We catch up with multi-medalled young dressage star Phoebe Peters at the Jaguar Land Rover Academy of Sport mentoring session, to find out about her superstitions, fitness, juggling school and much more
1. As well as dressage, the 16-year-old also has a talent for languages, and is currently studying for French and German A levels. “If it wasn’t dressage I would love to do something with languages,” she says.
2. She used to watch the film Men in Black III before every competition to take her mind off things. “At the European Pony Championships in 2013 I watched it before every test — it’s just so funny. But then everything went wrong at the Europeans in 2014, so I gave up after that.”
3. Perhaps surprisingly, she doesn’t get nervous at competitions. “I sometimes get a bit worried in the weeks before a big show but as soon as I’m there I just get in the zone.”
4. However, the same doesn’t go when it comes to school exams. “I’m awful at exams — I was a nervous wreck for my GCSEs! I also had a lucky set of earrings for competing and I wore another pair during my exams, so when I had a competition halfway through my exam period I started panicking that I would forget to change them.”
In the latest edition of dressage judge Peter Dove's book 'Master Dressage', he looks at the comments that judges make
5. She hasn’t ever fallen off her current horse Denford Surprise, or her pony superstar SL Lucci (pictured).
6. Phoebe is serious about maintaining her own strength and fitness outside of riding. “I play hockey for a ladies’ team once a week, and I also see a personal trainer every Monday, who gives me exercises to do throughout the week.”
7. She and Lucci have only been beaten in one international test this year — they finished second to Germany’s Semmieke Rothenberger at Addington in March.
8. It wasn’t love at first sight for Phoebe and Lucci — when she first saw a video of the Lukas gelding, Phoebe thought him very average. It wasn’t until she finally went to Denmark to view him in the flesh that she saw his potential and fell in love with him.
9. Her school manages her timetable so she is able to have the morning or afternoon off each day to ride. “It’s still tricky fitting it all in, but luckily I’m quite good at time management so I make a plan for each day and stick to it,” Phoebe says.
Don’t miss this week’s training feature in Horse & Hound magazine (14 January 2016), where Olympic dressage gold medallist Laura Tomlinson gives Phoebe a masterclass