Tuesday 23rd of July 2024
Pro Secrets

Sarah Heseltine, Editor of The Gaitpost

 

Having always loved to ride, but never at any noteworthy level, Sarah returned to riding after a 20 year sabbatical when she soon learnt that 4 legs were better than 2 when attempting to keep up with her three children on their hairy ponies.

“It wasn’t long before I realised that the equestrian skills I thought I had developed during my younger years were more like hanging on and hoping to get home still on top of my pony!” says Sarah.

“Years of lessons later, I now enjoy entering a few local competitions alongside my daughter and try my hardest not to get beaten by her.  We are very lucky to have wonderful facilities local to our home including Aston Le Walls down the road, which The Gaitpost is delighted to be an Associate Sponsor of, and our very patient trainer, Robert Snaddon, is based across the field,” adds Sarah.

 

 

London 2012

London 2012

 

What or who inspires you within the equestrian world? 

It was being at Greenwich at London 2012 that I realised that I wanted to get more involved with the equestrian world.  The buzz was electric and seeing Team GB on the podium in all 3 disciplines still gives me goose bumps.  I think the riders who stay at the top, year after year, are a huge inspiration when so much with horses can change and dreams can be made or shattered at the drop of a pin.

 

Tack room haven

Tack room haven

 

Do you have a favourite equestrian possession?

It isn’t really a possession in the true sense of the word, but my tack room is my favourite place to be: the smell, the photos, the memories.  It’s my sanctuary.  I gave it a make-over last year and hung the Team GB and London 2012 flags up that we took to Greenwich and it looks far more professional than we really are!

 

Is there an all time favourite yard or stable that you have been to and why? 

Definitely the most memorable stables are those that belonged to my Uncle’s uncle, Pierre Jonqueres d’Oriola, the French Olympic gold medal winning show jumper.  I was only about 9 or 10 when we visited it near Perpignan, in the South of France, but the occasion of being in such prestigious surroundings has stayed with me always.  More recently with The Gaitpost, I am have been extremely privileged to visit some incredible yards and William Fox-Pitt’s and Carl Hester’s are jaw-droppingly gorgeous.

 

Which country in your opinion does equestrian best? And why?

I have to say Great Britain but it’s true – we do it so well and are the envy of the world for the theatre and sense of occasion that comes with it, plus our riders are amazing ambassadors for the sport globally and I hope The Gaitpost helps tell their story and those of the fascinating people that make it all happen.

Supreme Rock

Supreme Rock

 

Do you have an equestrian hero?

Eventing legend Supreme Rock, who was bought as a fun eventer for Emma Lewthwaite, and went on to win two individual and team European Championships, the Rolex Grand Slam, Olympic silver, and Badminton twice in a row. I’d say that’s a hero! Growing up, I was in awe of Lucinda Green’s brilliance and tried not to be starstruck when I first met her!

Mischiefstavbles

My lovely Mischief

 

 
What is the quality that you most like in a horse? 

Trust and friendship

 

You don't want to watch this with me!

You don’t want to watch this with me!

 

Tell us something about yourself that only you know

I can, rather embarrassingly, recite the film International Velvet word for word!  My ten year old daughter is showing great promise in this useful life skill as well!

 

What would be your message to the equestrian world? 

I think I am better suited at receiving advice than giving it at my rookie level, but I do think it is important to remember that it is supposed to be fun, especially with children.

 

My all time faves

My all time faves

 

What are your top 5 indispensable or favourite pieces of kit, for you or your horse? 

1. Tilly, my lovely groom, who keeps the horses beautifully looked after when I am away working and is a brilliant support at competitions and I simply couldn’t juggle everything without her.

2. My tall Ariat Bromont H20 riding boots : they are like slippers and whatever the weather, keep me toasty and warm and are so comfortable

3. Thermatex quilted leg wraps : great for speedy drying especially with early starts

Gorgeous stitched headcollar

 

4. I love my Equipe saddle – it was a big purchase but I am so glad I maxed the credit cards out for it. I’ve now got my eyes on a dressage one too but don’t tell Horse Phobic Husband!

5. My Mark Todd stitched leather headcollar : it’s so smart!

 

 

 

 

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