If you love horses and you love equestrian sport, Free Rein Podcast is essential listening.
Each month equestrian journalist and (very) amateur eventer Charlotte Ricca interviews all your favourite riders.
Her contact book reads like a who's who in equestrian sport, so she decided to put it to good use. This podcast brings you closer to your equestrian heroes and poses the questions other don't dare ask.
Episode 9: legendary showjumping Michael Whitaker
Michael is one of the founding members of the famous Whitaker showjumping dynasty. He first came to fame in 1980 when he won the Hickstead Derby on his first attempt, at the age of 20. He went on to win this iconic competition another three times.
Michael has also won Olympic team silver at the 1994 Olympics, and a haul of European Championship medals, including two team gold and individual silver. However, individual gold still eludes the 60-year-old - which is still hopes to win with his top horse Valmy de Lande.
Michael talks about his future ambitions in this interview, as well as his past successes. We also talk about:
How winning the Hickstead Derby on his debut changed his life
The secret to his very long success
The horses that made his career
The riders he respects - and learns from
Passing on his years of experience to his son, Jack
How showjumping has changed over the years, and how he has had to adapt his riding to stay competitive
The impact of the Global Champions Tour on showjumping
The Whitaker showjumping dynasty - find out who he thinks is the most talented, who is the stroppiest and who is the last one at the bar!
Why his former top horse Viking lives out - 24/7
I hope you enjoy listening as much I enjoyed making it. If you do, please don't forget to 'like and subscribe'.
Episode 8: Olympic dressage rider, Richard Davison
After rather a long break (sorry, long story), Free Rein returns with a bang, featuring an interview with international dressage rider Richard Davison.
Richard is a four-times Olympian and has been involved in dressage for more than three decades – not just as a rider, but as a judge, performance manager, consultant, spokesperson and much, much more.
Richard is interesting, charming and chatty, and always has an opinion, which makes him so great to interview.
In this podcast we cover a whole range of subjects, including:
Embarrassing himself at his first dressage competition
The ups and down of British Dressage
The secret of Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester’s success
Learning from his experiences – getting older and wiser
Trying to modernise the sport and the obstacles he faces
The new World Cup Grand Prix format
The psychology of judging
Future ambitions with his horse Bubblingh
Why it takes more than decent horse power to win medals
Not putting too much pressure on results and just enjoying the whole process
The Davison Equestrian empire - how his whole family is involved
There was so much great content, which I had to whittle down into 50 mins for this podcast. I hope you enjoy listening as much I enjoyed making it. If you do, please don't forget to 'like and subscribe'.
Episode 7 - Event rider and Badminton 2019 champion Piggy French
In this episode Charlotte talks to international event rider Piggy French. Piggy is one of Britain’s leading event riders, with numerous wins and placings at the top level of eventing. However, a five-star win still eluded her – until now. After 25 attempts, Piggy finally bagged a major trophy – winning the 2019 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials with Vanir Kamira.
Other successes include winning team gold at the 2018 World Championships in North Carolina and individual silver medal at the 2009 Europeans at Fontainebleau.
Piggy talks to Charlotte about:
Hitting rock bottom in 2012 after missing out on the 2012 London Olympics and the 2013 European Championships - and how she finally "dared to dream again"
Finding love when she least unexpected it, and learning to trust again. "Tom is a wonderful person and my best friend".
Her childhood crush on Mary King - and the array of presents she sent her! "Oh my god I was a lunatic!"
Why taking time out to have her first child Max gave her a fresh new perspective on her sport and career
Her exciting future prospects - including one owned by Jennifer Saunders
Episode 6 - Showjumper and Hickstead favourite Harriet Nuttall
In this episode of Free Rein Charlotte Ricca talks to international and super-smiley showjumper Harriet Nuttall. We realise being smiley isn't an essential attribute for a showjumper, but it's pretty important for interviews. Needless to say Harriet was a lot of fun to talk to.
Harriet has enjoyed much of her success at Hickstead, where she has won both the Queen Elizabeth II Cup and the British Speed Derby. She has also come second in the Hickstead Derby three times with the much-loved A Touch Imperious – earning her the moniker the Derby Bridesmaid!
In this interview we talk about what makes the Derby so special. We also chat about:
• Her husband's (then fiancée) romantic proposal
• What makes A Touch Imperious so special and so difficult - and why she nearly gave up on him
• Coming into the Devil's Dyke at Hickstead disunited. Argh!
• The challenge of staying at the top of her sport
• Training with Nick Skelton
And a whole load more...
Episode 5 - Hickstead Derby winner Trevor Breen and his showjumping wife Caroline
Trevor and Caroline Breen are the most glamorous couple in showjumping. But they're not just a pretty face. Trevor has won the Hickstead Derby twice - winning it in 2014 with Adventure de Kannan and again in 2015 with Loughnatousa WB. He has also won the Hickstead Speed Derby, the Eventing Grand Prix and the Queen Elizabeth Cup. It seems fitting that Trevor and Caroline now live just minutes from the Hickstead showground. Caroline is also a successful international showjumper, having trained with Olympic showjumper Tim Stockdale. She also runs Breen Sport Horses, while bringing up their two children Mia and Ollie. In this exclusive interview they talk about:
• How they met - and what attracted them to each other
• Finally winning the Hickstead Derby
• What makes Addy the one-eyed wonder horse so special
• Their daily routine and training their horses
• Why Caroline swapped gymnastics for horses
• Why Trevor nearly didn't become a showjumper And so much more...
Episode 4 - Eventing's most successful couple, Jonelle and Tim Price
Meet the most formidable couple in equestrian sport - and also the nicest.
2018 has been an incredible year for Jonelle and Tim. Jonelle won Badminton Horse Trials and Luhmuhlen, while Tim took the title at Burghley.
They have also enjoyed numerous top five places in the biggest four-star events in the world and made history at Rio 2016 as the first husband and wife on the same Olympic team.
In this interview they talk about:
• How they first met and why it took so long to get together
• Life growing up in New Zealand
• What makes them so different as riders
• How they help each other - and frustrate each other!
• Jonelle winning Badminton
• Coping with nerves
• Life since having their first baby, Otis
And much, much more!
Customer ReviewsSee All
Interesting casual interviews
I’m really enjoying the casual conversations this podcast brings. They’re easy listening but cover lots of interesting topics.