All around the country, children will be polishing their boots and grooming their ponies in preparation for a fun-fuelled week of Pony Club Camp (or their dedicated mothers will be!)
To celebrate the highlight of our summer holidays (yes, we too are Pony Club mummies), who better to inspire the next generation of equestrian stars than the dynamic duo that is Sophie Beaty and Emily King, both ex Pony Clubbers who are now making great strides on the Junior GB teams.
Emily’s career highlights include being Junior European Individual Silver Medalist, National U21 Champion AND Premiership League Champion. She is currently aiming to become World No 1!
What are your fondest memories of Pony Club? Which branch did you belong to?
I was part of the Axe Vale Pony Club… I loved camp!
What was it about the Pony Club that inspired you to follow your dreams?
Realising how much I loved being around horses and how competitive I was.
How did you juggle your studies with riding?
I rode before and after school and did my prep in the lorry on the way back from competitions!
Tell us about your horses?
I’m eventing 6 horses at the moment. My three Advanced horses are Brookleigh, owned by Parone Cjaval, Mr Hiho, owned by Patsy Mason and Walitze F Vejgard, owned my Gabriella Atkinson. Charlemagne, owned by Lord Patrick Beresford who’s is at Intermediate level. Then Del Piero, owned by Gillian Jonas and Hoodunit owned by Frances Hatton-Brown are my two Novice horses.
Can you share some of your recent competition results with us?
1st Aston Le Walls OIu21 Walitze F Vejgard, 3rd Tattersalls CCI** Walitze F Vejgard, 8th Bramham Park CIC*** Brookleigh, 7th Barbury CIC*** & best U25 Prize Brookleigh, 1st Aston Le Walls Intermediate Charlemagne & 2nd OIu21 Junior Trail Walitze F Vejgard.
What are you working towards at the moment?
Junior Europeans & Blenhiem CCI***
Who do you train with?
Ferdi Eilberg, Kyra Kirkland & Richard White, Yogi Breisner and Mum!!
What or who inspires you within the equestrian world? Past and present.
Ben Maher, Michael Jung & Andrew Nicholson
Do you have a favourite equestrian possession?
My Animo jodhpurs & Equipe saddle!
Is there an all time favourite yard/stables that you’ve been too? And why?
Ben Maher’s – I was lucky enough to work for Ben last winter and his whole set up – the immaculate yard, the way it is run and the training was just incredible.
Which country in your opinion does equestrian best? And why?
For Eventing… Definitely England as we have such amazing venues and such an abundance of competitions.
Do you have an equestrian hero?
What is the quality that you most like in a horse?
Their willingness to try their hardest and to fight for you
If you weren’t eventing, what would you be doing?
What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given? Who gave it to you?
‘Don’t dwell on the down times too much and make the most of the highs… And just keep smiling!’ – Mum!
Tell us something about yourself that only you know?
I would like to visit every country in the world
What would be your message to the younger equestrian world?
Follow your dreams!
Do you have a secret superstition before an event?
No… Not superstitious!
What are your top 5 indispensable pieces of kit, for you or your horse?
Animo Jodhpurs & Jacket
My Mitsubishi car!