With pony club the heart of her equestrian childhood and her GB endurance rider mother teaching her to ride, the eventing path was a natural one to follow for Georgie Strang. From gaining the ride of four-star horse Master Monarch, her international career kicked off in 2009 . Georgie quickly progressed to representing Great Britain at the University Championships in Korea with a silver team medal win and making her four-star debut at Burghley in 2010. Recent years has seen her Badminton and Nations Cup debut competing with a series of very talented horses. Now based at Sir Mark Todd’s yard, Georgie’s equestrian and eventing future continues to be a very exciting one!
Samantha Hobden caught up with Georgie recently in Haynet’s Chatting A Bit series to find out more about Georgie Strang and her future equestrian plans:
From the age of four, my sister Jo and I were always bombing around the farm, quite often bareback, on our amazing but very cheeky ponies – with Mum shouting at us to slow down!
Why did you choose to focus on eventing? Was it an easy decision to follow this direction into equestrian sport?
I did all pony club activities as a kid, from mounted games to tetrathlon and have been so lucky to have such a supportive mother. I was a member of the Romney Marsh Pony Club, who were always amazing and played a huge part in the early days of my riding career. I had great friends and we were fairly competitive and successful which helped.
I went straight from my 12.2 pony to a homebred 15.2 , who gave me my first taste of eventing success at the Pony Club championships. I think this is what gave me the eventing bug! Since then I have had the opportunity, through friends and owners, to ride some extremely talented horses and I have never looked back!
What do you look for in an event horse? Do you go with your gut feeling or should a horse meet a list of requirements?
I definitely get a gut feeling. Conformation and type is essential. I am drawn to a kind eye and they must have a sense of presence. I look for athleticism and a feel of effortlessness in what they are doing, whether it’s trotting across the field or loose jumping.
Which equestrian rider do you take inspiration from and why?
As a child, I was totally in awe of Tina Cook and Pippa Funnell. Being from the South East I got to see them at local events all the time. When I started BE Eventing at sixteen, I couldn’t believe I was competing alongside them. I have been lucky to get to know them over the years, and their kindness, talent, determination and humbleness inspires me even more today.
If you hadn’t gone down the equestrian career path, what would have been your Plan B?
I contemplated studying Physiotherapy at University. I’d have loved to have been a physio for a big sports team.
What are your plans and goals for the rest of this year?
My autumn aims are Burghley with Diana Morrish’s Cooley Earl, and for the BYEH 5yo Championships with Global Quest. Then the young horse championships at Osberton with Monbeg Odyssey, Global Quest and Red Hot Cooley.
Who have been your support network with your equestrian career?
I have been incredibly lucky to have such wonderful, supportive, understanding and knowledgeable parents, I certainly wouldn’t be where I am without them. I am also so lucky to have some truly amazing owners, who have stuck by me and supported me for many years. Along with being able to share the ups and downs with my partner Jesse Campbell.
From your Badminton Trot Up outfit this year it is clear you have a keen eye for fashion and style. What are your favourite key pieces you could not live without?
[Laughing] I don’t know about that. I am rarely out of breeches but I do love an excuse to feel more girlie. Even as a small child I’d be running around the farm in wellies and a dress. I couldn’t live without my Fairfax and Favour Kensington Boots that go with everything, and a heel just big enough for me not to go arse over tit!
On a day off, where can we find you?
If I’m not eventing, Jesse probably is so I’ll be supporting him. Otherwise, I’ll be seeing friends and family. I love to just relax at home with the dogs and a good Netflix series, but it’s not often I get the chance.
Where would you like to be in ten years time?
I would love to eventually have my own yard and continue to produce young horses to the top level for wonderful owners. Hopefully winning lots of prizes along the way!
Against The Clock
Bays, Greys or Chestnuts: Bays
Champagne or Gin: Champagne
Schoolmaster or Youngster: Youngster
Sunshine or Snow: Sunshine
Home Cooked or Eating Out: Eating Out
Spend or Save: Spend
Music or Film: Film
Horse Racing or Racing Cars: Horse Racing
Georgie and her horses are supported by Balanced Horse Feeds. For efficient nutrition and to find out more about Balanced Horse Feeds, please visit: http://balancedhorsefeeds.