Working mother, Nicky Bevan, is grateful to her parents, husband, family, friends and trainers, who have helped her to qualify and prepare for Badminton with 14-year-old Rhineroe Hero aka Noah. Nicky had previously competed a thoroughbred, but after the birth of her daughter Molly, now nine, she decided she needed something more sensible to hunt and compete, as well as hack with Molly. Five years ago, her good friend Julia Martin suggested she take a look at Noah.
Nicky describes the then nine-year-old as the ‘raw material’. He had come over from Ireland, where he had covered mares and hunted a little and had recently been gelded. Nicky said: “He was quite wild at first, but with schooling he started to settle down. I decided to have a go at eventing. He is not the bravest, but he has a heart of gold and wants to please.”
Having had a great couple of seasons in 2015 and 2016 the pair only contested one event in 2017, the BE90 Regional Final at Munstead, where they finished eighth qualifying for the Final at Badminton.
Talking of their preparations Nicky said they had to get twice as fit for Badminton and have been using the gallops at Coombelands. Nicky added: “We’ve been up them in driving rain and snow.” They have also been joined on the gallops by Molly and her 12hh pony, Prince.
They have been having dressage lessons with Sally Andrews and help with their jumping from Caroline Jeanne, which Nicky describes as invaluable. Nicky is also grateful to Laura Lovelock who runs the yard where Noah is kept. She added: “Without her I would be lost.”
Nicky will be supported at Badminton by her friends and family, with her good friend Katie Westphal-Reed as nominated groom. Hopefully, she will have a good supply of Polos, as Nicky said Noah expects to receive one after he has done anything. He also has a cheeky habit of stopping to introduce himself to any lingering spectators in the hope that they might have treats for him too!