Laura was an absolute delight to have on the Pony Programme and a very successful member of the British Pony Event Team. Through hard work and dedication she has continued very successfully through to Juniors and beyond. Laura has always been a great communicator and willing learner. I wish her every success for the future.Ginnie Keen (Chairman of Selectors for the British Pony team.
I have had the pleasure of working with Laura since her early days riding Ponies, and have been involved with her both at home in training and at competitions, including International Championships. Laura has a remarkable ability to be a horsewoman at the same time as being very competitive, and is the same calm and composed person under pressure as she is during training in her home environment. She is a true professional.Yogi Breisner (World Class Performance MAnager and Chef d'Equipe for the Bristish Senior team.
I am 30 years of age and in my 15th year as a professional event rider. I am based at Penhill Farm, in Salperton where I have access to some fantastic facilities in which to produce and train event horses.
Before I began eventing, I successfully competed show ponies and working hunter ponies, in which the highlight was winning the Supreme Pony Championship at Horse of the Year Show in 2003.
My switch to eventing started with Noble Springbok a 14.2hh pony, and we were selected in 2005 for the Pony European Championships in Pratoni Del Vivaro, Italy where the GB team won a gold medal and I won an individual bronze medal.
Through my trainer, Miranda Lucey, I acquired the ride on Walnut and in 2004 we won individually and as a member of the Central Team at the JRN Championships at Weston Park. I also won individually and as a member of the Heythrop Team at the Pony Club Eventing Championships at Sansaw Park.
In 2005 Walnut and I won them both again!
In 2005 I was selected to compete in South Africa as a member of the British Young Rider Team, winning individual Gold and team Silver (on borrowed horses!).
At the beginning of 2005 I was selected for the World Class Development (Podium Potential) Programme, which is Lottery funded via UK Sport and seeks to identify and develop riders who have shown the potential to reach the world stage. The Programme underpins World Class Performance and, together with the Equine Pathway, they comprise the Equestrian World Class Programme. It incorporates the three Olympic sports of Dressage, Eventing, Show Jumping and the Paralympic sport of Para-Equestrian Dressage.
The World Class Programme is divided into Podium Potential and Podium within each sport and then within the UK Lottery funding it’s divided further into gold, silver and bronze funding levels. All riders on the scheme will have access to the same World Class benefits including, equine and human health, fitness and nutritional support plus training and regular squad sessions. Riders are required to plan competitions, training, management and personal development with the assistance of the World Class personnel.
The programme allowed me to receive training, support and expert advice from Yogi Breisner, the Performance Manager for the British Eventing Team.
My last year riding ponies was in 2005, due to the age limit being 16. I had already started competing horses, and at Weston Park I also won the CCI* Three Day Event with Fernhill Sox.
In 2006 I won the CCI** at Tweseldown riding Fernhill Sox and in doing so became the youngest rider ever to win an International Two-Star Three-Day Event, and I also became Junior European Champion again on Fernhill Sox.
In 2007 I won my first Advanced at Belton Park on Fernhil Sox. I also successfully defended my Junior European Title in Switzerland and won Gold on Rayef and led the GB team to win Gold as well and I became the first British rider to win consecutive Junior European Titles.
2008 was a mixed year of fortunes, as Fernhill Sox lay 2nd after dressage at Blenheim CCI*** but the dreadful weather brought an abrupt end to our campaign. A quick re-route to Deauville for the World Cup Final where Fernhill Sox jumped the only clear inside the time showjumping to finish a very creditable 13th. The year ended on a high as I won the U21 Championship at Weston Park on Fernhill Sox.
2009 has been a fantastic year, Hartpury CCI* provided a thrill with a win on the up and coming star, Vancouver. I then had a 14 point margin win in the CCI** on a new ride, Libby Soley’s Kachemire le Beau. My season ended on a complete high with Rayef winning double gold at the Young Rider European Championships.
2010 was a year of mixed emotions, a few nasty falls and Rayef having an injury were all major blows but there were plenty of highs too! Fernhill Cristal won Team Gold at the Young Rider Europeans and then went on to jump double clear in his first CIC*** at Blenheim. Ginger May Killinghurst gave me the best 21st birthday present when she jumped clear round my first CCI**** at Burghley! Noble Bestman finished the season off with a win in the Under 21 CCI** Championships.
2011 was something of a ‘dream’ year.. Rayef headed to his first CCI**** at Badminton, finishing 8th proved dreams can come true… top 10 at my first Badminton was more than a dream come true! After his performance at Badminton the aim of Senior selection became slightly more realistic. Barbury CIC*** was vital if selection was to become reality, Rayef put up a stunning perfomance to finish 3rd behind two of the sports greatest riders, Pippa Funnell and Piggy French. The following day I recieved the phone call I’d been dreaming about, “You have been selected to represent GB as an individual at the Senior European Championships with Rayef.” Unfortunately it wasn’t a dream debut at senior level as Rayef had a blood disorder which affected his performance. Outward Bound was the rising star of the year when he won Hartpury CCI* at just 6 years of age.
2012. Well the theme of the year was rain. Badminton was cancelled and the rest of the spring season was a nightmare for everyone. I finished the year in 21st place in the BE ranking list but sadly did not get a run at the Olympics.
2013 was a year to forget, I had a very bad fall in July which left me in a coma for week, I fractured my shoulder, punctured a lung, lascerated my liver, broke 2 ribs and lost the sight in an eye…. I was however very very lucky. I owe an awful lot to the World Class programme who allowed me to go to Oaksey House for my rehab and the amazing team at Oaksey house who helped me get back to full fitness in a very quick time! I was told I was suspended for 6 weeks so I entered my first event for 7 weeks after my fall and was lucky enough to be passed by the doctor. I had a fairy tale first run back when Noble Bestman won the Open Intermediate! The season finished off well with Allora being part of the winning Nations Cup team at Waregem and then going on to be part of the team in Boekelo who helped Team GB win the Nations Cup series!
2014 showed me how exciting my young horses are with Pamero winning a Bronze medal at 7yo World Championships!
2015 was a mixed year of emotions for me, the horses had all been brilliant, the babies had come on in leaps and bounds over the season, however halfway through the year we had the tragic loss of the legend Kauto Star which devasted the yard. It was an absolute privilege for myself and my team to be part of his retirement and he will be missed beyond belief. The season continued and we had some amazing results with a 3rd for Pamero 4 “Pee” – CIC*** Haras Du Pin, then Grand Manoeuvre “Milo” achieved 13th Place at the FEI Europeans Championships, Controe our eventer turned show jumper was 5th at HOYS “Horse of the Year Show” in the Silver League Championship & I couldn’t have asked to end the season any better than Mr Bass becoming the 7yo WORLD CHAMPION 😁 What a superstar 🌟
2016 was a good year with both GRAND MANOEUVRE & PAMERO as nominated entries for Rio Olympics 2016. Mr Bass was 5th at Boekelo CCI*** & finished on his dressage score in all 5 of his 3* events in 2016. PAMERO was 5th Millstreet CIC*** & 8th Blenheim 8/9yo CIC***, COOLEY AGAIN had a great year 9th CCI** Tattersalls, Team 1st and 13th individually at Strzegom CIC*** FEI Team GB Nations Cup & Team 2nd and 12th individually at Waregem CIC*** FEI Team GB Nations Cup. It’s also exciting for the second year running to be 14th in BE Rider Rankings and to have Mr Bass 55th in the top 100 Horses. Zanie was a nominee in the Horse & Hound Groom of the Year award which made me very proud that it’s not just me who thinks she’s amazing!
2017 was almost a MR BASS year he’d been a superstar this season, not only did he give me my first 3* WIN at Ballindenisk CIC***, he then followed with another 3* WIN at Burgham CIC***. He ended the year with a 2nd at Blenheim CCI***. He also finishes the year as No.1 on the Holsteiner event horse studbook rankings. COOLEY AGAIN was 3rd at Millstreet CIC**, 4th at Burgham CIC**, 8th at Ballendenisk CIC*** and 10th at Tattersalls CCI***. DACAPO, had a brilliant first season at 2* level finishing 2nd at Houghton CCI** and 7th at Ballindenisk CCI**. He finished in the top 6 in 5 Intermediate runs – Mr Consistent!! SIR PAPILLON, exceeded all my expectations by finishing 4th at Le Lion 7yo World Championships. GRAND MANOEUVRE, had a nightmare at Badminton but we had a very enjoyable rest of the season finishing 8th at Bramham CIC***, 9th at Barbury ERM CIC*** and 7th at Blenheim ERM CIC***. It’s also exciting for the third year running to be 10th in BE Rider Rankings and to have Mr Bass 22nd in the top 100 Horses.
I understand the level of commitment and hard work that is required to ride and win at the highest level, and I believe I have the talent and drive to succeed.
Learn more about Laura here in Riders Reveal…