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That Special Bond – with Georgina Bloomberg

Wednesday, 22 May 2019
That Special Bond
Masked picture

Photo © Jennifer Wood "In terms of Grand Prix horses, Juvina was for sure the best horse I ever sat on," Georgina tells. Photo © Jennifer Wood.

Photo © Jennifer Wood Georgina Bloomberg with Action: "He gave me the confidence to know that I wanted to continue on to the Grand Prix level," she says. Photo © Jennifer Wood.

 

Text © World of Showjumping by Jump Media

 


 

In our series “That Special Bond,” we speak with some of the top names in the sport about the horses that have shaped their careers, left a lasting impression, and sometimes even broken hearts. For Georgina Bloomberg, two horses stand out in her career as helping her at pivotal moments. She credits them with giving her confidence and inspiring her dedication to the sport. Action, her very first jumper as a teenager, and Juvina, the mare she rode to Nations Cup and Grand Prix victories in recent years, share a special spot in her heart.

“I only ever really did hunters in my junior years until my last junior year. I wanted a new challenge and to try my hand at the jumpers, so Action was my first jumper ever. He had a very unusual style for a jumper, but it was good for me because he had a way of going that was very hunter-like. He held his head very long and low and out, so it never felt that different than riding a hunter. You couldn’t mess with his head. You just had to let go and let him do his own thing. You could never pick his head up or really put him together. His head never really went above his withers; it was just his way of going.

I had no confidence in myself in the jumper ring when I first started. It was a new challenge for me, and it would have been easy to just give up and say, ‘I’m not doing this.’ I could have just gone back to the hunters, where I knew I could win, and been comfortable. It was a whole new challenge. Action wasn’t an easy horse to ride, but he was a horse that when you rode correctly, you could win anything. I always appreciated how hard he tried. He would go down to any jump and try his very best. He didn’t have the most scope, but he definitely had the most heart.

He was never going to be a Grand Prix horse, but he was incredible at the 1.40m level. I was doing juniors and amateur jumpers, and he could win anything. There was no turn he couldn’t make, there was no other horse he couldn’t beat against the clock. He really showed me that sometimes your horse of a lifetime isn’t going to be the one that can jump the biggest jumps or has the most natural talent. It’s more about their heart than their talent. 

He taught me how to win in the jumper ring, and how to make turns and beat the clock. He gave me the confidence to know that I wanted to continue on to the Grand Prix level."
 

Photo © Jennifer Wood "In terms of Grand Prix horses, Juvina was for sure the best horse I ever sat on," Georgina tells. Photo © Jennifer Wood.

"In terms of Grand Prix horses, Juvina was for sure the best horse I ever sat on. The time I had with her was short and interrupted when I was pregnant with Jasper [in late 2013]. And then she had a career-ending injury in 2015. I didn’t get as much time with her as I would have liked, but in a very short time with her, she definitely accomplished more than a lot of horses do in a lifetime. 

She was a horse that even though I missed so much time with her while I was pregnant, she came along at a time when I really needed her. I needed a horse that would take care of me, because I decided to keep riding in the early stage of my pregnancy, and then also I needed the right horse to bring me back from the time off after Jasper’s birth. A lot of women have trouble making the comeback because after that much time off and maybe not being in your former physical shape, sometimes you’re not as confident. To have a horse that I was so confident in and who I knew would take care of me was so valuable. I really think it was one of the reasons I was able to not just come back so quickly into the sport, but to come back at all.

She was incredible to ride. You always knew how much power and scope you were on. She was powerful and always going forward. I never had to do much; I always knew she was going to try to avoid hitting the rails. And no matter what you put in front of her, she was going to jump it. She was incredible. She had a bit of funny style—she liked to shake her head. But I was used to that because of Action, who used to do that all the time. I was used to horses that have funny mouths, so I was able to ignore that. 

Sometimes you just need a really talented horse that’s going to take you to the top and show you that you belong there and Juvina really helped me with that. There are going to be times in every rider’s career when they need to be able to know they can make a mistake and know that their horse is going to make up for it. There are also times that you need to know that if you go in and ride well enough, they’re going to be able to take you to the top and accomplish anything. She did both, which is special. For me, at the time that I had her, that was what I needed.”

Where they ended up…

“Juvina is retired at our Gotham North farm in North Salem, N.Y. We tried to breed her a couple of times, but she didn’t take. After everything she’d done for me, I didn’t want to put her through the efforts it would take to really try to get a baby out of her. It was one of those things where we said we’d try a couple of times and if it happened naturally, great, but if it didn’t work, that was fine, too. 

Action lived until he was really old; we never knew exactly how old he was because we didn’t have a passport for him. He came into the country before you needed a passport and he never jumped FEI. We did do some math, because he was Gerco Schröder’s Young Rider horse in 1997. His name was Interest when Gerco rode him. 

He was in his mid-30s when he died in 2016. I have pictures of Jasper feeding him carrots his last summer. He retired at Gotham North, and he looked exactly the same when he was retired as when he was going to the ring. He always looked like a show horse.”

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