Louisa Milne Home is one of Scotland’s top event riders, having competed at the highest level, including Badminton and Burghley with King Eider. As King Eider hangs up his eventing colours, Louisa is concentrating on her string of promising youngsters. Here we catch up with the Robinson Animal Healthcare sponsored rider.
How old were you when you started riding?
Mum has always had horses so I have been able to ride for as long as I can remember.
Tell us about your first pony.
My first ride was in fact a donkey called Thumbelina; she was very cool but quite strong willed. I remember Thumbelina running away with me and only stopping once we were in a rhododendron bush. Thumbelina was followed by a 12.2hh pony called Chester who was fab. My best memory of him was doing the Open pairs class around Aswanley Hunter Trial when I was seven, with one of my older cousins. Half the jumps where in the British Eventing Novice section, so I am not sure how I managed to talk anyone into letting me enter. My late uncle took a photo which I treasure to this day.
Why did you choose eventing?
Back in my Pony Club days, eventing was definitely what really appealed to me and every time I was riding my ponies, I was always imagining that if they had longer legs then they would definitely be able to jump round Badminton. It was just something I always had in my sights.
Taking King Eider to ten 5* events, he retired at 19-years-old, fit and well and still enjoys going out show jumping which is fantastic. I loved winning the Advanced at Eglington on him and finising 2nd at the same event, riding Porthill Rusty Nail.
Riding in the Foxhunter and Grade C final at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) on Harry DV was also a really special moment as show jumping at HOYS wouldn’t have even been on my radar four years ago.
King Eider being listed for the Senior British Team was a really nice acknowledgement of what a great horse he is. Both King Eider and Harry have been with us since four-years-old.
What is your average day like?
We normally have about eight or nine horses in so they get fed at 7.30 in the morning and then I normally start riding at 9am. If I am doing flat work I will ride five of them before lunch and then the remainder in the afternoon.
I like to do any teaching in the afternoon so that most of the horses have been ridden first. The horses go out in the field before or after they are ridden and then come in again at around 3pm, to get all the jobs finished before they are fed around 5pm.
I then go back down to check and do late night feeds at 10pm.
Tell us about your current string of horses.
We have a really nice bunch that are hopefully all capable of big things. King Eider is enjoying show jumping in Foxhunter/1.30 classes so he is still not ready for the quiet life yet!
Future Plans and Carrow Iroko are the next two hoping to really make their mark in eventing. They both had a very good year at Intermediate level in 2019 and the plan was to step up to Advanced /CCI4* this year.
I also have a very smart mare that is currently at Intermediate/Advanced level. She is a real cracker but as she is only 15.1hh, the owner might sell her to give a young rider a fab start.
In the middle of the team is Ballylarkin Bouncer who is a very good novice and also working his way up the tree is Edenside Marko, a six-year-old old that will hopefully make his British Eventing debut this year, depending upon when eventing can resume.
Then back on the show jumping side I have Harry DV who jumps 1.30/1.40 classes depending what is on offer on the Scottish circuit.
Rowan a 14.2hh four-year- old Connemara x Trotting Cob completes the yard; he is being started and produced to sell as a fab competition pony.
What are your hopes for the future?
I am really excited about both Future Plans and Carrow Iroko and hope that they will be real Badminton and Burghley contenders. Edenside Marko has been growing none stop since we got him as a four-year-old but once he stops growing and starts to mature I really hope he will get to the very top of the eventing tree. I bought King Eider, Harry and Marko from Edenside, so King Eider has taken me to Badminton and Burghley, Harry has taken me to HOYS and I hope Marko will help me secure my place on the British Team!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Two years ago I finally got my house built after about 10 years of saying I was going to do it, so it is really nice to tinker around with home improvements and getting the garden sorted. If there is a chance to travel, I really do enjoy that and luckily my sister splits her time between homes by the sea in France or skiing in Switzerland, both are great places to visit!
Robinson Animal Healthcare has a wide range of products for all your first aid requirements including the market leading Animalintex®, which is the only VMD licensed multi-layered absorbent poultice available in the UK and the legendary Veterinary Gamgee®.
For more information contact Robinson Animal Healthcare on 01909 735000 or visit www.robinsonhealthcare.com