British Eventing caught up with rider Sophie Beaty, the cover girl for BE’s new EquestrianClearance.com range launched by BE at the 2013 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.
Sophie is aged 17 and is from Finedon, Northamptonshire. She represented Britain on the Charles Owen Pony Squad at the FEI Pony European Championships in both 2010 and 2011, taking team gold and bronze medals respectively.
Where did your love of horses stem from?
Sophie: My Mum has had horses all her life so I started riding at a very young age and did a lot of working hunter pony and Pony Club then slowly got into eventing. I was not sure that I would be brave enough but loved it from my first ever BE90 at Prestwold Hall.
Who was your first event horse/pony?
My first ever event pony was Domino (The Little Big Man) whom we bought from the Carmichael family. He was one of the coolest ponies I have ever had with a heart of gold who gave me so much confidence. We bought him to do working hunter pony and some pre novice eventing but surprisingly ended up doing pony trials and he was even selected as my reserve pony for the Europeans in 2011. His stable mate who also came from the Carmichaels was my European ride.
You were partnered in the photo shoot by the lovely Pink Gin – can you tell us a bit more about him?
We bought ‘Pinks’ or ‘Pinky’ as he is known in the stable at the end of last year from some great local family friends whose daughter Antonia felt she could not carrying on competing whilst studying at Durham University.
‘Pinks’ is by Gareeb, is roan in colour hence his name and is super cool, extremely laid back and a bit of a chiller and I am hoping that he is going to surprise everyone and be my first 4 star horse to take me round Burghley and Badminton!
Who is in your string of horses at the moment and what are your plans for them all?
At the moment I have three horses, Pinks, Stanly (owned by Alison Booth and myself) and Navigator (owned by Lynne Earle, William Fox Pitt and Catherine Joice who is my granny).
I am aiming all the horses for the Junior Championships at Houghton and I would love to make the Racesafe British Junior Team as well as continue progressing up the levels this summer.
What is your ultimate eventing goal?
My aim at the moment is to make a career out of riding and one day if I am lucky go to the Olympics.
Who is your biggest idol in the sport?
I would have to say William Fox Pitt because it always has been and I am also so privileged to have the ride on one of his horses.
Do you have other hobbies beyond riding/eventing?
I have lots of hobbies, mainly sporty things like lacrosse, hockey, skiing and then I am also quite arty and take both Art and Photography as A levels at Queen Margaret’s School, York.
From your modeling session for BE at Rockingham Casle, which was your favourite item from the new range?
I really enjoyed the day shooting the BE clothes and love everything, especially all the breeches (so comfy!) and the zippy hoody.
View the range in the British Eventing Shop online here
British Eventing would like to thank the Saunders-Watson family for allowing the photo shoot to take place at their home, Rockingham Castle.
Brigstock International Horse Trials takes place at Rockingham Castle this weekend; www.rockinghamhorsetrials.com