Teenage showjumper Flo Norris is based at Ben Maher Stables with her eight horses and is already enjoying plenty of success on the international circuit. This weekend (Sunday 4 July) she heads to the CSI5* at Royal Windsor for the prestigious under-25 class being held in the Castle Arena shortly before the start of the Rolex Grand Prix. We caught up with the 19-year-old to find out a bit more about her hopes and aspirations.
What do you love most about competing at Royal Windsor and what are you most looking forward to this year?
Flo: “The venue is second to none. It feels so special walking into the arena and seeing the castle. I feel very lucky to compete at such a prestigious event.”
How important is it for young riders to have an opportunity to compete at a five-star show, especially on grand prix day?
Flo: “I think it is amazing they run the under-25 class on the same day as the five-star grand prix as you get easy access to watch the amazing riders in the ring and in the warm-up, which a lot of people can’t watch first-hand. Winning would mean so much to me because not only is it a home show, it is also so well known, so to say I have won a class at Royal Windsor would be an incredible achievement.”
Tell us about the horse you’ll be riding on Sunday, the 15-year-old gelding Gin Chin Van Het Lindenhof?
Flo: “Gin is a seasoned professional. He knows his job and loves to do it! That being said he can be spooky and a bit quirky when he wants, but I think that’s what makes him so good. He notices everything and is always fighting to win.”
Tell us a bit about your current set-up and how you’ll be preparing for Royal Windsor?
Flo: “I am based at Ben Maher Stables and I have eight horses at the moment. I have recently been in America competing in Tryon, NC and Wellington, FL. I came back to England in April and I plan on being here until December. A few weeks ago I had the honour of riding for Team GB on their young rider Nations Cup in Cabourg France.
“Gin’s preparation for Windsor is nothing special. I do a lot of dressage training with him and try to keep him fit between shows. He is so experienced we just keep it very simple with him.”
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What are your hopes and ambitions for the rest of the year – and beyond!
Flo: “Short term, I would love to ride for the Great Britain team again, qualify for the under-25 championship at Olympia, and work on getting consistent results and moving up the ranking list. Long term, I want to compete at the highest level of the sport and ride for Great Britain at five-star level.”
We’ll be bringing you all the action from Royal Windsor (1-4 July) both online and in next week’s magazine (out Thursday, 8 July).
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