World Class Selection Day – October

The World Class Programme is a key programme within the British Equestrian Foundation (BEF). It was set up before the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000 with a simple aim – to win more medals for Great Britain on the international stage! 

The programme is about identifying the most talented riders and horses, and working with them to ensure that they reach their maximum potential and deliver their best possible.

Edward and I were delighted to be invited to Addington for the selection day in October along with riders and horses already on the programme who were up for re-selection and others like us, for whom it was the first time.

I was lucky enough to get there in time to watch one of my trainers – Becky Moody with her superstar Carinsio – performing for the judges – Stephen Clarke who is one of the worlds most respected judges and Princess Nathalie of Denmark who has won an Olympic medal for her country. No pressure then!

Ed and I rode through the PSG and then had to show our current level of work. We received immediate feedback from Princess Nathalie in the arena, then after everyone had finished riding we met again and Stephen Clarke offered his expert opinion and advice as we watched a recording of our PSG test.

We weren’t given an outcome on the day, but I knew in my heart that we hadn’t given our best performance, so wasn’t surprised to receive a letter a few weeks later thanking me for attending, but not being selected this year. However, the programme is continually reviewing the performance of those lucky enough to have been selected and I have been asked to apply again next year, as they acknowledge that horses and riders develop at different rates.

As well as our own performance being assessed, we were given a presentation from the GB Team veterinary surgeon who gave us an insight into the huge amount of work that goes on behind the scenes in putting together an Olympic Games, particularly the equestrian sports due to the extremely strict precautions required to ensure the safety and well-being of the horses. The logistics of getting them out to Rio for next years Olympics are immense – not just the 1st class air transport (for horses, though not their riders!), but also feed, hay and haylage, veterinary medications, etc. Once out there they are to be kept in complete quarantine in an area that has been guaranteed to be free from any disease, so that they will be able to leave Rio and come straight home after competing. They have had to build a veterinary hospital with facilities able to deal with any injury so as not to have to send them out of the quarantined area. It was mind blowing and really interesting.

So, all in all the day was a great experience and I’d like to thank all those involved in organising it, the judges for giving up their time and also Caroline Griffiths and the BD staff who helped the day run smoothly.



Spring/Summer 2015

Busy year for me so far.

Contender aka Edward moved up to Advance scoring high 60s.  We competed at our first Premier League at Myerscough in March and got a very respectable 4th and 2nd.  We achieved two scores of 65 in PSG at Addington in May making me a very happy lady.  Another respectable score of 67 at Somerford in May and then a good day at Hickstead in June after a very traumatic trip down involving a breakdown on the M25.  This months high was coming 2nd in PSG and 4th in Advance Medium at Port Royal in the Regionals.

Gieni a lovely 4 year old mare came to me at the begining of the year to bring on and sell.  I took her to Myerscough in March and she was exceptionally well behaved.  We clicked she is just my kind of horse and is now officially ours so watch this space.  The plan is to continue her training at home and with the Moodys with a view to competing her at Medium level in 2016.

Besides competing my own two horses I have been busy competing horses for clients: Bathley Hills Touch of Class and Grand Faux Pas.

Of course besides the competitions I have also been busy with my teaching.  This week I have been coaching at South Trent Pony Club helping them prepare for the Area Championships.  I’ve also had horses in for holiday livery and boot camp.

And then there is Wilf my lovely project pony – details to follow later.




Summer 2011

Wow what a busy time coming up! A lot to think about but it’s all so exciting! I have found a new horse which I am buzzing with excitement about!! He is a 4 year old, just been gelded. He is bright bay with a white blaze and pink nose and is called Contender. I knew as soon as I sat on him that he was the right kind of horse for me and couldn’t keep the smile off my face :)

Mum and I were invited down to the preparation of the London Olympics the other day and decided to go and watch on the Monday (4th July) as it was the dressage part. The venue was incredible and you could just tell that there would be the most incredible atmosphere down there in a year’s time. We have been lucky enough to get tickets for the Final of the Individual dressage competition which just happens to be on my birthday so I can’t wait!

While we were down for the Olympic warm-up event, we went to go and visit Diesel in his new home and his wonderful new owner invited us to her beautiful home to stay, ready for the following morning’s dressage. We had a lovely time, it was great to see Diesel again and he quickly ate his way through a packet of polos, while begging the whole time with his front leg! Laurence has also invited us down to Olympia with her this year where we will watch from a box so we are very much looking forward to seeing her again then and of course watching more top class dressage!

So a huge amount to think about at the moment as on top of all of these changes, I still have the lovely little 4 year old in to bring on and all of my teaching! Well done to Harriet Walker-Smith who gave a brilliant performance at the BYRDS Inter-Regional Competition down at Keysoe. Her team was in the lead after the first day, but unfortunately dropped when one of the other ponies in the team had to retire during their test on the 2nd day. Oh well a fab performance from Harriet and William, great experiences and a lovely time had by all!