Anne-Marie Esslinger answers some questions about the upcoming show:
1. How many horses are you competing on at Nissan Easter Festival and in what classes?
3 horses, 2 in the 1,50m & 1 in the 1,30m.
2. How is your preparation going for the Nissan Easter Festival?
So far all is on track – after President’s Cup show this past weekend, a little downtime with regular fitness work but no serious jumping for next week, leading into final preparation for the Outdoor Grand Prix of SA.
3. Which of the Nissan Easter Festival classes are you most looking forward to and why?
Hoping to do one 1,30m competition with my older horse, Alzu Oarsman – he is often unsound and has been off work for past 18 months – he always loves his job, so I’m hoping he’ll be ready for 1 class – also, obviously the main event.
4. How do you mentally prepare for the bigger classes of the show?
Lots of self-discipline, going through my preparation, and ‘getting in the zone’.
5. Do you get nervous with the big crowds watching and if so how do control your nerves?
Not nervous of crowds, more nervous of the track, and letting my horses down.
6. Do you follow an eating plan or do you just eat what you like?
I try to eat healthy most of the time, but I do have a weakness for chocolate.
7. Tell us about one of your favourite horses and why he is your favourite?
Alzu Oarsman has been my favourite horse ever – he mainly loves carrots and green grass, but pretends to love me! He likes to jump – few horses really enjoy their job at the top level, and have more fun at about 1,30m. I love Alessio because he is a ‘giver’ when it counts, and my flighty horse. Alzu Oregon, is a gifted jumper, whom I’ve had since a baby – what’s not to love?
8. Do you enjoy the smaller classes on your young horses as much as the bigger classes?
Yes – it’s always fun working with different horse personalities, and a young horse can be so rewarding. There’s also the dream of the big time in the future!
9. As it is Easter will your family be at the show supporting you?
My husband is the only family I have in SA – hopefully he’ll come to support when he can …
10. What part of Nissan Easter Festival are you most looking forward to?
Probably the end of show – a bit of downtime … preparation is anticipation, the actual show is busy and tiring, especially running a big yard with lots of students to coach and support, although exciting, but whilst the end of a major show is sometimes an anti-climax. I can relax and enjoy looking back at the good and bad times, and take away all the positives, trying to learn from the ‘whoopses’…