Ten minutes in the tack room with… Victoria Baker

Bolesworth International, which is playing host to the Ride-away Express Eventing Challenge, is just over two weeks away. We have been catching up with the riders who will be taking part in the event on Friday 19 June.

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

First up, Victoria Baker:

  1. How old were you when you started riding, who introduced you to riding and which was the horse?I was 18 months old when first started riding, my first pony was Robin and my Mum was the one who started me riding.
  2. Which other equestrian discipline do you most like to watch?I enjoy all equestrian disciplines but do like watching show jumping.
  3. How do you choose the music for your Express Eventing performances?This is the first time I have ever done dressage to music. I have just listened to lots of tracks while schooling to find what fits the best.4. Do you think horses enjoy music? How can you tell?Yes I do, as I had a horse on box rest and it was always more settled when we played music, I also think horses tune into the rhythm of the music.
  4. Which of your horses is your current favourite and why?
    Colourfast is my favourite horse, he is so kind and genuine and what he lacks in ability he makes up in effort, he is such a lovely horse to own I am very privileged to have him.
  5. Do you reward your horses for a good performance and, if so, how?
    I feel all my horses love to please, especially Cameron/Colourfast, he just gets lots of pats and mints when he has done well. Cameron and I seem to know what each other are thinking; he definitely knows he is special to me
  6. What has been the highlight of your career to date and why?
    The highlight for me was doing Bramham in 1990 on Walton’s Choice and being 3rd in the Pro Am class. I feel as though show jumping was always my nemesis, to jump Colourfast in some 1.30 classes was a highlight last year.
  7. What was your favourite subject at school and why?Classics was my favourite subject at school, I found the Greeks and Romans very interesting and we had a great teacher, but don’t ask me any questions about it now as I will have forgotten everything!
  8. If you weren’t a professional rider what would you like to do?I am a coach and run equine events which I really love, so if I was not doing that, I would be a professional shopper for fashion and equestrian goods. I would be a perfect professional shopper for Bolesworth, the CLA Game Fair and of course Ride-away, the title sponsors of Express Eventing!
  9. What would you most like to win that you haven’t already?I am a bit different to most, I do love to win things but if I feel happy if my horses have performed to the best of their ability. On the day, any prizes are a bonus. My priorities seemed to change after having my daughter Grace. I would like to compete on the sunshine tour in the Algarve though.
  10. Where would you go and what would you do for your perfect weekend?My perfect weekend would be a 5 star hotel that ran show jumping competitions or equine events in school holidays so we can integrate sport and family time. I would like big centres to run senior competitions in school holidays for those of us who have children.
  11. Name a young rider and/or horse to watch for in the future. What makes them special?
    Harry Wood and Rapkins Paddys Day, Harry works really hard with his ponies and is very grounded, he is certainly one to watch for the future.
  12. Which horse would you most like to have had the opportunity to compete on and why?I would have loved to have the opportunity to show jump Ambidextrous more, but I sadly lost him after he retired from eventing. I think Arko always looked amazing, and would have loved to have a sit on him.
  13. Do you have any pets at home? If so, what? What’s your favourite meal – and can you cook it?
    Yes we have a black and tan Jack Russell Terrier called Robbie, my daughter has two ponies Blackie and Pixie who are hilarious, two farm cats and another 7 horses. My favourite meal is fillet steak with a Dianne sauce and yes I can cook it!
  14. Do you have any lucky-charms or superstitions? If so what?My Rolex watch is my lucky charm I have had it since my 20th birthday. I got it revamped for my 40th and I never take it off. Other than that probably my daughter Grace who is 6 she always brings me luck. I always salute at magpies and don’t walk under ladders.
  15. What’s your favourite city in the world and why?
    London is my favourite city, I worked there as a model for a while and have fond memories of my time there, I love the atmosphere and feeling of London. I visit every year to get my London fix usually for Christmas Shopping.
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