Brand Ambassador - Islay Clarke
Islay Clarke is a well established Event Rider who is well know throughout the equestrian circle and is the Mother of 'Fish', another Bed-Down Brand Ambassador and fan of our bedding products.
What do you like to be called? What is your nickname?!
What got you in to riding?
I had the perfect childhood living on a farm with plenty of ponies and so I cannot remember ever not riding.
Do you remember the first event you entered? What / where was it?
I think that the first competition I did was on my New Forest pony, Comic. It was a pony club one-day event at Thorpe Abbots. I had no idea what crosscountry was but my pony did and I won!
Can you tell us a funny story from when you’ve been competing?
Not particularly funny at the time but looking back it is. I was competing in a three-day event at Tweseldown and so a huge amount of preparation was needed. I did my dressage then jumped six show jumps and came out of the ring thinking I had finished. I had only jumped half the course and was therefore eliminated!
Why have you chosen your particular discipline?
Back in the day I used to event but now I just compete in dressage and a bit of showing. I let my children do the jumping these days!
Who is your favourite horse and why does he/she stand out to you?
My favourite horse was called Jackodandy. He was a chestnut 16h who came out of Cambridge Market. He did not have great style over a fence and wasn’t the most careful showjumper but he had the biggest heart and gave me some amazing rides cross country.
What’s your most memorable win (with that horse)?
We won the novice at Poplar Park in the early days of that event. It was my local event and so it always nice to win close to home. My best ride was going clear round the Advanced at Ickworth. It was huge! Windsor 3 Day was always a good course for us and I always had a good ride there but I remember having three show jumps down!
What goes through your mind before, during - and after - a competition?
Don’t forget the dressage test – ride to my best ability – damn, could have done that better!
What’s the best advice you have been given to help you prepare before an event?
Don’t over-work the horse on the last couple of days before an event.
What daily routine do you follow to ensure your horse is in always on top form?
I like my horses to be out in the field for as much time as possible and not standing in. I like to school them on a hack rather than in the arena. You can do lots of lateral work trotting along a track and it stops them getting bored. I find the horses respond more willingly to your aids out on a ride. Virtually anything you do in a school can be done on a hack.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to compete in your discipline?
Make sure you are physically fit enough to work your horse correctly. Core strength is essential if you want to get the best out of your horse.
Why did you choose to be a Bed-Down brand ambassador?
The Bed-Down products are the best bedding range that I have used and I am very proud to be associated with a quality product. They are a local company and as we have to travel quite extensively to compete, I hope that I can increase awareness of the brand.
What positive changes have you noticed in your horse since you started using Bed-Down products?
- Breathing is much more clear, especially during fast work
- Lying down much more in the stable
- Coat is nice and clean and not at all dusty
- Not eating the bedding!
- No stable injuries as the bedding does not move therefore there are no bare areas
- Mucking out is fast and easy and therefore I have more time to ride!
Do you use handy bales, classic bales or both and why?!
I have used both but at the moment I am using the Handy Bales. I can fit lots more in my car and they are so easy to carry from the barn. The bedding is so economical that I just need to add a Handy Bale every three or four days to make a perfect bed, rather than splitting a bigger bale.
Meet the Bed-Down Horse Bedding Range
A range of equine bedding products crafted using the very finest ingredients for you and your horse.
Bed-Down Excel bedding is a soft blend of chopped golden Norfolk wheat straw and softwood shavings that guarantees an absorbent, comfortable and durable horses bed.
Excel plus is specifically for performance horses or those that suffer from respiratory conditions - Microcote™ helps reduce airborne dust particles in the stable.
Bed-Down Rapasorb is the most absorbent bedding in our range. Rapasorb is made from quality rape straw is perfect for wet-stables and horses which are on a restricted diet.
Bed-Down Lavender Shavings is the original lavender scented equine bedding loved by horses and their owners alike. Lavender Shavings is made from top quality softwood shavings.
Pure Shavings offers a highly absorbent dust free cushioning base crafted from timber into the finest quality softwood flakes to create a supportive bed for joint and hoof health.
Want to know more about Bed-Down?
Contact us today for an informal chat about your bedding requirements today!