RIDER OF THE DAY: Georgie Spence - 12 September 2011

Wiltshire-based Georgie has had consistent good results at 4**** International level, with clears at Badminton, Burghley and Pau for the last 4 years. She has ridden for her country, taking Junior Team Silver in 2006, and Young Rider Team Gold in 2008 and 2009. Georgie competed in last year’s Express Eventing Championship achieving a 5th placing and took part in the Festival of British Eventing Express Eventing Qualifier this year. Georgie is writing a weekly blog for the Horse and Hound in the run-up to the Express Eventing Final. You can read it here.


1. How old were you when you started riding, who introduced you to riding and which was your first horse?
I started riding when I was about 3 or 4 years old. My parents rode so it was a natural progression, and my first pony was called Dixie.

2. How did you choose the music for the dressage to music phase?
Some of it I chose, but my boyfriend Tom also puts together the music for dressage quite well.


3. Do you think horses enjoy the music, and do you feel it makes a difference to their/your performance?
Some don’t take any notice, but it can make them tense.

4. How much practice did the dressage to music phase take?
We have only just been sent the revised elements of the test, so nothing concrete yet.

5. What has been your most memorable moment of the Express Eventing 2011 Series so far?
I did the qualifier at Gatcombe Park, which was good fun, but it was nice to be doing it on a horse I have produced since a 3 year old.

6. Who would be in your dream multi-national Olympic eventing team?
Myself, Laura Collett, Emily Llewellyn and Ben Hobday. We all did ponies, juniors and young riders together so it would be amazing to all be on the same Olympic team.

7. Do you reward your horses for a good performance and, if so, how?
Yes of course, pats, polos and lots of treats!!!

8. What has been the highlight of your career to date and why?
I think completing Badminton and Burghley clear cross country at the age of 19 was an amazing feeling!

9. What was your favourite subject at school and why?
‘Free Period’ – I wasn’t a fan of school and left when I was 16.

10. If you weren’t a professional event rider what would you like to do?
I’m not sure, something active and outdoors, I’m not sure I could cope in an office, although it does seem more appealing in the winter.

11. What would you most like to win that you haven’t already?
Olympic gold would be nice, but I’d also love to win the Rolex Grand Slam.

12. What is your favourite holiday destination?
I have been to Egypt twice with Laura Collett and love it there.

13. Which horse would you most like to have had the opportunity to compete on and why?
Having watched the World Equestrian Games and the European Eventing Championships, La Biosthetique-Sam looks the best event horse to ride at the moment!!

14. When did you last fall off?
I can't remember, it would probably been from a young horse though!

15. Do you have any pets at home?
Millie my Whippet and Neville the cat.

16. What’s your favourite meal?
A beef roast.

17. Do you have any lucky charms or superstitions?
Not yet.

18. What’s your favourite one-day event?
I’m not a sure about my favourite, but Barbury and Gatcombe are both fantastic to ride at.

19. What are you most looking forward to at the Final at the Horse of the Year Show?
Trying out my new test (when I’ve decided on the floor plan and music) and riding at one of the premier shows!!

20. Who are you tipping to win the Final at the Horse of the Year Show?
Well I’d like to say myself, but if I can’t, Oliver Townend or Matthew Wright are both very competitive.


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