Mary is one of the world’s top event riders and has numerous prestigious championships to her name. She has been British Champion four times – more than anyone to date, and has also won six team gold medals at World Equestrian Games and European Championships. Mary also has a wealth of Olympic experience, having competed for Britain at Barcelona (1992), Atlanta (1996), Sydney (2000), Athens (2004 – Team Silver medal) and Beijing/Hong Kong (2008 – Team Bronze medal). She has also won twice at Badminton.
Her current top horses are Imperial Cavalier, Apache Sauce and Kings Temptress and she also has several younger horses that she is bringing up through the ranks.
Another of the world’s top event riders, Lucy Wiegersma is the only British event rider to have won all three national eventing titles (Junior in 1995, Young Rider in 1998 and Senior in 2006). With wins over the years at Blenheim, Blair Castle and Bramham three-day-events under her belt, Lucy narrowly missed adding Badminton to the list when she finished in second place in 2008. She was selected onto the British three-day-eventing team for the Olympics in Hong Kong but sadly had to withdraw due to lameness affecting her horse, Shaabrak, which was a huge disappointment. The pair were also runners-up at the International Express Eventing Cup at Cardiff.
Her current top rides are Woodfalls Inigo Jones, Granntevka Prince and Simon Porloe.
Georgie is one of our most talented, young event riders. She was the British National U18 Champion in 2006 and was also a member of the silver-medal-winning team at the Junior Europeans in Necarne. She was a member of the Gold Medal winning Young Rider teams in both 2007 and 2008. In 2008 she competed at her first 4* events at Badminton and Burghley, where she finished clear and was the best U25 at both events.
For 2011 Georgie has two new rides – Kings Rock (Rocky), a nine-year-old Intermediate horse bred by Mary King, and Bow House Mandalin (Tomi), a 14-year-old 4* horse, owned by Rachel Gough.
Huddersfield-based endurance rider, Jeni Gilbert, won the Novice Championship in 2002 and was the Endurance GB Supreme Champion 2007. With her grey Connemara-type horse, Flurrie, she has completed more than 6000km in nine years – a great achievement in a sport that is dominated by Arab horses. In 2008 Jeni achieved her aim to complete a 160km ride and not only did she achieve this, but won the Dukeries EGB National Class with a speed of 13.97kph. She was also placed 3rd at Kings Forest, Thetford (100km ride) and 4th at Berkshire Downs (2 day 160km race ride).
Despite missing some of the past two seasons due to injuries, the pair were placed 5th in the overall Senior Championship in 2009 and were 2nd in the 120km race at Hayward Oaks in Nottinghamshire and 3rd in the 160km at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire in 2010. In all Flurrie has been in the first three on 11 occasions!
Althea, Katie and Janou Bleekman
Flurrie will be 16 years old this year and depending on fitness, Jeni will be aiming for a 160km in a day at Euston Park in June with a build up before then to include a 120km and a 2-day 160km.
The three Bleekman sisters, Althea, Katie and Janou, are no strangers to the world of eventing, as their mother is former Olympic event rider, Clarissa Bleekman (nee Strachan). Based down in Devon, the girls are all making their mark on the British Eventing scene and both Althea and Katie have already represented Great Britain on the Pony teams in 2008 and 2009 respectively, where they both brought home team silver medals.
Althea’s rides this season will be Billy’s Lad, Meepswood Conquestor, Ziomf and Anmarsch, and she will be aiming for selection onto the Young Rider team for the Europeans.
Katie is studying hard for her A’levels this year but will still be competing on Prince Apollo at Intermediate level and is aiming for selection onto the Junior team. She will also be introducing the seven-year-old mare, Maylyn, to eventing and hopes to be competing at Novice level with her by the end of the year.
Janou, the youngest of the girls, is still working hard at school for her GCSE exams but has four ponies to compete on as well – Cregaan Scenic, Lisnalea Grace, Jamiraqui and Toberpatrick Larry. She is just going out there to try her very best this season but would love a place on the Pony team for the European Championships.