’s as he was her best friend, you just have those horses that you can never replace, and he is one!
For Gio competing at championships is a feeling like no other but when they go wrong it is devastating! Last year while competing at the Europeans with Noteworthy, Gio suffered a stop in the show jumping and it was truly gutting especially when representing your country.
One of our biggest training tips is to work your horse on different surfaces, not just in the school. Riding on grass, roads, surfaces can be very beneficial and help to build up their strength as well as being good for their brain, would you really want to go around and round in a school every day. Vary your horses work and don’t forget to have fun too!
We also find using a water treadmill over the years has been very beneficial to all of our horses, whether they are coming back from injury, old or young! We often send some of our horses to Hartpury for a week or so when they are beginning their fittest work, we find it’s great to help strengthen and build muscles.
Tips and advice
Eventing is a tough sport and its always important to learn from your mistakes, as you will make them, we all make them whether amateur or professional. Also, not to get too disheartened by the lows of the sport and always try to find a positive even when its hard! We know that is easier said than done sometimes.
One of our key pieces of advice is to have good stable management, we believe this is crucial to the horse’s performance and well-being. Not just the riding and training but what the grooms do is so important, they need to know each horse’s behaviour individually at home and at a show, they need to be able to notice when they are not quite right and communicate with us. Making sure the horses have good nutrition, their coats are looking healthy, have turn out and they are just genially happy and settled. After all they are not machines and deserve the best care!
Having a good team behind us is also vital, we are very lucky to have a great team of grooms, physio, chiropractor, vet and farrier that keep our horses on the road, it is definitely not just down to us.
Well if you had asked us this question a couple of weeks ago, we would have said the Olympics for Giovanni with either Noteworthy or Simply Sox, who we were hoping to qualify early in the year, but sadly that all seems quite up in the air and very unlikely. So, for now we are keeping the horses ticking over until we have more of an idea of what is going on.
We are also hoping to progress some of our horses up the levels, it’s a great achievement when you’ve produced a young horse and take them up the levels. But to be honest our 2020 aim now is to just go eventing, as well as looking after each other and staying positive and safe! Plans always change with horses and this is a perfect example of why it’s always important to have a plan A, B or C.