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60 second interview - Julie Gordon, Breakspear Secretary

Breakspear Secretary (1974 to present day – sad!)
Currently live in North East Hampshire
3 horses ridden by my daughter in Pulborough, West Sussex
Ridden since 1964 – retired 2010!

What was your 1st experience of riding/horses
When living in Dover in 1960’s I used to cycle for miles into the countryside to a farm which had a Shetland pony. For some reason the owners just used to let me ‘ride’ it; hadn’t a clue what I was doing. I was only about 8 or 9; it wouldn’t happen now.

Tell us about your 1st horse or pony?
‘Sportsman’ – 15.2hh dark bay gelding bought as 7 year old in 1972 for £350. We did everything together. Hunted, joined Breakspear Riding Club where we competed Horse Trials, Dressage, ‘Prix Caprilli’, showjumping individually and teams getting to BRC Nationals in Dressage and Prix Caprilli when held at Stoneleigh Showground. He was my best friend and I lost him in 1992 aged 27; the previous year he had won Veteran at Rotherfield Park Show.

What is your best ever result?
In the 70’s/80’s British Riding Clubs used to run an event called Teams of Three. Three horses/riders made up a 5 minute display then went straight on to jump two fences at 3’0”-3’3” abreast! – quite scary as three very excited horses came charging in! You were also judged on your turnout, which was bowler hats, breeches with buttons sewn on for your boot strap to sit in; everything had to match as best as possible. You had to qualify at the county shows to ride at The Royal International Horse Show which was at the time held at Wembley. Our highest placing was 3rd, but we also came 4th and 7th. What an experience!

Tell about your current involvement with horses
Apart from Secretary to Breakspear Riding Club, I am also Secretary to Petersfield Pony Club (12 years), plus I am with the Scorers Team in the South of England for British Eventing covering events such as Tweseldown, BCA, Munstead, Coombelands, Rackham, Borde Hill etc. I also do scoring for Pony Clubs and Riding Clubs in the area.

Do you have an equestrian role model?
William Fox Pitt and Mary King – enough said!