It was quite late in life when I was diagnosed with congenital bilateral hip dysplasia with very shallow sockets, so unfortunately I was then too old to have a pelvic osteotomy and joint damage had already progressed.
I started my para equestrian journey in 2014 and was originally classified as a grade V. In 2016, I was reclassified to a grade IV with an additional diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis – this was discovered after more tests when I thought my carpel tunnel surgery hadn’t worked and the joints in my fingers were changing, with a reduction in my dexterity and grip. I have also undergone two lots of hip surgery to date, which relived pain but my range of movement had deteriorated. Since being a grade IV, I have continued to work hard at progressing myself as a rider and now also as a coach, qualifying for my UKCC. The dream now is to go on and win a medal and, on my journey, inspire and mentor other riders.
I also work as a site nurse practitioner in a local hospital, which I do on my mobility scooter. I am lucky that this doesn’t stop me from riding and coaching, which I mainly do from home. I have my own yard, so luckily I don’t have to travel. Two of my horses are homebred, but all of them are home-produced and I am extremely proud to say this.
In 2017, I was selected for the British Equestrian Excel Talent Programme, then the new World Class Podium Potential Pathway, then moved up to the Podium Potentail squad. I thoroughly enjoy these squad sessions and gain so much from them. This is also where I met my current trainer, Tanya Larrigan. She has a natural empathy with the horses and can see that, although my mare is super-talented, she is equally sensitive, and can get the best out of us both.
Away from horses, I like to watch movies at home cuddled up on the sofa under a blanket with my husband and our two staffies, sometimes indulging in a bit of chocolate. A Coke Zero or chocolate milk shake is my choice of beverage. I'm in general a bubbly, friendly person and what you see is what you get.