Hello, I’m Rosie and I’m very excited to have been asked to share the highs and lows of my eventing season with you all.
I am a 22-year-old event rider, who represented Great Britain on the young rider European squad at Pardubice in the Czech Republic in 2010 on my home-bred horse, Bankon Louie. We finished 15th individually.
I was born into an exceptionally horsey family (my mother trained and rode point-to-pointers and my father hunted), so it was inevitable I was going to be on a pony before I could walk. I grew up on our farm in Dorset where all our horses are kept. I remember doing my first Pony Club camp aged five with the Cattistock, and have hunted regularly with the Cattistock and latterly with the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale.
My passion for eventing kind of came out of the blue as both my elder brothers, Harry and George, had become point-to-point jockeys and with my mother breeding pointers it was probably thought that I would follow suit. I was discouraged by my eldest brother from being a jockey after he had an unlucky number of falls leading to broken collarbones, ankles, dislocated shoulders, and wrist. I think I took up eventing as I found the cross-country so exciting!
I have just finished at Exeter University achieving a 2.1 in Law. The result was a pleasant surprise as the academic work has not had my full focus due to my riding commitments while at university.
I have two eventers, Another Breakfast (Kitkat) and Totten Lady (Totty – named after a mountain in Norway where we go on family ski holidays!) My European ride, Bankon Louie, has recently been retired and will become my mother’s hunter next season. She is very excited as I have not let her hunt him while he has been my top horse. I just hope she is preparing herself for some bucking!
Kitkat is 11 years old and came fourth in his first CCI3* at Blair Castle last year. This year the main aim was Bramham CCI3*U25 where sadly it didn’t quite go to plan. He did his best 3* test yet with still masses to improve on. Unfortunately, having been having a fabulous round I misjudged my line at the new ’40’ corner and oxer combination coming home. He jumped the wrong side of the red flag at the corner and landed on the back rail, breaking the frangible pin. Although he didn’t come down, I managed to step out the side door and land on my feet. It was very frustrating but he seems none the worse for it and we will now aim for Blenheim in September.
Totty (pictured) is a 12-year-old mare. She is another home-bred and is a full-sister to Bankon Louie. I have taken them both to 3* level. She came fifth in her first advanced as an eight-year-old, but then needed two years off through injury. After some open intermediates last year to check she would stay sound, we aimed her for the Bramham U25s.
Bramham was always going to be a big ask for her as she is just 16hh, but she jumped round clear with just a handful of time faults. Sadly she was not sound the next day and had to be withdrawn. Our vet diagnosed a knock to the sesamoid bone and thankfully she is now recovered and we can plan the rest of the season for her. She doesn’t like firm ground, so I am probably the only one hoping for a rainy summer!
I am now going to be concentrating on eventing full-time over the next year to take advantage of the fact that I have horses at 3* level. I am also looking for more rides and hope to get some youngsters to bring on.
So I will end my first blog with some great news — Kitkat won the OI at Eridge last weekend. He was super and it was his first win at intermediate level, so we head to Barbury CIC3* off the back of a really confidence-boosting run.
I’ll keep you posted on how Barbury goes. It’s my favourite event, so fingers crossed for a good weekend!
Full report from Eridge in H&H magazine out tomorrow, 4 July