Brand Ambassador - Stacey Simmons
Stacey Simmons is an International Event Rider and Instructor based in Suffolk, who competes from Intro-Advanced. Regularly takes horses in for backing and reschooling.
What do you like to be called? What is your nickname?!
I don't really have a nickname, sometimes get called Stace by my members of staff. Boss by some of my owners.
What got you in to riding?
Madness!!!! Watching my Mother ride when I was young.
Do you remember the first event you entered? What / where was it?
Wix unaffiliated sj, was entered for the 2ft9 and never had jumped a course before. I still have the video of me giving a double kick at every jump for take off.
Can you tell us a funny story from when you’ve been competing?
I have two stories which come to mind. My parents were not educated in the horse world. For my second ever show they entered a class we were eligible for, a JC/JA handicap. Not realising the jumps were bigger than me!! I was so pleased I got to fence five. Secondly was my first attempt of a working hunter class at the Suffolk Show, I ended up in the water tray!
Why have you chosen your particular discipline?
Starting my carer show jumping and showing I then moved on to Eventing. I love Eventing as you have the challenge of all three phases, dressage, show jumping and the thrill of riding xc
Who is your favourite horse and why does he/she stand out to you?
My favourite horse would be Orions Promise (Ben), he would be my best friend. We have had a journey from BE 90 to CCI4 Burghley Horse Trails and has completed 10 3 Star events together. He stands out as he came to me as he was being sent back to Ireland as a tricky 5 year old. To start with I didn't know what to do with him as he was extremely sensitive in the mouth, legs all over the place and looked like an ugly duckling. Early days he did not sell, which has allowed us to have grown a great partnership and he tries his very best for me and grown into a swan.
What’s your most memorable win (with that horse)?
It’s not a win but a memorable day! Our first Bramham together. I was last to go and it rained all day causing falls, eliminations and retirements. I set out in the mud thinking I will pull up if he finds it difficult. We both had a big smile coming back through the finishing line with a fantastic run. On a winning point qualifying for HOYS Wembley for the Newcomers and Foxhunter on the same day.
What goes through your mind before, during - and after - a competition?
One-day events I don't tend to get nervous - I look forward to riding. If I'm riding a horse, which is unknown or has had very little experience I probably have a little anxiety wanting it to go well. During - I am focused on the event and the horses, always thinking what can I do to improve the results. After - if the day has gone well and the horses have come back with confidence, it gives me great pleasure sharing a happy day with owners and sponsors. If the day hasn't quite gone to plan the lorry drive home always seems to take longer. I have learnt you have ups and downs in this sport, but you have to keep thinking positive and look forward to the next outing.
What’s the best advice you have been given to help you prepare before an event?
Visualise going through your test or jumping a round helps improve your skills and performance. Making a competition and training plan, along with keeping notes on any changes can be in the form of a diary.
What daily routine do you follow to ensure your horse is in always on top form?
We stick to a routine on the yard with myself feeding the horses at 7am or before. The team start work at 7:30am with the normal stable duties and turning out. If I'm not helping on yard I will try and start riding early. All sit down for breakfast around 10:30am together, and then riding commences about 11am. I make a riding plan each day, we match the right riders to the horses, which means they can get a bond and get the best results. Luckily we have the forest next to us so we can vary hacking out, schooling or jump work. Lunch then back to the evening stables. I generally keep going through the day riding, and between us we give the little extras like putting on a magnetic or cyclossage rug, using the solarium and walker. All the little details of care along with regular physio visits, dentist and closely looking at the horses individual diets are so important that the horses are looking and feeling their best. Along with the yard I enjoy teaching lessons during the day and evenings, also keep busy with horses coming in for schooling.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to compete in your discipline?
Work hard, enjoy all the stages of training. Make sure you have supportive team and experienced trainer behind you.
Why did you choose to be a Bed-Down brand ambassador?
Luckily I had a selection of brands to work with, I had to make a decision on what bedding I thought was the best. It did take me a while to try the different brands and I'm so pleased I did. I have gone with Bed-Down as they are a lot more absorbing than any other bedding I have used. I love the fresh smell as I walk through the yard. The relaxing smell of the lavender is great in the lorry and at competitions. The handy bale size is ideal when my mother is mucking out, I now don't have to fetch her a bale!! Bed-Down are a lovely company to work with. They are the best in getting a product out to the very best standard and economical to use.
What positive changes have you noticed in your horse since you started using Bed-Down products?
All the horses are more relaxed and lay down on a regular basis. Great for the horses with respiratory problems, showing they have a clearer wind when riding. Hooves are staying in better condition because the bedding stays dryer, due to it being a lot more absorbent. This has helped with the horses on box rest. We use the whole range of Bed-Down as I have a mixed yard.
Do you use handy bales, classic bales or both and why?!
We use the whole range of Bed-Down as I have a mixed yard. The livery horses are on Excel as it spreads further giving them a deep, fresh and clean bed. The absorbing qualities mean it’s cost effective as well. Orions Promise is on Excel Plus for his respiratory - due to the high level of competition he needs to be at his very best. I use the Lavender Shavings on a horse a horse called Freddie - he has had two colic operations. His owner likes him on pure shavings and as he's in a lot, she loves him to have the lavender smell. The Handy bales are used in the horsebox and great for taking away for stabling at shows. Trudy Shimmons (Mother) uses them as a top up for Freddie's stable as she finds them easier to lift and just enough bedding to keep the bed looking at its best.
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!