I wasn’t born into a ‘horsey’ family. I didn’t start riding until I was around nine years old, when my parents took me on holiday to Scotland and we went pony trekking. I instantly fell in love with the sport.
When I was around 12, the riding school I went to sadly closed down. I convinced my parents that it was a good idea to buy me one of the ponies. I still claim it was a great idea.
I would get the bus to the stables every night after school and spend every spare hour I had looking after him. I believe that taught me great responsibility.
I currently have two event horses: Clorogue Victory (Victor) and James Special Z. I’ve had Victor for eight years. He’s kind-hearted and loves attention. He’s very talented but likes to keep people on their toes. I bought James Special Z in May this year. He is only three and looks like Black Beauty. We’re just starting work with him now with the aim of riding him before the end of the year. He moves beautifully and has a real presence. I’m hoping he will be a future star!
I keep my horses on a lovely event yard in County Durham and have the support of a fantastic team. I train with a local professional event rider, Emma Hawksby. I normally ride around four times per week but the horses are still worked on the days I can’t get there to keep them fit. I’d be there every minute of every day if I could but work and family commitments mean my time is restricted.
The trust horses have for humans is incredible. I’m always astonished how they learn and respond to us. But horses think for themselves and have their own feelings so you have to work as a partnership and understand one another. There is no greater feeling for me than when you have established this connection.
I’ve competed in various disciplines for many years but only completed my first British Eventing competition last year.
I really enjoy dressage and would like to progress further in this discipline. I’ve managed to train Victor to Elementary level so far. I’m hoping that James Special Z will do well in dressage but it is too early to say at this stage.
My proudest horse riding moment was actually when Emma rode Clorogue Victory in the BE100 class at Floors Castle to finish second and qualify for the Scottish Championships. Victor means the world to me, and both Emma and I have put so much work into training him, so that was just incredible.
There are some amazing horseboxes on the market, the majority of which are extremely expensive. Given my contacts in the finance sector, I hope, through Bespoq’s Horsebox Finance, to help prospective owners find a lender that can help them purchase their dream vehicle and I will do the legwork on their behalf to compare finance deals.