I started riding when I was about five on a horrendously misbehaved pony called Picka. I was always very nervous and spent a lot of time sitting on the floor. Nevertheless she taught me loads and with some persuasion from my mother I stuck at it! I worked my way through Pony Club taking part in various activities from gymkhanas to polo, but it wasn’t until I was about 14 that I became involved in eventing.
I am now based in the small village of Cropredy in Oxfordshire in a brand new purpose built yard with excellent facilities. We are about 10 minutes from the M40 and about 5 minutes from Aston le Walls, so all in all a very accessible location! In 2006, riding Lost Prophet, a horse that I acquired from the Wiegersma family as a youngster, I was 3rd at the Under 18 National Championships, short listed for the Junior European Championships and also selected to compete for Great Britain in Avenches, Switzerland. Unfortunately an injury to Prophet ruled him out of selection for the Europeans, but during the autumn season I secured the ride on Jessica Colson’s advanced mare Double Image II (Pod).
In 2006, riding Lost Prophet, a horse that I acquired from the Wiegersma family as a youngster, I was 3rd at the Under 18 National Championships, short listed for the Junior European Championships and also selected to compete for Great Britain in Avenches, Switzerland. Unfortunately an injury to Prophet ruled him out of selection for the Europeans, but during the autumn season I secured the ride on Jessica Colson’s advanced mare Double Image II (Pod).
The 2007 season was quite a good one because I received my first championship cap by gaining a place on the Young Rider Squad with Double Image, and I competed in the European Championships at Blair Castle in Scotland. It wasn’t the most successful team debut, but nevertheless a fantastic experience. In 2008 Double Image was unfortunately off the road, but I upgraded one of my younger horses, Law Choice (Bobs), to Advanced, won the Osberton CIC** and was short listed for the Young Rider squad.
In 2009, the season started well with good results on the Sunshine Tour in Barocca. I was then delighted to win the Open Intermediate Under 21 at Belton Park with Law Choice. Unfortunately on the day after our win at Belton I had a fall off a young horse, resulting in a serious break to my ankle which required surgery. Needless to say this was a major set-back, and although I recovered well it slightly impacted on the rest of my season. I did however become involved in some cutting edge research into rider performance with some experts from Exeter University, and was also selected onto the Sport England Regional Foundation Program.
2010 was a successful season for me with wins and placings nationally and internationally. The Sunshine Tour started the season off for us again with Law choice placing 5th in the CIC*** and Boy jumping double clear in his first CCI**. Later in the season we were ‘Best Under 25’ at Chatsworth CIC***, overall 4th in the CCI*** at Bramham and runner up the National U25 Championships. We then set our sights on the Express Eventing International cup at the Royal Festival of the Horse, Stoneleigh. Our preparation paid off when Law Choice and I came away as the winners; a completely unbelievable experience. The Novice horses had a good year and Boy upgraded to Advanced, jumping double clear in his first CIC*** at Blenheim.
2011 was an interesting year in terms of highs and lows. Jumping a fast and successful clear round at my first CCI4* at Badminton on Bobs was a huge boost and massive thrill. However, to have to withdraw at the final trot up was obviously hugely disappointing. I sold my other top horse Boy to Italy which enabled me to expand my string of young horses and they all achieved consistent results throughout the year.
I am looking forwards to 2012 I am very excited about the season ahead. I have my most talented group of horses yet and a fantastic back up team behind me. My hopes for this year are to continue to build up my string, producing young horses and achieving solid results throughout including competitive results at top level, and to improve myself as an athlete. My ultimate aims are to represent my country and, hopefully, win medals at major Championships including the Olympic Games.