Were you left wondering “Who on earth is Flora Harris?” when she won Bramham CCI3* last weekend (14 June)? Don’t worry — here are 20 fast facts about Flora and her career so far to bring you up to speed.
1. Flora is 27 years old — her date of birth is 21 March 1988.
2. She is on the World Class development squad and her Bramham winner, Bayano, is on the equine pathway.
3. Flora grew up in the West Country.
4. She is now based in Wiltshire, near Marlborough.
5. She attended Millfield School, in Somerset, and started eventing while there.
6. Flora was shortlisted for the junior squad in 2005 and 2006.
7. She made her only championship appearance so far at the 2007 young rider European Championships at Blair, riding as an individual on Double Image II.
8. Flora left education in 2007 and based herself with Gill Watson.
9. She is now trained on the flat by Andrew Fletcher and by Jeremy Scott for jumping. She has also worked for some years with human performance coach Jon Pitts, who mentors her in all aspects of her career.
10. Flora says Bramham winner Bayano loves her groom, Charlotte Aitken, “beyond all comprehension”.
11. She was best of the Brits after Thursday’s dressage at Badminton this year, sitting in fourth position with Amazing VIII.
12. Flora has never completed a four-star. She has come through the cross-country finish flags at Badminton twice, but on her debut in 2011 she withdrew Law Choice from the holding box when lying 19th after 2.4 time-faults across country. This year, she withdrew Amazing VIII before the trot-up.
13. She says things go wrong for her across country when she changes her plan, as she did at Badminton this year when she added a stride at the Sense Silver Birch complex when she felt Amazing tiring, but ended up having 20 penalties. At Bramham, she saw some riders going on different strides to what she had planned while watching before her round, but stuck to her own plan.
14. She lost her first four-star horse, Law Choice, in February 2013 when he had to be put down after sustaining a tendon injury in training.
15. Flora was eliminated on the cross-country at her first British Eventing horse trials — it was a BE80(T) at Duchy College in 2002, riding a 14.3hh seven-year-old called Bob The Builder.
16. She scored her first BE victory in 2007, taking an open novice at Keysoe on Lost Prophet.
17. Flora’s Bramham winner Bayano is known as Barney at home.
18. She has won three times at international events before Bramham, all at two-star level — Osberton CIC2* 2008 (Law Choice), Barbury CIC2* 2013 (Amazing VIII) and Hopetoun CCI2* 2006 (Cesano).
19. In 2010 Flora won £5,000 and use of a Jeep for a year when she topped the Express Eventing competition at the Royal Festival of the Horse.
20. Flora had only ridden at Bramham once before this year, when she was fourth in the under-25s in 2010 on Law Choice.