Katy Thomas is a professional 22 year old rider and aspiring show jumper, based in Dore, Sheffield.
From a very young age, Katy has been in love with horses and thanks to a supportive and equally interested family, she was lucky enough to start riding when just 2 years old, now, aged only 22 she is totally immersed in the equestrian industry. 
Katy finished school, aged 16, with very respectable grades, but was uncertain as to what to do about her future; she was unsure as to whether to turn her love for horses into a career or keep her riding as a hobby. She had concerns that a career would take away the joy and fun she had always had when being around or riding these amazing creatures.
After talking to a close friend she decided that  'double riding' sounded a lot more interesting than 'double maths', and  went on to study Equine Management at Brackenhurst college, NTU! 
Katy continues with her story...

Part 1

Katy 1_jumping Looking back, Brackenhurst was one of the best choices I could have made! Not only did I surround myself with people who were talented and had a love for horses just like me, I was in a great environment where I learnt so much and found some amazing like minded friends. 
At this point in my life, I had also begun training with Ruth Sampson at home, which gave me a more technical approach to my riding -  Luck was on my side as I discovered that my riding college instructor and tutor at Brackenhurst was also great friends with Ruth Sampson‚, things couldn't have been better, I was so lucky to have landed myself an instructor with the same teaching techniques as my home coach, consequently my riding came on in leaps and bounds and I finished my course with the triple grade Distinction, Distinction, Merit. 
I chose not to do a degree at Brackenhusrt . I was enjoying my show jumping and I couldn't see a way of breaking into the show jumping world without becoming a groom, something I was not interested in.
I had a great selection of grades and hundreds of UCAS points! So, after a gap year, working and show jumping, I applied to Sheffield Hallam University to study Psychology, another interest of mine. I got in, and was set to study in September 2011! 
Fate plays a mysterious hand, and it seems the horse word is really the place I am destined to be. The yard I was keeping my horse on, was having a few problems. The manager at the time had lost interest and the yard was going downhill. The yard manager left abruptly in early August 2011 leaving the yard with no one to run it and closure seemed the most likely course of action. 
Katy 2_paddock
After speaking in length to my parents, I put an offer and CV forward to the owner and just 3 weeks later, on August 28th 2011, aged just 19, I was a manager of a small and very tired looking Livery Yard! Excitement doesn't quite explain my feelings that day, I deferred my university offer and shortly after cancelled my place, ever since I have put 110% into the opportunity I was given! 
The yard was in need of a lot of TLC and I was totally focussed on getting the job done, with much hard work and support from my family, clients and friends we started to improve facilities and rebuild a reputation.
October 2013, I have been running Newfield Livery Yard for over two years. We have come a long way from the tired, run down yard it was 2 years ago. I now coach and train from my yard and have built a good reputation for myself, I have found some very loyal clients, suppliers and friends along the way.
I am still very focused on my jumping career and am currently competing to 1.25 opens on my Belgium Warmblood.. A horse I have produced myself. I am still progressing through the BHS Qualifications and I hope to gain my BHS AI instructors qualification by next summer. I coach many young riders, aged 5 and above and I am as passionate about my pupils success as I am about my own. 
Watch out for next months instalment where you can read more about my yard and what makes it special, my show jumping career and my coaching.

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