I’m 20 – 21 on the 17th August! – and have just graduated from Oxford, having studied English Language and Literature.
There are currently four horses in the family; Ollie, a 21yr old Welsh section A who we’ve owned for 14 years (my first pony); Una, a 13yr old British Warmblood who has been with us since 2013; Otto, an 8yr old Hannoverian who joined the family in 2016 and Leo, a 9yr old Oldenburg who became a “Bell” horse in June!
How did your horses come into your life?
I’m very fortunate that both of my parents are “horsey”!
How long have you been riding?
For about 18 years.
When and where do you ride?
Most days, at home. I’m very lucky to have a small yard and outdoor arena.
How did you start riding?
I took lessons at a local riding school when I was very young. Ollie then came into my life when I was 7, and had me off most times I got on him! I tried Dressage rather than jumping, as I fell off less doing it, and went from there.
What are you and your horses currently working on?
Una and I are working on the movements to step up to Inter I level, whilst Leo and I are still getting to know each other, and enjoying forming our partnership. Chloe, our yard manager, is competing at the rescheduled Winter National Championships with Otto next week!
What do you love about riding?
The peace of working quietly with a horse; the pride when they trust you; the thrill of riding into an atmospheric arena.
What would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?
I hope to pursue a career in commercial law; I’ve always wanted to seek a job that’s going to be academically fulfilling, so will be taking the GDL course soon to convert my degree to Law. I always want Dressage to be a part of my life and aspire to become financially independent enough to own competition horses myself in the future.
Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?
Yes! Really badly – especially at Championships when I was younger.
How do you deal with them?
I have worked for many years now with a fantastic sports psychologist, Charlie Unwin. I’m doing a seminar with him on strategies for keeping a good mindset at U21s competition on the 25th August.
Your Top Tip
In the midst of training hard and aiming for your goals, remember why you started. We do this sport because we love horses.
The Final Furlong
Who would be your dream horse to ride?
Who is your equestrian hero?
If you could have 5 people to dinner who would they be?
That’s hard! I’ll go for the hypothetical “alive or dead” strategy. Serena Williams, Brandon Flowers, Shakespeare and Naomi Campbell. Oh, and Isabell Werth – got to ask how she gets piaffe and passage like that!
Favourite colour horse?
Black – goes with every matchy colour.
Favourite horse event
I love going to watch Olympia, it’s magical.
Nothing like spaghetti bolognese on a cold evening after riding in the rain!
Favourite way to relax
Having a nice bath and then watching Netflix. I’ll get back to reading books sometime – but after 3 years of several books to analyse a week I need a little break.