My name is Rebecca Cook (competing under the surname Vale-Cook as I can ‘t quite let go of my maiden name!) and I am a full time amateur event rider with my horse Fergal (Stilo Springtime). Alongside the eventing I work full time as a Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist in the private sector. My job helps to fund my eventing addiction and the hours fit in perfectly to allow me to train and compete.
I have owned Fergal from a green four year old fresh off the boat from Ireland. He is an Irish Sports Horse, 17h, 14 years old with Master Imp breeding hence his quirkiness! I’ve owned him for over 9 years and together we have climbed the levels of eventing. He hasn’t been an easy horse at all as he is sharp, spooky and not keen on dressage but we have worked incredibly hard to produce him to the level he is at. We have competed at Advanced Intermediate level nationally and CCI3*-L Internationally.
I think my greatest achievement with him is successfully competing at this level, as a one horse amateur rider at a professional level this is fairly rare. This culminated in gaining both our CCI4* qualification and a place to ride at the British Intermediate Championships at Gatcombe Park in 2018. Everything looked set for this, we had trained hard with Christopher Bartle at the Yorkshire Riding Centre and my entries were in. The week before the British Championships we had a freak rotational fall in a show jumping working in, this resulted in Fergal fracturing the back of his knee in two places. Surgery followed and a lengthy time on box rest with an even slower rehabilitation to ensure he would be back to full fitness.
I had a fantastic support system of friends and family around me and together Fergal was back out competing at the end of 2019. It is through this incident that I found Synovium UK. I have always used joint supplements on all my horses but became interested in one in particular, Synoviums Agility. This is a purely collagen supplement and one I use daily with Fergal now. I also found Vicky at Synovium incredibly approachable and her knowledge of the products available to me was excellent, for these reasons I cannot recommend them enough.
Fergal has come out this year in fine form with a good early run in the Open Novice at Lincoln producing a double clear, I use Synoviums Electrolytes Q post competition and exercise with him to restore any lost electrolytes and help his recovery. Whilst at the international two and three day events I like to use the Lactaplus paste or powder which help to speed up muscle recovery and reduce lactic acid build up.
My goals this year are to continue at Intermediate level, gain some more CCI3*-L completions with the aim to complete our first Advanced at the end of this season, looking towards a CCI4* run!