Posted by: rstor | February 7, 2013

Polly Tucker’s Rider Profile as featured in Absolute Horse magazine

Our sponsored rider Polly Tucker is preparing for the new event season and divulges lots of information for Absolute Horse magazine! Get to know more about Polly here…

How and when did you start riding? My Mum has always had horses, so it was inevitable when I was born that my Mum would by me a basket saddle, so I could ride too. I think I was sitting in a basket saddle before I could walk! My love of horses grew from a early age and as I got older Mum phased out riding herself, to help me concentrate on my riding career in eventing.

Is there a reason why you chose eventing? I always loved eventing in Pony Club, competing at area level and team local level, but it wasn’t until we bought my 14.2hh pony Flash (Banagher Flash) that I started to show a bigger interest in going affiliated eventing. Flash had come over from Ireland and was an ex FEI showjump team pony. He had won several medals and championships and at 16 was looking for a quieter life. When he came to me we discovered his love for XC and we also discovered how much the dressage judges loved him! Someone suggested I take him BE, with that passing suggestion, I begged Mum to let me get accredited (as I was only 13 at the time) – since then I have evented every season – and plan to for many more.

Did you have a particular horse that has really helped you make it? Flash won me lots of placings BE, and even took me to the grassroots championships, but I think the horse that really helped me make it and built upon my love of eventing was a my old event horse Blue (Blue Rangoon). We were very lucky to acquire Blue from Campbell Equestrian, he had been to 2* level and Advance Intermediate, but was looking to downgrade after colic surgery.

If I am honest at the time he was too big and I was only small and still quite young, but he looked after me and we built up a strong partnershipinstantly. In our first season together he took me round my first Open Pre Novice to my first Open Novice, and in between we managed to be crowned National Intermediate Pony Club Eventing Champions. He was never the easiest to ride on the flat but always brought home a score and he never faulted with me once XC. Since that first season together we have taken part in a full season of JRN, were accepted onto the Young Riders programme and completed our first CIC* with a double clear. He owes me nothing and at 18 he is now retired and enjoying life as a lawn mower and happy hack.

Which top horse do you most admire and why? I love watching Willy Do ridden by Lucy Jackson – their rounds always look so effortless and easy. He looks like a horse who loves his job and would try his heart out for you. As a child growing up I would always go to watch Badminton and loved watching Shear H20 ridden by Leslie Law and Viceroy ridden by Pippa Funnell, I always dreamed of riding horses like that one day.

What’s the most expensive horse that you have ever ridden? I was once lucky enough on a Alexander Technique training day to be given the chance of riding a showjumping stallion. He was worth thousands so I was very lucky to be allowed to borrow him for the session. It was like riding an over grown pony that had more spring than a kangaroo. My dressage trainer and my Mum both said I looked like a pleased cat purring away as I rode him around. I have also been lucky enough to event a horse for two seasons who was previously evented to 3* by Joe Meyer – every time I would get to an event and have his passport checked they would all say ‘ooo, you’re riding a Joe Meyer horse!’ .

What has been your worst tumble? Several years back I was in the middle of a dressage lesson on my young horse Ghost, we were preparing to do a turn on the forehand. As I moved into the turn on the forehand, she reared up and lost her balance and she went over backwards with me on board. She was ID XTB and was a big horse, she knocked me out and I was rushed into hospital with a muscle haemorrhage in my groin. I was incredibly lucky to be alive the Doctors said and were even more surprised I didn’t break my pelvis. The same horse bucked me off at a lesson and kicked me in the face, shattering my nose.

You endorse the RSTor product, how has that assisted with your training? The RS-tor rider safety aid, www.rstor.co.uk, is a fabulous piece of kit that has been vital to my every day training. I have very lively TB’s at home and often get asked to break in and bring on youngsters; the RSTor helps keep you anchored and safe in the saddle in those sometimes hairy moments when you would normally end up hitting the deck. I have found the RSTor brilliant when bringing on youngsters, if a youngster becomes frightened, you still have full control but the RS-tor stops the rider from pulling at the reins in panic, and thus frightening the horse even more. It is also has an added feature that it can help improve hand positioning, and I have noticed a huge change in the way I hold my reins, I no longer have any washing line moments with my reins! Since using the RS-tor I have had virtually no tumbles – it is a vital piece of kit that has kept me safe and has stopped me from having any serious falls.

If you could give one piece of advice to Absolute Horse readers, what would it be? No dream is too big, I never thought I would even win a rosette at BE level – I’ve proved my self wrong and achieved more than I ever dreamed I could. My Mum always said if you don’t give it a try you will never know, if I hadn’t taken up eventing I wouldn’t be in this position I am today.

AH feb 2013 polly tucker RSTor profile


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