MY FIRST EXPERIENCE OF REPRESENTING THE ROYAL AIR FORCE AT ROYAL WINDSOR HORSE SHOW
I work in Personnel Support at RAF Marham and one of the reasons I joined up was with the aim to compete Miller for the Royal Air Force.
After finishing phase 2 training just before COVID lockdown (no. 1!) I have waited 14 months to start getting involved with RAF Equitation. I was not sure what it was going to be like. I thought due to my rank and being so new in the military I would be a bit of an outsider, but this certainly was not the case. So far, I have taking part in a training day at RAFC Cranwell and been part of the Development Team at the Defence Animal Training Regiment, Royal Tournament – Army SJ Championships. I have met so many supportive, friendly fellow RAF Equestrians. It does not matter if you are jumping 70cm or 1.20cm courses, everyone is there to help and support each other.
I was very excited to have the opportunity to compete at the Royal Windsor Horse Show – this was something that I was going to aim for in a few years, so I was not expecting it to come around this fast.
Miller and I are definitely not world beaters but I am so grateful for the opportunities that RAF Equitation is already giving me – I would never have even dreamt of riding at Windsor if it hadn’t been for the RAF equestrian team.
What a surreal experience Royal Windsor Horse Show was. Even with the limited crowds the atmosphere was unlike anywhere I had ever competed. Miller was an absolute star as he has never seen anywhere like that before, especially the grandstands, spooky banners and flower arrangements around the Castle Arena!
We had an unlucky 4 faults, but I was thrilled with the way he jumped. My teammates Nat and Tam rode brilliantly for us to come 7th, narrowly missing out on qualifying for the jump-off. The 2 other RAF teams thoroughly deserved their final results of 2nd and 3rd.
Thank you to all the organisers and the grooms/supporters. I feel incredibly honoured to have paraded in front of HM The Queen and I am hoping I get to go back next year and do it all over again!