Festive stars: Holly Smith’s stable jockey is setting up on her own

  • Over the festive season, we’re getting the scoop on a few up-and-coming riders across the equestrian disciplines. These are a select few individuals you really need to keep an eye out for during 2022. Here we meet Nicole Lockhead Anderson…

    Scotland-born Nicole Lockhead Anderson, who turns 20 in March, has forged a stellar showjumping career, first on ponies and lately in the senior ranks, having been based with Olympian Holly Smith for the past three years. Like Holly, Nicole is a multi-talented rider, proving a winner in the show ring as well as spending the winter months hunting.

    But exciting times now lie ahead for Nicole as she made the decision to leave Holly’s Leicestershire base at the end of November to set up on her own – just as soon as she recovers from a broken collar bone incurred out hunting.

    “I’m going to go on a bit of an adventure, do a bit by myself and just take it from there really,” says Nicole. “We’ll see what happens. It is exciting!

    “I’ve had an amazing three years at Holly’s and I’ve been given some amazing opportunities, so I’m really looking forward to this.”

    Nicole takes her own “very talented and brave” six-year-old Cruising mare, Emerald Irish Cruise with her, but is on the look out to pick up a few more rides.

    “Just as soon as my collar bone is fixed and I’m back riding again,” she says.

    “Everything is completely up in the air still but I’ll keep going, keep my head down and see what happens. I’d like to do a few more overseas shows if I get a few more horses.

    ‘I’d like to do what Holly Smith is doing!’

    “Longer term, I’d love to get on some teams and go to some bigger shows. I’d like to do a bit of what Holly’s doing really!”

    Nicole was previously part of the gold medal-winning British pony team at the 2018 European Championships with Gangnam Style II, and enjoyed a hugely successful 2021, winning the Science Supplements All England grand prix at Hickstead in September riding Azolette and doing a remarkable cross-discipline treble at the Royal International in July when she won the supreme working hunter championship on MJM Laszio just 24hrs after claiming the six-year-old showjumping championship with Emerald Irish Cruise and an international class on Azolette.

    “We’ve had an incredible year,” she says. “We’ve also had a lot of success with the young horses, we qualified quite a lot for HOYS, so it’s been an amazing time.”

    Keep Nicole on your radar as she branches out on her own, the future looks very bright.

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