In Interview with Flora Harris
Flora Harris is a top class eventer based in Wiltshire, whose accolades include a 3rd place in the Under 18s championships, winning the CCI3* at Bramham and competing at many 2* and 3* events across the world. She shows incredible determination and compassion towards her sport, something that shows in her results and the superb condition of her horses.
Flora joined the PolyPads team in late 2019 and we’re so excited to see where 2020 takes her! We caught up with Flora to find out a little more about her story.
PP – Flora, great to have you on board with the PolyPads team, we're so excited for the year ahead. You've been eventing successfully for years, but we understand your introduction to eventing was a little different to most?
F - I started Eventing when I was about 16 after getting involved with the sport when I was at school. I started off at the bottom levels representing my school in ISODE competitions and then things just seemed to progress from there.
PP – That’s great, it’s obvious you’ve worked hard to get to the level you are today. There must have been so many great moments over the years, but what would you say the best ones were?
F - I’ve been very lucky to have experienced lots of fantastic highs so far in my career so it’s very hard to pick one moment! My first International win aboard Law Choice was very special, along with my first ride around Badminton.
PP – It’s been a lucrative career for you – what are your goals for this year?
F - Our main goal for 2020 is for each of our horses to continue to fulfil their potential and gain consistent results at each of their respective levels. I would love to have a podium finish in the ERM series with Bayano as well as qualify Ayesha Vardag’s lovely young mare for 5*. I would also love to be selected for Le Lion D’angers with Kristy and Mark Ryan’s exceptional 7yo Monbeg Alcatraz as well as the very promising Arabella PFB, Class Spec and Class Vista.
PP – Monbeg Alcatraz looks to be one for the future – so exciting to see him progress. You’re certainly living the dream of so many young equestrians! Your yard must be constantly busy – how does a typical day look for you?
F - One of the most wonderful things about being an event rider is how varied our days often are especially during the season. However, this time of year we are hard at work preparing for our 2020 campaign - I typically arrive at the yard about 7:30 and start by saying hello to all the horses and my fabulous team. I tack up my first horse and then ride 2/3 horses before we all stop for breakfast as a team in the tack room which gives me a chance to catch up with everyone and make any plans. After breakfast I crack on with all the riding which varies from flat work training, jumping or hacking, or on some days we will head out in the lorry to XC school, gallop or to a show-jumping or dressage show. Once the riding is all finished there are always plenty of jobs to do with event horses before they are put to bed around 5pm when they are fed and done up for the evening. Then it's home time for me if I am not teaching late, before I spend the evenings doing entries or catching up on paperwork.
PP – That’s a busy day – it’s clear you’re passionate about your work. You’ve got a few youngsters with you too – do you prefer providing the start for these younger horses or schooling your more experienced horses?
F - I’m very lucky that my string is quite varied with both young and more experienced horses. It’s very hard to pick who I most prefer riding as its always so rewarding producing a horse from scratch but also unbelievably exciting to take a more experienced horse round a big and prestigious track at a top competition!
PP – It’s great that you’ve got such big plans for 2020, we can’t wait to see you in action. You joined PolyPads in late 2019 but you’ve used the product for years – which would you say your favourite style is?
F - This is such a tough question as we use so much of the PolyPads range but I think it has to go to the Classic which is so versatile and we use so much on all of the horses.
Flora’s favourite, the Classic, can be viewed on our website by clicking here.