Becky is the ‘leading light’ of this whole enterprise.
With two big sisters who were keen on horses, school and music, and were also members of the Eglinton Pony Club, there was competition in plenty. And wonderful neighbours who encouraged a bit of a wild streak as far as horses were concerned meant that Becky spent much time trying very hard on her 10.2 pony Kelly, to keep up with big sisters as they explored the Ayrshire countryside and enjoyed great venues with the PC.
In 1986 a move to Yorkshire with horses in tow and a different Pony Club and more ponies meant the further development of a good basic grounding in all aspects of horsemanship. She competed in all disciplines but dressage very quickly became an all consuming interest and from the age of nine she represented the Rockwood Pony Club at the Area Dressage for ten consecutive years, qualifying five times for the P.C. National Championships on five different horses.
Age thirteen she began training with Ian Woodhead and the following year was the winner of the Pony Talent Spotting Final and reserve for the Eurpean Pony Team.
All this meant skiving off school and wonderful letters of excuse were invented – to no avail – staff were fully aware of the situation and either approved or considered her to be wasting her academic skills “on horses”.
At fifteen she won her place on the junior European team after winning the team and individual tests at the Hickstead International with Hannah’s 15hh 16 year old highland x thoroughbred Sir Fred.
Over the next six years she represented G.B. at four U21 European Championships – two with Paulette Tuckey’s Jordas and two with the Moody Family and Christine Jebson’s Kwadraat. In 1998 and 2000 the team won the bronze medals and in 2000 and 2001 Becky was the highest placed Brit- finishing in eighth place both times.
In 1998 she also won the Winter Novice Championship on Early Bird and the Under 21 Novice Championship on Kabanza
In 2001 Becky and Kwad were the PSG and Int 1 National Champions and in 2002 made their senior international debut at Soley CDI where they again finished best of the Brits in second place in all three small tour classes.
In 2003 she finished ninth in the Grand Prix National Champs with Humble Pie – a horse she has owned and trained since he was 3 years old.
In 2004 She was the winner of the Elementary, Medium and Advanced Medium Regional Championships on High Fashion, and was 5th in the GP Special and 3rd in the GP Freestyle on Humble Pie at Fry’s CDI.
Hannah and Becky had a great Pas de Deux partnership on Kabanza and Kwadraat with many successes including 2nd at the finals of the Berkeley Homes Inter1 Pas de Deux held at the European Championships at Hickstead in 2003.
Hannah is the anchor woman.
A quiet but determined personality she has the stickability to see things through and wants everyone (including herself) to realise their potential.
Hannah started her riding in Brazil when she was 5. On returning to Britain a succession of rather challenging ponies developed a different stickability!
Her dressage interest started with Sir Fred and they had many successes up to and during her University Fine Art Degree course when she also started training Rockwood PC dressage group (all monies earned paying for the train fare from London) and their senior team went to PC Championships 5 times (2 teams on one occasion). As well as riding, more and more people were coming for training and despite a first class degree she decided to be a pennyless horse person rather than a pennyless artist! Many of her pupils have been successful at national level and she started Kwadraat on his successful career with top placings at the Nationals up to Medium level and Medium Elite Champion in 1999. She has also had great success training and competing other horses from youngsters to Grand Prix .
Hannah was very involved with Northern BYRDS from 2001 to 2010, and since 2008 has sat on the British Dressage BYRDS committee. She is also a keen supporter of British Dressage’s new apprenticeship scheme and also is a Coach Educator and a UKCC Assessor. Both Hannah and Becky have their UKCC Level 3, Becky sits on the BD Training Committee and is a Young Horse judge. (see BD website for more info on Byrds Apprenticeships and UKCC)
For both Hannah and Becky an important part of their busy lives is their own training and development and they owe much to many people, especially David Hunt who they have been training with since 2002.