Rider Interview: Up Close and Personal with Sam Ecryod
#EverythingHorseMagazine – February 2017 – Rider Interviews
Courtesy of his sponsor, retro surf inspired fashion brand Whale Of A Time Clothing, we caught up with young eventer Sam Ecroyd for a quick fire Q&A
When did you first start riding and who was your first pony?
“I began riding at about three years old on a coloured pony called Diamond, and she bolted with me on the beach when I was around five years old, and I fell off on a stone. I wasn’t a fan of riding then and refused to get back on until I was about nine years old.“
At what age did you know you wanted to become a professional eventer?
“I knew I wanted to be a professional rider as soon as I went to my first Pony European Championships in 2010. I love eventing, but have always wanted to do more show jumping and is something I am planning on pushing more.”
What is your most memorable horsey moment to date be it competition wise or just having fun?
“I remember when I was about 9 I was playing cowboys and Indians on my pony with a friend. I tied it up to a post by his reins with the bridle still on (BAD IDEA) and went for lunch… when I came back out the bridle was on the floor with no pony in sight … I spent about an hour looking for him only to find him stood back in his stable lying down with his saddle on (EVEN WORSE) “
Who were your horsey idols when you were growing up?
“I first watched Michael Jung at the World Equestrian Games in 2010, and he has been a real inspiration of mine since then. He’s an unbelievable rider and incredible horseman.”
Do you ever get nervous before a big competition, and if so, how do you control your nerves?
“I never really get too nervous, but before I go cross country my hands shake, I’ve never understood why even when I feel totally fine!”
What’s been your biggest horsey disappointment and how did you overcome it?
“Last year at the European Championships I was in contention for an individual medal after a clear round on the cross country. Unfortunately I could not finish the competition as my horse had picked up an injury on the course, this was very disappointing, however, is a part of the sport and something you have to accept and just concentrate on the next competition.”
How do you prepare for riding a big cross-country course?
“I make a very clear plan that suits you before setting off, then be ready to do the complete opposite if needed after you have started.”
What are your top tips for training a horse?
“My top tip is to always work with a horse and never against it. It is all about harmony and understanding each other, you can’t force a horse into doing something, it’s a relationship.”
What’s the best piece of advice you ever been given and who was it from?
“The harder you work, the luckier you get, my dad told me this, but he probably stole that saying from someone!”
If you hadn’t taken up riding as a career what else do you think you would have gone into and why?
“A few people have asked me this question, and I genuinely have no idea, I had never thought of a career from horses, and hope I don’t have to!”
Do you have any lucky items or routines when competing?
“I used to have a lot of superstitions before competing and during the competition, but it was starting to get out of control, so one day I decided that in reality, it made no difference, it was only for my peace of mind, so I don’t have any anymore.”
What do you look for in a good event horse?
“For me, the most important things are the trainability, desire to work, and jumping ability of the horse, we spend training so long on dressage I think it’s paramount that they have a natural talent for the jumping.”
What are your goals for the future?
“The goal is to be world number one, I have to hope to be the best otherwise there is no chance. However, I might have to wait until Michael Jung retires first!”
Full name: Samuel George Clive Ecroyd
Date of birth: 28/01/97
Profession: Event Rider
Top horses: Master Douglas, Wodan III
Secret crush: Margot Robbie (Australian actress)
Worst Habits: Biting my nails
Fun fact: Appeared on television on a dating show “Take Me Out.”
For more information on Samuel’s sponsors visit www.whaleofatimeclothing.com