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Hello everyone! I’m new to the Horsemart writing team and would like to introduce myself. I’m an event rider and freelance advertising copywriter, working in sunny South Manchester whilst escaping to the Cheshire countryside to ride as often as possible.
By day, I come up with promotional ideas and write creative copy for press ads, websites, email campaigns, films, social posts – whatever my clients want to promote their brand. By night, I speed over to the stables to ride for as long as possible. This tension between my work and the pull of horses has never waned throughout my career. Just ask my boyfriend.
My love affair with horses started young. At eight years old I was told I had to choose between ballet and horses, given the way you point your toes up or down. I plumped for toes up and heels down and gave up the tutu!!!
Winning a pony
Mum and Dad said we couldn’t afford to buy a pony, so I had my hopes pinned on the WH Smith ‘Win a pony’ competition. I entered each year, writing ever more creative slogans to try and win. I never lost hope, even though I only ever got specially commended... But my fortunes changed when I was able to borrow the riding school star horse Johnny, and won my first x country competition (and big trophy) on him. After which, I was offered a pony for free by a watching owner!
20 year-old Welsh Cob Robin arrived and I took him to Pony Club shows, jumped him in and out of farmers’ fields and over jumps as big as he was, until eventually Mum took out a loan and bought me a crazy black thoroughbred for my 16th birthday. Robin breathed a sigh of relief and hoofed it back to Wales. Not before giving the Simpson family the journey of a lifetime by refusing to go in the hired trailer for hours (we later discovered the circus had used it the week before). Once in, halfway back to Wales, he started kicking up a storm in the back and when Dad opened the tiny jockey door to investigate, he popped out through it like a chestnut shaped cork, fizzing onto the hard shoulder of a busy dual carriageway!!! Surprise, surprise, he obviously hated the smell of lions or bears or something. Poor Robin.
To work with horses or not….
I always thought I wanted to be a showjumper when I grew up, as it looked so glamorous on TV. But after two years as a working pupil on an event yard, I decided that eventing was even more fun... Nonetheless, I realised my parents were right about a horsey career, as I left the event yard with a sizeable overdraft. I relented and went to university. I waitressed in the evenings to keep my horse Fifi while I was studying. She was talented – if a little mad – and I showjumped her at the county shows and evented her. She also became the foundation for three eventer homebreds I’ve had since.
Homebred Luna – no she isn’t pregnant yet!
The early practice on those WH Smith slogans paid off and I started working in advertising. I have all kinds of clients, from healthy chocolate bar brands to healthcare giants. Previously, when I worked for one of the big ad agencies in Manchester, I had the chance to go to Cape Town to shoot a TV commercial. Once we’d wrapped the shoot, we had a day off and elected to go shark diving with Great White Sharks. That was an amazing experience, especially with a hangover.
Eventing from scratch
The day job pays for my eventing. I produce all my horses from youngsters as I enjoy the journey with them. I’ve competed a number to Novice BE and Flynn, who was found for me by my long-standing trainer Nigel Taylor, took me to Intermediate. Jack is my latest eventer. He’s an Irish Sport Horse – bought over in Ireland three years ago. He has the ability to jump the moon – and buck like a mustang!
Flynn at Aston le Walls
I also have an ex-eventer mum and baby. Mum Luna is a homebred – she was the last foal I had from Fifi, my university companion. Luna is good in all three eventing phases, but has turned out to be rather accident-prone (much like her mum) and said early on she would prefer to take things easy. Now she looks glamorous and mostly eats grass for a living. I put her in foal to renowned sire Ramiro B and she produced Rossi who is now a gorgeous yearling.
Luna and baby Rossi
He has already notched up needing a general anaesthetic to be castrated and a break out from his paddock with the other colts – and he’s barely had his first birthday! So looks to be a chip off the old block. He lives at Twemlows Stud in Shropshire. As the grandson of my original eventing mare, I hope to continue the dynasty by eventing him!
Rossi – my gorgeous Ramiro B foal!
I’ve learnt a lot from the rollercoaster ride of squeezing all my eventing around a full-time job – and the nice (and naughty) horses I’ve ridden. I hope some of my experiences can keep you entertained in my articles.
Find out more about Lisa and her copywriting work on her website > https://lisasimpsoncreative.co.uk/