Victoria Bax from VB Eventing competes at CIC2*/Intermediate level, and is most well-known for retraining ex-racehorses and successfully competing them on the BE and BD. She is widely respected for the obvious partnerships she builds with her horses, which she jokes is easier than building human partnerships!
Equiads asked what first made Victoria interested in horse riding. “When I was about three years old, my grandma thought it would be nice one day when she was looking after me to take me for a pony ride,” she explains. “I guess it kind of stuck! Today, I love riding horses that are intelligent and athletic, with a bit of fire in their belly.”
When asked what key things Victoria has learned from her most influential equestrian mentors, she says eventer Lucy Thompson told her never give up on trying to achieve one’s dreams and ambitions. “Lucy suggested I always use any falls or bad times as experience to help me come back even stronger and more positive,” Victoria says. “It is sterling advice that I have always tried to adhere to.”
When asked what the most common negative aspect is that she see in event horses, Victoria says she does not like it when people use the fact their horse is an ex-racehorse as an excuse for poor riding, results, control and discipline. “They are all horses, regardless of breed at the end of the day, and if you are prepared to put the time and effort in, they will learn,” she wisely states. “The lack of thought and interest that is given to the thousands of racehorses that are bred every year and then discarded without any care or consideration to what happens to them is terrible.”
When asked which horse she would love to have had the ride on, Victoria says William Fox Pitt’s ride Tamarillo is her top choice. “He was quirky, fun, rewarding and very difficult all at the same time; much like most of the ex-racehorses I have retrained, including my top horse Crystal Ka, who I think is the spitting image of Tamarillo,” Victoria states.
Victoria’s life motto is rather unusual – ‘they fixed me once, they can fix me again!’. “Having been fortunate enough to have not had any hospital stays or operations in my lifetime, there were always the “what if’s” that crept into my head occasionally regarding what would happen if I suffered a major fall,” Victoria explains. “Well, in April 2013, I suffered a major rotational fall at Hambledon International horse trials, which resulted in major abdominal surgery and a two week stay at The Royal London Hospital. Now when I am out riding on a cross-country course, I just thank my lucky stars that I am fit and well, and put my faith in the fact that I can be fixed again!” she concludes.
I couldn’t live without…
“With so many horses in work, Golly Galoshes gaiters for horses’ legs have certainly saved my washing machine from the normal constant stream of boots and bandages,” she says. “The gaiters are lightweight, breathable and waterproof and are an essential bit of kit.”
“I also love Aloeride, the natural aloe vera feed supplement; it really improves the horses’ coats and general condition.”