Julie Payne

Rider Profile

Julie Payne
Competition Grade:

I've been riding since I was a little girl, competing in gymkhanas, local shows and Pony Club on ponies borrowed from a neighbour. 

I never owned my own horse until I was married, when I bought a horse who was going for meat for £100. I've always taken on problem horses and turned them into advanced eventers, dressage and endurance horses depending on their aptitude. I trained as BHS coach, becoming the youngest person to get the BHSAI. I developed my coaching skills and riding over the years, helping riders and others coaches achieve their goals, running a competition livery yard alongside. 

In 2013, I was diagnosed with a terminal neurological condition, Multiple System Atrophy, which enabled me to be classified as a para rider. It was such a relief because I was struggling now to ride in able-bodied competitions.

I had managed to get to the National Championships as a Grade IV, coming third and fourth in Winter and Summer Championships. I was then reclassified as a grade I, winning the Winter Champion two years running on my own horse.

Diane Redfern approached me and amazingly offered me the ride on her horse, Athene, and together we went to the European Championships to take triple gold! It was an amazing experience!

Following this, in 2018 I had to go through a few classifications before it was decided that I should be a grade II.

I managed to qualify my horse for the Summer and Winter Nationals, coming third and second. I then took my horse to Doha, which was another incredible experience, and went on to win the team and individual tests.

I love doing crazy things for charity and to push/test myself, including wing walking, mountain climbing and abseiling – all the things I'm not supposed to do. If you tell me I can't, I'll try to prove I can. I love reading and my dog, and can watch Pretty Women forever! 

Sporting Achievements

Date Event Horse Medals
2017 European Championships Athene Lindebjerg Team, individual and freestyle gold