Ten minutes in the tack room with… Phoebe Powell

Bolesworth International is playing host to the Ride-away Express Eventing Challenge on Friday 19 June. We have been catching up with the riders who will be taking part.

Keep checking the blog or follow us on Twitter @Rideawayonline for more updates on this year’s Express Eventers!

Next up, Phoebe Powell:

  1. How old were you when you started riding, who introduced you to riding and which was the horse?
    I have always been around horses for as long as I can remember as my mum is a very keen amateur! I started riding when I was very little and at 4 years old I watched my first Badminton on TV and decided that I wanted to be a 3 day eventer! My Mums friend Vicky gave me the ride on her little Shetland pony Jasmine who I have one very vivid memory of, when we went to my first showing competition! I can’t remember how the show went but I do remember sitting on the grass eating a bacon sandwich and laughing at a naughty pony running in and out of the big show jumping rings…! You can imagine the horror of everyone’s faces when we realised it was Jasmine and the very embarrassing walk of shame to go and collect her… She taught me a lot, like how to bounce, unlike my second partner who taught me how to get dragged off the back of a pony while it runs under rope fencing…
  2. Which other equestrian discipline do you most like to watch?
    I’m really into my show jumping and always watch the big competitions on TV as I was once a keen pony jumper myself to a good level. My favourite rider to watch is Ben Maher with his super cool, relaxed style that makes him a cut above other riders! I went to Olympia last year and thoroughly enjoyed it.
  3. How do you choose the music for your Express Eventing performances?
    It’s my first time trying freestyle but I picked music that I think suits my horse! I also had a very helpful lady called Caroline who helped me find tempos that matched Kellys Lad’s paces and complimented the way he moves. Our routine for Bolesworth is from a well-known musical and has a fun edge.
  4. Do you think horses enjoy music?  How can you tell?
    I think that my horse does enjoy the music and it gives us another dimension to our dressage practice. I can tell that he enjoys it because every time it gets put on he thinks he knows exactly what he’s doing…
  5. Which of your horses is your current favourite and why?
    Kellys lad (Louis) is my absolute favourite horse and I genuinely believe that I will be lucky to ever sit on a horse as amazing ever again. Though he is very quirky we have a fantastic partnership and have been together since he was a 4 year old! Despite the fact that he is skewbald he is almost a full thoroughbred with lots of gallop, scope and ability to make it right up to 4* and I’m just enjoying every single ride on him! We are all very excited about his future! He is nick named ‘over grown Shetland pony’ at home because he is very cuddly and attention seeking, like a little pony club pony and kicks the door if I stroke any of the other horses in jealousy!
  6. Do you reward your horses for a good performance and, if so, how?
    I am a very strong believer in positive reinforcement. When my horses are going well and improving as well as I like I take them out for fun outings when I have the time, like fun rides where they can really let loose and enjoy themselves! When I’m going round the cross country I like to make sure my horses think they are always doing a good job, even if it was a bit of a hairy stride or we only just got inside the flag!
  7. What has been the highlight of your career to date and why?
    Last season when I was 17 and Louis was only an 8 year old we completed our first advanced! I remember the elation I felt when I crossed the finish line and I felt like it could only go up from there! Though on paper it wasn’t a monumental result, to me that was the point where I felt like we were going all the way.
  8. What was your favourite subject at school and why?
    I wasn’t a very good child in school! Usually the ‘class clown’! But when I was in lessons instead of detention I was a big fan of English. I’ve always been very creative and enjoyed a bit of freedom to write for myself.
  9. If you weren’t a professional rider what would you like to do?
    Having always been a total sports freak and adrenaline junky kid who acted like PE at school was the Olympics, I think I would have done some other type of mad sport! I always liked the look of cliff diving… Until I realised I couldn’t swim… Just a small technical hitch.
  10. What would you most like to win that you haven’t already?
    Of course the one and only Badminton horse trials!! That’s what I’ve been aiming for since I was 4 years old and I hope that I am lucky enough to do so one day.
  11. Where would you go and what would you do for your perfect weekend?
    Somewhere to catch up on some much needed sleep! A quiet weekend in the Maldives laying on a beach would be ideal.
  12. Name a young rider and/or horse to watch for in the future.  What makes them special?
    I think that Felicity Collins is a fantastic young rider. She is hard working and you can tell that she has a great connection with her horses.
  13. Which horse would you most like to have had the opportunity to compete on and why
    I would love to have a ride on Laura Colletts ‘Grand Manoeuvre’. He is a big striding, big jumping horse just like my own. And having been expertly trained by Laura I think he would be a lovely horse to ride!
  14. Do you have any pets at home?
    Yes we have 2 Labrador X Collies called Jess and Sooty and a Jack Russell called Alfie!
  15. Do you have any lucky charms or superstitions?  If so what?
    One of my sponsors SP Equestrian makes lovely stocks and if I’m at a big competition I always wear a new one to bring me luck! Also if I have a bad day I usually blame it on a new piece of clothing or equipment and banish it forever to the back of my wardrobe.
  16. What is your favourite city in the world and why?
    Though I am more of a country girl, I used to live in North Yorkshire and local to York which I loved. It’s such a quirky big city with lots going on and the architecture is stunning!
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