Tag Archives: eventer

Laura Collett, Pau 5* France.

Laura Collett beats off top-class field to win the only CCI5* of 2020.

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If anyone understands the sweet taste of triumph against adversity, then it’s Laura Collett. The 16-year journey to winning her first 5* Three Day Event at Pau 5* France last weekend, has involved more challenges than your average rider, including an accident that left her in a coma for six weeks and permanent loss of sight in one eye.

Les 5 Etoiles de Pau was the only CCI5*-L of the entire season so inevitably attracted a world-class field. This included the top six highest-ranked riders in the world. Riding her Boekelo 2019 winner London 52, Laura who is ranked 49th, led the entire competition, beating Piggy French (Brookfield Inocent) into second and Tim Price (Wesko) into third.


Speaking after her victory Laura said: “The dream became a reality and I still can’t believe this is all really happening. This morning I was saying to myself that if I had the choice, I wouldn’t have wanted to ride any other horse than London 52 in this kind of competition! He is a fantastic jumper. It was his first time competing at this level and I really wasn’t expecting this kind of result at the end of the competition. All of last year it was a case of ‘very nearly’. We were unlucky and they were split-second moments that caused our undoing but that’s all it takes in our sport.”


Laura Collett, winner or Pau 5* France
An emotional moment captured by Hannah Cole Photography.

It was one of those moments in 2013 when competing in the cross-country, her horse misread a corner fence at Tweseldown and suffered a rotational fall, landing directly on top of the petite 5ft 3 rider who was instantly knocked out. In the ambulance, the paramedics had to resuscitate her five times and on arrival at the hospital, the extent of her injuries was substantial, including fractured shoulder, broken ribs, a punctured lung, a lacerated liver, and injuries to her kidneys. She was placed in an induced coma for six days and it later transpired that a fragment of her shoulder bone had gravitated to her right eye through her bloodstream. It damaged the optic nerve, and she lost sight in that eye completely.

It took many months to adapt her eyesight even for day to day life and she recounts walking into things a lot. “When I started jumping, it seemed like the jumps would move.” She now wears goggles to protect her eyes from the elements when she is going cross-country.

Fortunately, Laura cannot remember the accident, so she had no confidence issues returning to eventing. “By the time I woke up, it was under control and I was lucky not to have any brain injuries. All I wanted to do was get back to competing.” It might not surprise you that just over six weeks later, she was back riding, which she admits may have been too soon. Although like our Horse Scout CEO Lucienne Elms, Laura spent several months living at the Injured Jockey Fund Rehabilitation Centre, Oaksey House. “They were amazing and there is no way I would have made such a comeback and so quickly, without their help.”


Beyond guts, grit and adversity, eventing is about a partnership, trust and understanding between human and horse. Laura Collett has that ability to make her horses achieve their full potential and she describes her Pau winner London 52 as an insecure horse who has put a lot of trust in her, which ultimately helps. He has only ever known Laura as a rider from an early age in his sporting career. Training from the beginning of a horse’s journey is what builds the partnership, she explains. Laura who rides at least 13 horses a day has trained most of her champions from scratch, having never had the means to buy ‘ready-made’ champions.


Laura Collett abooard London 52
The culmination of years of hard work. Image rights – Hannah Cole Photography.

Laura was smitten from the first time she sat on a pony at the age of two and started out in showing but always her dream was to be a professional event rider. From early childhood, she learned that in order to survive, ponies would have to be bought, produced and sold.

At the age of 12, she found a young pony called Noble Springbok from a one-lined advert and purchased him for the moderate sum of £5500. Her mother allowed her to keep this one, knowing he could be the one to achieve her dreams. Training the pony from scratch, in their first year of competitive eventing, they won everything and attracted the eyes of Youth team selectors. Laura Collett was placed on World Class Programme which meant she received lottery funding. A privilege that requires consistent exceptional results and one that she is still part of, 15 years later.

In 2005 the formidable partnership were selected for the British Pony Event Team at the European Championships, where she won team gold and individual bronze. ‘Spring’ was to launch her career, on both notoriety and monetary grounds. She signed away the right to admit how much he was sold for but a ‘life-changing’ amount passed hands. At just 16 years of age, she bought a new lorry to transport her horses, developed her facilities at home and purchased Rayef. This was another young horse who she trained on to win team and individual golds at both the Junior and Young Rider European Championships and finished 8th at her very first Badminton aged just 22.


There is little time for hobbies and even when the eventing season is over, Laura spends the winters producing young horses and doing plenty of showjumping. She also loves horse-racing and her event yard is partially funded by having racehorses in for some jump training. She was partially responsible for a first and second place at this year’s Cheltenham Festival. Simply the Betts and St Calvados, two National Hunt horses trained by Harry Whittington were sent to her to jump, leading up the Festival where they finished first and second respectively.

Despite eventing often attracting an elitist image, Laura Collett is proof that hard work and talent are the real key to success. She has never felt particularly challenged by not having a big money pot and thinks it makes her success all the more rewarding. “I’ve never known it any different. We would always buy unbroken ones, train them and sell them to be able to afford to do it and I still have to do that now. With all the other challenges it feels extra special because you know exactly what has gone into that win.”


Featured Image rights – Solène Bailly photos.

All That Jazz: Biddesdon Stud

Anglo Arab Event Stallion: All That Jazz

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International Jet Setter: All That Jazz by SS City Lights, is finding just the right note in his progeny.

The Anglo Arab All That Jazz is a handsome dark bay National Stallion Association Grade 1 Elite stallion. All That Jazz stands 16.2hh was imported to Biddesden Stud from Victoria in Australia as a colt. His sire is the Arab stallion SS City Lights who was bred in the USA and is nearly 16 hands. His dam is Belingo, an Australian Thoroughbred by Saulingo.

All That Jazz was always a tall colt with great scope to his stride. He has the softest and springiest of canters as all who have been lucky enough to ride him will attest.

He was taken through the ranks to advanced level in British Eventing by William Fox-Pitt and is a regular out in the field giving his riders some great days out. Number one fan Rory G attests that William Fox-Pitt “…rated All That Jazz’s canter as better than Tamarillos’”. (source: Samantha Clark for Eventing Nation published in the Arabian Horse magazine)

His foals have been successful in the show ring and have made a promising start in eventing their big strides and elegant steady head positions making them good rides across country.

All That Jazzs’ progeny are showing promise with:
Ajax  – Awarded the top marks for the two year old eventing section at the 2008 BEF Evaluations at Catherston.
Annaliese – A well made Anglo Arab mare on the BE circuit campaigned by Katie Cuthbertson had a great win at Daunsey park in ’13 and has 56 foundation points.
Edam – Was awarded Gold Champion Colt and Best in Show at the National Junior Championships of Malopolski Horses held at Białka Stallion Depot in Poland at the end of July 2014
Anthriscus (2010) – Took part in the Badminton British Young Event Horse Class in may is just starting out on his career as an event horse.
Music Man – 200 Owner Virginia Russell Wood Hugely successful two-year-old season taking Junior In Hand Anglo Arab Championship at the prestigious South East Arabian Horse Group Spring Show in 2014

Virgina Russell-Wood also owns his full brother Jazz It Up – also a champion in the making.


Click here to view this event stallion on Horse Scout

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Lauren Shannon

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailLauren Shannon …writes her professional rider profile

I am a British Event Rider, specialising in producing horses from youngsters all the way to four star and mentoring riders. I have represented Team GB at Young Rider level with a European gold medal in 2006 and finished 2nd, 3rd, 4th (twice) and 6th in National under-21 Championships between 2005 and 2007. Following very good results at the highest level (9th and 12th at Burghley and 17th at Badminton), I was long listed for the London 2012 Olympics. More recently we have moved into our very own purpose built yard and I am looking to expand Shannon Eventing from my new base. I am active in using the internet and social media to attract new sponsors to the sport of eventing and increase it’s appeal.

Professional Profile – Lucinda Fredericks

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailEventing Olympian Lucinda Fredericks is an international trainer and travels extensively to give clinics and demonstrations as well as hosting training sessions at her own venue, Rosegarth, near Devizes view her Horse Scout Profile HERE!

How special would it be to buy the rider in your life a gift voucher for a private session with Lucinda Fredericks?

Her schedule for clinics for this year shows that she is in Hong Kong  at the end of a five day marathon of 5 days clinics and training out there.  As an official trainer of the Hong Kong Event Team, who took Bronze at the Eventing in the  17th Asian Games in 2014 (well done them!) On this trip she has been training the riders on horses which are retired from the Hong Kong Racing Circuit and she says how proud she was of the young racehorses retraining at her clinic (yesterday) in Teun Mun as they jump happily over 110m. And at this moment (according to her Facebook profile) she is putting a very handsome chestnut retiree through its paces over some XC jumps at Beas River Equestrian Centre.

Her experience and support of the Retraining of Reacehorses was also demonstrated at the The Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre  near Preston who have some fantastic pictures, taken by Trevor Holt and Ashley Stewart of a demonstration she hosted to a crowd of around 300 people in April – the event raised around £3,000 for the TRC.

With so many awards for Retraining of  Racehorses perhaps a group of individual training session with Lucinda on your own retired racehorse would help you along the way to one of the awards being offered by ROR Grassroots Eventing Series for 2015

There may be time to book places at the clinic at Charlotte Wadley Equestrian, Painswick, on the 7th February . (Individual spaces cost £60 + VAT (within a group of 4). Alternatively you can contact Lucinda’s team through Horse Scout to arrange for a session at her training centre.

She is holding clinics in February in  Holland  and Dorset, March in Berkshire and then she is back out to Hong Kong at the beginning of April

If you cant wait that long to see Lucinda then she will be talking about her Olympic experiences with Headley Britannia and Flying Finish, at the Equine Client Meeting in Frome at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 25th February being orgainised by Garston vets.