EQ LIFE: What made you head to Germany?
SIMONE: I came to Germany in a gap year and it was just to spend time away and have a look around. I had no intention of riding, but I was in Spain and the lack of being around horses got to me and I went searching the internet. I found a place in Holland that took working students and that is how it all began.
EQ LIFE: Tell us about the new facility you are at. What other horses are you riding?
SIMONE: Recently I have moved to Berlin where I am with Gestüt Bonhomme and I am super lucky to be here. It is the most beautiful facility. I am actually not training with anyone at the moment and have been riding alone since the Tokyo Olympics. It is quite an interesting time when I can let all the experiences and training and help I have had simply wash over me and work with my own feelings. It seems to be good at the moment. I have 12 horses in training here and it’s so nice now that I can take my own horses into training and this is the first time it has been like this. Life is quite free here and focused on quality horses. It provides a quality of life for myself, but most importantly, a quality of life for all the horses as they are first and foremost here. It is simply amazing. I have eight breeding stallions in work at the moment, so it’s very exciting and very interesting work. This is such a nice opportunity and I am still just trying to find my feet, but I am so enthused here.
EQ LIFE: Besides the Tokyo Olympics, is this the biggest international competition for you?
SIMONE: I have only just started riding at this CDI5* level. CHIO Aachen last year was my first CDI5* competition. This is the first time that I have been selected to ride at the World Championships and it is really like a dream. I never thought that these opportunities would open up for me, so I am so proud to take the opportunities that are coming my way.
EQ LIFE: What is the biggest success you have had thus far and what is your favourite horse you have competed?
SIMONE: For sure on paper was when I came second with Destano in the CDI5* Grand Prix Special at Aachen last year, as it is the show of shows. To stand on the podium and to do the lap of honour was an absolute highlight and a magical moment. I have truly had some amazing moments; no matter whether they are in print on the result list or not, the moments are too many. I have had so many amazing horses and Destano certainly was one who gave me the opportunity to ride at a level I had never ridden before, and for him I am very thankful.
EQ LIFE: Which horse is most special to you?
SIMONE: I don’t think I have one favourite horse. I think that as a rider every horse you ride teaches you something and you learn from every ride. They bring you to where you are. I had Destano and of course he was very special, and now I have Fiderdance – he is opening new doors and making new things possible; we grow together with every ride. I can only say that I am grateful for all the horses I have ridden as they have put me where I am now!
EQ LIFE: Do you have a goal for Herning?
SIMONE: Every show I ride I aim to simply do the very best I can with what avails itself at that time; Herning will simply be another. Fiderdance and I are a very new combination and we are still testing the waters. CHIO Aachen was a fantastic show to set us up… and my goal would be to improve on our upward training and to show improvement and keep the trend of improvement from show to show. I don’t have any expectations at Herning. I want to simply do the best we can and support my other three teammates. Of course, I set some goals and that simply is to make the best test I can on the day and keep it clean and easy to support our team’s score.
EQ LIFE: Who will be your groom and what makes a great groom for you?
SIMONE: Emily Reudavey is my wonder groom and my best friend. She is from Perth and is like the glue that holds it all together. We have been a team now at Helgstrand, then Gestüt Sprehe and now at Gestüt Bonhomme. She is super professional and I am so lucky that she is there to give me confidence to say “you have got this… everything is under control”. I am ever so pleased I have such a fabulous person and groom who is so on my side. She gives me confidence that all is well and that I can focus on the job at hand.
EQ LIFE: Fiderdance is by Fidertanz out of Donna, a Don Schufro mare… tell us more about him?
SIMONE: He is really a sweet stallion and we are still getting to know each other, as we have only been together for about two and a half months. He is such a character and seems to light up at every competition wherever we go. He is really cheeky, very opinionated, and full of pizzazz. He is a horse that you really have to understand and come along with. He needs to understand me as I need to understand him better, and I have to say he is a little bit bossy… but that’s his character and that is what I like. It is a pleasure working with him and it’s certainly never dull or boring!
EQ LIFE: Besides Emily, who will you have helping you in Herning?
SIMONE: I won’t have a trainer in Herning with me so I will just be riding alone. I have never really had a consistent trainer during my time and have mainly been a sales rider. I sort of give myself my own lessons and this is how it is. At this stage, if it’s getting better and not worse, then right now I am happy to do it as it is. I know where I am at with Fiderdance and we are a new combination and I am happy to just keep it as it is. Of course, I have had a lot of help along the way that I am forever grateful for and I look forward no doubt in the future to find a trainer that will be of assistance to my training all the horses and the team. EQ
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE TO READ:
Game on at the Championships (our show jumping team) – Equestrian Life, August 2022
Leaping for Joy at the Worlds (our vaulting team) – Equestrian Life, August 2022
From Half-Halt to Herning (our para dressage team) – Equestrian Life, August 2022