The Progress of a Young Leader

Dear all,

I am hugely excited to be writing a blog for the Living Leader to keep you up to date on my progress, developing myself as a coach, athlete
and employer. My name is Indie Vaughan-Jones, I’m 21 years old and hopefully on the way to becoming a professional event rider.

Hopefully being the rather stressed word and it’s hard to believe the childhood dream may turn into a reality! As for my background in horses I can never remember not riding, thankfully I had a hugely devoted mum who was deprived of this horsey madness as a child. So as soon as we came along she was determined for my sisters and I to share her love for it. After many years of following me round the country, 3am starts and standing by the ring side when its -3 and howling a gale I honestly believe she maybe regrets this decision, even just a tiny bit! I’ve always been slightly obsessed, and a little too determined. I started competing at affiliated events at 15 and was instantly hooked, bombing around on a slightly unruly grey pony genuinely frightening my mother. She kindly agreed that after doing my A levels I could follow my passion and pursue a career in eventing. With the help of my super coach Caroline Moore, I went to work for Ros Canter to learn my trade. I absolutely loved every second of it, and most importantly learnt huge amounts. Ros is always someone I will be in total awe of and look up too and deserves every bit of success she has, I really think I’m right in saying I was hugely lucky to work for one of the best (if not the best as she was recently crowned world champion!) During this time I had a wonderful horse to compete all thanks to a huge supporter and friend of ours Henrietta Burridge.

Gogo was the most wonderful schoolmaster for me, taking me to U18 & U21 championships with great successes as well as teaching me how to deal with the tougher side of the sport when things didn’t go to plan, injuries and setbacks but completely solidified the fact the my heart was set on becoming an event rider and making it work! Since returning I have set up my yard at home, taking horses in for schooling, competing & breaking. I also started coaching, trying to give back what I’ve learnt to others and helping them develop as riders.

Even now I am still learning, hopefully later this winter I will be spending some time in a yard in Ireland and last winter I spent a few weeks working for Pippa Funnel, experience and knowledge seems to be worth so much in the eventing game! Next year should be my most exciting year yet, with my top horse “Quob dynamic” otherwise known as Mickey aiming to compete at the highest level of the sport, he will be aimed to make his debut at this level at Burghley horse trials, although this is hard to imagine as he’s currently looking like a pony entertaining us all wearing our winter hats – not a top level event horse!

As I am writing this we are currently in November, which usually is an odd time of year with the event horses going through the fat, fluffy holiday stage before they come out the other side again as we start a winter training program. This normally starts off with me freezing cold clinging on for dear life as they bounce about behaving like they have never been sat on in the pouring rain, it’s amazing what a few weeks holiday can do to their brains! I am still being kept busy despite the fact the eventing season doesn’t start until March. We currently have a couple of horses in for breaking, which is hugely rewarding and a process I really enjoy, and a few in for schooling. So lots to love forward too!

Happy New Year and all the best,

Indie Vaughan-Jones