The early days...
I first started riding at the age of 2 on a 10.2hh pony, Bobby Brown. Bobby has an incredibly cheeky personality and used to roll whist I riding him! However he was a great pony to learn on and we took part in all the pony club activities. He is still at home with us as a ‘mascot’ and companion to the other horses. When I was 5 my parents bought me a 13.1hh palomino by the name of Toby, we did all the usual pony club activities and camps as well as local shows. Unfortunatly aged 8 I had a riding accident which left me in a wheelchair for 6 months with a fractured femur, Toby was a great pony to gain back my confidence and we did a lot of hacking! Toby is now at a lovely home.
When I was 10 I was given a Welsh 13.3hh pony by my little sister called Floyd he was quite a cheeky pony to jump and was quite stubborn, however as it turned out he enjoyed dressage. Dressage was perfect for me and we even did few unaffiliated competitions.
Eighteen months later my parents bought me a 5 year old 15hh coloured cob x mare from a show jumping yard. Although Lily's dressage knowledge was very limited she had a really good hind leg! Lily and I worked hard to improve her flat work and my confidence grew more and more. I rejoined the pony club and we took part in show jumping, hunter trials, one day events and was a member of the dressage team. In 2011 we went to our first Northern BYRDS Camp with a small group of friends. Watching the ‘A’ squad riders really inspired me! After gaining confidence in BYRDS I decided to affiliate and started competing at prelim and qualified for regionals. By 2013 Lily had competed up to Elementary level, been to 2 BYRDS Inter-regional competitions, Intermediate Pony Club championships and Riding Club Novice Championship! She has now been sold to Grade 2 Para Rider Jane Lishman who is campaigning for Rio 2016!!
After searching for a school master we found O’Donner (Oscar) in May 2012. By the end of 2012 I had competed in my first Medium classes and learnt a lot about controlling my seat more as every time my legs moved Oscar did his party trick of flying changes! 2013 proved to be a very busy year; I began to compete at Advanced Medium, I went to my first few Premier Leagues at FEI Junior level, was 3rd at the regional Championships in the Advanced Medium Restricted, selected for BYRDS High Performance Camps, attended British Dressage Junior Viewing day and was selected to be a part of the Junior Potential Squad 2013-14! Attending squad training over the winter months provided me with valuable experience which helped me immensely in 2014.
In 2014 Oscar's results kept improving he won Sheepgate Premier League in June on over 69% a week later I was emailed to say that Oscar and I had been selected for Hickstead CDIJ which was great news this was to be both mine and Oscar’s International debut! Hickstead turned out better than anyone expected and we were 6th in the team test, 8th in the individual and 3rd in the freestyle. After Hickstead Oscar had a short break before Sheepgate Under 25 Championships where Oscar was on a role winning with 66% in both the PSG and Inter 1 and coming 2nd in the freestyle with 72%. To top off a great summer I was selected to be a part of the AASE - Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence - programme at Hartpury College!
Oscar and I attended Addington CDI in 2015 and finished just outside the top 10 on each day. I made the tough decision to retire O'Donner after Addington as he was 19 - He owes me nothing and I owe him everything!
In January 2014 I was lucky enough to be able to travel to Holland in search of a young horse. My mum and I went for the day and I rode a range of different horses from green 4 year olds to more experienced 13 year olds and finally decided on a chestnut mare called Cadalma (or West to her friends!). Cadalmas' competed at her first high profile show at Vale View EC in 2015. It also saw the start of my studies at Sheffield Hallam University. In 2016 we attended Sheepgate Premier League with some promising scores at Medium and Advanced Medium level. I qualified for Medium and Advanced Medium level at Area Festivals and from there qualified for the Winter Championships at Hartpury in April 2017.
At the Winter Championships we became PetPlan Medium Silver National Champions! Over 2017 we began competing at PSG level at Premier League competitions and have qualified for the Area Festival Winter Championships at PSG in April 2018 and the Winter Regional Championships at Advanced Medium and PSG level.