My First Blog as the Shearwater Search for a Star Winner 2018

Sophie hall

Hi everyone,

I am still jumping up and down with excitement to have won the Shearwater Search for a Star competition – it most definitely has not sunk in that I am now writing my first blog!! I cannot even begin to thank Shearwater for what a huge difference this will make to my very busy horsey season ahead.

I guess I should begin with a little introduction about myself. My name is Sophie, I’m a 23-year-old rider and live a totally crazy life in between London and Shropshire. During the week I work as a Marketing Executive for American Express in London where I live with two equally horse-obsessed housemates. I am very lucky to be able to work from home some days which gives me the time to travel back to my family home in leafy Shropshire where the two loves of my life are based – Gus and George.

Gus is my beloved event horse; he is a 16.1 KWPN x Thoroughbred who continues to amaze all of us with what he can achieve! We bought him in 2012 as a lovely, cuddly character who I could have a bit of fun with in between the university holidays. He had done a handful of events but his flatwork in particular needed a lot of work and we were told not to expect him to set the world alight. From the moment we bought him he has just never stopped trying his heart out and continues to get better and better everyday. He is how we first met Shearwater back in 2016 when we won the Shearwater EHOA award at Badminton Grassroots champs. This was a total dream come true and a level we never thought he would reach. Since then he has returned to the Badminton champs in 2017 and so this is the big exciting year we look to step beyond grassroots eventing to the big bold aim of running novice – brave pants will most definitely be needed!!

Gorgeous George is my second horse who is at the ripe old age of 21! He is a coloured 15.3 ISH who my parents bought to do showing with many years ago. He likes to think he is a 5-year-old Stallion and sometimes needs reminding that he needs to act his age but that just makes him all the more loveable. I took over the ride on George about 18 months ago when the hunt came round our house and ‘old’ George decided to canter pirouette around his field. It was at that moment I thought he really needs a job to do! He certainly wasn’t ready for full retirement yet, and so the journey to becoming a dressage diva began! It is all about having fun with little George - as long as he’s enjoying himself, I’m enjoying myself.

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