If there is one thing you need to know about 17-year-old Elliott Reeves, it’s that he’s determined. The winner of the Dodson & Horrell/Horse & Hound young rider bursary is putting everything into developing his career with horses.
“I’m up at 7am mucking out and feeding the horses,” says Elliott. “I then cycle to a neighbour’s yard, muck out their horses and do a bit of teaching before heading home to ride and do mine, my liveries and the horses I’m producing.
“Mum and Dad are very supportive, but they have no financial input in the horses — I’m making it work on my own.”
It is this resolve, combined with Elliott’s talent as a showjumper, that made him the clear-cut winner of this year’s young rider bursary.
Elliott started riding aged five, but it wasn’t until he turned 12 that he got serious about horses and competing.
So strong was his interest that the family decided to move in order to find somewhere with land and room for a few stables. The base they found in Cross-in-Hand, East Sussex, is perfect for showjumping, situated as it is near Golden Cross and Duckhurst Farm.
Elliott made the difficult decision to leave school to focus fully on horses
“I was looking at studying at one of the equine colleges, but decided to crack on with getting lots of practical experience under my belt,” he says.“I do want to take my British Horse Society (BHS) instructors’ qualifications eventually.”
In addition to competing, Elliott is particularly interested in bringing on young horses for all disciplines.
“As well as building up my profile as a young rider, it’s really important for me to spend time producing young horses,” he adds.
Find out more about Elliot and his top horse Cairo Z, plus what Dodson & Horrell’s feeding expert thought when he visited Elliot at home, in the current issue of Horse & Hound magazine (20 December, 2012)