Thanks to Lily for sharing her story, something to inspire us all!
Lily Ennis has recently re located to Whixall in North Shropshire, so we thought we would pop along and ask her to share her story, to inspire and provide useful insights into another networkers' business and equine career journey...
…" My name is Lily Ennis and I have recently moved to Whixall in Shropshire along with my horses Ricky G and Balloo ( Red Why Salute). I have dabbled in many disciplines within the equine industry. I starting showing at a young age then decided it wasn’t for me. I embarked on an early career as a racing jockey and I did some show jumping with my 128 section B Ginger ( who I still own). Ginger did everything and still does, based in Whixall with me, with her new little riders at the grand age of 21. I decided I loved going fast so Ginger and I went on to race up and down the country qualifying for the final at Aintree, but ginger had other ideas and as we set off in a race, she decided she wanted to go the other way and this was my last year competing her!! so it was bitter sweet. I went on to a 14.2HH racing pony from Spain, her name was Istanbul...another chestnut mare who had a mind of her own. We trained to race but sadly never got to the track, in between considering a career at racing college, I purchased a whopping 15.2HH (whooping to me at the time!) horse called Sterling. He was the perfect beautiful horse he was fun and safe and thus, this is where I developed the showing bug.
My old instructor, with a love for showing started teaching me and I owe Mandy everything to this day! There isn’t anything she doesn’t know. Mandy has taught me for 20 years! illustrating the great relationship that you can build with a credible coach. I started showing Sterling and he successfully obtained his Royal International Horse Show (RHIS) qualifying ticket... then sadly later that evening fractured his knee! that was then end of his very short showing career. My next horse - Percy had so much fun whilst getting placed at all the top shows so decided we would give Workers classes a go the rest is history. I have since been placed at HOYS and RHIS shows in Working Hunter pony and Horse classes. My current stable features Ricky G - a 7yo Irish Sports Horse that I have owned since he was a 3yo, Ricky had been sold twice before returning to me. So I thought I best keep him and follow our destiny..... well he has been worth 4 years of tantrums, rodeoing lessons and so no but most of all created some happy memories!. Balloo, was purchased last year due to my top horse Jerry passing away. I had always watched and admired him. I saw Balloo over the stable door when I was transporting a horse to Balloo's stables, and on the way home I phoned my mum to tell her Balloo was even bigger in person ! later that night she phoned me and told me to ask if he would be for sale....and we managed to purchase him.
.. In 2019 I had Qualified two rides for Horse Of The Year Show in the Cuddy Working Hunter section. Ricky G claimed his golden ticket as Champion Working Hunter at the Royal Welsh and Balloo gained his ticket at the Rydale County as Champion Working Hunter. Ricky G was only 6 years old and was still a novice so he stepped up his game. In his first HOYS qualifier he was placed 3rd at Bramham horse trials as you fan imagine.. I was ecstatic!. With just two weeks to go to HOYS and both horses looking incredible, Balloo got very badly cast and had been stuck all night, as we saw on our camera. He had intense physio, lazer vet and chiropractic sessions but he just didn’t come sound so we had to make the Decision not to go. It was heart breaking as we had worked so hard getting our ticket and he looked stunning. But it just meant we focused more on Ricky G as it was his first time going to the NEC and he went there like he has been there every day of his life. Ricky is a true show horse he comes alive with crowds of people and nothing bothers him. He jumped his heart out for me and we just had the second to last fence down I was over the moon with him.
Earlier this year my horses were ready for a very busy and exciting season ahead of last years highs of qualifiers and shows. However my little world got turned upside down, all the hard work and dedication seemed to all be for nothing with all the showing being cancelled as a result of the Pandemic. Myself and my fellow working hunter friends and riders decided that we were only going to see the positive aspects going into this unknown situation, after all what else could we do? Soon we realised that this year had come as a blessing in disguise!.
This year During the Covid outbreak, it felt it was the right time the horses had a good break, even if enforced! so when we relocated to Whixall, I decided I was going to get them back hacking out and enjoying life. We have been to the beach, gallops, farm rides, XC and even riding to the local pub! the horses have never been happier. If I could tell myself something back in March it would have been that shows are not the only way to enjoy the horses. I have kept the horses fit through jumping them once every 2/3 weeks and only then do i jump them bigger once every 6 weeks or so....while they don’t need to be jumping huge fences, I don’t see the point in putting pressure on them physically and mentally. My younger horses do a lot more training work but I keep sessions short and sweet so they always enjoy their work. I enjoy grid work with my young horses as it really helps them and it keeps it interesting while they are still learning. My top tip is to find a trainer who will help you reach your full potential in a discipline you enjoy whether that is at local level or HOYS level we have all got to start somewhere!..."
Thanks to Lily for her inspirational story highlighting the challenges faced by equestrians through the pandemic and how both riders and horses have enjoyed their down time as a result :). Lily is avaiable for lessons and clinics and currently offers a self hire 3.5ton box - Ennis Transport and is currently offering a sponsorship deal and competition via her Facebook page.
Lily is sponsored by