‘I don’t care what people think anymore’: Meet Tahley Reeve-Smith

  • Name: Tahley Reeve-Smith
    Age: 46
    Based: Ware, Hertfordshire
    Horses at Hartpury: Bocelli (Chelli Chops), Special (Spesh) and Salvatore (Fat Sal)

    What couldn’t you live without?

    My husband and family — he’s looking after the horses at home so I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him. I’ve got Lindsay here with me. Last year I had three horses to do all on my own, which was a bit of a nightmare — it’s so lovely having some help this time.

    Have you ever scored a 10?

    A long time ago — back when Hallingbury Hall were still running shows — on my mum’s horse Dutch Invasion.

    What’s your philosophy?

    Just keep going — they knock me down and I just keep getting back up! I once heard someone say “hard work beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard.” I decided I’d have to work hard and forget about the talent.

    What’s your favourite event?

    I love it here at Hartpury for the Winters — there’s no mud, and the stables are nicer than I’ve got at home.

    You’re here with a homebred (Salvatore) — how does that feel?

    It’s lovely. Yesterday we had my sister and I on two homebred horses, so my mum was in her element. It’s really super-dooper.

    What’s the best advice you’ve been given?

    Carl [Hester] tells me: “Shorten your reins, you’re not holding a handbag!”

    What do you think about before you go down the centre line?

    Usually “breathe, keep moving and don’t be stiff as a plank”.

    You rode to a fabulous Sound Of Music composition with Bocelli – why did you choose that?

    I came up with it! Julie Geraghty at Equivision put it together for me. I decided that so many people had gone with Frozen, that I was going to go completely the other way and be untrendy.

    What’s your secret weapon?

    I’ve got to an age in my life where I think “just say yes” — I don’t care what people think anymore.

    You may like...