Introducing my sponsored rider, Sam Giles…
In June this year I was renewing my membership with Recommended Equestrians, while speaking with Diana, the founder of Recommended, she told me about their partner, LegUp For Talent, which is a sponsorship based programme for grassroots riders who have talent but not necessarily the backing they deserve.
At first I was a bit sceptical as I have sponsored riders in the past but for various reasons it didn’t work out. However, Diana assured me that the benefits would be far more assured with this programme, so I delved further…
You can read all about the programme here
Diana went through the members who were seeking sponsorship and came across Sam, when her name was mentioned I had a distinct feeling it may be fate, I had actually worked with Sam many moons ago when I was working at a riding school nearby… spooky!!
What had always struck me about Sam was not only her sense of humour, but her will to succeed despite being riddled with rheumatoid arthritis, which has affected her since the age of 4yrs old, being wheelchair bound for a long time, but Sam being Sam wasn’t going to be beaten and proved Doctors wrong and worked in racing, studs, riding schools, showjumping, eventing and livery yards!
In the paragraph below, Sam introduces herself, with details of her current rides and how she feels about being sponsored:
“Hi I'm Sam Giles and I am privileged to be Sharon Johnson's sponsored rider. I'm 30 (but if anyone asks please tell them I'm 29!) I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis when I was 4 and it affects most of the joints in my body so i am in constant pain and can find some aspects of riding a bit of a challenge, I did however manage to work in the equine industry for a number of years before the arthritis got worse and have worked in racing, studs, riding schools, showjumping, eventing and livery yards. My current horse is amber a 5yo ex racehorse who I bought as a 2yo straight out of racing, she was working at novice level (dressage) and had just started jumping when she injured herself in the field so when Sharon signed me up as her rider I was unsure if I would ever be able to ride her again however I was riding a young Spanish horse that I was kindly given the ride on by a good friend, poor Sharon probably wondered what an earth she had got herself into as my horse was uncertain and then I discovered I will need more surgery soon so I will be out of action for a few months. Fortunately, sooty has made good progress and amber is back in light work and I have with Sharon's help relocated my core muscles so once my surgery is out of the way we can kick on and get back out to some competitions and hopefully get to the ROR championships! I cannot thank Sharon enough for this opportunity and with Sharon’s extensive knowledge of the equine and human body I'm sure myself and amber will be better than ever.”
As you can see, she is one determined woman, who I felt deserved this opportunity.
Since signing on the dotted line, we have had several sessions with sooty who is coming along nicely, and recently Amber (who is “affectionately” called Moo(!).) has returned to work so while Sam is out of action I shall be taking up the reins – pardon the pun(!) – and helping with her return.
Sam has a page on Facebook which she updates weekly with her goings on, visit it here, and don’t forget to hit the “Like” button on the following pages:
Below are a few pictures of Sooty and Amber aka Moo!
Sooty above, taken at his first ever competition.