Our Featured Rider today is Sophie and Remmi – better known as Riding Remington We borrowed five minutes of their time to get to know them and their story a little better….
Thanks for joining us Sophie! Can you tell us a little about you and your four legged friend….
Hello I’m Sophie, I’m 32 years old and I live in West Sussex. Growing up life was pretty average, I did the regular thing of school followed by University (I studied Radiography). I then had the marvellous idea of taking a ‘gap year’ to travel. Instead of self funding my travels I decided to get a job as Airline Cabin Crew,. Being paid to travel the world? Who would say no to that?! Well it’s nearly 10 years later and I’m still on that ‘gap year’ and loving every minute of it!
Remmi is my partner in crime, or pony! He is an 11 year old Traditional Gypsy Cob gelding. The biggest revelation and people are always surprised to hear is that he isn’t actually ‘mine’. He belongs to a lovely lady called Kelly who shares her wonderful horses with me. He fell into my life around 5 years ago now. I was at a show and before I knew it I found myself being legged up onto him and chucked into a Working Performance (think Working Hunter but for cobs) class. I think we demolished every jump and eventually found ourselves being eliminated. Let’s just say it wasn’t the dazzling start to our partnership that I had hoped.
How long have you been riding?
I started riding at a local riding school when I was around 7/8 years old. The first pony I ever rode was a little cob called Pudding, maybe that is where the obsession with cobs began? I was lucky enough to get my own pony when I was 14. Well, at 16hh she was actually a horse but I refer to most ‘horses’ as ponies. A variety of different ponies have come in and out of my life since then – From ex-racers to natives to warmbloods.
Anyway that was the roundabout way of saying I’ve been riding for 20 years – I had a 5 year break when I went to University.
What has been your riding highs? And lows?
This is a tricky one. There have been some really great moments and equally some dreadful ones. Naturally the losses are always hard. I don’t need to tell you that loosing a pony, be it through old age/ill health/a freak accident whatever the circumstance is incredibly painful. In the same respect moving on/selling is equally hard. Obviously, in an ideal world we would keep them all. Well, I would. Sadly my garden just isn’t quite big enough!
One of my all time highs isn’t a prolific win or anything like that. It is actually an oldie. I must have been 16/17 at the time and I had a super SJ New Forest pony called Danny. I remember the day like it was yesterday. It was a Sunday evening and I had just finished watching ‘The OC’ (massive Seth Cohen fan!) and I received a call from the Pony Club SJ Team Manager to inform us that we had made the Novice Show Jumping team. I genuinely felt like I had just been selected for the Olympics! Which of course sounds incredibly silly but making a team was a HUGE aim of mine. I used to read the PC newsletter and see all the names of the team members and dream that ours might be in there one day!
What keeps you motivated?
Competing. No matter what the sport, I’ve always been incredibly competitive. A more youthful me wouldn’t have been happy with my performance unless we were trucking home with a red rosette. Of course, the more ‘mature’ me (I use that term loosely!) realises that there is a lot more to it than actually winning – “Just because you haven’t won a red rosette, doesn’t mean you haven’t won” or at least I think that is the quote. Competing pushes me to get better. It drives me to ride in the freezing cold or on those days when I’ve been up for over 24 hrs after a night flight. I love training them and I love trying something new – Hopefully I’ll still be saying that after we tackle our first One Day Event this week!
What is your favourite riding outfit for everyday wear?
Ooooh, this is an easy one. My Honest Riders Riding Tights. These are still fairly new to me (I got them in July) but I have literally lived in them everyday since. It is very much a case of wearing them, chucking them in the wash that evening and then slipping them back on the next day. I usually pair them with an Honest Riders Tee/Sweatshirt. Yup, I’m a massive Honest Riders fan!
What will be your go to item for autumn clothing this year?
Does a pair of boots count as clothing? I searched high and low for a pair of boots that were suitable for riding, hard wearing enough for all the jobs around the stable yet smart enough to wear to events such as Badminton/Burghley. It was a much trickier search than I anticipated. The boots that ticked all the boxes, were the Fonte Verde (the elegant boot collection from Woof Wear) ‘Marvao’ boots. I highly doubt these will leave my feet this autumn/winter.
(We love these too – check out our recent Autumn style guide)
What’s been your greatest achievement so far with riding?
Again, another really good question and one that has definitely got the ‘brain cogs’ turning. I would have to say my journey with Remmi.
To recycle a caption I recently used on my Instagram…
‘I wouldn’t say we are a match made in heaven; Deep down, he’s a pretty nervous guy and I’m far from the most experienced rider. Luckily for me he is incredibly honest and trusting – We’re learning together and I often get it wrong more that I get it right but despite that, he still trusts me.’
He is the first pony I have ever had that ‘bond’ with. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that my first National Championship win, my first affiliated dressage test and my first One Day Event would be with a Traditional Gypsy Cob – Everyday he surprises me and I’m so incredibly proud of all that he has achieved. For the longest time I used to see being different as a bad thing – I’d let all these negative thoughts fill my head. He has taught me that it REALLY doesn’t matter, our stories are all unique. We do what we do because we love it and that right there is enough, nothing else matters.
Thanks so much to Sophie and Remmi – finding more about our featured rider has been great. We love learning about your journey, the highs and the lows and the fashion of course!
Keep posted for more on our Featured Riders, if you would like to be featured – get in touch!
Until next time – XOXO – JEN