About Sofie

From a Passion to my Profession....

My passion for horses started from a young age after I began riding lessons at a local riding school along-side my two older sisters Shari and Kristy. Although my parents were not equestrians our farm house in the centre of the Hertfordshire countryside in the village of Albury, is where it all began. After the purchase of a cheeky Shetland pony with purpose as a lawn mower, we soon after had our first pony Jessica, me at the age of 5.

Pony Mad!

The following years all three sisters had our own ponies and had joined Puckeridge Pony Club and participated in all disciplines, competing on Pony club teams successfully from Dressage, Gymkhana, Show Jumping and Eventing teams. By the age of six I had Ginger my first pony who taught me the basis of what I know now. She was a 12hh strawberry roan mare. Within those years we grew together doing everything we should and shouldn’t have done! On “Hot Ginger” I found my love of show jumping. 

As an extremely dedicated young child, I would get up before school at 5am every morning to ride my ponies and this would continue after school until bedtime. My dedication led to success and I was show jumping with many different Ponies and competing on various HPI (Home Pony International) England teams winning Bronze Silver and Gold Medals throughout my childhood and being ranked number 1 in the country at the age of 10. As well as spending the majority of my time exploring the Hertfordshire countryside and causing havoc with four friends on our ponies (later known as the Famous 5!!)

A Turning Point...

My love of Show Jumping continued on my step up onto horses where I was fortunate to have the ride of some amazing horses which took me to compete in the Young Rider England Squad in Virden, Holland. Although that meant school work was on the back burner!! So after our families moved to Woodredon EC 2002 I was private tutored to allow more time for training for competitions. I also then started a course at Writtle Collage training towards my equine exams and worked fulltime on the riding school teaching and working as a yard hand from the age 16.  With ongoing shoulder dislocations of both arms, I had had two major operations by 2010 so made the huge decision that Show Jumping was not safe with the untrustworthy shoulders, so the move to Dressage was on the horizon. With all jumping horses sold apart from my Youngster, a stunning 16.1hh Bay gelding by Concorde who I had owned since a colt and had broken in myself … Lad (aka Zandokan II). 2011 was the year we both made the transition to dressage. Dressage just happened to suit us both surprisingly well. With his fantastic trainability and natural extravagant paces and my self being a total perfectionist we felt at home with the complete change in discipline.     Within our first year and a half of competing BD (British Dressage) we had won the Hickstead Masters Championship, every Regional Final and Pet Plan Final we entered with consistent +70% scores and had placings from 4th – 10th at both Summer and Winter National Championships in 2011 and 2012 at three different levels. We were also fortunate enough to be picked to ride for the BYRDS (British Young Riders Dressage Squad) in the A squad team. We had also won sports funding from the council towards dressage training through our success and had been sponsored by Farm and Country horse supplies. By the summer of 2012 we were competing Advanced Medium but I had made the decision to sell the love of my life, Lad    

Dancing Horses...

There my search for my perfect Dressage partner began. I bought a Beautiful two year old Black Stallion called Dolla in 2012. Over the two years I broke him to ride myself and we had the most amazing bond. He became a licenced stallion in 2013. By 2014 we were competing successfully in the age classes with placings at Premier Leagues and we were progressing amazingly. Our last competition together was the Badminton 4 year old finals in 2014. Bad luck had come our way and I lost him to navicular in March 2015.     Never the less many amazing Dressage horses happened to come across my path and enter my stables from 2013, such as a 18hh Gelding by Gribaldi “Rufus” and a 17.2 hh Gelding By Sonny Boy “Vivaldi N”. With these two advanced dressage horses I had competed successfully qualifying Regional Finals, Hickstead Finals, competing BYRDS and high scores up to 83%, with much help from my trainers.     Then I had “The Governor” aka BOB! We were a partnership since the end of summer 2014 to Summer 2016 our hard work and regular training proved to be very successful combination with +70% scores and high placings at Regional Finals at Medium and Advanced together & progressed to Advanced with 70% then we made our debut at Prix St. George!!     

Training to win...

After the sale of ” Big Bob” I was in a fortunate position in the spring of 2016 to gain the ride of Jessica Oakes 8 year old Samba Hit X Royal Dance mare “Royalty” along with her home bred, stunning 2013 DiMaggio X Trento B gelding to break in and produce.     Since the spring Royalty and myself trained hard to get to know one another with her being ultra talented although ultra sensitive to work with, we successfully moved through the levels from Elementary to PSG in 5 months, winning almost at every outing and gaining 2X Area Festival Champion titles at Medium & Advanced Medium qualifying for 2017 Winter National Championships and Qualifying for Regional Finals 2017.    

Current #TeamSofie

 Backing the future star “DiMante” aka Choccy, the 2013 DiMaggio X Trento B gelding was a steady yet fun process over the summer months of 2016, with the cheeky and playful natured dark bay standing at 17hh and still maturing. He was extremely strong charactered and powerful which made the process interesting yet extremely pleasing. Choccy is now producing in his work very successfully we are aiming for the young horse classes 2017, with an extremely exciting future ahead of this young star, both myself and his owner Jessica cannot wait to see him proving himself at competitions.     2016 has been a productive year leading up to my new addition “Uli” aka Ulisses my Lustiano Grand Prix gelding. I am excited to get to know him and get out and introduce him to the British Dressage circuit.