H&H asks successful showing competitor and rider of 2009 supreme horse at Horse of the Year Show, The Philanderer, how she spends her Christmas
What are your best childhood Christmas memories?
I remember in 1967 we were snowed in for three weeks over Christmas. We did lots of tobogganing and my parents and brother walked down to the village church. It was years ago, but seems like yesterday. Snow seems to do it for everyone. A white Christmas quietens everything down, cleans it up and gives a sense of calm.
What has been your best and worst Christmas?
The worst was the first year my daughter, Joanna, was away for Christmas. She’s an ice-skater and works for Disney on Ice. It was the first time that the whole family was not together and it didn’t feel right. But this Christmas, she’s got the day off; my sister’s little boy is two and will have his first proper Christmas. I am looking forward to a good family time.
What is your favourite Christmas tradition?
While it’s lovely having all the family round, I used to love going out to do evening stables after spending all day eating and sitting around inside. Chucking in hay, feeding, filling up the water buckets — it was so lovely and calm with no one around. Now I’m living in London, I really miss that moment — it was the best time of the day.
What do you do with your horses on Christmas Day?
They all get a Christmas pack with carrots. But as I live in the centre of London, I’ll just have to blow them a kiss.
If you could have a Christmas wish granted, what would you wish for?
To be able to recapture the moment of childhood when Christmas was really magical. We all lose it at some point.