Will Fur­long

SARA­CEN YOUNG RIDER OF THE YEAR

Horse & Hound - - Horse & Hound Awards 2017 -

‘I have a great sup­port team — I couldn’t do it with­out them’ WILL FUR­LONG

THE 22-year-old may now be in the “big, wide world” of the se­nior event­ing ranks, but his cam­paign has gone from strength to strength this year and he was the de­serv­ing re­cip­i­ent of the Sara­cen Young Rider of the Year award. The East Sus­sex-based rider has en­joyed a suc­cess­ful 2017 in­clud­ing a win in the un­der-25 CCI3* at Bramham aboard his tal­ented 10-year-old mare Col­lien P 2. The pair now have four-star qual­i­fi­ca­tion and hope to head to Bad­minton next year.

“I’m both de­lighted and shocked to win this award — my suc­cess this year has been spear­headed by my top horse Col­lien P 2,” said Will, who started out hunt­ing and event­ing in the Pony

Club as a child.

“I have a great sup­port team be­hind me,” he added, “which is vi­tally im­por­tant — it’s a time-con­sum­ing sport and takes a lot of work, so I couldn’t do it with­out them.”

Will first af­fil­i­ated in Bri­tish Event­ing aged 13, be­fore go­ing on to com­pete in JRNs ( ju­nior re­gional novices), then en­joy­ing suc­cess in both the ju­nior and young rider ranks.

He may still be young but Will boasts pro­fes­sion­al­ism be­yond his years — one of the rea­sons he was nom­i­nated for this year’s award. So what is his key to suc­cess?

“At­ten­tion to de­tail,” he said. “Es­pe­cially in event­ing where you have three such dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines. The sport is im­prov­ing all the time and the stan­dard of dres­sage, for ex­am­ple, is bet­ter than ever.

“The lit­tle de­tails mat­ter in all three phases. You need to look at the big­ger pic­ture and then split it into smaller chunks. Then hope it all comes to­gether on the day.”

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