Eventing, For The Yard, News

Five minutes with Nicola Wilson

Nicola Wilson and Opposition Buzz, Burghley 2013

Gold medal winning British event rider Nicola Wilson has represented Great Britain at Olympic, European and World Championship level, including the 2017 European Eventing Championships, 2014 World Equestrian Championships and the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Sponsored by Suregrow, Nicola won her first individual bronze medal at the 2017 European Championships in Strzegom in Poland with Bulana.

Nicola first sprang to prominence with Mr Bumble, the horse that took her from Pony Club to 4* level eventing.

Name: Nicola Wilson

Hobbies: Being so busy with the horses, there isn’t a lot of spare time for hobbies, but I do enjoy spending time with friends and running to keep fit.

What got you interested in Eventing: I have always ridden and been passionate about horses. I did all the usual Pony Club competitions and really enjoyed cross-country so the eventing really developed from there.

Favourite food: A Sunday roast with Yorkshire pudding. I am a real foodie though and appreciate and enjoy lovely food.

Pets: Tipple the yard dog.

Personal Highpoint: Silver Medal at 2012 London Olympics.

Which rider/person has most inspired you: Lucinda Green and Christopher Bartle.

Tell us about any really memorable horses: They have to be Mr Bumble and Opposition Buzz. I first started riding Mr Bumble when I was 13 and he was a four-year-old. We competed together in six 4* competitions and he was just a star. Opposition Buzz has made so many more dreams come true. I rode him for ten years and we did so much together.

Which top horse do you most admire: There are many but I am also grateful for the top horses I have had and the owners who have supported me.

How many horses do you ride per day: Between eight and eleven depending on what they are doing.

Which areas of your riding would you like to improve: I am a firm believer you never stop learning and would like to improve in all aspects of my riding, increasing my knowledge and understanding.

What advice would you give to any reader who is thinking of a career in Eventing: You must be prepared for hard work and ride the waves enjoying the highs and learning from the lows. Always being prepared to dig deep and appreciate everyone who does so much to help you achieve. Aim high, be realistic and work hard. ‘Where there’s a will there’s a way’.

Nicola Wilson Bramham
Nicola competing at Bramham Horse Trials

Your daily routine: We start on the yard at 7.15am with feeding. Once the horses have been fed I usually start riding at about 8.15am and the horses all go on the walker and in the field so they can have some down time each day.

We like to keep the work varied for horses so although a lot of my time is spent in the arena schooling and jumping the horses also do fast work, fitness work in the fields at home and go for hacks. We check the paddocks and remove horse droppings and I work very closely with Jonathan Cox at Suregrow, who has been a huge support in ensuring our paddocks are maintained to a high standard, recently they were fertilised and re-seeded.

The later part of the afternoon is spent on yard duties, grooming the horses, cleaning tack and doing the yard for the evening. Late feeds and checks are done at 9pm, I am so lucky as the yard is just a few steps from our home, so it is lovely keep an eye and ear on things.

Nicola Wilson Suregrow
Nicola uses Suregrow products on her paddocks

Favourite training aid: My support team, the girls on the yard are definitely my secret weapon. We work very well together

Competition wear pet hates: Clothes that don’t fit, I love training and competing in Ariat clothing and footwear. They are elegant, practical and comfortable.

What items could you not be without: I wouldn’t be without my Ariat clothing and footwear, Veredus training and competition boots for the horses and Bucas rugs. I love riding in Amerigo saddles. You need to be happy with your competition and training kit so you are able to focus on your performance.

Having a happy, healthy horse is incredibly important and this includes the quality of the turn out and haylage helped by using Suregrow, feeding TopSpec feed, so the horses are happy from the inside to out and putting Silverfeet on their hooves. ‘Success is in the Detail’, looking at the whole picture not just the training.

Have you got any competition superstitions? No, I’m not superstitious at all.

Horse Profile

Name: Bulana
Stable name: Berry
Owner: Mr James Lambert OBE and Mrs Jo Lambert
Colour: Bay
Sex: Mare
Height: 16.3hh
Age: 12
Breed: KWPN
Sire: Tygo
Dam: Sulana


Nicola Wilson Bulana
Nicola and Bulana winning Team Gold and Individual Bronze at the European Eventing Championships in Strzegom 2017. Pic by Adam Fanthorpe

Berry as she’s known at home, joined the yard half way through the 2014 season and was campaigned at 2* that year before stepping up for the first time to Advance and 3* in 2015 where she won the CCI3* at Boekelo.

The 2016 season saw her take fourth in the CCI 3* at Blenheim Palace and 2017 has seen this special mare just get better and better, Berry stepping up to first 4* at Luhmulhen finishing second and ending the season with the fairy tale result at the European Championships at Strzegom where we won Team Gold and Individual Bronze medals.
Suregrow products include Suregrow Fertiliser, CSM, Paddock Grass Seed Mix, Fast Grass, Meadow and Laminitics Grass Mix.

Nicola works with the team at Suregrow, to find out more about their products visit www.suregrowuk.com

Previous ArticleNext Article

Subscribe to the Localrider e-Newsletter