I used to be a 3*** event rider and point to point jockey but I now do para dressage due to breaking my back not once, but twice (!) in two separate accidents in 2007 and 2010. I had four full years away from riding as I was no longer able to ride like I had previously done so. I tried to ‘reinvent’ myself as someone that had nothing to do with horses and did what everyone used to tell me to do when I was doing horses professionally...’get a proper a job’! So I was office bound for four years, and I am not embarrassed to say I suffered with regards to mental health in that time. I wasn’t me, I had entirely lost my identity and a large group of friends as my whole life was so different to what I had known. One day having not really been near any horses for a very long time I said to mum I wanted to ride again, I knew there were huge risks, and I knew I could not possibly do what I used to do but I just wanted that freedom again of being on a horse. That was where my journey into para dressage began.
I slowly made my way through the levels of para dressage, then restricted and open, (now bronze/silver/gold) and eventually was selected to compete at CPEDI3* level. I am quite proud to have competed at 3* level in two different disciplines! In 2016 I was selected to be a part of the BEF Podium Potential World Class Programme for Para Dressage. Since then I have competed in many CPEDI3* competitions both at home and abroad and have been fortunate enough to have been a part of a winning Nations Cup team. The World Class Programme has opened up a whole range of opportunities to access incredible coaches and practitioners that help us to be the best we can be.
Outside of horses I still have a ‘proper job’, well two actually. I do the accounts for a Motorsport team and I work for an events production company currently working on the BBC Countryfile Live project. I certainly have a very busy...and varied life! My phone calls can go from one thing to another very quickly!
In my spare time, (no wait a minute, I don’t have much of that) I like cooking and walking the dogs, Rodney, Mini and Pebbles. We also have a rescue cat called Spud – but he doesn’t do a lot. I am also trying to squeeze in a few more hours in to the day to try and complete my AAT Accounting qualifications. Alongside para classes I also compete in able-bodied dressage up to Inter 1 level.
LJT Simply Red - Born 2009 - Liver Chestnut Gelding - Owned by The Lady Joseph Trust
A complete softy that just loves to be cuddled. He would jump on top of you and try and get in your pocket out of terror rather than malice if something frightened him. He came over from lovely sheltered indoor stables and an indoor school in Denmark in January 2018 and had quite a shock coming to outdoor stables and an outdoor school just as the ‘Beast from the East’ arrived in Yorkshire – we can safely say he is now accustomed to wind, rain and snow. Red has a particularly strong love of bananas and chewing the front of his rugs. The former I discovered one day as I was eating a banana in his table and he proceeded to take it out of my hand, and the latter is probably one of the most annoying habits ever - I have lost count of the amount of rugs he has destroyed. He also will quite happily remove his front boots with his mouth while out in the field, and then look over to me as if to say...”it wasn’t me mum”!!
BamBam - Born 2006 - Bay Gelding - Owned by Mrs Brenda Reddy
A very lovable cheeky chappy who just lives for looking in pockets for treats! He is nicknamed ‘the brute’ at home as he could occasionally walk over you without noticing all in the quest for a treat! He is a real trier and together we have competed up to Inter1 level able bodied, finishing second in the Petplan Championships in 2019. He really enjoys polework and can get quite excited, I have told him that we are definitely NOT jumping though – raised trot poles are quite enough and look enormous to me now anyway! He loves his time out in the field each day and particularly loves rolling and getting very muddy!