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5 mins with....Holly Woodhead

As we welcome Holly to #teamhuff, I spent 5 mins with Holly to find out more about how she got where she is today and her plans for 2019.

Tell us about the horses that got you where you are today…

It all started on my awesome little grey pony called Ballymoney, she qualified for the Pony European Eventing Championships in 2009. I was unable to compete at the Championships as i was selected for and had accepted a place on the Pony Dressage European Team, riding my sister's pony Langard Four. We finished 8th and best British rider.

My first horse was the French One, who I took up to Intermediate Level and competed in all the JRN (Junior Regional Novice) classes and went to the championships at Weston Park for several years running.

My main horse who has made every dream come true has got to be DHI Lupison (Luke) We competed at the young rider European Championships winning an Individual Silver Medal. We then went on to win the U25 CCI3* title at Bramham international horse trials. This led to us being selected onto a few Nation Cup Team’s and helped me gain experience at 3star level, winning a few rosette’s along the way. My first Senior European appearance was at Blair Castle on Luke where we led the dressage and ended up finishing in 21st place. The dream then continued when Luke and I were long listed for the Rio Olympics. He really was my horse of a lifetime. I owe him everything.

How do you relax at the end of the day?

Usually my feet up with a cheeky Gin and Tonic and some chocolate

What do you do to keep fit?

Riding 10 plus horses a day definitely keeps me pretty fit but I also do a bit of running

What’s your biggest luxury in life?

I have recently purchased a Range Rover Evoque, that's pretty nice.

But my main luxury has got to be my two gorgeous dogs Rupert and Bear they come everywhere with me.

When the going get’s tough, what keeps you motivated?

Remembering the good days, the feeling of doing well reminds you of why you do it in the first place. I am also so lucky to have such a fantastic team behind me who keep a smile on my face, my family, friends, owners, sponsors and my incredible girls on the yard.

What do you think is the biggest challenge you face as a professional rider?

I think the biggest pressure is that everything is very public now, all your results can be seen on the internet and quite often if you’ve had a fall a picture usually appears on social media especially if you have taken a dip in the water jump so it is hard to have a bad day and express how it has made you feel. I have recently started a blog that discusses just that. As well as that, horses are my life and it is never ending. It takes a lot of hard work and determination, you sacrifice a large amount of your social life to do the sport. But I love my job and wouldn’t change it for anything.

How would you describe your style on and off the horse?

My style on and off the horse, well, I spend a lot of time in my riding wear, so I like it to be stylish, flattering and comfy, I am often seen shopping in the super market having come straight off the yard so I always try to wear clothes that I can put some trainers on with and that enable me to look like I haven’t just come off the yard. I am abit of a shopaholic, I love being able to dress up to go to a hunt ball but I’m also a jeans kind of girl, so I love to have a nice jumper and some heels to wear with them, the heels also stop me from looking so small.

Photo credit: Tim Wilkinson Photography |

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