Inspiration for us all, regardless of age

  • How many of us started out in life as pony-mad children, devouring the Pullein-Thompson sisters’ books, living for Pony Club camp — only to have to give it all up somewhere between university and the dreaded first job?

    Our cover story in today’s magazine (18 June, 2015), hitting the big time later in life, celebrates the forgiving nature of equestrianism, which, almost uniquely among world-class athletes, allows for latecomers to the sport.

    The inspirational case of Georgina Stuart gives hope to us all. Georgina took up horses again in her 40s — having given them up while she was young to make a living — and contested her first dressage grand prix four years ago at the venerable age of 65.

    Meanwhile, who wasn’t loving Flora Harris and Bayano’s performance at Bramham? At 27, Flora seems to the casual observer to have popped up from nowhere, fully formed as a world-class competitor — nearly 20 years younger than her closest rival after cross-country, William Fox-Pitt.

    During eventing editor Pippa Roome’s video interview with Flora after she held her lead in the cross- country, she admitted, a tad breathlessly, that she felt nervous and under pressure looking ahead to the showjumping — but would have a plan, then get on with the job. An attitude that will surely give her a chance of being listed for the Euros at Blair Castle.

    Kylie O’Brien

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