SPRINGTIME RIDERS

Katie Kneen

Katie has been working with horses from a young age, starting in the local Pony Club and progressing to BE competition at 14 years of age. Early on she developed a talent for riding ponies with a "wilder" temperament that others were less keen to compete. In this way Katie developed a fantastic relationship with a pony called `Winnie the Pooh` and took him through from Pony Club Championships to first reserve for the European Pony Team. After moving from ponies to horses Katie took a previous Grade A showjumper, originally competed by her brother, and turned him into a competitive eventer. She was very successful up to Intermediate/2 star level and competed through Junior teams.


After this success, Katie started looking to produce young horses through the levels.  `The Last Cavalier' (aka Tiggy) was bought from Mullentine Stud as a 3 year old, along with other youngstock, and Katie produced him up to 2* level eventing. A talented jumper, they were also very competitive at BSJA and had great success, a highlight of which was finishing 5th in the grade C championships. As Tiggy moves into his twilight years the pair are now focusing on dressage; they are working at advanced and hoping to progress to PSG in a few years time. Katie has several youngsters she is also producing in all disciplines.

 

Alongside riding Katie is also a registered BD judge, working her way through the exams to move up the listings. Day-to-day Katie helps run Leyland court, organising regular competitions, teaching private lessons and clinics, and rides other horses for clients. Outside of horses, Katie has interests in the arts.  She is currently lead singer for a local band and studied at the London Academy of live and recorded arts where she received a BA in acting.

Katie has a very subtle and laid back approach to riding which has worked beautifully for the more highly-strung horses. She works on a system of mutual respect between horse and rider and prefers the most natural gadget free schooling methods.

Alice Kneen

Alice started riding at the age of 5 at her local pony club. She developed passion for riding whilst taking on young, talented ponies. She was bringing on a young pony when Alice was given the opportunity to inherit `Springtime Winnie the Pooh' and 'Mastermix Murphy' from Katie. As a result of this she went from jumping 2ft 6 to 4ft Pony trials in just a few months.

Although 'Winnie the Pooh' was the most established pony, Alice connected best with 'Murphy' and went onto compete very successfully in Pony trials, finishing 11th at the final trial.  She was selected to compete at Ballindenisk, Ireland finishing 8th individually. The pair also went on to win the Open Pony eventing Championships the same year, as well as competing in the open PC Dressage championships and open PC showjumping team.  

Alice also had great success at BSJA on a local find, `The Talented Mr.Ripley` winning several Blue Chip and Dengie qualifers every year.

After moving off ponies, Alice was lucky enough to inherit 'Leo Z' from Katie who gave her experience at intermediate level and was able to compete at Junior Regional Novice Championships. In 2012 Leo retired so Alice moved into breaking and producing young horses. In the last few years she has successfully produced several talented youngsters up to the limit of their ability before finding fantastic homes where they can continue to thrive. 

 

From the age of 14, Alice spent most school holidays based at the yard of international eventer Lucy Wiegersma receiving fantastic training and gaining great experience riding many horses of different abilities. In 2013 she started a veterinary degree at the University of Bristol and graduated in 2017. Since then Alice has been balancing  a full time job as a small animal vet alongside producing and competing her horses. She now has a string of promising homebreds, 'Dazzling Springtime' (aka Apollo) is her main horse and has competed successfully at 3*L this year.

Alice plans to move her focus towards the horses in the next year as she aims to move Apollo up to 4* level next year.