Success at a canter for hero Rosalind

Ros Canter and Alby at last years Badminton Horse Trials Picture: Trevor Holt EMN-170914-132740001

It’s safe to say horses have always been a quintessential part of Rosalind Canter’s life.

But, even with a gold medal and fifth place at this year’s Badminton Horse Trials to her name, she still has to pinch herself from time to time.

That’s because Rosalind is a rising star on the global eventing circuit.

She has already competed for her country at the age of 31 - and brought home a team gold in the process.

It all started for Rosalind on her family’s farm in Hallington, near Louth.

During her childhood she was an active member of the South Wold North Hunt branch of the Pony Club, regularly training and competing in team and individual one-day eventing competitions.

These consist of three equestrian disciplines: dressage, cross country and show jumping.

It is doubtless that it is here she caught the eventing bug - but it wasn’t necessarily a career that was always mapped out for her.

Rosalind explained: “I did go off to uni to study sport science, and then went travelling.

“I got back into training and competing in my twenties, and now it’s my full time job.”

Although she competes at many different levels, Rosalind ‘rode’ to the top of the eventing world with Caroline Moore’s and her own Allstar B (or Alby as he is known), competing at prestigious four-star events at Badminton in Gloucestershire and Burghley in the south of Lincolnshire.

At events of this magnitude - which span across three days - horse and rider must complete a complex dressage test with precision, accuracy and expression.

The second day is devoted to a nail-biting cross country phase, where the human-equine duo must navigate a lengthy course of technical solid fences - which are up to 1.20 metres in height and 3 metres wide.

The third and final day is the make or break showjumping round where half a second over the time could be the difference between first or second place.

But, as the riding gets tougher, Rosalind’s resolve has only got stronger.

She said: “When I was younger, competing used to be the ‘be all and end all’ and I heaped the pressure on myself.

“Now that it’s my job, I am able to be much more rational, and I can distance myself from the rankings.

“It’s actually helped me become more competitive - as there is always another event.

“Even at Badminton, when I went in to the showjumping round knowing I could come out as highest placed Brit, I didn’t feel the pressure.

“With two fences down, I would still have come tenth - which would have felt like winning really!”

However, competing at four star level is still pretty new to Rosalind.

She said: “It’s still a big thing for me.

“But with Alby, I’m very fortunate.

“I know he can jump the height and he is very talented and has a heart of gold.

“But, I have to be on form too - if I don’t give him the best line possible to a jump, I could really let him down.”

Another fantastic success for Rosalind this year, was securing a position on Team GB at the FEI European Eventing Championships in Poland.

Not only were the team crowned champions, Rosalind took home an individual fifth and a personal best in dressage.

And, she got to ride alongside some of her idols.

She said: “It was amazing - I had to be careful not to get too hysterical.”

Rosalind has another rising four star horse in the making with 13-year-old Zenshera.

The pair recently came ninth in Zenshera’s first four star event in Luhmuhlen, Germany.

Rosalind explained: “You never know if you’re on a four star horse until you get to the finish.

“It’s not just about jumping, but endurance as well.

“Alby and Zenshera are committed and always try hard for me.”

And what’s the next hurdle for Rosalind?

She said: “An individual win for my country - that’s the dream.

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