‘Cross coun­try is a com­bi­na­tion of speed, endurance and brav­ery’


will go in re­verse or­der mak­ing the pres­sure tough at the top! The com­bi­na­tion with the low­est fin­ish­ing score wins over­all.”

This year Ros is preg­nant with her first baby, due in July, so she will be there in a dif­fer­ent role – watch­ing her horses com­pete rather than rid­ing them.

“I know I will be itch­ing to get go­ing again though! The plan is to get back to give Olympic se­lec­tion a go next year.”

Last year, she won a place at the World Eques­trian Games in Amer­ica where she won both the team and in­di­vid­ual gold medals on her horse Al­ls­tar B.

“We spend years gear­ing up for a big win, but you can’t plan for it, and the whole ex­pe­ri­ence was sur­real and amaz­ing,” she says.

Train­ing for ma­jor events is hugely de­mand­ing – and, run­ning her own sta­bles in Halling­ton means that there are many strands to the prepa­ra­tion and work.

“Our sea­son runs from March to Oc­to­ber and dur­ing this time life is pretty full-on. Un­like other sports we have nu­mer­ous ath­letes to look after, be­cause whilst we might be pre­par­ing our top horses for their ma­jor events or cham­pi­onships, we are also try­ing to bring on the younger horses for the fu­ture.

“A pro­fes­sional rider will train up to 15 horses a day, and a top horse will do fit­ness work ev­ery four days, with more spe­cialised train­ing for the dif­fer­ent phases in be­tween.”

The whole week­end at Houghton is a cel­e­bra­tion of all things eques­trian and as well as in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion, there is en­ter­tain­ment, shop­ping at the 70 or so trade stands, food and drink, chil­dren’s cir­cus work­shops and, run­ning along­side the in­ter­na­tional events, a va­ri­ety of other rid­ing com­pe­ti­tions in three other are­nas.

The Sara­cen Horse Feeds Houghton In­ter­na­tional is on May 23 – 26. For tick­ets and more in­for­ma­tion see mus­ke­teer.co.uk

Com­peti­tors at the Houghton In­ter­na­tional Horse Tri­als

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