Gill's successful career started with Pony Club Mounted Games,
and progressed through a win at Burghley Horse Trials, which led
to training the British Junior Three Day Event Team, and the next
year the British Young Rider 3DE Team, for the European
Championships in 1980. The rest is history!
Still patient and fired with enthusiasm, she teaches on a daily
basis from her two new venues at Lower Lobbersdown
Farm, Tetsworth, Oxfordshire and at other venues by arrangement.
Gill finds inspiration from the untapped skills of her young
students and their horses, but enjoys the follow through to the
senior ranks, and is often seen in the warm up ring at Badminton
and Burghley with her riders.
Gill has now stepped down from training the British JUNIOR and YOUNG RIDER 3 Day Event teams which have won 96 medals over her 30 years' tenure.
During this time Gill realised how much more information riders could usefully know and how important it is for them to establish a good system of training, management and organisation, particularly in connection with three day events (CCI). Generally riders go to a trainer to learn a specific riding skill, and do not seek an overall view of what is needed at different levels of competition so they often end up not being aware of all parts of a complex equestrian puzzle.
Gill won Burghley when competing, but situations demanded a career, so having trained as a PE teacher the enthusiasm to educate has always been present. She is committed to good basic training, short cuts do not lead to lasting skills in horse or rider. Great pleasure is achieved by building a partnership between horse and rider based on sound basic principles which do not need to be complicated. She was fortunate to have some of the best raw talent available to train when she started with the likes of William Fox Pitt, Tina Cook and Pippa Funnell to name but a few, who came through her system and gained experience for later performance. Stef Thompson went on to ride for Germany, Emma Fisher (nee Douglas Miller) now trains the GB Young Rider Team, and Jonquil Hemming trains the GB Pony Team – all these were Working Pupils with Gill.
Gill teaches from Lower Lobbersdown Farm, and from other venues by arrangement. Currently Gill trains Lucy Jackson who is on the
New Zealand World Championship potential squad.
; she also trains World Class Development riders
and other riders from BE100 to CCI 4*. Gill feels there is a void in
training and support for riders making the big step toward CCI 2*,
3* and 4*. Consequently she has set up the BRIDGING THE GAP series,
now coming to it's second year, under the BE umbrella.
"Gill is the ultimate professional trainer, consistently able to get
combinations to deliver personal best performances at CCI; there can
be few others who have such experience or hands on application of how
success can be achieved at Three Day Events, and can share it in such
a skilful, calm and constructive fashion "
Courses and sessions are available and will be shown on the next
page. Just give a ring to book a date in Gill's diary, or to
discuss individual requirements.
Robin Balfour, former Chairman of Junior Selection Committee