A HOOK dressage rider has described her recent success as a “dream come true”.
Tor Fenwick, who, lives in Hook and trains at stables in Newnham was recently presented with a new saddle for a young and potentially future superstar horse, who she hopes to lead to a successful future.
The 23 year old started riding when she was just four years old in the Pony Club, and at the age of 12 started to ride dressage and joined the British Young Riders Dressage Scheme (BYRDS), which looks to help riders between the ages of six and 25 achieve their dreams through competitions, teams, training with top riders, prizes and coaches.
Tor said that the BYRDS helped her grow up and develop as a rider, as well as developing her confidence for future competitions, putting it down to the “big audiences and atmospheres” she was faced with.
Throughout her young career, she has ridden many horses and her first success came in 2010 where she rode Anne Murray-owned Altino to victory in the Sheepgate Junior Derby Final.
In 2011 she was given a horse, Headmore Downtopia, by her grandparents.
Dante, as the horse was also known, unfortunately died in an unfortunate accident just a few years later, which has led to Tor now riding and nurturing her young horse Gucci.
Bought in 2014 as a three and a half year old, the now five year old is Tor’s next great hope and now has a new sponsor-funded saddle.
The idea of a new saddle was put into motion by Monica Randall, a family friend who works closely with Tor.
After obtaining the sponsors and finding somewhere for the saddle to be made, it was presented to Tor this month, with the Hook rider expressing her thanks to Monica for her work and belief in her ability.
Tor also expressed hergratitude to her parents who worked hard to ensure their daughter could fulfil her dreams.
“They are both ex-police officers and I am so grateful to them for giving me the opportunities.
“I remember during school I’d have to wake up, walk to and from school, and do my homework and then they’d get back from work. Both worked shifts and worked so hard and gave up so much for me.”
The saddle will now enable Tor to continue to work with Gucci and hopefully nurture the youngster into a future star, and fulfil what Tor says are life-long ambitions.
“As a little girl I always wanted to be a professional dressage rider and I remember vividly, speaking to a teacher at the school careers day telling them that I wanted to be a professional dressage rider in the future. And they said ‘no really, come one, what do you want to be?’
“And now I’m here I feel privileged to do what I do. To be a full-time dressage rider is a dream come true.”
Sponsors are now becoming more and more frequent for Tor after a string of national and regional success both in riding and training and she said the Olympics are her aim.
“My long-term goal is to compete internationally in Grand Prix’s with Gucci, and to have the GB flag on my number.
“I’ve trained with Charlotte Dujardin, who won gold in Rio this summer, and I also watched her win gold in London and I thought, if she can win gold, why can’t I?
“I’m gaining a name for myself, I’m gaining sponsorship and I’m gaining recognition so there is no reason why one day I can’t be in that position”.