Hi there! We’re a normal family with a mother/ daughter passion for horses/eventing with a tolerant husband (Tony) & sister (Jess). We live in Yorkshire. I’m Mum,(Jan) and work full time. Laura, daughter/rider, is just finishing her 3rd year of a Law degree at the University of Manchester. We thought we’d like to write a blog in the lead up to Bramham to show an insight into getting to the biggest event in Yorkshire, whilst working and studying along the way. Bramham  (Yorkshire,s biggest and most prestigious horse trials is the dream & aspiration if many event riders but especially former Bramham Moor Pony Club members  (Lau started PC at 8 !!)

I’ll start by giving you a bit of background on us. Laura (commonly known as Lau) is my daughter. I’m her biggest supporter and gladly follow her around, providing pysical/emotional & financial support  .We’ve spent many seasons/years competing in British Eventing learning the sport - becoming competitive & striving for British team places -gaining qualifications - Lau has competed in all of the British Eventing youth programmes from Ponies (where she was 1st reserve for the Euros squad,) through Juniors (where she was long-listed for the Euros squad) to Young Riders (where she went double clear at every single trial). Every pony and horse she’s taken up the levels to its highest point, Lau has done so, with excellent training and mentoring, on her own merits - none of them were pre-made to that level.   We have 3 horses in total, my boy, Buddy, Lau’s novice horse, Bandit and Dan who’s Advanced.  Lau works with two excellent trainers, Tracy Garside (Yorkshire)and Dee Hankey (Cheshire).  You’ll hear much about both of them as our blog progresses toward Bramham.

Thankfully  this season, Lau and her main man, Dan, are already qualified for the CIC*** at Bramham, WHEW! So their preparation will be focusing on the most successful plan to achieve a COMPLETION @ Bramham  (always a good starting point when you move up a level in this sport)

Laura Birley 3

Dan’s posh name is BoxTree And 1. Strange name? (To be honest, I’ve heard stranger.) He’s sponsored by my own company, BoxTree and he came with the posh name ‘And 1’.  Now, if anyone out there hears a commentator announce his name correctly, ie: BoxTree And ONE, instead of BoxTree And EYE, record it for me, please, because, as yet, we’ve never heard it pronounced correctly. In fact, so much so that we’ve been known ourselves to say it wrong!  Now, this blog will be a bit of a warts-and-all kind-of thing so I hope that will work for you and will keep you with us on our journey.

Dan and Lau are now in training ready for the season and to kick things off, there’s a riding demo for Selby and District Riding Club, of which both Lau and I are active members, and which is sponsored by Saracen Feeds. The demo is taking place with all 3 of our horses at Ledston Equine Centre, Castleford on 16th February (tickets are not expensive and are still available).  The demo aims to look at some of the jumping exercises that Lau and Tracy will use to prepare the horses for the forthcoming season and focusses on how those exercises differ for horses at different levels, starting with my horse at BE80/90, Bandit at Novice and Dan ready for CIC***.  It should be a great night and we’d love to see.

We plan to do a blog every 2-3 weeks in the lead up to Bramham ( 6th-10th June), published on the Saracen Feeds site, so please do tune in and keep in touch.  As amateurs, we’re not experts but, if you’ve got questions at all about how we approach eventing, training or anything else somewhat related, please do get in touch. You can reach us on  and we welcome your emails!  There’ll be a Facebook page set up shortly, on which we’ll share pictures and info in between the blog posts.

Thanks for reading!!

Jan, Lau & Dan.

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