Christmas with Tina Cook

  • H&H asks individual and team gold medallist at HSBC FEI European Eventing Championships Tina Cook, how the Cook family spend their Christmas

    What are your best childhood Christmas memories?

    Getting together as a family. Dad [former trainer Josh Gifford] was always so busy working that Christmas Day was the one time we could be a normal family, even though it is still a very busy time for National Hunt.

    What has been your best and worst Christmas?

    I wish I had an exciting or funny story but, for us every Christmas was special simply for being normal. It was the one day when Dad wasn’t away.

    What is your favourite Christmas tradition?

    The exciting family time, even more so now that I have two young children. We don’t tend to go too far away or overdo the drinks too much because Boxing Day is a big racing day. But it is nice to be lazy for one day.

    What do you do with your horses on Christmas Day?

    For the racehorses, it’s still a working morning. One lot will go out — mainly the Boxing Day runners. On the other hand, my event horses will do very little. My groom, Rachel Tolley, and I muck out and I’ll do the horses in the evening.

    If you could have a Christmas wish granted, what would you wish for?

    For my brother Nick [Gifford, trainer] to be sent something like Denman to train, or for a very big racehorse owner to turn up for Christmas dinner and send his horses to us. At this time of year, my horses take second place as I am very involved with the racehorses.

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