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Tony Whipps, Banstead-based professional dressage rider and teacher

PUBLISHED: 11:21 23 February 2012 | UPDATED: 17:05 20 February 2013

Tony Whipps, Banstead-based professional dressage rider and teacher

Tony Whipps, Banstead-based professional dressage rider and teacher

Based in Betchworth, Tony Whipps is a respected ex-eventer turned professional dressage rider and teacher. Here, Katy Downham chats to him about everything from his favourite hack to his top riding tips

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine April 2010

Based in Betchworth, Tony Whipps is a respected ex-eventer turned professional dressage rider and teacher. Here, Katy Downham chats to him about everything from his favourite hack to his top riding tips

At what age did you start riding?
I was about 13. When we moved away from London, we had the space; you cant really ride in the centre of London!

What was your main inspiration when you started?
Well, Im pretty competitive, so that was the inspiration and I love the rush of a competition. I said that if I ever stopped competing then Id stop riding all together.

How many hours a day do you have to train?
It varies a lot. Because I also teach and hold clinics, there isnt a set amount of training that I do. I do try to get out there at least two or three times a week, though.

What has been the highlight of your riding career?
Competing at Badminton and Burghley, definitely. When I walk around those courses, I still think, Did I do this all that time ago? It really was an ambition fulfilled riding there.

Do you have a top tip for young riders?
You really have to be focused and dedicated to riding, heart and soul. You have to have a vision of where you want to go. You also need a financial cushion, as horses are expensive if something goes wrong.

Where do you most enjoy hacking in Surrey?
We go to quite a few different places really; youve got to get a bit of variety. I particularly like Hurtwood Hill, near Peaslake, as a lot of uphill work is good for the horses. Hacking out is a good education for them and it gets them into shape!

Do you have a favourite horse shop in the county?
I dont really have one set shop, if Im looking for jodhpurs I really struggle. I particularly like Frogpool Manor Saddlery though, which is actually just into Kent.

Do you have a favourite equestrian related Surrey story?
Years ago, we went to an auction and international show jumper Michael Whitaker was there jumping these small hairy ponies over huge fences, bareback!

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