We are so excited to have Imogen on our stand at Burghley Horse Trials Saturday afternoon.
We caught up with Imogen on the run up to Burghley, to find out what she’s most looking forward to…
Aims for 2018: Survive the Burghley leaf pit!
Why do you love Eventing?:
It is the challenge of all three phases. Eventing needs all of the skill of each of the individual disciplines, put together in the same horse and rider. I also love the eventing family, the support that everyone gives each other is quite special.
What is your best phase as why?:
Show jumping. I’m not as good at dressage, and the cross-country is sometimes a bit scary. I could quite easily be a pure show jumper, if eventing didn’t go to plan.
What is your favourite SXC product?:
The gloves, we LOVE the gloves, as they are so light and comfortable and fit really well. Plus we love Chunkberry’s little SXC outfit, he looks SO cute!
What age were you when you did your first 4*?
I was just about 21 when I completed my first 4* at Burghley with Wiseguy IV
When did you know you wanted to work with horses?
On the day I received my GCSE results – which were an almost full string of A*. I was in the school playground and thought this really isn’t what I want to do. I did have to persuade my parents though, but I think they were fully aware – I was never going to go to University!
What is your most exciting up and coming horse?
All of them! I’m very lucky to have a great team of horses at the moment and many of them really feel like they are coming into their own. I couldn’t single one out.
What is your best finish at a 4* event?
Badminton this year, we finished 11thand won the Glentrool Trophy for the highest climber after dressage. It was a pretty amazing week!
How do you prepare for such a big and testing event?
The same as any other event really. We plan well to make sure the big events are at the right time in a horse’s event programme. I then prepare like normal – fitness work, jump schooling and lots of dressage practice.
Do you ever suffer from nerves? If so what do you do to help?
Sometimes…I probably comfort eat and then stress everyone around me out.
What are you plans for 2019?
Continue at 4* level with Ivar Gooden, and I’ve got a good string of 2* and 3* horses. We then have some very exciting young horses that are being aimed at World Championships. Possibly even hope for a potential Europeans selection, or at least another long-listing.
How did you get into eventing?
I started off as a working and show hunter pony rider. We went to all the big events such as The Royal International Horse Show and HOYS, so I had a taste of the big events when I was younger. The eventing bug definitely bit when I was 13 though, when my parents were persuaded by my trainer, Steven James, to purchase an event pony for me – Juno – not your typical event pony, a highland/warmblood, who literally came from the Mountains of Scotland, I haven’t really looked back.
Who is your most memorable horse?
Juno, I was never brave jumping until I had her and I definitely wouldn’t have thought about doing it professionally but she gave me so much confidence, made me fall in love with eventing and gave me the ambition I have today.
And Fred (Wiseguy IV) because he gave me my first 4* ride, I’ll never forget that.
You have produced Ivar Gooden up the levels from day 1, did you always feel you were sat on a potential 4* horse ?
I think so, yes. He’s always been incredibly bold and talented, it’s always just been about channelling that talent in the right direction.
Whats the thing you look forward to most at Burghley ?
If you could give any advice to aspiring young event riders on how to get to the top, what would it be?
Learn from the best, and watch the best. And you can never work hard enough.
Don’t forget to pop over to our stand in the Rural Crafts Marquee opposite the food pavilion to enter,