Tina Cook, British event rider

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Born in 1970, Tina Cook (Kristina n ©e Gifford) has been eventing at the top level for some two decades and is a British team stalwart.

A junior and young rider medallist, she won her first senior medal, individual silver, at the 1993 European Championships in Achselschwang on Song & Dance Man. In the 1990s, she also picked up two team golds at European Championships (1995, Midnight Blue II and 1999, General Jock), an individual European bronze (1997, General Jock) and was on the all-girl winning team at the World Equestrian Games at The Hague in 1994 with General Jock.

After having two children (Isabelle, born 2005 and Harry, born 2007), Tina burst back into the spotlight with the prodigiously talented Miners Frolic. Called up from the reserve spot to make her Olympic debut in 2008 in Hong Kong, she led the British team to the bronze medal, going on to claim individual bronze herself.

A year later, Tina and Miners Frolic won the European individual title in Fontainebleau, France –  Tina’s first major title. They also led the Brits to an eighth successive team gold at senior European level.

Tina and Miners Frolic were in the gold medal-winning team at the 2010 World Equestrian Games, although an unlucky technical error across country meant they were the discard score.

The following year Miners Frolic suffered from a life-threatening bout of enterocolitis, but he fought back to health. In 2012, the pair made the British team for the London Olympics, going on to win a team silver medal.

Tina lives in Sussex and has two children. Her father is the late former champion jockey and Grand National winning trainer Josh Gifford, while her mother Althea (n ©e Roger-Smith) evented and showjumped at the top level. Tina’s brother Nick has now taken over the training operation from their father and Tina is very involved in helping with the racehorses.

Tina joined H&H as an eventing columnist in 2009, and wrote a diary for Horseandhound.co.uk in the run up to the inaugural Express Eventing competition at the Millennium stadium in Cardiff.

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Originally published on horseandhound.co.uk