SARACEN YOUNG RIDER OF THE YEAR
‘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.”