Rider feature – Bex Mason showjumping
Bex Mason is a Gloucestershire based showjumper, who in recent years, has qualified for HOYS, World Breeding Championships, become National 5yo Champion, and most recently, took a National title at The Blue Chip Winter Show Jumping Championships.
Following victory in last week’s Blue Chip Karma final, we catch up with Bex on preparing her horses for jump off success, making a career for herself in the equine industry and living for the thrill of competitions.
What are your earliest memories of horses?
My family moved down from Edinburgh when I was 6 months old to Minchinhampton common where there are wild horses and cows. I remember seeing the horses and getting so excited every time, only for my dad to say ‘no they aren’t horses, they’re cows’! He clearly knew the expense and tried to keep me away. It clearly didn’t work!
At what point did you decide you wanted to pursue a career in horses?
I knew I wanted to pursue a career in horses from a very young age… maybe 11 years old. It was always an addiction. There was never going to be any other career path for me, although in torrential rain and 16 hour days I do sometimes wonder how the other life would be!
If you had to do any other equestrian discipline, what would it be?
Western riding. The reining and barrel racing like a true cow girl would be epic. I just love the speed, adrenaline and how the horses are trained to the sensitivity of a fly on their skin. Also living in cowgirl hats and chaps is pretty cool!
You’re obviously very competitive, what training methods do you implement at home to help you against the clock?
I prepare my horses for competitive time all their lives. My horses all do schooling over little fences on angles from a young age. Flat work and schooling is essential. Every equestrian is working towards the same results, for your horse to be responsive, supple and willing.
Most embarrassing moment at a show?
There’s no huge one, though I’ve done all the obvious ones… taken the wrong course (even after jumping it three times already!), fallen off after the timers in a jump off (still came second!), jumped a fence or two backwards. Also starting before the buzzer in a HOYS qualifier after a lot of preparation – thankfully we qualified at a later date!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
This is hard as there are a few that ring true every time I compete.
You must believe in yourself and your horse. If you can visualise yourself riding every stride, landing every fence and moving between the fences, then you can. Also, re-watch your mistakes but don’t dwell on them, learn from them. Watch your good rounds repeatably and remember how it feels when things go right.
Where do you hope to be in 5 years time? And what are your long term goals?
I would like to be an established international rider. To produce and compete horses at the biggest shows around Europe.
Ultimately I just to be happy and successful surrounded by wonderful horses and people
How do you use photography to help your business?
Photography is the biggest tool in any business in this modern day. All of my clients, customers and potential clients, all communicate through Social Media or forms that have stemmed from a photo. As well as keeping my owners and clients happy with photos of the horses competing, my sponsors all have their brand on show every time I have my photo taken. And without my sponsors, I wouldn’t be where I am today in showjumping.
Which part of running your business do you most enjoy?
The part I enjoy most is every time I compete, whether big or small show, it’s the thrill I live for!
What is the hardest lesson you’ve learnt in the equine industry?
The hardest lesson I’ve learnt in the equine industry is to trust my gut feelings and not to be influenced by others too much. Everyone has advice and they also have opinions, take from it what works for you.
Bex Mason Show Jumping are supported by Derriere Equestrian, Stroud Farm Services, Stitched Equestrian, Osteopathy 4 Horse and Rider – Elizabeth J Launder, Sims Financial Services Ltd, Fairfax & Favor, Bates Saddles, Horsequest Advantage and Jasmine Punter Photography
Where can we find you on social media?
Best of Luck to Bex and her team for the 2019 season!