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Our Sponsored Riders

Betsy Smetham

Hi I’m Betsy and I’m a 16 year old dressage rider based in West Malling in Kent. I’ve been riding for as long as I can remember, but fell in love with dressage when I was around 10 with my first dressage pony, Rascal. For the last 4 years, I have been training and competing my 14.2hh palomino pony, Golden Amber (better known to his friends as Jack), from novice level up to international Pony FEI level with help from my trainer, Andrew Gould. Together we were selected to represent Great Britain at our first internationals, including two abroad in France with top 10 placings. Some highlights of our time together would have to be coming 3rd at Keysoe CDI in 2019 and also winning the Pony FEI championships at Sheepgate U25’s. We had an exciting year planned for 2020 - my last year in ponies - with aims of campaigning for Nations cup teams and the European Championships, however due to covid, our final season together was unfortunately cut short. We sadly parted ways in October of 2020, and welcomed the arrival of my new horse Gursonne (Sonna). Sonna is a 9 year old Jazz X Sandro Hit chestnut mare with lots of character! We’re still getting to know each other and taking our time to figure out all her gears and buttons, but she is a super exciting horse. I’m hopeful that I will compete her at junior and young rider level and I aim to eventually take her to some internationals. When I’m not riding, I’m studying for my three A levels: biology, geography and economics; however, I would love to go into the professional dressage industry when I’m older. I’m really excited to be working with Imperial Equestrian again this year, and feel incredibly lucky to have their generous support.

Maisie Hodge

I’m Maisie, a 21-year-old dressage rider based in Gloucestershire. My current competition horse is Insist TC (known at home as Terry the Terror) who I compete at Elementary/Medium level. I bought Terry in the spring of 2020 and we are now training at Advanced Medium at home, which I’m very proud of as he was at just prelim level when I got him! He’s a very quick learner and definitely a super talented horse for the higher levels. Our biggest aim as a partnership is to train together to Grand Prix, in the hopes of doing a year of U25 GP premier leagues and internationals. Before I had Terry I enjoyed success with Big G up to Medium level. Before an early retirement due to injury for Big G, our career was highlighted by coming 3rd at the BD nationals at medium level! I also have an exciting 5yo called Leggero (Aero) whom I’m training and hopefully, when competitions are able to go ahead again, I will take to start his competition career! I bought him and broke him in as a 3 year old, so we are taking the whole journey together, and enjoying learning a lot along the way. As I finish my last year at Hartpury University, I’m making the move full time into working with horses, which despite the wet and mud at the moment - I’m really looking forward to! My most favourite product from Imperial Equestrian is the PS of Sweden Pro Dressage White Saddlepad. It’s without a doubt the most well-made and comfortable saddle pad I’ve used. I wouldn’t be without it as part of my competition kit now!

Emily Press

I am 20 years old and live in Sheffield, where I am at university studying Medicine. When I am not working in the hospitals, I can always be found in my happy place - with Zara, my Sella Italiano mare who is based with our trainer, Sonia Baines, in nearby Derbyshire. Zara and I are at the beginning of our dressage career together, and our highlight so far has been qualifying for area festivals in early September, just 6 weeks after she came home. Since then we have continued to work hard and are going from strength to strength. We have so much planned for 2021, with the goal of riding our first medium by the end of the winter season, and hopefully gaining some qualifications at novice and elementary levels on the way. We are also looking forward to embracing BD youth, and will hopefully get out and represent the Northern region over the summer. I am so excited to work with Imperial Equestrian, who have been our go-to source for all of our gear since day one - and I couldn’t recommend them more. 

Izzy Chaplin

Izzy is a 24-year-old international Grand Prix dressage rider from Kent. She has represented Great Britain in U25 Grand Prix as well as being the 2019 Intermediate II Petplan National Champion and being part of the BD Young Professional's quadrille who performed at Various internationals around the country from 2018 and 2019 with Vincente II. She currently has a couple of young homebred horses including Monaco C (Tiggy), a 4 year old KWPN chestnut mare and Ottowa C (Otto), a 2-year-old KWPN bay colt.  "I am honoured to be part of the Imperial Equestrian brand and looking forward to an exciting 2021 with some young horses." Izzy works part time as an accountant as well as part-time as a freelance dressage trainer. 

Harriette Williams

My name is Harriette Williams and I am a 24 yr old Dressage rider based in Newmarket, Suffolk where I run my own livery and training yard. I started riding at a very young age, before I could walk actually! I was very lucky to have a farrier as a father and my mother also being an experienced horsewoman it was pretty much guaranteed horses would be a big part of my life. I had several characterful ponies through my childhood and early teens who taught me mostly how to stay on board! I had a real passion for dressage from a rather early age, at 7 I decided Pony Club wasn’t for me and insisted on joining what was BYRDS at the time- now BD Youth. My love for the sport grew and I was very fortunate to end up Reserve for the Pony European Teams in 2010 on my trusty Fijal Figaro (now 25!) who now lives out his retirement here with me. I then went on to secure the ride on the magnificent Madams Miss Maria aka Dotty owned by Becky Moody who at aged 7 was one of the most challenging but rewarding rides I’d ever had and we made it onto the European Teams in 2012, the highlight of my pony career. 

The move to horses bought new challenges of course, I had at this point finished my GCSE’s and decided a career involving horses was inevitable, my parents said I could have a year of just ‘playing horses’ to see if I could make my way in the world and if I could pay for myself then I could go ahead and do it…..well that’s 8 years ago now so I think I passed the test! Obviously, the natural transition after Ponies was to aim for Junior and Young Rider teams, unfortunately, this aim never really got achieved due to lack of horsepower but I gained great experience training and competing my golden boy Hattrick Magic up to PSG. One thing this time taught me was to not lose sight of your own achievements, those achievements don’t always culminate in a team place but that does not mean you failed. 

Time went on and my business continued to expand, I don’t think my parents ever thought I’d outgrow the place I’d been lucky to call home all my life! Well with horses in every corner of our lovely little yard it was time to expand and that’s when we took the leap as a family and moved to Newmarket where with the support of my trainers Becky Moody and Jill Day plus my fantastic home team of vets, chiropractor and farrier I’m slowly building up my dream here, where the horses wellbeing and happiness comes above everything else.

 I’m very lucky to have two talented competition horses of my own, Creto 11 year old Hanoverian mare who I compete at Small Tour and is training towards GP at home, so far in our journey together we have had great success including Advanced Medium Gold Summer Regional Champion 2019 and Reserve PSG Regional Champion Winter 2020. Creto is qualified for the PSG Gold Regionals and Inter 1 Area Festivals for Winter 2021. My second horse is Goldi 10 year old St Pr. Oldenburg mare who is a bit green for her age but a very exciting prospect for the future, she is qualified for the Novice and Elementary Gold Winter Regionals 2021 and is working towards Advanced Medium at home.  Alongside competing I am in the process of setting up a small breeding program. I currently have two very exciting mares, both from proven GP lines ,in foal for Spring 2021 and plan on having ET foals from both Creto and Goldi in the coming years. 

Juliette Lindsay

Juliette is a 19 year old Dressage rider who is in her first year at university studying veterinary medicine. She is leasing the Thurman-Baker family’s horse Highcliffe Apollo and competes internationally for team GB at young rider level with him. In 2020 her proudest moments with her horses were placing 3rd at Keysoe CDI with Apollo, and winning 3 regional titles at the winter regional championships. Juliette is looking forward to a busy year of balancing her studies with her dressage! She is very proud and grateful to be a member of team Imperial Equestrian.  

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