Felicity Collins will be following in family footsteps when she competes at Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials for the first time this September.
Collins, 24, will make her debut at the storied event, returning after a two-year absence due to Covid-19, over two decades after her mum Vicky also rode the famous course.
The East Sussex rider admits it was her mum who was the biggest driver behind getting into eventing, even if a young Felicity wasn’t as keen before getting the bug as a teenager.
“My mum was very keen when I was little, I wasn’t quite so keen,” joked Collins, speaking ahead of the event that is back for the first time in two years - due to the Covid-19 pandemic - better than ever, with renewed impetus, a top class field and additional activities on offer.
“I think I would rather have just played with my friends, I was at horse shows rather than parties at the weekends.
“I started eventing and it switched me a little bit, I started working out how to do the entries and that was it. It was always what I wanted to do.
“I stayed at school and did my A-Levels, that was the bargain.
“And then she said if you can run this as a business, if you can do it, then go for it and that’s what I’ve been setting up the past six years.”
Collins has already made a splash in the eventing world despite her age, finishing 21st on debut at Badminton on horse RSH Contend Or.
And the 24-year-old is quick to credit the support of her mum in helping her reach the top table of eventing so quickly.
“My mum has been my biggest influence,” added Collins.
“She had one very good horse that she bred, did very well with but unfortunately had to sell him.
“She sold him and that set her up for life really, she was able to buy a property, it changed her life.
“I’m very lucky to be reaping the rewards of that in terms of having a yard and being able to base myself at the yard my mum owns.”
Despite Collins’ novice status ahead of the return of Burghley, she will be one to watch after her impressive performances at Badminton and Bicton, as well as a suite of youth medals to her name, including European Young Rider team gold in 2019.
And while Collins knows that on their day, she and RSH Contend Or could challenge amid the grand backdrop of Burghley House in Lincolnshire, she is focused on simply soaking in the experience.
Exciting few days here at @landrover_uk Burghley HQ.
Stables are on their way 🆙
Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials runs from 1 / 4 September 2022.#countdownison #betterthanever #LRBHT #eventing #BTS pic.twitter.com/HeVk2V3BNB
— Land Rover Burghley (@LRBHT_Official) August 4, 2022
“I’m very lucky that on his best day and on my best day, we could be competitive but I also just want to get round in one piece and have a good experience, we’re still both learning at this level and it’s our first Burghley,” said Collins.
“I’d love to complete and try and ride how I usually do and hopefully he comes out of it well.
“My trainer started mentioning about placing and what we should be aiming for, and I kind of laughed at her.
“We both had a bit of a laugh and agreed that we need to take everything that comes.”
Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (1-4 September 2022) returns after a two-year hiatus, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A major international sporting and social event for over 50 years it attracts 80 of the world’s top equestrians and over 170,000 visitors. For more information visit www.burghley-horse.co.uk