How did you come to own Rony and how much did he cost?
Four years ago, I was looking for a good horse and took a trip to the continent with Brian Lusk. We ended up in Daniel Ramseier’s yard in Switzerland. I rode three horses and something just struck me about Rony. While I’d liked what I’d seen from the ground, he was even better when I rode him.
He cost £40,000 – I was brave enough to put my money where my mouth was. I knew he was something special, but didn’t dare dream how good he would be.
How was he named?
He had already been named and horses from that yard always have names beginning with R.
How did you get into dressage?
I used to compete grade A show jumpers and run a show jumping and dealing yard. As I got older and started to lose my bottle over big fences, I decided to change direction and took myself to the Talland School of Equitation to find out how good I could be as a dressage rider and trainer.
How did you choose your rider?
Although I competed Rony up to advanced medium level, I knew I wasn¨t experienced enough or ready to take him on any further, so it was a natural progression to hand over to my trainer Pammy Hutton.
What has been your best moment so far?
Rony receiving a standing ovation after the kr at Osbaldeston this year. It’s really great when people show their appreciation for your horse.
Having to face the responsibility of owning such a good horse and struggling to finance his international career.
To be able to keep Rony and for me to be able to produce my next horse myself.
Greatest complaint about the sport:
No real complaints, but I do find it baffling when you can get 50% one day and, a few days later, win the class with 64%. I much prefer to compete at a premier league show and not be placed, but at least feel that the judging is consistent.
Best aspect of the sport:
I¨m a hobo and love travelling and driving the horses anywhere. I shall be going to Australia and New Zealand to teach in January. I also love knowing everybody – the horse world is such a small world.
Hickstead because I meet up with all my show jumping friends and it is seventh heaven being able to watch top-class show jumping and dressage at one venue.
What do you do in your other life?
Apart from horses, I enjoy good food, theatre and music. I play the piano, cello and sing with the Malvern Choral Society.