35 year old professional event rider, Simon Grieve, from Tilton on the Hill, Leicestershire competed in the first event of the season at Isleham (4-5 March 2017) and achieved a hat trick of wins riding Karen Broomhead’s Bonhunt Bertie in the BE90 Open (which incidentally was his 60th BE win), Merna Merrett and Catherine O’Connors Wallstreet VB in the BE100open and Polly Taylor’s Mr Fahrenheit in the Novice. He also finished second in the ON riding Joanne Rutter’s The Rutman.
What are your aims for 2017 for these horses?
Bonhunt Bertie will do 5yr old classes and hopefully aim for the Osberton championship, but there’s no rush or pressure – he’s only a baby. Wallstreet VB will be going Novice soon and Mr Fahrenheit is aiming to go to Ballindenisk to do his first three day event. It all very much depends on how they are going and feeling – plans can and very often do change.
Is this your first time at this event, or are you a regular? If a regular, what keeps you coming back? If a first timer, will you be back?
I’ve come to the opening event at Isleham since I was a nipper. I used to drag my mum there so I could watch my heros with my video camera and autograph book in the freezing cold and wind. She was very long suffering of her geeky son. I did my first hunter trial and affiliated event there – and got eliminated!!!
The reasons to come back are the ground is amazing, the welcome warm, it will run whatever the weather (unless they were to have VERY heavy snow), plus it’s run for charity – why wouldn’t you come!
Who is the biggest influence in your eventing career to date?
I couldn’t possibly pin point one. I have worked for, ridden for, been trained and helped by a huge range of amazing people who have all had a massive influence on my eventing.
Who is the unsung hero of your team and why?
My partner who puts up with so much. Always there to scrape me off the floor/sit by my hospital bed when I’ve got myself in trouble and the first to celebrate with me when it’s gone well.
What is the one thing you wish you’d known before you started eventing?
How addictive it would be!
Describe the funniest “blooper” you have experienced eventing
I’ve done so many silly things eventing, but I do remember doing a dressage test on a horse called Mini Me who was quite feisty – she plunged and reared her way out of the arena, eliminating us. She then continued launching and rearing, completely out of control across another 3 or 4 arenas which were occupied at the time.
All my ‘supporters’ were rolling about on the floor with laughter!! Piggy French still won her section despite this which the Horse and Hound happily reported – it was a claim to fame of sorts!
Which is your favourite event & why?
I absolutely love Burghley. The atmosphere is fantastic, it’s a beautiful place and so well run. Competing there was a childhood dream and crossing the finish line on a clear cross country round is an indescribable feeling.
What will be in your “Chicken Dinner” and what will you wash it down with?
Steak with a Stilton sauce and chunky chips washed down with a pint of cider!
What is your current favourite lorry karaoke song?
Ed Sheerhan at the moment…I love Castle on the Hill!