Emcee Apparel Rider Catch-up: Lily Tootill

Emcee Apparel sponsored rider Lily Tootill and her iconic teammate ‘Ronald’ (Ulysses NZPH) have been based in England for the past few show seasons. We touched base and asked her a few questions about how she is going this year. See what she had to say:

Where are you based at the moment? Who Have you been training with?

I have been working with Katharina Offel, I think she’s truly amazing, I hope one day I can be half as successful, talented, humble and kind as she is! At the moment I am in Spain at the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour, I will compete in Spain for another few months then go back to Holland with Katy next Summer.

Tell us about your team, have you got any exciting prospects coming through?

Ulysses NZPH who everyone knows, my old faithful is still my number one team mate.

I now have a 5yo also, her name is Firefly. She’s very big, very talented, and very opinionated. Provided I survive long enough through her training I think she is going to be very very special.

Any superstitions? Do you have a lucky shirt, piece of clothing or gear you save for important days at the show?

I’m not superstitious at all! But I always try to save a white or lighter coloured shirt for GP day as I think they look the smartest under black jackets, and I always wear a black jacket.

Lily Tootill showjumping
Lily and Ron looking neat!

Look as good as Lily during your next competition ride…

What shows have you been to this year and what were they like?

I was at the Sunshine Tour in Spain at the beginning of the year when the first lockdowns started. Travelling 3 days back to England through already locked down Spain and France was a very eerie experience. I spent most of the summer at home working on the 4 and 5yos and enjoying being able to spend a decent amount of time at home.

Since lockdown I have been to some shows in Holland, Germany and one in the Czech Republic. The first few were exactly like normal when they first started up but since then the FEI has become much stricter and at 90% of shows masks must be worn at all times when you’re not on a horse and the bars/restaurants/social life are much quieter.

Lily and Ulysses NZPH competing in Spain
Ron tucking his legs up!

What do you find different about European Showjumping compared to New Zealand?

While there are a number of organisations in New Zealand striving to provide the best facilities possible, the majority are years behind in terms of surface quality and infrastructure. Even the smallest shows over here have top surfaces and safe undercover stabling for every horse.

The level of competition is hardly comparable as well. In New Zealand you’d seldom have more than 25 competitors in a World Cup class and over here there is usually at least that many in the jump off with 60-80 starting in the class, and those 60/80 have had to qualify from over 100, the largest field I’ve had to qualify out of so far is 243.

The height of the jumps and difficulty of the courses is also much tougher over here. The top level of competition in New Zealand is similar to 2* level over here, most 2* competitions consist of younger riders (like myself) or top riders on their younger horses.

What do you miss most from Home?

I don’t really miss New Zealand to be honest. For sure there are little things every now and then but on the whole I’m certainly not homesick.

How has COVID affected your competition season this year?

It certainly put a stop to months of travelling the European continent over summer, but for the young horses to be able to develop slower without the pressure of competing its definitely been a positive.

How is Ronald coping with the British weather?

Luckily for Ronald he spent most of winter in sunny Spain. He, like me, is yet to experience freezing temperatures and snow. We are also staying in Spain for most of this winter too.

Emcee Apparel Rider Catch-up: Aria Baker

Aria Baker riding Limo wearing the Alice competition shirt
Aria and ‘Limo’ competing at Sydney Jump Club

Where are you based?

I live on the South Coast of NSW in Kangaroo Valley. 

Tell us about your team, have you got any exciting prospects coming through?

Currently I only have one horse,  That’s Limo. I am very excited to start competing in Juniors with him when the show season commences as it will be my first start in the section. In the near future I am hoping to bring up a couple of young horses to improve my riding and knowledge as well as put my training into a different aspect of the sport. 

Any superstitions? Do you have a lucky shirt, piece of clothing or gear you save for important days at the show?

Generally going into a show I don’t have any superstitions. However, if I ride well one of the days I become superstitious and wear that outfit again at least once 

Emcee Apparel sponsored rider Aria Baker Showjumping

What shows have you really missed going to this year?

The two shows I have missed the most would be Aussie Titles and the NSW State Titles. These competitions have always been my favourites as the atmosphere of the show is incredible. The level of riding displayed at these shows are always world class and I learn so much from them every year. 

How has Covid affected your day to day training?

When Covid caused the lock down at the end of March,  I was unable to have lessons and all the shows that we were looking forward to were cancelled.  However,  once restrictions eased I was able to get back to regular lessons.  Even though competitons were still unable to run,  I used the situation to train hard and improve as much as I could before the show season commences. 

What are you looking forward to most post Covid?

Obviously all the competitions! I have missed competing and the feeling you get when entering the ring, especially the feeling after jumping an amazing round. I can’t wait to get back out in the show ring. 

Aria Baker and Limo at Sydney Showjumping Club

Emcee Apparel Rider Catch-up: Olivia Dalton

2020 has been a wild ride so far! We decided to check in with the Emcee Apparel Team across the globe and see how our sponsored riders in Australia and abroad are travelling! As usual, the first to respond was our prolific New Zealand representative Olivia Dalton. See what we had to say:

Emcee Apparel sponsored rider Olivia Dalton riding 'Cil Dara Bonaparte'
Olivia competing her stunning gelding ‘Cil Dara Bonaparte’

Where are you based?
Karaka, Auckland, New Zealand.

Tell us about your team, have you got any exciting prospects coming through? 

I have 4 horses on my team for this season. Cil Dara Bonaparte, Yalambis Garibaldi and Cheyenne who I had last season, as well as a new addition – Silva Bug MSNZ or Bernie as she’s known around the stable. She’s a 8 year old mare with an awesome jump, I’m super excited to see her progress this season. 

Any superstitions? Do you have a lucky shirt, piece of clothing or gear you save for important days at the show? 

I’m not very superstitious but I usually save my white Emcee competition jodhpurs for the Young Rider classes. I sometimes have a hard time deciding which Emcee shirt I’m going to wear on a show day, they’re all so gorgeous it’s so hard to choose! 

Emcee Apparel's New Zealand representative Olivia Dalton riding Cheyenne
Olivia aboard ‘Cheyenne’

What shows have you really missed going to this year? 

We missed out on the Glistening Waters Series Final in March after HOY – this was super disappointing to miss because it’s such great show to finish on before the winter. 

How has Covid affected your day to day training? 

Luckily, it hasn’t really affected us too much. My horses had a break but they’re now back in their usual routine, it’s been a good time to reflect on last season and work on my riding in preparation for the shows starting up again! 

What are you looking forward to most post Covid? 

I’m most looking forward to competing and seeing my friends, as well as being able to travel around New Zealand for shows again. 

Team Emcee Apparel Hold on to the Lead as they head to the AJTL Final!

After a brilliant performance in the third leg of the Australian Jumping Teams League in Sale, VIC, Team Emcee Apparel have held onto the lead in the overall standings. Going into the competition, Team Emcee were leading by 3 points, with Team Equine International AirFreight close behind.

Flying the flag at Sale were team members Jen Wood, Jess Tripp and Jessie Rice-Ward, all travelling down from NSW for the teams competition. The first round saw only two teams finish on a score of 0, once again the ladies of team Emcee Apparel showed their incredible consistency, all finishing with clear rounds. Equine International AirFreight, running second on the leaderboard, were also all clear in the first round, with a slightly faster time and went into the second round in the premier position. Chatham Park, Martin Collins and Willinga Park were close behind on 1 penalty, meaning there was no room for error if the team was to maintain their first round position.

Round two saw a shake up on the leaderboard, with a mistake from Chris Chugg from Equine International AirFreight dropping them out of contention for the lead, meaning that Team Emcee had to keep their score as low as possible to achieve a podium finish. And that they DID! With two more clears from Jen Wood and Jessie Rice-Ward and just 4 penalties from Jess Tripp, Team Emcee finished in 3rd position after team Chatham Park and Team Willinga Park.

This result means team Emcee has pulled ahead in the leaderboard, now 5 points clear of Willinga Park who sit in second and Chatham park in third.

We look forward to the final leg, to be held at the Chatham Park Summer Classic at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre  this weekend.

Emcee Apparel’s Team in the Australian Jumping Teams League

We are very excited to have an Emcee Apparel team in the inaugural Australian Jumping Teams League. A brainchild of Michelle Lang-McMahon, the first competitions of this kind were held at the Aquis Champions tour shows in 2018 and 2019.

The 2019 full season will consist of 4 competitions, the first being held at Willinga Park on the NSW south coast in September, followed by and event at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre in October, Sale World Cup Show in November and the conclusion at the Summer Classic, again at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre in December.

Team Emcee Apparel is the only team in the league consisting of all women, and we are so proud to be supporting the ladies in our sport! The team is made up of Amanda Madigan, Jennifer Wood, Jess Tripp and Jessie Rice-Ward, all of whom have had great success in recent months and are coming in to the Australian Jumping Teams League in great form!

We are looking forward to following Team Emcee’s journey in this first year of the AJTL league.

Equine Lifestyle Festival

Emcee Apparel and Matrix Equestrian were at the Equine Lifestyle Festival this weekend. What an incredible event!
We couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw how the Hawkesbury Showgrounds had transformed into an international standard arena. The white tents and green grass really helped to create a buzzing atmosphere and it was easy to see how excited all the competitors and trade stall holders were about having an event of this caliber in the Hawkesbury. It was a huge shame the rain set in to dampen the weekend, leaving us all trudging through mud but the competition went on and in spectacular form.

We were excited to be bringing a number of new styles and colours to this show, we fast tracked them from the summer collection we are currently developing (which should be here by December) so that we could showcase a sneak peek of what is to come. Again it was very exciting to see so many of our shirts in the arena as well as seeing the new range in action with a number of competitors deciding to wear their new Emcee Apparel riding wear right away.

The Emcee Apparel sponsored team had a great weekend. On Friday, Charlie Kinder came 2nd in the Junior class on Merry, and Billie Kinder won the 1m on Spotlight. On Saturday Maverick Miles won the first Young Rider class on Emcee Gwynedd and was second on Twins Landsong among a tough field of top Young Riders. Billie continued her form winning the 1.05m open class and second in the 1.10m. By Sunday the ground was very wet, with many competitors staying home but Maverick braved the wet weather, and felt for the sake of the event, he needed to start in the young rider final.

It was a pleasure to be part of such a wonderful concept. The Kevin Hansen and his team clearly put in a lot of effort to make this show as spectacular as possible. When we had time to slip away from the trade stand we had a lot of fun watching all of the different attractions, from the bison campdraft to the Horseball tournament. We, and I’m sure everyone else who attended the Equine Lifestyle Festival, look forward with anticipation to next years event.

NSW State Interschools

Matrix Equestrian and Emcee Apparel visited the NSW State Interschools competition at the Sydney International Equestrian Center last weekend. We were excited to sponsor the dressage and the eventing this year, with some very impressive competitors and great competition. We would like to congratulate all the winners of our Matrix Equestrian gift vouchers and thank those who braved the cold and rainy weather to visit us at the trade stand at the indoor arena.

Special congratulations to Emcee Apparel sponsored rider Billie Kinder who won the 2015 NSW Intrschool Overall Primary Rider on her two horses Bobby and Diesel, and to Emcee Apparel sponsored Rider Charlie Kinder who was 1.10m Reserve Champion on Merry.