I am 30 years old and have been eventing for 12 years. I started riding at a very early age of 4 after being sat on a horse belonging to my cousin and have been riding nearly every day since the age of 14. I started competing at local shows on friend’s ponies, always picking up handfuls of rosettes. By the age of 17 I was working with show jumping horses and progressed to working with event horses by the age of 18, which is when I bought my first horse and really got a taste for competitions. My greatest achievement that year was finishing 4th on my own horse at a two day junior event down in Somerset.
My next move was to Surrey for 2 years where I trained with Georgia Bale, who had ridden round Badminton and Burghley, 2 of the biggest events in the world. I regularly had lessons with her and travelled round the UK and abroad to events, looking after her horses. This was very beneficial for me as I got to learn about how the professionals run their yards and prepare their horses for competition.
From there I moved to Warwickshire, at the age of 21, to ride horses for Equestrian Direct, which is an arena business, which also buys in young horses, mainly from Ireland to bring on to compete from a young age and sell on when they have been produced. This must have been my biggest learning curve, as I had a huge responsibility to run a yard of up to 12 horses at a time. This included the daily running of the yard, producing the horses to compete, as well as organizing where the horse would compete next and getting them ready for the big day. I was based here for 4 years and achieved some very rewarding results, it wasn’t often that our team of horses came home unplaced after a competition.
Next was a move to Shropshire, where there was very little opportunity to compete horses for other people, so I decided to buy a horse to bring on for myself and to fund my eventing I started working with racehorses, which including working for Henry Daly (National Hunt Trainer) for 3 ½ years. 6 years on I have still got that horse and have produced him from a naughty show jumper into a talented eventer. Along the way we have achieved some amazing results and had a fantastic time in doing so. I have also bred two horses out of my first horse and added them to my string and I’m having lots of fun with them. I have now moved to Cheshire and have been very fortunate in having a beautiful new yard built for me, where I have room for 8 horses. So hopefully in the coming season I may be able to start filling these stables.