I started riding at a very young age. We live on the Ridgeway and my parents decided it would be easier to lead a pony than push a push chair. I got my first pony as a toddler which we shared with 2 other local families. I have always been extremely competitive and was very sporty at school but didn’t really take my riding seriously until I was about 13/14. My coach at that time, Caron Roberts, told me I needed to decide wether I wanted to pursue riding competitively or just do it as a hobby, and that is when it really began! I absolutely love dressage but I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie so ultimately that was why I ended up eventing. Once I started to ride seriously, school became less and less interesting to me, with business, economics and english becoming the only A Levels that might be useful for a riding career.
If I ever get time when I’m not riding I love doing anything that keeps me active, I’m not one to sit still for long. If I could pick a trip for a day off it would either be a trip to the beach or a long hike. If I need to properly relax, sitting down in front of a film with a couple of friends will always be my ‘go to’... equally I would never pass up the occasional ‘Gin night’ with the girls! With the horses kept at home it’s very hard to stay away for a whole day and properly relax, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
I started competing through Pony Club. I did my first BE event in 2013 on my 14.2hh pony. In 2015 I came 7th at the BE90 Grassroots competition at Badminton on Cranny Volt and got my first glimpse of what it is like ‘behind the scenes’ at my favourite event of the year... this inspired me to one day ride around the ‘big’ course myself. In 2016 I became National U18 BE100 Champion also on Cranny Volt at Frickley Park, this was my first really big win and a test of my nerves as a show jump down would have dropped us to 14th. Soon after this we purchased Playtime, who was struggling under a 6ft4” rider. In 2017 I did my first ever CCI2*-L on Playtime at Brand Hall which I won, becoming the National Junior Championships. This result helped me get selected for the 2017 European Championships at Millstreet, I competed there as an individual and finished on my dressage score and in 21st position. Although that doesn’t sound that impressive it was a huge achievement for me at the time! In 2018 Playtime and I went on to come 5th at Jardy CCI2*-L and subsequently get selected onto the Junior Team for the Europeans in Fontainebleau. At the 2018 Europeans I also finished on my dressage score and completed in 5th position, this also helped the team to a Silver Medal. Since then I have stepped up to Advanced and recently finished on our dressage score to come 7th at Tattersalls in the CCI3*-Lu25 section.
Playtime, also known as Smarty in the stable is a fiery little chestnut thoroughbred who was bred in New Zealand and flown over when he was younger. He is 17 this year and I’ve had him since the very end of 2016. He’s a bit of a worrier so really likes our small yard where he gets the personal attention from me every day! He is the only horse I know to love staying away at events; he acts like he is at home! Although I owe him the world with everything he has taught me he can make life very difficult with his cheeky antics. At the 2018 Europeans I wasn’t able to jump a single fence before my XC round as he was too excited to get near a fence. Luckily he is such a bold horse that this caused no problems around the track! He’s a little ball of fun and you can’t help but smile when riding him as you can feel how much he loves it and how hard he will try for you! Hopefully this year we will head to Blenheim for the CCI4*-L at the end of the year.
Woodlands Be Daring, also known at Desmond or Des at home. Des is the polar opposite of Smarty. He is very big and rangy but hugely exciting for the future. He’s a complete dobbin in the stable but can get very excited at events. I got him at the end of 2017 and was bucked off at 2 of my first 3 outings before I even got to the warm up! Luckily we seem to be over this phase and he’s found the self-control to contain his power. In competition he really gives 100% and absolutely adores the jumping. The dressage is definitely a work in progress with Des, but as his strength builds he’ll be a really exciting prospect!
Cranny Volt, also known as Brian at home is the horse who really got me going! I got him when I was 14 and he was 5 so we have very much learnt together. He gave me my first British Eventing win, and my 2nd and my 3rd... He took me to my first ever Badminton, even if it was only Grassroots, and gave me my first really big win at the U18 National Championships at Frickley. He’s the yard favourite, always up for a cuddle and has the biggest, floppiest ears.
Merlin XXIV, also known as Merlin, is the yard super star, his main job is to be the ultimate dream hunter however he occasionally has to go out and do the fancier stuff. He helped me become the BRC National Eventing Champion as well as taking me to my first Pony Club Championships where we finished 4th in the dressage... not bad for a hunter!