Alicia Wilkinson

My name is Alicia Wilkinson, I am 20 years old and I was riding before I could walk, I first did rising trot when I was two and Pony Club camp when I was four. I have had a variety of tricky ponies that have made me the rider I am today.

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I currently have four horses, Gazelle Dwerse Hagen (Googie) aged 10 is competing at 2* level eventing and we aim to compete in the Young Rider Trials this coming season for my final year. I have had Googie since a late 6 year old and she had never seen a cross country fence before I had her.

Perfect Timing II (Pooh) is our home bred mare aged 8 out of a homebred mare (Whinnie). Pooh did half a season last year and hopes to get out at the start of this season and progress to Novice level. I backed Pooh myself, but we have been rather slow as she had a tricky half brother (Piglet) who took a bit longer to back than we hoped!!! He came out of it and has moved on to a lovely new owner.

I still have my first horse, Moorhey Songbird (Tim) who has retired from eventing now aged 15 as I struggled with the brakes cross country at Intermediate height, he is now competing in show jumping and dressage. He has been to the Pony Club Championships for the last 5 years and I hope to qualify him again for the show jumping.

The last horse on my yard is my Junior horse Quizette (Diva), she is 14 and sadly had to retire a few years ago due to mysterious muscle wastage on one of her shoulders. She is the kindest, sweetest mare who would never hurt a fly so not your typical chestnut mare and for this reason we have decided to breed from her. She is in foal to Chilli Morning (Badminton winner, 2015) which is due in April.

I am a keen member of East Essex Hunt Pony Club and have represented my Pony Club at the Championship for the last 7 years. I have been on the Rider Development Pathway and last summer I passed my A test with distinction. I enjoy teaching and am hoping to take my teaching exams.

I have amazing support from my family and friends but particularly my Mum as she labours away everyday whilst I am at University to keep all my horses fit and drives them up to Oxford so I can have lessons on them. She is my role model and has always given me support when times have been hard. I would never have got into horses without her influence on my brothers and I when we were little - I owe everything I have achieved (to date) to her.

I am the captain of Oxford Brookes Equestrian team and part of the Great British student riding squad. Over New Year I went out to Germany with GB student riding for the World Finals and ended up as overall World Champion! (I had a good night!)

Being part of Dengie Horse Feed has given me insight into how to feed my horses correctly and Claire Akers has been exceptionally helpful. I will blog regularly and let you know the ups and downs of my 2016 eventing season.

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    On route to Blenheim CIC3*

    Well it is the morning we leave for Blenheim CIC3* Pooh is feeling great and has been training really hard.

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    University Completed

    So I have now finished Uni!!! Yay, I got a 2:1 so I'm pretty happy! However, I am currently sitting on the sofa for the third day now as I had my tonsils removed.

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    Trying to Fit Everything In

    It's my last year at Oxford Brookes University and I have been trying to finish the dreaded Dissertation! I have finished my first draft and now editing it. I have two weeks holiday over Easter then go back for two weeks then I am done…hooray!!!

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    Getting Through January

    I find January is always a miserable time of year with horses, because everything is wet and if its not wet it is either raining, snowing, freezing or really windy!

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    Home for Christmas

    I'm back home from University for the Christmas break. Googie is back up in full work and had her first jump this week since July! She was pretty happy and is feeling better than ever - we are really trying to nail this dressage before the start of the season.

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    Pooh Steps Up to the Mark

    With Googie back in walking work Pooh has had to step up to the mark. Since the splash at the Pony Club Championships we did our first Intermediate at Pontispool. Pooh had an unlucky two poles followed by an incredible clear cross country. We then took her to her first CIC* where she did an incredible double clear finishing in the top 20.

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    New Arrivals

    It's been crazy busy over the past month, I'm not quite sure where the time has gone! Googie (Gazelle Dwerse Hagen) has had another two runs. She did another U21 Intermediate at Hambledon going double clear and finishing 4th and we did our first ever Advanced at Withington, which was amazing.

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    The Ups and Downs of Eventing

    Dengie Performance Nutritionist Claire came to weigh the horses, which was brilliant and they are all looking super on their Dengie fibre diet. Googie (Gazelle Dwerse Hagen) has lost a little weight, which is to be expected as she has been getting fitter and competing.

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    Good First Results

    The season is underway! Isleham was a great start for Googie (Gazelle Dwerse Hagen) and we came second in the Open Novice section. She did an okay test – there were things to like, but lots to improve. 

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    Pre-Season Preparations

    Eeek, entries are opening for the start of the season! It is getting so exciting, I can't wait. I am back at university now, which is nice but means not much riding. The weekend before I came back, I had an amazing lesson with Caroline Starling.

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    Getting Ready For The Event Season

    It is so difficult getting back into the swing of things after the holidays. My university term luckily doesn't start till the 1st February, so I have had almost an extra month to get the horses out of their winter PJs and into pre-season training.

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