Hannah Bate has made the decision to give up eventing and focus entirely on showjumping from now on. The British rider who has ridden eventing at 5* level has told this news to Horse & Hound. "My heart just isn't in it," she said.
"Over the past couple of years a lot of my three- and four-star horses have been sold so I've only really done young ones for a couple of years. I don't think eventing is something you can do with just one advanced horse - I would find it hard - and I've started doing less eventing and more showjumping over the past couple of years," Hannah told H&H. "I found myself planning this spring around the showjumping shows, not the eventing shows, and that's when I thought that if I was trying to get the eventing to fit in with showjumping, that's wrong on owners and horses. My heart just isn't in it."
The British rider told her owners that she felt their horses are nice enough that they deserve someone that does have their heart in the eventing sport, and they all appreciated her honesty. "It's not a big switch," she continued. "I've just admitted it to myself and said, 'That's me done'. It has been upsetting, particularly for one of my owners, and a shock for them, but there's no point doing something your heart is not in."
As one door closes, another opens
Hannah runs a 20-horse yard in Nantwich, Cheshire, together with her fiancé Paul Sims. He as well rode at five-star in eventing but has been focusing on showjumping for the past few years. "We've both always done a lot of showjumping," the rider said. "I love producing and selling horses. I said to Paul I was going to loose horses and owners and he said 'as one door closes, another opens and unless you make the decision, you'll never know'. If I'm short of horses, I will have to do more teaching." The rider also highlighted that she will still have dressage lessons, as "flatwork is very important for jumping", and will keep an interest in eventing.
The switch is also logistically a lot more convenient, but that's not why she's making the change. "I'm switching to showjumping because I love it and my heart is now 100% in wanting to do that full time."
Source: Horse & Hound