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All in a day’s work: Olympic breeder and producer Kim Barzilay *H&H Plus*

Kim Barzilay on swapping ballet for riding lessons, the VIP treatment and what it takes to produce Olympic contenders

I have been buying and selling horses for over 40 years. I started small at Ridgeside Stables, just five miles from Kimba Farm Stud in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, where I am now. I used to search through the H&H classifieds every week and pop out and buy anything that looked chancy and that I could make a little profit on. I was still competing in those days and would take the new ones to shows.

My non-horsey mum would give me three shillings to go with a neighbour to ballet lessons every week, but we’d go to the local riding school instead. My parents did help me buy my first pony, Sabre, when I was 14, but he was only a foal, so I had a long wait. He became a bit of a local legend and there was nothing we couldn’t win; he gave me the jumping bug.