RIDER OF THE DAY: Will Murray - 13 September 2011

 Newcastle-based Will has previously competed at Horse of the Year Show with Working Hunter Ponies, before making the switch to eventing. He now events to Advanced level. Will was placed 5th at the Lincolnshore Show qualifier, and was the top placed Young Rider.


1. How old were you when you started riding, who introduced you to riding and which was your first horse?
I’ve been riding ever since I can remember and had my sisters old first ridden pony, a section A who is still at home but starting to look her age!

2. How did you choose the music for the dressage to music phase?
The music is from the film ‘Last of the Mohicans’ and is written by my friend Julia’s father Dougie Maclean. So they very kindly edited together parts from a few of his songs to fit my test.

3. Do you think horses enjoy the music, and do you feel it makes a difference to their/your performance?
It has helped Clive’s (Brightside) advanced work hugely and the extra training has definitely helped my test riding.

4. How much practice did the dressage to music phase take?
Ian woodhead wrote our test and Julia came and recorded us running through it-she then took it away and put it to the music. I now have the music on my ipod so I can practice the test without disturbing the neighbours!

5. What has been your most memorable moment of the Express Eventing 2011 Series so far?
Clive was fantastic in our xc round at the qualifier.

6. Who would be in your dream multi-national Olympic eventing team?
Michael Jung, Caroline Powell, William FP and Lucinda Fredericks-unbeatable…

7. Do you reward your horses for a good performance and, if so, how?
Of course-with a day off usually!

8. What has been the highlight of your career to date and why?
This year has all been a highlight as I have been lucky enough to compete a great bunch of horses for my boss Sara Burdess and they’ve all had a pretty good season!

9. What was your favourite subject at school and why?
I wasn’t terrible at maths

10. If you weren’t a professional event rider what would you like to do?
I do a lot of showing when we have the time so probably producing ponies for showing

11. What would you most like to win that you haven’t already?
The lottery

12. What is your favourite holiday destination?
Each year a bunch of my eventing friends go skiing before the season starts and that’s always something to look forward to!

13. Which horse would you most like to have had the opportunity to compete on and why?
Clea Philips ‘ Lead the Way’ is a fantastic jumper so I would love to pinch that one for a while.

14. When did you last fall off?
Yesterday, my own horse spooked walking on a long rein in the arena and I fell off…

15. Do you have any pets at home?

16. What’s your favourite meal – and can you cook it?
Seafood and no I don’t cook in anyway.

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

18. What’s your favourite one-day event?
Gatcombe is pretty special and it has a great party.

19. What are you most looking forward to at the Final at the Horse of the Year Show?
HOYS is my favorite show and I love riding there but I am looking forward to riding in the main ring for the first time this year.

20. Who are you tipping to win the Final at the Horse of the Year Show?
I think Oliver will be the man to beat on the day.



Visit Will's website


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