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Event rider Izzy Taylor comes from an equestrian family and grew up around horses.

Her grandmother, Jane Whiteley, was second at Badminton; her great-aunt, Anneli Drummond-Hay, won both Badminton and Burghley on Merely-A-Monarch before turning her attention to showjumping at the highest level.

Izzy’s mother was on the young rider dressage team and was a master of the Bicester, while her father Robert also hunted and is currently secretary of the College Valley/North Northumberland hounds.

Izzy, her brother Ben and sisters Anna Bea and Aoife grew up hunting with the Bicester and Pony Clubbing.

After achieving extremely good A levels (two As and a B), she rejected a place at university and spent a season working for Sam and Linda Barr, sandwiched in between winter trips to her great-aunt Anneli’s jumping and training yard in Holland.

It was while she was based in Holland in 2003 that she fractured three vertebrae in a fall at Lummen horse trials in Belgium at the end of July.

After spending several weeks flat on her back, Izzy was operated on. She had lost so much weight and muscle tone that she had to be taught to do everything, including walk, again.

John Johnstone of Landford Common Stud then offered her a job and she spent 2 ½ years there, riding his “Opposition” horses.

While she was there, she won individual bronze and team silver at the young rider European Championships in Portugal.

Izzy has two children and lives near Banbury, running her eventing yard alongside her mother Nicola’s hunters and hunter liveries.

She gives great credit to hunting for establishing her cross-country riding and still hunts several days a week with the Bicester with Whaddon Chase.

Her top horse is Heythrop hunt secretary Guy Avis’ Briarlands Matilda. Guy and Liz Prest part-own KBIS Starchaser and KBIS Starlet with Jo Meyer. Lady Anne Whiteley owns Thistledown Poposki, and Dax Van Ternieuwbeke belongs to Emma Lucas, Craig Calahan and Fiona Wallace.

Of those five, all but Thistledown Poposki won an advanced in 2012 — and he was second.

In 2012 Izzy had her first top-10 four-star result, coming seventh at Burghley with Briarlands Matilda.

She was promoted to the World Class performance squad in February 2013.

Read the full interview with Izzy Taylor in this week’s eventing special issue of H&H (7 March 2013), which includes our tips for tackling a three-day and all the essential kit you’ll need this season

View our pictures of Izzy Taylor

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