Name: Sian Smith
Based in: Epsom, Surrey
Level: Amateur, BE90. We are in our first season of British Eventing. I went through Pony Club doing a bit of everything which really led me down the eventing route. I love working on the technical elements of dressage but also love to jump; there is no better feeling than a good score sheet or clear round! The challenge of combining all three elements also keeps things interesting with new things to constantly work and improve on.
Equine partner: April is my 9 year old registered KWPN. I bought her 2.5 years ago after the tragic loss of my TB. Despite being 6 she had done nothing (not even knowing basic aids) and was frightened of the world and everything in it. We had to retire after three moves in our first dressage competition as she was scared of the markers! She remains very sensitive and needs my support in everything to give her confidence to show what she is capable of. She has a really strong personality and our bond just keeps growing; she has come such a long way and I am so proud of her.
The job that pays for eventing: I work full time as a musculoskeletal physiotherapist and have spent the last six years serving in the Army Medical Services. I recently left the services to settle with my boyfriend and April! I keep April on DIY livery and am up early to turnout and muck out and then back in the evenings to ride. I am fortunate to have great trainers, vets, farrier and livery yard to keep us going, with many shows and BE venues fairly locally for weekend competitions. April keeps me busy (and the wallet light) but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Riding highlights to date: Our main highlight so far was 5th place at our first BE event at Aston le Walls in March. Everything just came together on the day as I wanted and we both loved every minute of it! Last year I was also lucky enough to jump in the main arena at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. Although our round didn’t quite go to plan, we did get to parade with a full brass band in front of HRH The Queen; a very special privilege.
Follow Sian: @loveeventingtm (twitter) / www.loveeventingtm.co.uk (blog)