Cat lady on the Road again! – By Amy Collinson

Cat lady on the Road again!

Cat lady on the Road again!

I left NZ in 2014 after finishing a Bachelor of Management at the University of Waikato. I left NZ with Samantha Mcintosh who had been my trainer while I was studying. For the past two years I have been living in Barbizon, France at the stable of Roger Yves Bost – “Bosty” you can read about what I learnt from Bosty in my article written for Noelle Floyd.


The little village of Barbizon has been one of my favorite places to live. It is next to the fairytale like forest of Fontainebleau and only 45mins from Paris. Barbizon is a very pretty village which attracts tourists with its great restaurants and art galleries. I spent two months in lockdown alone in my apartment in Barbizon with my cat “Mandy”. I was very happy to have Mandy for that moment! I was also lucky I could go to ride my horses – in France the rules were very strict normally I was not allowed to go to the stable. Bosty organized a special paper to give me permission. I was stopped by the police a few times but without any problems. It has been a very strange time – Barbizon was like a ghost town. At the first sight of a chance to get on the move I was off!


I decided to spend two months in Eschweiler, Germany to train with Helena and Tim Stormanns. I was interested in observing a new system and also an easy way to get back to shows. Off I went with cat Mandy and three horses – Upsilon 12-year-old gelding my best horse – ET homebred 7yo gelding and Rocky 8yo gelding who I sold to Tom Tarver while in Eschweiler. I really enjoyed my time in Eschweiler, Helena makes everything simple – this is a great way to build confidence. Most of the training was done by jumping full show like courses in her arena. I finished off my time in Eschweiler jumping a class in the dressage stadium in Aachen with Upsilon which was a fun experience.


I decided to keep on the move, I packed up my life once again (all squeezed into my truck including Mandy) and headed off to Amy Grahams in Normandy. Amys stable – “Haras Du Ry” is beautiful and has many grass paddocks a lot like home. It is also close to the ocean which is a nice change after living very inland for the past few years. I have been at Amys for one week and I am really enjoying it. I had two flat lessons with Amy Grahams trainer Julie Ulrich. Julie has many years of knowledge; she spends her time in the USA and France. She seems to have a great system; I am excited to continue to learn as much as I can from Julie as well as Amy.


Two of my retired horses Capello and Laganda live at a breeding farm only 25mins away from Haras Du Ry. I went to visit them and took my old mate Capello for a hack. It was just like old times, while we were walking down the road a car stopped and an old man said “ohh trés beau cheval blanc!” (ohh very beautiful white horse) something that would happen often back when I was competing the beautiful Capello haha. It was also nice to see Laganda happy out with the broodmares, she is in foal to a little France Stallion named Potter.


Now I am heading off to Spain with the Haras Du Ry team and 16 horses for the Autumn Sunshine Tour. Stay tuned for stories from Spain!




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