OUR SPONSORED RIDER & MENTOR NATASHA BAKER
We first met Natasha back in 2013 and were immediately blown away by her inspirational outlook on life. We loved her down-to-earth personality, her incredible sense of fun and of course, her deep passion for horses.
In 2014 Natasha agreed to work with us to mentor our Young Sponsored Riders. Every time we photograph and meet with Natasha it’s fun, creative and different. To say we love working with Natasha is an understatement and it’s an honour to be part of her journey, and to have her be part of ours.
At just 14 months old Natasha was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis, a debilitating condition that affects the nerves in her spine resulting in severe weakness in her legs. Natasha is unable to use her legs whilst riding, instructing her horses entirely through verbal commands and seat movements.
Having been brought up on the family farm, horses have always been a big part of Natasha’s life. Joining the local Riding for the Disabled (RDA) at age nine, Natasha was able to ride every week and her passion began. Her real inspiration came from watching the Paralympic dressage riders at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. She was completely bowled over by the magic of the sport that she set her sights on winning a Paralympic Gold medal for herself! From that day onwards, her goal was set in stone.
Natasha Baker has won an incredible eight Paralympic medals for Great Britain including six Gold and two Silver medals, having competed in three Paralympic Games. Her impressive career also includes a string of National and International titles including European Champion in both 2011 and 2013.
As a result of her achievements at London 2012, Natasha became one of only 25 British Paralympians to be awarded an MBE by the Queen.
You can see more from Natasha and hear her incredible story here:
SPONSORED RIDER AMELIA JAMES
19 year old Amelia James is a budding young event rider competing up to intermediate level with her mare, Couraguneen Jennie. We first met Amelia at Kemble Pony Club show in 2013, when she was just 11 and riding her 12hh pony ‘Hercules’. Something about this cheeky pony caught our eye across the field and we ended up chatting with Amelia and her mum and dad Helen and Andy.
Helen & Millie offered to model for us for some photoshoots with their horses, and a few years down the line, Amelia then asked us if we would sponsor her. We were impressed with the novelty of her idea – we didn’t know of any other sponsorship of young riders – and we said yes.! This is where our Young Sponsored Rider programme began, and it’s been
wonderful to be a part of Amelia’s with her horses since then.
Amelia began riding at an early age and was put on a horse before she could even walk! Her mother competed up to (now) 5*, so being around horses has always been a part of her life. Her first pony came when she was 4 years old. Amelia took part in all pony club activities, began British Eventing age 13 and regularly competed for her school at Westonbirt claiming the NSEA National Team 90cm title in 2019.
Following a period of time out with injury, Amelia and Jennie bounced back in 2021 with some impressive results for this talented duo, resulting in seven top ten finishes included a win in the Open Novice at Farley Hall and a win at West Wilts.
- 2nd place Open Novice at Tweseldown with Couraguneen Jennie.
- 8th place BE100 Open at Larkhill with Couraguneen Jennie.
- 2nd place Open Novice at Cirencester Park with Couraguneen Jennie.
- 1st place Open Novice at West Wilts with Couraguneen Jennie.
- 3rd place Intermediate at Nunney with Couraguneen Jennie.
- 1st place Open Novice at Farley Hall with Couraguneen Jennie.
- 8th place Novice Masters at Barbury Castle with Couraguneen Jennie.
Amelia has owned Couraguneen Jennie for three years now and despite their time out with injury, Amelia has been delighted with her comeback saying, “She’s a very talented all round horse who tries her hardest in each discipline. Her jumping technique has come on immensely in the past year, not touching a pole with me last season. She loves her XC, always covering so much ground with her amazing gallop. She means so so much to me and I look forward to doing what we love together again soon.”
Goals and Aims
Amelia says, “This year I’m planning on working abroad in the yachting industry, it’s been something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now so I’ve had to make the (very) hard decision to come back to eventing potentially nearer the end of the season. I haven’t had a season off of eventing since before I started, so it feels very strange and almost wrong at times, but if I don’t explore new paths I will be denying myself of a new adventure. I love riding so much, and would love to get back to where I want to be one day, but for now this is what I’ve decided to do.
For the first part of this year Amelia hopes to work abroad, with the aim to event Jennie over the second part of the season setting her sights on 3*!
Amelia says, “As always, it is a pleasure to work with Jo and Nic. Each shoot not only leaves me with stunning photos, but such special memories, making it an unforgettable experience each time.”
SPONSORED RIDER ELLIE FREDERICKS
Ellie Fredericks is an aspiring young event rider who is part of the u21 British Eventing Youth Development Squad. 18-year-old Ellie has had a fantastic 2021 season, competing on her mother, Lucinda’s, Advanced stallion Britannia’s Mail, Intermediate horse Mandorior and 6-year-old mare Pure Trendsetter, part-owned by Liz Hills and Chris Emmett.
- WIN at Bicton International 2* with Pure Trendsetter and top 10 placing with Mandorior
- 10th place in Advanced at Little Downham with Britannia’s Mail, amongst a large field of
- 12th place in first 3* at Keysoe International with Britannia’s Mail
- 2nd place at Cornbury House International CCI-S Y3* with Britannia’s Mail
- 3rd place CCI-LJ2* at the Junior National Championships at Belsay International with
- 2nd place Novice at Tweseldown with Britannia’s Mail
- Qualified with the Dauntsey’s School team for NSEA SJ Championships at Hickstead 2022 with Britannia’s Mail and Pure Trendsetter
Goals and Aims
As well as competing, Ellie works with Lucinda to bring on and develop horses for sale. Ellie’s ambition is to follow in her parents footsteps and compete at the top level. Plans for 2022 include getting experience on Britannia’s Mail at 4* level, competing Lucinda’s pony stallion Britannia’s Bijou and new mare Coolrock Wander. Mandorior will be looking for a new home as a schoolmaster with a smaller Junior rider as Ellie has outgrown him, and Ellie will be looking for another ride or two to run alongside Pure Trendsetter.
Ellie says “I absolutely loved working with Jo and Nic in 2021 and am excited to be part of their team again in 2022. Our photoshoot in the summer was so much fun and the resulting images from Jo were absolutely stunning. It’s wonderful to have captured some special moments with my favourite ponies!”
Jo and Nic Hansford are based in Bristol, Bath, Somerset and are available to travel nationally and internationally.
01179535801 | 07876344866