Candice Pottage | Senior | Dressage | Dressage Team Member
When did you start riding?
I actually started riding in South Africa when I used to live there. I must have been about 11/12 and my friend wanted to go on a beach ride for her birthday. One canter down the beach and I was hooked! From then I actually ‘leased’ a horse once a week and taught myself to tack up, ride and jump. When I look back now, I think I’m pretty lucky I found a good horse to put up with a clueless but keen me!! Times have definitely changed since then.
What horse(s) do you currently own or ride?
I currently only own one horse, Steward. Otherwise known is Stu, or Susan (but mostly Susan!). He’s a 16.2hh Hanoverian Gelding who I bought unbacked as a 6 year old. I had pretty much decided to buy him after seeing a picture of him! Sometimes you just know, and after losing a previous ‘horse of a life time’ to a field injury, it took me a long time to find the next horse for me.
What equestrian activities do you do?
We mainly compete in dressage, but have done a bit of everything - including hunting, one day events and show jumping. If it were up to him, I’m sure Stu would do more jumping - but I definitely prefer to keep feet on the ground!
Do you have a horsey goal or aspiration?
My goals for 2019... are split into two! The main one - is have fun! I’m quite competitive and can put a lot of pressure on myself, and often forget it’s a hobby. Saying that though, I am aiming to qualify for and compete at BD regionals at Elementary, and then I’m just going to take it from there.
What do you enjoy most about riding?
To be honest, I feel like if I ever stopped riding, I’m not sure what I’d do with all my time, or money?! I really enjoy the constant learning - I’m not the type of person to sit still and can get bored quite quickly if things stay the same. I also like the feeling of progressing and there’s something to learn everyday with horses. Of course I really enjoy the connection and relationship you can build with horses. Watching them grow and learn too can be really rewarding.
Do you have any “pre-game” rituals?
Although I’d like to say otherwise, but I’m definitely a last minute.com type person. There’s a method in my madness though! I get quite nervous for competitions, so being constantly busy and slightly rushing means I don’t really have time to stop and worry about anything!
What do you consider to be your equestrian career highlight?
My proudest equestrian achievement has definitely got to be placing 3rd at the BD Winter Championships at Novice level on an ex racehorse I trained. He raced until he was 8, had a short break and I started work with him, which was slightly hair-raising at first (I fell off the first day I sat on him - not something that happens very often!!). However he soon got the game and knuckled down and definitely gave some of the Warmbloods a run for their money!