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Get to know Ella our KBIS NSEA Bursary Winner!

1. When did you first start riding?

I am lucky enough to have been born into a horsey family and was put on a horse as soon as I could sit up by myself! I’ve got many happy memories hacking round our family farm on my first pony Peanut- he was a typically naughty Shetland, but definitely gave me the horsey bug!

2. What do you love about eventing?

How much of a challenge it is! There are so many aspects to get right which makes it all the more rewarding when everything comes together on one day. Also, when things don’t quite go to plan you can always take positives away from the day, by picking plenty of things to evaluate and move forward with. I also love the adrenaline rush of galloping around a big cross-country track, nothing quite beats it!

3. What is your favourite thing about your horses?

April, I would say it’s how hard she tries for me. She’s only 15.1hh and doesn’t have typical conformation, meaning she does find some things more difficult than others. However despite this, she always gives everything 110% and has the most incredible attitude to her work- she definitely believes she’s a big horse in a little body!

Happy, I’d say his huge personality. His personality definitely fits his name, he loves everyone he meets and adores scratches and cuddles! He’ll happily spend hours grooming me in the field and loves licking anyone and anything he can find!

4. What is your favourite horsey memory?

There are many contenders for that one but I think it would probably have to be finishing 10th in my first BE Novice in 2016 with my old eventer Sky. He is a really special family horse- my mum bought him from Ireland as a 3 year old to produce and sell as a riding club horse but he completely outdid all expectations and is still with us 14 years later! He was my first horse and we started our partnership show jumping 70cm classes, so it was a really special day for the whole family and highlighted just how special he is.

5. What are your aims for the future?

It’s always been a long-term dream to ride at Badminton and Burghley but in the short term, I am aiming April for Bicton CCI-L2* at Bicton this autumn. I am hoping that she will then step up to Intermediate ready for junior trials next year. Happy and I are still a very new partnership together, so our main aim is just to gain confidence and have some fun together. If all goes well we will step up to novice at the end of this season and hopefully aim for then U18 championships, with the long term aim of Young Rider trials for both of them.

6. Who is your equestrian idol?

I’ve always looked up to Piggy French, but I found her Badminton win this spring very inspiring. I admire the way she’d carried on going through adversity and it shows that perseverance always wins out and hard work can achieve dreams!

7. If you could ride any horse in the world who would it be?

That’s a very difficult one but I think I would love to have a sit on Christopher Burton’s Graf Liberty. He looks exceptional on the flat and I would love to feel what I’m aiming for to help me bring on April and Happy! It would also be incredible to be able to learn from such an amazing horse over fences- although I do think I’d have to sit tight!

8. What is your favourite competition to ride at?

I always love supporting my local events, especially Borde Hill and South of England. They are always amazingly run, friendly events and I’ve got many happy memories there. Barbury Castle is another one which is on my bucket list for next year- it looks like a fantastic event and one I’ll be aiming for next season,

9. Do you have any lucky routines or mascots that you have for competitions?

I don’t have any particular routines as I’ve always believed that luck can be created through how we prepare and the attitude had towards competition. I believe Imogen Gloag’s moto from the latest British Eventing magazine- ‘The harder you work, the luckier you get,’ sums up my attitude to preparation for competition. I believe hard work and thorough preparation gives me all the luck I need! I do however like to wear my Willberry Wonder Pony when going cross country. It’s a fantastic cause and I like to play my part and help to raise awareness of it!

10. What is your top turnout tip?

The morning before a competition can be a very busy and often stressful time so I like to do as much as possible the day before. I will always clean my tack and pack the lorry the evening before and like to make sure the horses are as clean as possible- lycra hoods and good leg wraps are a must! Plenty of cups of tea for my amazing mother/super groom are also very important, her eye for detail is amazing and especially on busy competition days, I couldn’t do it without her!

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