EQ: Hi Simon, congratulations on becoming an Ambassador for Equisafety. Can you tell us how this came about?
SG: I have always worn high viz, but unfortunately I was recently involved in an altercation with a car. When Equisafety heard about the accident they contacted me and asked if we could work together to promote hi viz to help keep people safe.
EQ: When did you first start riding?
SG: At the local riding school I rode a little Shetland called Tiny Tim. He was a little monkey, but super fun and we did pony club stuff together.
EQ: Why did you choose eventing as your preferred discipline?
SG: My parents were in between houses when I was 6 or 7 and we rented a flat from a lovely couple called John and Maryann Huntridge who owned a horse called Kings Jester. He won Burghley and was silver medallist at the European Championships while we lived there so we followed the whole thing. I was absolutely in awe and became hooked on the sport.
EQ: What was your first major success?
SG: I became Foundation Points Champion in 2012.
EQ: What is your biggest achievement so far?
SG: Completing 10 5* three day events so far.
EQ: Are any of your other family members involved in the horse world?
SG: No, but my mum rode as a child.
EQ: Did you receive any training, and if so who from?
SG: I have worked for a huge number of amazing people who I have learnt a lot from - Debbie Edmundson, Charlotte Bathe, Sarah Cohen, Piggy French, Oliver Townend, Nick Turner, Caroline Moore....the list goes on!
EQ: If you hadn’t taken up riding as a career, what do you think you would you be doing now?
SG: I always say I would like to have been an acrobat!!! But seriously, I think I would have gone in to acting or journalism.
EQ: Retirement is a long way off yet, but have you given any thought as to what you’d like to do in the future?
SG: I really enjoy writing, so I’d like to use that, as well as commentating and interviewing so something along those lines would be fun!
EQ: Do you play any other sports?
SG: I swim four mornings a week and I play squash when I can - it’s such a fun game and so good for you.
EQ: Favourite holiday destination?
SG: Until late 2018 I would have said skiing!! However, I have since holidayed in South Africa which is the most fantastic place!
EQ: How many horses do you have on your yard?
SG: At the moment we have 12 horses here.
EQ: Do you have a favourite horse, past or present?
SG: I try not to have favourites, as every horse that I ride, or have ridden, are hugely special in their own way. Horses are incredible; so gentle, kind and forgiving which makes it a privilege to work with them.
EQ: Do you have any new horses for 2019?
SG: We have some young guns coming through, so we’ll see how they progress!
EQ: What’s your preferred bedding?
SG: Bed Down bedding is the best! Fantastic products!
EQ: If you could own any horse (past or present) which one would it be and why?
SG: I think owning horses is so risky, but if I could ride any horse it would probably be any of Ginny Elliot’s horses, Master Craftsman, Priceless etc. because they were so beautifully produced!
EQ: Do you have a favourite event?
SG: I love Burghley. The atmosphere is wonderful and it’s an honour to be able to ride there!
EQ: Have you had any serious injuries?
SG: I have been knocked out more times than I care to think, broken a couple of bones and dislocated my shoulder.
EQ: Where do you source your horses?
SG: The only horse I’ve chosen for myself was from Ireland.
EQ: Do you use any supplements on your horses?
SG: I am supported by Omega Equine whose range of supplements to help my horses are amazing.
EQ: How do you relax?
SG: I love eating out and catching up with my gorgeous friends!
EQ: Favourite colour?
EQ: What was the last book you read?
SG: The Secret Race which was about Lance Armstrong. It was fascinating.
EQ: What item of clothing is your go-to (not Equisafety of course as that’s a given lol)?
SG: My Noble Outfitters All-round Vest is my favourite piece of clothing.
EQ: Do you cook, and if so what is your favourite food?
SG: Not really, but I do a good toad in the hole.
EQ: So, you’re hosting a dinner party and you can invite 5 more guests – who would they be and why? You can choose anyone, dead or alive!
SG: If it wasn’t any of my gorgeous friends, then,
- Rita Ora ~ that girl can sing
- Dawn French ~ she’d be so cool
- Joe Lycett ~I think he’s hilarious
- Freddie Mercury ~ I bet he would be super fun.
- George Michael ~ I love how, after his death, it came to light that he was so generous and kind especially with his secret charity work.