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MILBOURN’S KATIE IN RACE TO WIN ‘RIDER OF THE DECADE’ AWARD

One of our dedicated vets here at Milbourn Equine is in the running to scoop a prestigious’ Amateur Rider of the Decade’ award from leading national publication Horse and Hound.

Katie Preston, 33, who is based at our Hawkhurst practice, is one of four riders competing for the top prize which, due to Covid-19, will be presented via a virtual awards ceremony on December 10.

In 2018, Katie fulfilled a lifetime ambition by competing with her horse Templar Justice at the world-famous Burghley Horse trials in Lincolnshire and, later that year, she was named Horse and Hound’s ‘Amateur Rider of the Year’.

Now, she is on course to go even better by being crowned ‘Amateur Rider of the Decade’.

Katie, who has been riding horses since junior school and had her first pony at the age of 10, beamed: “To be named as ‘Amateur Rider of the Year’ in 2018 was incredible experience and to now be nominated for ‘Amateur Rider of the Decade’ is absolutely amazing. It’s a huge thrill.”

She is quick to share the spotlight with Templar Justice, or TJ as he’s affectionately known, with the pair having risen through the equestrian world ranks together.

Katie added: “I have had TJ since he was two and we’ve just got better and better together.

“Over the past 10 years, we have forged such a good partnership and risen up through the levels together.

“There have been some fabulous highlights along the way, such as competing in the Burghley Horse Trials, which was just brilliant. I was so excited to be there.

“I’ve also competed at Pau and Luhmuehlen which, like Burghley, are rated as five-star events on the European equestrian circuit. The only five-star event I have so far missed out on is Badminton.“The Coronavirus lockdown in the spring put a stop to that but I’ve got my fingers crossed I’ll make it to Badminton in 2021 and complete the set.”

Clearly, Katie is in no mood to settle back into the saddle and take an easy ride from now on, even though she admits it’s tough combining her full-time work as a vet with her life-long passion for competing.

She said: “I definitely live by the motto of make it happen’. I might work full-time but I love to inspire people by showing you can always find time for things that make you happy and my competing does just that for me.”

You can vote for Katie Preston by visiting: https://www.futureevents.uk/horseandhoundvoting/shortlist