Sadie Smith

Sadie Smith is a British grand prix dressage rider who finished fourth at the 2019 National Dressage Championships riding Keystone Dynamite, scoring 72.85. Sadie Smith rides Keystone Dynamite

She was stable jockey for Carl Hester for five years, then at the end of 2021, aged 31, Sadie moved from Carl’s Gloucestershire base to be stable jockey for Anne and Gertjan Van Olst in the Netherlands, where British Olympic team bronze medallist Lottie Fry was already based. The move was suggested by Carl who is a long term friend of Anne and felt Sadie would benefit from riding more, different horses in Europe and competing overseas.

Introduction to riding

Sadie Smith was born in 1990 in Southampton, the daughter of non-riding parents. After being invited to a pony party for a friend’s eighth birthday Sadie was hooked and begged for lessons at Quob Stables. She went there for an after-school club and would work for rides on the weekend.

Quob Stables’ owner, Beth Davies, got Sadie to start helping her back her youngsters, then Sadie loaned a cob/thoroughbred and started having lessons with dressage rider Kay Waterman.

Kay trained with Norbert van Laak in Germany and took Sadie on a trip there, which included a visit to Hagen for the European Championships in 2005, where she watched Carl Hester ride Escapado to finish best of the Brits.

Early career

On leaving school at 16 Sadie went to college to study law, psychology, business and English language, but after missing lectures to go and ride she dropped out of her course and went to work for Kay in 2007, through whom she met Irish international rider Roland Tong and his partner Ben St John-James.

In 2008 Sadie went to work for Ben and Roland for four years, and when Roland would go away Sadie would ride Sandra Kirkpatrick’s Ambiance, on who she went to her first championships winning the prelim and novice restricted music when he was five

Sadie and Ben backed the young horses, and grand prix rider Annie McDonald-Hall brought a few of her youngsters to them, including Birdsong, by Uthopia, whom Sadie backed and continued to ride after she went freelance in 2013. A little later Sarah Tyler Evans asked her to compete River Rise Escarla, and introduced her to Carl Hester, rider of Sarah’s T Movistar, and taking Sadie for lessons with Carl for two years, after which Charlotte Dujardin suggested Sadie come and work for Carl.

While with Roland and Ben, Sadie bought Mambo (Keystone Dynamite) from rider and breeder Suzanne Lavandera, and took the horse to train with Carl when moving to be his stable jockey in 2016. 

Key results

Sadie has been contesting national dressage championship classes since 2010, with successes including:

1st: 2021 National young horse championships six-year-old class riding Swanmore Dantina

4th: 2019 National grand prix freestyle riding Keystone Dynamite

4th: 2019 National elementary gold riding Imhotep

3rd: 2018 National inter II final riding Keystone Dynamite

2nd: 2016 National young horse championships four-year-old class riding River Rise Magic Mike

2nd: 2015 National elementary open riding River Rise Escarla

1st: 2015 National advanced medium restricted riding Keystone Dynamite

1st: 2014 National young horse championship five-year-old class riding River Rise Escarla