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Sponsored rider Vicky Smith talks eventing, turning pro in show horse producing and her year long sabbatical

Vicky Smith is an event rider and recently turned professional show rider and producer.

Her 13 year old horse Indian king is aimed at 1* this year while the exciting 6 year old Duntoatee has gained his regional qualifier for Badminton Mitsubishi Motors Cup so he will be aimed there.

We caught up with her to find out a little more about her busy life and what we can expect from her this year.

What does it mean to you to have turned pro at the end of 2018?  

It was a bit daunting to leave my job of 14 years but after juggling 6 horses and school in the run up to hoys was a tad stressful! I’m really proud I’m at the stage where I’m established enough to run my own yard and compete with people I always idolised.

What's the key to being a successful producer and rider in the showing world?

Work, work and more hard work! I think that to produce a horse for any discipline is difficult but to take one to a competition and have a judge ride is really tough. They have to be schooled to perfection. 

What's your biggest goal for 2019? 

My goal for 2019 is to make my owners proud. We have some really exciting horses in the yard and as long as they look and go as well as they can it’s all we ask. Another win at hoys would be a dream!  

Showing AND Eventing - lots going on! 

I see my Eventing as my fun. They are my own horses and we just go for pleasure so the two stay.
How hard was it riding and producing alongside your job as a P.E teacher?
It was really hard work - I was riding at 5am before work and in the evenings often until around 9pm. I have very good staff that I rely on to keep things ticking over. I was constantly exhausted and when I realised it was financially viable I decided to give it a go. The school have kept my job open for me so I can go back if I want to next January. I also have the option of supply teaching. At the moment I'm far too busy to be riding teaching though!  
What advice do you have for anyone wanting to go professional or make it in the show ring?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and listen to advice from other professionals. They are all approachable. You can learn lots from looking at their turnout and how they present their horses. Lots of professional riders run clinics and you can gain lots of knowledge in just one session. 

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