RIDER OF THE DAY: Harry Meade - 21 September 2011
Wiltshire-based Harry completed more CCI**** events than any other rider by the age of 25. Harry sprung to fame when he partnered Midnight Dazzler, who became the most consistent 4**** horse in the world for 5 seasons, before Harry retired him. He has been a member of the World Class Squad for the past four years. Harry was placed 3rd at the Express Eventing Qualifier at The CLA Game Fair at Blenheim.
TWENTY QUESTIONS WITH......Harry Meade
1. How old were you when you started riding, who introduced you to riding and which was your first horse?
I’ve been riding longer than I can remember - before I could walk my father would ride holding me in front of him on the horse. My first pony was called Tom Thumb.
2. How did you choose the music for the dressage to music phase?
I thought it would be fun, different and not at all boring!
3. Do you think horses enjoy the music, and do you feel it makes a difference to their/your performance?
My horse has been really good at coping with the music, and he definitely grows and is more expressive so it does make a difference to his performance, as well as making it more fun to ride!
4. How much practice did the dressage to music phase take?
It has taken as much practice as we could fit in with all the other horses and their busy schedules! Getting the music cut to fit in with the test took a lot of time so we haven’t had that much time to run through it with the music.
5. What has been your most memorable moment of the Express Eventing 2011 Series so far?
I only went to one of the qualifiers but it was a great experience and brilliant to qualify for the final on the first attempt.
6. Who would be in your dream multi-national Olympic eventing team?
La Biosthetique Sam and Michael Jung, Oslo and William Fox-Pitt, Lenamore and Caroline Powell, Sam Griffiths and Happy Times.
7. Do you reward your horses for a good performance and, if so, how?
Horses can tell when they do well and they enjoy their work as a result, but I do give them the tops of the carrots from the vegetable patch if they’ve been particularly good!
8. What has been the highlight of your career to date and why?
Finishing in the top ten at both Badminton and Burghley and being the youngest ever rider to receive an Armada dish for 5 Badminton completions. They are the most high profile three day events and a great privilege to ride at.
9. What was your favourite subject at school and why?
History and History of Art – much more interesting than maths!
10. If you weren’t a professional event rider what would you like to do?
Be a spy!
11. What would you most like to win that you haven’t already?
Badminton, Burghley and an Olympic Gold medal!
12. What is your favourite holiday destination?
Anywhere hot and culturally different… particularly when it gets to this point in the season.
13. Which horse would you most like to have had the opportunity to compete on and why?
The Swedish horse called Mister Pooh, it looks like he has everything you want in a horse and I think he’ll be a superstar in a few years.
14. When did you last fall off?
A young horse had a serious bronk when I got on him in the spring!
15. Do you have any pets at home?
A wonderful lurcher called Snip who comes everywhere with me, including keeping up alongside the horses on the gallops.
16. What’s your favourite meal – and can you cook it?
Chicken stuffed with cream cheese, tomatoes and pesto and wrapped in bacon… remarkably I can cook it!
17. Do you have any lucky charms or superstitions?
No, I’m not really into that.
18. What’s your favourite one-day event?
19. What are you most looking forward to at the Final at the Horse of the Year Show?
Experiencing a totally different atmosphere from normal eventing.
20. Who are you tipping to win the Final at the Horse of the Year Show?
Sam Griffiths and Real Dancer.
WATCH HARRY'S INTERVIEW AT THE CLA GAME FAIR QUALIFIER BY CLICKING HERE.
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