Rider’s Blog 2014 - Jock Paget
Country: New Zealand
Age: 29 years old
Horses going to Land Rover Burghley: Clifton Promise and Clifton Lush
History: Rodeo rider & apprentice bricklayer "Jock" won a team bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games.In 2013 he became only the second rider to win the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials on his debut ride after fellow New Zealander Sir Mark Todd.
Sunday, September 08, 2013 18:34 BST
Jocks Blog, 8 September - Show Jumping
Jonathan Paget riding CLIFTON PROMISE wins Burghley Horse Trials 2013
Sunday, September 08, 2013 17:56 BST
Jockís blog, 8 September Ė cross country and show jumping
Where do I begin? To win two big events [Badminton and Land Rover Burghley] in one year is really special. I donít think it will sink in for another two months Ė Iíve only just come to terms with my Badminton win!
I had two fantastic rides across country yesterday. Unfortunately Lush was a little bit sore this morning, so I couldnít present him for the Final Horse Inspection.
Lush felt really good in the warm-up. He generally only has one or two fences down at a three-day event and I knew I had two fences in hand by the time I went into the arena, so I was more relaxed than I might have been. Since spending some time with Michael Jung over the winter I have changed a few things with Promise. I give him a bit more room in front of his fences in the arena and it seems to help him be a bit cleaner.
I really wanted to win and he jumped a fantastic round. I now have the opportunity to have a crack at the Rolex Grand Slam, so I will have to sit down and make a plan to decide how Iíll give myself the best chance of winning that.
For now, though, Iím going to enjoy the moment and let the result sink in. Promise is such a special horse and I am very grateful to his owners, Frances Stead and Russell Hall, for letting me ride him.
Saturday, September 07, 2013 18:39 BST
Jocks Blog, 7 September - Dressage
Jonathan Paget riding CLIFTON PROMISE on the cross country at Burghley 2013
Friday, September 06, 2013 19:05 BST
Jocks Blog, 6 September - Press Conference
Jock at the Press Conference - first place after the dressage riding CLIFTON PROMISE
Friday, September 06, 2013 18:55 BST
Jocks Blog, 6 September - Dressage
Jonathan Paget riding CLIFTON PROMISE first place after dressage at Burghley 2013
Friday, September 06, 2013 17:44 BST
Jockís blog, 6 September - Dressage
Today I woke up and was on Clifton Promise at 7.30am. I rode quietly through the test, videoed it and put a few last minute things in place. After that I took Lush for a bit of a hack and a gallop. He felt really good. Heís usually pretty laid back but he can be quite sharp if something sets him off. Today, though, he was pretty chilled.
I then went up to the main arena to watch my mate Kevin McNab do his test. He went really well and I was pleased for him at his first Burghley.
Then I walked the cross country course on my own. I havenít really made a final plan yet. There are a lot of areas where you have to make choices I havenít really made up my mind exactly what Iím going to do yet. To be honest I probably wonít until the competition has started and Iíve watched a few riders go round.
After I walked the course I hacked Promise, had a bit of a play and kept it really relaxed with no pressure at all. I just did a bit of leg yielding and a few halts. Then I went back and cleaned my boots and got ready for my test.
I was really pleased with my test. Promise felt more consistent than at Badminton, where I went for it a bit too much at the beginning and he got a bit tense. Here he felt spot on all the way through.
Then I went to the press conference straight afterwards. Attending these is always a really good problem to have [as it means youíre in the top three], but I have to admit all I really wanted to get back to check the horses and think through the course.
Tonight Iím going to have a quiet dinner with Lushís owners, who have been saving the champagne he won at Gatcombe.
Thursday, September 05, 2013 15:59 BST
Jocks Blog, 4 September - Vet Check
Jonathan Paget and Clifton Lush at the first vet check at The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, Stamford UK, September, 2013
Saturday, August 24, 2013 10:57 BST
Jocks Blog - 23 August
I took Clifton Promise to Aston Le Walls and finished 32nd out of 39. I should have gone slower across country and finished last!
I did a lot of slowing him down and speeding him up, slowing him down and speeding him up and adding in extra strides just to make sure heís good for Land Rover Burghley. He used to hate doing this as heís a thoroughbred and wants to race but heís got so used to it now.
All the horses I rode at Aston were ridden this way because very rarely do I go to these type of events to win and more often than not I use them solely for training purposes.
Iíve been working on the flat every week with Andrew Gould and next week we have squad training with Luis Alvarez Cevera in preparation for Land Rover Burghley. Andrew Nicholson, Mark Todd, Lucy Jackson, Jonelle Richards and others will be there although Iím not sure where it will be yet as we may train on grass or on an arena surface. Weíll see what everyone wants to do.
Clifton Lush has pulled out of Gatcombe very well and Iím so excited about him as he has stepped up another gear. Heíll be going to Wellington on Sunday with Lush and I will just do the dressage and show jumping phases with both of them. I will play around with Promise in the dressage. For example if he wants to get a bit quick in his extensions Iíll use the test as an opportunity to slow him down. Iíll do whatever I need to do with both of them before Land Rover Burghley.
There are very few people I let ride Promise and Lush but when Iím away Holly Swain, my rider, rides them. Sheís exceptional and is currently riding at one star level although she has competed at two star. She worked for me in New Zealand and sheís been here in the UK for a couple of years. I can go away and sheíll do everything I need to keep them ticking over and I'll jump back on and they will be as good as ever. Sheís brilliant. The only other people who ride them are Andrew Gould, my dressage coach, Mark Todd, who jumps on them when he can and Erik Duvander will jump them.
They both had a very good base of fitness as theyíve been competing all year and they are cantering every fifth day now and coping very well.
Iíve been going to the gym three times a week working with a personal trainer on my core strength and stability doing lots with a Swiss ball and lifting weights to strengthen up and improve my balance.
Iíve also just started my Burghley Diet so I am now on non-alcoholic beer! I started the year weighing 82 kilos but for the big three day events I like to weigh 76 kilos. I just weighed myself ten minutes ago and Iím 74.7 kilos which means I can have couple of normal beers tonight! Iím finding that it is easier to lose the weight before the big three day events than it used to be and this time I lost the weight very easily. I do it because itís unnecessary for me to be any heavier and the lighter and fitter I am the better it is for the horse. I feel good and strong at the moment.
Iíve also got my cross country saddle down to 3.9 kilos. A normal saddle will weigh about 8 kilos so Iíve been working with a French company called Luc Childeric to develop this new light weight saddle. Itís beautiful to ride in and to look at. Itís very close contact and while itís easy to get out of, its feels very good to be in it.
Tegan Niven, my girlfriend, will be at Land Rover Burghley supporting me. She used to compete at two star level and now sheís in project management in the UK. Itís probably a good job she doesnít still ride as sheíd be asking to ride Lush, and I have to say no, and then weíd have a fight.
Sheíll help me pack and weíll take a bunch of shirts and ties for the trot up and she can decide what looks best.
The worst part in the run up to Land Rover Burghley is now as the pressure is really on to get both the horses there in one piece. So much can go wrong in these last two weeks. Once we are there its fine. Weíve made it and we can enjoy it.
Tuesday, August 06, 2013 13:50 BST
Jock's Blog 6 August
ON WINNING, TREADMILLS AND THE BOYS AT THE TOP......
Winning The British Eventing Open Championship at The Festival of British Eventing last weekend was amazing. It is a very prestigious event and all the competitors take their good horses because they want to win the title.
Clifton Lush is a fantastic little horse, the course suited him well and he is starting to know his job now. The Festival was targeted in the calendar by owners Lucy Allison and Frances Stead as the one for him to win. It is great to have done it for them on such a great horse like Clifton Lush.
Lush was ready for this event and had had a lot of preparation. Going into the cross country phase he was in the right place. I knew I had seven seconds in hand to Andrew Nicholson and about fifteen seconds in hand to Oliver Townend. Once Andrew had his unfortunate mishap at the Equex China water complex with Nereo, I knew I could slow up a little bit, stop taking risks and cruise round the rest of the course.
The course is difficult and up until the fourth minute marker I was flying so it was nice to be able to slow down. The British Eventing Open Championship course is challenging to ride when you are under pressure, although if you were able to canter around at leisure it would be great.
The Festival is such a great competition and so exciting for the crowds to watch because the cross country is run in reverse order and you know the last few to go will be really going for it. It would be great if the bigger events ran in reverse order as it adds to the excitement for the crowd.
My coach, Erik Duvander, was with me throughout the competition. I like to know every scenario that could happen and have a plan in my head, so we took a while walking the show jumping. It was a tough course and it helped that I was able to ride Promise first.
I trotted Lush up this morning (Monday), put him on the treadmill for half an hour to loosen him up and then he went into the paddock for the day. Lush wonít run again now (cross country) before Land Rover Burghley. He will go to KBIS Wellington Horse Trials for the dressage and show jumping phase where it will be fun and easy.
Promise was always only going to do the dressage and show jumping at The Festival. He uses his power a little bit too much and for him it is good to have a track where you can ride in a straight line for a bit. Promise will go to Aston-Le-Walls Horse Trials to run around an intermediate track prior to Land Rover Burghley. We will have a canter round and have a play, and we will probably come last, but heíll see a ditch and get his feet wet which is all great preparation.
I will be slightly stepping up both Lush and Promiseís fast work in the run up to Land Rover Burghley and every week I will have a dressage lesson with Andrew Gould. We will work on small things like making sure the halt is perfectly square and thereís not a foot out of line down the centre line.
In our show jumping we will do some gymnastic exercises and I will make sure that we are all fit, strong (the horses and myself) and as well prepared as we can be. The better prepared we are the better weíll perform. I wonít be getting wound up about the event yet Ė thereís plenty of time for that later on.
Land Rover Burghley is a key selection event and very important. I think Australian event rider Kevin McNab, who I trained with, could be a dark horse with Clifton Pinot. If he does a good dressage test, he will stand a great chance to win. William Fox-Pitt and Andrew Nicholson are also obvious candidates for the top spot. I guess the sport of eventing goes in cycles and at the moment New Zealand is doing very well. What Andrew Nicholson has done over the past two years is incredible and he shows such consistency
The New Zealand team spirit is a great help. There are so many good riders and trainers and we are also lucky to have people like Sir Mark Todd, whose opinion is always highly valued. Itís hard for me to catch up with him on a regular basis as we live just that bit too far away from each other, but I know he is always there for advice.
So far everything is going to plan in the run up to Land Rover Burghley and fingers crossed it will stay that way over the next four weeks or so.
Friday, July 19, 2013 09:33 BST
Jocks Blog - 18 July
Mid-July and it is hot and we are training hard ÖÖÖ
Clifton Lush went to Aachen where we competed in the International Advanced CICO***. I was really happy after the dressage as he tried very hard and everything went to plan. Heís not the biggest moving horse but heís very sound in the mind and I was pleased with him.
We had a rail at the treble in the show jumping but the whole course seemed to be causing problems. It was big and galloping with an atmosphere to match. To make the time you have to gallop on a bit which means the horses arenít as careful.
Across country we had a run off at the coffin complex. It was really unfortunate because heíd been jumping so well. At the brush before the water he was a bit sticky in the air so I did the option that cost me fifteen seconds so I had to go fast to make up the time and took risks. The coffin complex came up a little bit too quick for him and we had our run off.
Lush is quite a little horse, he doesnít have the biggest stride, he doesnít give the fences a whole lot of air and heís much more careful show jumping. But heís very fast, very honest and fantastic across country so it was surprising and really gutting that we made that mistake.
If he had a weak spot itís that he can be quite hairy going into water and heís very careful about jumping so you have to hold your breathe a little bit, but he is very clever and fingers crossed heíll stay that way at Land Rover Burghley!
For a long time dressage was my weakest phase. I hadnít been in the sport for that long and then you didnít need to be a good dressage rider, just a good jump rider and very quick. It suited me because I was a jumper but I soon realised that if I wanted to win anything Iíd have to get good at dressage because after my test Iíd always be playing catch up. Today, to be successful in the sport you have to be a specialist in all three phases.
My specialty coach in dressage is Andrew Gould and he comes to me once a week every week. Iíll ride four or more horses and we work on the quality of the movements, the great thing is that Andrew is more than happy to hop on and show me, then Iíll get back on and weíll discuss it. Today we did some two-time changes with Lush and he really enjoyed it and weíll start to work towards the four star movements. Closer to the major competitions weíll build an actual dressage arena and weíll work on each movement breaking them down and really working through them.
The focus with Promise is very much Land Rover Burghley Ė thatís the one I want to win. I gave him his first proper jump since the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials earlier in the week and he behaved like a two-year-old. He loved it. After a hack Iíll go into the school and pop him over knee height fences but this time we jumped advanced height fences and he was in his element.
I train with Luis Ńlvarez de Cervera, the Spanish equestrian, who has competed at six Olympic Games and is the New Zealand team coach. I also train with New Zealandís high performance coach Eric Du Vander and Kevin McNab with whom I started out in Australia. We all work together and itís really great.
Land Rover Burghley is a key selection event for the World Championships next year and the coaches and selectors will all be there, making sure we are on the right track.
I love being part of the New Zealand team and hopefully I will be for many years to come. Everyone helps each other and itís all very positive because we are all so happy for each other when we do well. Thereís no pressure on any of us to spend time with each other as a team or walk the courses together but we all want to because we really enjoy being together. Iím just proud to be a part of it.
Weíll go to Aston-Le-Walls this weekend where Promise will just do the dressage and show jumping phases. Lush may do all three phases but if we do go across country weíll go very slowly. At one dayís I tend to get cross-country time penalties but thatís because Iím purposely playing around with the horses, teaching them to slow up and quicken all the way around the course.
Both Lush and Promise are competing in the British Eventing Open Championship at The Festival of British Eventing in August. Promise will probably just do the dressage and show jumping while Lush will go across country as well. Heís been there before and had an absolute ball Ė he loved it so hopefully weíll do well.
After The Festival, Iíll step up both Lush and Promiseís cantering in preparation for Land Rover Burghley. We go to Pulborough where thereís an eight-furlong gallop. Both Lush and Promise were let down after Badminton where they didnít lose any fitness and they didnít get any fitter so before Land Rover Burghley the cantering sessions will be increased. They will be seriously fit horses that make you realise how special these four star horses are to cope with the demands of competing at that level. Itís not until they are 13, 14 or 15 years of age that they will start to do well at CCI4* competitions. You have so much respect for them, and the really good ones love their jobs and start to get really competitive.
Iím really looking forward to Land Rover Burghley. You prepare your horses so carefully and put so much into it beforehand that once you get there, all you have to do is compete and not worry about anything else.
Monday, July 01, 2013 18:23 BST
Jocks Blog - 1 July
Jock is aiming both his Badminton rides, the 15 year old, 16.3hh Clifton Promise and the 14 year old, 16.1hh Clifton Lush for Land Rover Burghley. When we caught up with Jock he told us: ďItís a privilege to be able to share my preparation for this great event Ė itís a good feeling being able to promote good practice and share knowledge and advice that I have learnt along the way.Ē Jock went from being an apprentice bricklayer in his hometown of Wellsford, to being bucked off the first time he sat on a horse, to winning Badminton - in just a few years. Somewhere in between he fitted in a spot of rodeo riding.
Jock shared his thoughts on his preparations for Land Rover Burghley. ďBetween now and the beginning of September I will get as a prepared as I can for the event. Both horses ran at Badminton so the challenge now is doing just enough with them so that they donít become sour or fed up. Lush will be going to Aachen this weekend so we will see how we go and then he will have a couple of easy weeks at home, having a bit of a cruise around and I will let him enjoy life for the time being. Promise is just chilling at the moment and not doing too much. Heís not having any stress and having a bit of fun with his jumping and of course spending plenty of time in the field. It is a little bit too early to be cranking up their preparation yet.
Both horses will then do a couple of intermediate classes before Land Rover Burghley so they get to stretch their legs, but nothing too strenuous. Promise is quite highly strung whereas Lush is much more laid back and it will be a case of maintaining their fitness enough so that they donít go over the top or peak too early. Hopefully next time we speak I will be able to update you on our results at Aachen and what effect it might have on my ďRoad to Burghley.Ē