EN Today: Holly Hudspeth’s road to Rolex

Holly Hudspeth has had a year of highs (having a baby!) and lows (having an injured horse). Today, she chronicles the uphill climb of her last few months for Eventing Nation.

The last time we heard from Holly Hudspeth and and the fabulous Last Monarch aka “Stewie,” the pair was just beginning their comeback from Stewie’s injury and Holly’s maternity leave.  Their progress has continued rapidly this spring and Holly was kind enough to give us an update on their road towards Rolex.  For much more from Holly, check out her website and blog.  Thank you very much for writing this Holly and thank you for reading.John

Photo courtesy of Hoofclix

From Holly:

I hear the phrase “what a difference a year makes” frequently. Now I completely understand what is really means. It is not measured in months or days. Instead, it is measured by all that that particular year holds. 365 days ago last weekend at SPHT II, I was 7 months pregnant running down a hill on the cross country to get to my little man Stewie, praying he was ok. Little did I know he would spend the next few months recovering from his fall with Boyd. That night I remember Chuck saying, “How can you run like that being so pregnant? Be careful with Hailey!” He was right, however panic mode had set in.

The last year has been more intense than I ever thought it would be. I knew having a baby would be a lot of work, but what I did not anticipate was how much work it would entail WHILE teaching, getting fit again, and trying to get back to the advanced level. I will admit, there are days when I get home and think “Am I crazy to be doing this? Maybe I need to take more time!” Yet after a glass of wine (or 2), I take a deep breath and think how lucky I am to have what I have. A beautiful baby girl, a caring husband, fabulous students, great sponsors, awesome friends, and one kick a** horse. I have been in this sport long enough to know great horses do not come along everyday.

The year anniversary of that accident proved to be a success. Besides last Friday (dressage day), I was over the moon. I say “besides” Friday because apparently being able to see the training xc does not benefit Stewie in the white railed sand box. It is not an excuse by the way, he should behave! But it was my reality. As usual, he did not disappoint in the other 2 phases. Saturday morning I was relieved to be sitting on such a fabulous cross country horse with outstanding footwork. And with Marc Donovan’s well designed show jump course, I knew a careful Sunday jumper was needed. Like I said earlier, I have one kick a** horse!

This week we ship to The Fork for the CIC***. My goal is to have another solid and safe run, and come home with even more confidence. I have to say sending in Stewie’s Rolex entry was surreal. Going from hoping he will compete again to picking out jog outfits has been difficult to wrap my head around. But lucky for me I have a horse who has never told me “we can’t”. I am so lucky to have him, and even more lucky to have everything I do. I need to thank Theresa Foote, Pooh Hoblitzell, Katie Peoples, and Maxine Preston for helping to shape my spring into what it is. A congratulations are in order to Maxine on a great 8th place finish in her second prelim. She has given a new meaning to the phrase “you’ve come a long way baby”. A big thanks are sent out to my amazing sponsors who help make all this possible. Thank you Prime Performance Nutrition, Devoucoux, Cavalor, Perfect Products, Kentucky Horsewear, and Fools and Horses. Until next time….

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