Silver medal-winning Olympic event rider Tina Cook is turning her hand to training this autumn.
Tina is training two point-to-pointers – and aims to have them ready to run in December.
“It’s a new project that I decided to take up this year,” said Tina.
“We have the facilities [at her West Sussex base] and I already spend a lot of time working with my brother [National Hunt trainer Nick Gifford] and his horses on a day-to-day basis so it seemed an exciting prospect.
“Since losing our dad [trainer Josh] earlier this year, we also want to build up the Gifford name.”
Tina has two horses to train – eight-year-old Sonning Star, who won twice under Rules with Nick, and a nine-year-old called Peplum, owned by syndicate company Heart of the South Racing.
This is its first foray into point-to-point ownership. The horse was formerly in training with Gary Moore, where he won four times, and will be owned by a group of 20.
“I’ve had Peplum for about six weeks now, and I’m really looking forward to him running – we’re hoping for December, but it depends on the weather,” said Tina.
A spokesman for Heart of the South added: “We were looking to branch into pointing and heard Tina was starting up – she’s such a well-known and brilliant horsewoman it is ideal.”
But Tina stressed that this is not the end for her eventing, nor does she have any immediate plans to train National Hunt horses: “This works perfectly for me – I can event during the summer and train pointers in the winter.
“I’m definitely not giving up eventing though -I’m aiming at the Europeans next year. Pointing is a whole new field for me and is very exciting.
“It’s a bit of fun, but I hope I do a good job.”
This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (11 October 2012)