Ginny Howe: Horse Rider, Badminton
PUBLISHED: 13:44 31 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:59 20 February 2013
A young rider with talent and determination
Gifted young event rider Ginny Howe is hoping to make her debut at this month's high-profile Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (May 7-10). Her partner will be Cavort, a 13-year-old bay gelding with bags of scope. The pair represented Great Britain as individuals at the 2007 European Young Riders Championships.
Ginny confirms, "I think I'm pretty sure to get in and am really looking forward to Badminton. It will be quite nerve-racking, especially in front of a home crowd. Cavort is quite a tricky character, extremely strong. He can be quite exuberant in the dressage and is a complete machine across country, he loves it almost too much and can be too bold at times."
Cavort has built up a consistent record at three star level, finishing 12th at Chatsworth and 10th at Bramham. The combination attempted their first four star at Pau in France in October 2008, when things did not go according to plan, with a fall at the water. Depending on how things go at Badminton, the plan is for Cavort to contest either Blenheim or Burghley in the autumn.
Ginny, aged 21, has 10 competition horses at her yard at Duns Tew near Banbury. These include the promising Divilabit, a seven-year-old grey gelding with a good record at novice level. His goal is the Dijon two star event in France at the end of May. Ginny is excited about his prospects, saying, "He's definitely one for the future, as his ability and potential is already evident."
She is also buoyant regarding the prospects of Lottie Wemyss's Bonne Amie, Katha Catherwood's former polo pony Chilean Boy, and her own Vidusa. She also partners the experienced Deebeers Solitaire for her Godmother, Janet Ackner, and another inmate is Emma Strutt's Pembrey Perzaz.
Ginny, who has been riding since before she could walk, owes much to the excellent grounding she received in the Heythrop Hunt branch of the Pony Club, which she attended with her siblings, Rachel and Ian, who rides in point-to-points. She had a great pony called Princess and then a superstar show jumping pony, Rosie, who introduced her to competitive life and to whom she feels she owes a great deal.
Ginny represented the Heythrop Pony Club four times in the Pony Club Championships, both in eventing and show jumping, being part of the victorious team in 2004 when they captured the horse trials championship and Ginny finished third individually on the home-bred Alpine Express. She graduated to Juniors, being long-listed with Montgomery IV for the 2005 European Junior Championships, but unfortunately he was injured at the final trial. Following this disappointment, Simon Lawrence, her trainer, generously lent her his ex-Badminton horse, Tudor Court II, who was jointly owned by Fiona Rolt.
It was Tudor Court who successfully introduced Ginny to her first one and two star events, giving her very valuable experience. It was also during 2006 the family purchased Cavort. She recalls, "We knew he was something special and would hopefully get me closer to my dream of competing at Badminton and ultimately the Olympics."
She is still trained by Simon Lawrence, who considers her, "An incredibly naturally talented rider and competitor, who is hard working and has done a fantastic job on Cavort, who is not an easy horse to ride, as well as many other difficult horses. Importantly, when she is competing she does not become over inflated by success and bounces back quickly from mishaps. These are all qualities that are essential in the competitive world of three day event riding." She also receives tuition from Young Rider team trainer Gill Watson and Rhet Bird, who helps with dressage.
Asked about goals for 2009, Ginny replied, "The European Young Riders' team is a goal this season, but we'll just have to wait and see how it goes." Her ultimate ambition is predictable, "The London Olympics in 2012!" adding, "Cavort, Divilabit and Bonne Amie are the right sort of age of be in contention."
Like so many promising young riders, Ginny, an attractive bubbly blonde, is seeking sponsorship. If you would like to help Ginny in her quest to London 2012 please visit: www.ginnyhowe-eventing.co.uk
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Dates for this month
2-3: Withington Manor one day event (near Cheltenham). Tel: 01242 890451; www.withington-manor.com
4: North Ledbury point-to-point (Maisemore Park). Tel: 01531 640772
4: Warwickshire point-to-point (Ashorne, near Warwick). Tel: 01789 740050
4, 9 (evening), 12: Warwick Flat Races. Tel: 01926 491553; www.warwickracecourse.co.uk
6: Cheltenham Races (Hunter Chase evening). Tel: 01242 513014; www.cheltenham.co.uk
6-7: Moreton Morrell one day event (near Warwick). Tel: 01926 318313
7-10: Mitsubishi Motors Badminton International Horse Trials. Box office: 01454 218375; www.badminton-horse.co.uk
9-10: Broadway one day event. Tel: 01386 858961
10: Wheatland point-to-point (Chaddesley Corbett, near Bromsgrove). Tel: 01746 714205
10, 20 (evening): Worcester National Hunt Races. Tel: 08702 202772; www.worcester-racecourse.co.uk
22, 23 (both evening), 31: Stratford-on-Avon National Hunt Races. Tel: 01789 267949; www.stratfordracecourse.net
25: Albrighton Woodland point-to-point (Chaddesley Corbett, near Bromsgrove). Tel: 07791 383566