This week I’m chatting with the very hardworking dressage rider and producer Georgie Day; Based on the family farm near London. Georgie has a brilliant future ahead. Read on to learn more about Georgie and her fabulous horses.
Tell us alittleabout you
I am 26 years old and now a full-time dressage rider. I graduated from the University of Birmingham back in 2016 and ever since then I’ve pursued a career in horses. Let’s not talk about how I’m using my Philosophy degree being a dressage rider…sorry mum & dad… I promised my family that I would get my education and degree at university but always secretly in the back of my mind, I knew what I wanted to do. Mentally, it was a hard few years after I graduated and seeing most of my friends starting high paying jobs in London, it often crossed my mind whether this was the right path for me. However, the thought of not training and working with the horses everyday was something I wasn’t prepared to give up. I have a super team of sponsors, trainers and friends who make every day worthwhile, a lot of hard work goes on behind the scenes, but I know this is the path I’m staying on for the long run.
I am now based at Caldecote Farm (nr. London) which is owned by my mum, Mandy Day, and her partner Edward Brook. We mainly specialise in buying dressage and show jumping foals from both the UK and Holland, producing them and selling them on to amateur or professional homes. I am extremely fortunate to ride a wide variety of different sales horses, we usually have 10-15 horses being bought on and produced each year.
I am very lucky to have 3 horses that I have been able to keep and not let slip through the net of being sold.
The first being my own horse, Bertie. He is a 9-year-old KWPN gelding who was meant to be my 16.2 compact horse. He sadly didn’t get the memo and is now topping the 17.3h charts. He has the sweetest heart but not always the easiest brain, so we have struggled along the way but now making super progress. He knows all the tricks (don’t ask me about the changes…) and I think another few years and he will be in his prime.
Next up is 6-year-old Nemo (Waverley Night Music) who is owned by my mum & Edward. He is a black KWPN gelding by Negro. We had super successes in the young horse classes and making the nationals last year. He is a sensitive soul but also the cheekiest nature, it’s exciting working with him every day. His aim for this year is to tackle the 6-year-old classes and I would love to give one of the 6-year-old international classes a go. He is one that we think could go all the way!
Lastly, my beautiful mare Flora. Again, she is a 6-year-old Oldenburg mare by Floriscount. She is the diva on the yard but has the results to match. We made the 4-year-old final back in 2019 where she finished 7th and again made the 5-year-old finals last year. Flora is being aimed for the elementary regionals and hopefully qualify her for medium this winter. She’s another horse that I’m so excited to keep training up the levels.
I also own a 3-year-old called Snoopy (Inclusive x Negro), 2-year-old Oslo (Don Schufro x Sandro Hit) and a gorgeous yearling Olive (Janiero Platinum) that I bought from Larkshill Stud.
How did horsescome into your life?
I have grown up with horses and it was embedded into my life from an early stage. Both my dad, mum, and grandma all owned and rode horses. They competed in all disciplines, mainly eventing. Weekends would be spent at the yard or spent at the local riding school. In all honesty, I wasn’t horse crazy as a young kid, it was only later on in life that the real addiction started. My first pony Splash was bought for me aged 13 and I had the time of my life on him. He was everyone’s favourite, and I was incredibly lucky to own a pony like him. I was show jumping at the time and he was very well known on the circuit, however I got to a stage where I felt more confident having my feet on the ground. I then was very lucky to have the ride on the KWPN stallion Uptown Boy who was owned by my mum, she & Carl Hester won The Festival of the Horse together on him back in 2010. He was a difficult ride but gave me a real taste of what dressage was, from that moment on I was hooked.
How long have you been riding?
I started riding at a very young age but had a few nasty falls at the riding school which really put me off for a couple of years! So, I started properly riding again aged 11 and then never gave up.
When and wheredo you ride?
I am based at Caldecote Farm which is near London. I am incredibly lucky to have my own yard to keep and train the horses at. We are currently in the process of building a new equestrian centre which will have world class facilities, this will hopefully be my base forever. Hopefully in a couple of years the build will be finished, and it will be a super centre for shows, showing our sales horses & livery yard.
How didyou start riding?
As mentioned above, I started at the local riding school near where I lived. It was the best place to learn the basics and gallop round on the ponies!
What you andyour horsescurrently working on?
I’m lucky to have horses training at various levels, I think this is what makes every day so exciting. Bertie is currently working on the piaffe and the beginnings of the passage. Nemo is currently loving learning the changes whereas Flora is a bit behind, which is completely normal, so we are just focusing on the leg yields and more her way of going. All my horses excel at different paces, some are slower than others but that makes my job so fun & interesting!
Whatdoyou love about riding?
I love that every day is different, I can never predict what sort of day I’m going to have when I wake up. I also love being outside, not sure the office life was ever for me. However, I have been tempted to apply for Tesco’s during the proper winter months…
If I’m ever having a bad day/week/month, I am almost guaranteed to feel better after I’ve ridden and I’m not sure anything can beat that feeling.
What you wouldyou like tobe doing in the future anddo youhaveany goals?
My long-term goals would be to train my horses to Grand Prix and hopefully represent my country along the way. I would also love to qualify one of our young horses for the World Breeding Championships one day too.
Short term goals are to sell the horses we want to sell this year and hopefully qualify one of mine for the nationals.
Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?
I am quite fortunate in that I don’t feel the nerves during competitions as I love the pressure to perform when I’m there and nerves have always impacted me in a bad way beforehand, so I’ve tried to tackle them. You can only do your best whether its during show day or showing a sales horse to a new client. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t do as well as you think you should, there’s ALWAYS another day. However, nerves are completely normal, and I actually think it shows that you are human!
How do youdeal with them?
I will sometimes feel nervous the night before a competition, but I use that time to try and plan the day and all its outcomes in my head, so I feel ready for anything. My sports psychologist Jenni has helped me immensely as I can be a bit of a control freak and she’s made me realised that we can’t be prepared for everything, especially when it comes to horses!
Your Top Tip
Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail! (LIFE MOTTO!)
The Final Furlong
Whowould be your dream horse to ride?
UK based horse, definitely Charlotte DJ’s Pumpkin, he looks so much fun!
Then a foreign horse, 100% the stallion Jameson RS2, although I’m sure I would fall off the back of his canter…
Who is your equestrianhero?
I am inspired by so many people, but if I could ride like anyone it would Catherine Dufour. The seat on her is just incredible!
If you could have 5 people to dinner who would they be?
Edward Gal (to talk about his rides on Totilas)
Usain Bolt (to work out why he is so fast)
Catherine Dufour (so she can tell me her secrets behind her seat)
The Queen (so I can work out how much of The Crown is real or not…)
Elon Musk (so he can help us finish building our equestrian centre!)
Favourite colour horse?
Favourite horse event
I’ve never competed there but Bolesworth looks so much fun. Hartpury is always a favourite of mine.
Asian all day long!
Favourite way to relax
LOTS of bad food, film & my Jack Russell Podge
Warrior- HUGE Tom Hardy fan (mainly because he is topless in over half the film…)
If you enjoyed meeting Georgie you might like to view more chatting with interviews here You can keep up with Georgie’s progress on her instagram page @georgiedaydressage