At 16, after I had completed my GCSE's I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to be a working pupil for Gareth and Rebecca Hughes at Hughes Dressage. This meant moving away from home and living at their base in Warwickshire. After completing my first year, I stayed on as yard rider gaining valuable experience, training and competing young horses with Rebecca and the advanced horses under Gareth's watchful eye. Being part of the team at Hughes Dressage when Gareth won team bronze at the European dressage championships and team silver at the World Equestrian games has been an amazing experience and has inspired me for my future career and given me a great understanding of what atributes make a top class trainer and world class athlete. In my time there I have achieved podium positions at internationals and represented Great Britain on many occasions as a junior and young rider, including the European championships in 2013.
I started riding when I was six years old, but I have always had a love for horses due my mum's horsey background which included winning many working hunter pony titles on homebred ponies, progressing to eventing up to advanced level. My riding adventure started at the local riding school and after a few years, my parents bought me a pony named Josie. Josie was a Welsh Section A, who I had a lot of fun on, doing a variety of disciplines. My competition career started at 10 years old when I got my second pony, named Charlie (Thistledown Royal Charter) who was a very cheeky Welsh Section B! We did both jumping and dressage but he was tricky to jump so we started to concentrate more on dressage and qualified for the finals of the UK U21s Search for a Star competition in 2005.
We then purchased Milly (Caeglas Tynan), and it was with this pony that I caught the "dressage bug". Milly was a super Welsh Section D pony who had a very successful working hunter pony career prior to us buying her. Together with Milly, we qualified for the Petplan equine area festival at prelim level. Sadly I outgrew Milly as I was very tall for my age and the decision had to be made to move onto horses.
At 13 years old, after much deliberation, we decided to purchase a young horse to bring on rather than an older schoolmaster. This is when we purchased Bertie (Richmans Manta) as an incredibly green 5 year old, and our first few months together were an experience... I spent more time sat on the floor than on board! But after a few months together on the lunge we began to form a partnership and grew in confidence together. We started training with Liz Diegutis on a weekly basis and also Gareth Hughes once a month. Bertie has been a horse of a lifetime, exceeding all our expectations, which have included qualifying for 10 national championships, being reserve national champion twice, then going on to represent Great Britain at the Junior European championships.
I also have another horse, called Doogie (Keystone Diego) who we purchased as a foal, and is now backed and making his way up through the levels and is proving to be a very special horse. As well as Doogie I own a few "project horses" who I am enjoying training and competing.