Meet the ‘hobby’ eventer on her Badminton debut with a horse who takes a morning nap every day

  • Irish rider Lucy Latta, 27, is looking forward to her first-attempt at the Mars Badminton Horse Trials.

    Her ride this week, RCA Patron Saint (Paddy), is a British-bred SHB(GB) registered 13-year-old gelding owned by Leslie Crampton, who was bred by Richard Ames. Lucy gained the ride at the end of 2017 and has produced the horse from pre-novice level.

    “It’s surreal for Paddy and I to be at our first Badminton,” said Lucy, who is from Co. Wexford. “He’s quite laid-back and he lies down for a morning nap every day. He is a sweetheart in the stable and can be a little bit lazy at times. He’s not a flashy horse in any sort of way, but he really tries and is a great cross-country horse.”

    While horses are in Lucy’s blood, she juggles them with working a full-time job away from the sport.

    Lucy’s mother evented to junior level, while her cousins are six-time Badminton rider Elizabeth Power (Esib) and former top National Hunt jockey Robbie Power. Her brother trains point-to-pointers and her grandfather William Powell Harris competed at Badminton and Burghley in the early 70s and was reserve for the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.

    “I get great help from Esib and she has shown me the ropes, my parents are wonderful and my granddad is watching on eagerly at home – he’s 93 and I think he is probably the most excited out of everyone,” laughs Lucy, who works full-time as a brand manager for the canned drinks company White Claw.

    “I work on the innovation team, so I look after innovation for the US, which includes everything to do with new flavours, new packaging and brand design,” she explains. “I’ve been with the company for two years now and I love it. Before that I did a masters in marketing.”

    Paddy is Lucy’s only horse and she says that she prefers to keep eventing as a hobby.

    “I adore eventing, it’s my absolute passion, but doing it full-time is a tough ask. I’m really fortunate to have one wonderful owner, and although it involves a lot of early mornings and long drives, I love doing it the way I do, while remaining as professional as possible.”

    Lucy and Paddy performed their Badminton dressage on Friday 10 May and they scored 36.8.

    “I was happy with how he behaved – it felt like he got a little bit of stage fright in there though,” she stated. “That’s the biggest atmosphere and arena he’s dealt with so far and the test could have been a little bit softer, but he was well behaved and gave me the flying changes.

    “I think he’ll come on a lot from the experience. This is my first five-star and we’ve got plenty to do, but hopefully it will be a good weekend.”

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