Event rider Georgie Dalton (née Davies), a former senior squad member, is to hang up her boots — after a bad fall left her with a crippling loss of confidence.
Georgie, 30, a former young rider team gold medallist, was put on the World Class development programme in November.
But last week she told H&H she had “no plans to compete again at a high level” and had taken the decision following a lot of soul-searching and consulting a psychologist.
“It has been a tough few weeks, but I feel relieved and much happier,” she said.
“Obviously, it’s very sad for all my connections, but I want to quit while I’m ahead.
“I’ve had four or five runs this season [mostly at novice] and each time I went out I got more nervous and anxious,” she added.
Georgie missed most of last season after a showjumping accident. The young horse she was riding fell, catapulting Georgie on to her head.
Nerve damage left her with a loss of feeling in her left arm, which has largely returned since — though her confidence has not.
“I do not feel that I am riding with the same control, flair or confidence that I did previously,” she said.
“It was the brave decision to quit,” she added.
Georgie plans to concentrate on teaching and will have a complete break from horses over the summer.
She is considering what to do with her top ride, Orlando. Other horses have gone to Izzy Taylor and Jodie Amos.
Team GBR’s eventing performance manager, Yogi Breisner, described Georgie as “a very talented rider” who had “real empathy with her horses”.
He added: “I respect her decision to make a change in her life and go on and do other things.”
This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (9 May 2013)