I have been doing horse riding since I was about six years old and currently have two main competition horses. I mainly take part either in eventing (which is a combination of all three main riding disciplines: dressage, show jumping and cross country) or in ‘pure’ show jumping.
Horse riding is somewhat different from most other sports in that whatever level you compete at you are likely to be against some top-level riders on their younger horses, such as William Fox-Pitt or Zara Phillips. I am currently competing in British Eventing and British Show Jumping. Competitive horse-riding can be a very social sport and has led me all over the country. Some of my highlights include winning Nationals twice and competing at amazing venues, such as Hickstead and Longleat. MPW has been really accommodating of my horse-riding, especially with my timetable, and although competing has been put on hold during my exams I look forward to starting again once they are done.
Eventing is potentially a very dangerous sport with the possibility of fatal falls – especially across country, where the obstacles you jump are solid and you go at quite a speed. Luckily, I have been very fortunate and only seriously injured myself once (when I fell and broke both of my ankles at the same time). It therefore takes a lot of confidence, skill and bravery to be able to take on such obstacles on a sometimes unpredictable animal. Nevertheless, the thrill you receive after finishing an event is amazing and is undoubtedly what makes eventers risk their lives for a sport they love.