Young Eventer on Junior Team GB and Riding for Queen Elizabeth II
Twenty-one years old and in her first ever international event representing Team Great Britain Juniors, Harriet Upton was feeling proud of where she was — flying around a challenging cross country course — exactly where she was meant to be.
“All was going well. I had planned the course perfectly, and Danny was in amazing condition,” Upton remembers. “With a few cross-country jumps to go, though, I found myself holding onto Danny and worried I couldn’t make it to the end. I simply wasn’t fit enough, and I felt like I was letting Danny and my team down.”
That single experience would change Harriet’s life.
From that moment on, she knew her approach to her own fitness and conditioning had to change.
“I decided that to achieve my ambitions in eventing, I had to prepare myself as well as I prepared my horses,” she says. “I joined a gym and did what many young athletes do; weights, running machines, and treadmills. But it soon became clear that many of these workouts did not prepare the muscles I used most while riding.”
She began to focus on more equestrian-orientated fitness plans.
As Harriet researched the core muscles required for riding horses, and adjusted her workouts accordingly, her fitness drastically improved. With better personal fitness, her performance in the saddle also excelled.
She realised that to perform at the highest level, she had to apply her new attitude to all aspects of her life.
That dedication and personal commitment to herself, her horses, and the sport were further recognised when Harriet was contacted by representatives of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Home is Where Your Horses Thrive
At Harriet’s yard, which is nestled in the stunning countryside of the South Downs, her horses’ ongoing care is supported by an elite team of sponsors. Each one was hand-selected by Harriet to ensure the wellbeing of the equine athletes.
As far as Harriet’s team is concerned, horses are members of the family.
Day-in and day-out, Harriet runs the training and competition yard, teaches clients, and produces young horses. Among the animals in her care and training regime are two of Queen Elizabeth’s horses.
One of the Queen’s horses is called Twinkle, and he was bred for eventing.
In fact, his mum was Zara Tindall’s famous eventing horse Tiger Lily. Harriet has the privilege of training and riding him, whilst overseeing his ongoing care and wellbeing.
Horse Care is a Team Sport
“We were looking for junior riders to support through their careers and were thrilled to welcome Harriet to our Ambassador program,” said Matt Campbell, founder of StreamZ. “Harriet’s complete care strategy and dedication to this philosophy really shines through.”
Harriet cares for a number of horses in addition to Twinkle. All of them require different daily routines, depending on their age and competition level. Exercise and recovery programs, specialized diets, and complimentary therapies are all carefully planned for each animal — and for Harriet.
One such therapy is an innovative magnetic technology that’s highly acclaimed in the UK — EQU StreamZ horse bands. (Good news: EQU StreamZ launches in the USA in 2020!)
These British-manufactured bands wrap around a horses cannon bone providing improved wellbeing, joint care and reduced recovery times.
“The EQU StreamZ bands are a highly-valued component of our daily tack, and each of our horses has its own pair,” says Upton. “They are super easy to use, and we can visibly see the impact the technology has on our horses. I also wear their human ankle band to help me recover more quickly after riding.”
We ARE Athletes
On-top of adopting new and exciting technologies, Harriet remains committed to her own fitness. She recently became a qualified personal trainer, which enabled her to set up We ARE Athletes. The group is Harriet’s portal for passing on all her personal fitness and training tips.
Now riders of all ages and skill levels can get advice about a wide range health topics that help get their bodies into the best possible condition for riding.
The links, videos, and downloads cover everything from riding and competing to exercise and diet. Her ongoing tips and exercise routines will help you get into tip-top condition!
Riding at the highest levels, including for Her Majesty the Queen, takes commitment, conditioning, and hard work. Harriet is excited to continue inspiring and educating riders to follow in her hoof prints!
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