Welcome to our feature, 10 minutes in the tackroom. This is a regular feature where we ask riders, businesses and charities 12 questions and they have a maximum of 10 minutes to answer them.
This week in the saddle we have Petty Officer Sophie Fuller. Petty Officer Fuller is part of the United Kingdom Armed Forces Equestrian Team (UKAFET). The UKAFET is made up from members from all our Armed Forces who carefully balance the challenge of serving the United Kingdom with pursuing their equestrian ambitions.
You can follow the UK Armed Forces Equestrian Team on Facebook and Instagram
Tell us about your horse
Smiler is a 13 year old ISH, I think possibly 5% Irish Draught haha! I have had him since a 7 year old. He was a blank canvas when I got him. Full of
character, he puts his heart and soul into jumping for me. Loves attention and
is definitely the yard clown!
Tell us a horse joke
What do you call a horse hiding behind a block of cheese??..
What do you do when you aren't with your horse?
I spend all my spare time with Smiler! I’m a meteorologist in the Royal Navy
currently stationed at RNAS Yeovilton, if I’m not with him I’m either in the
Met Office or asleep!
What do you love about the horsey community?
I love that we all have a mutual understanding that we are all slightly crazy!
We all are infatuated with our horses and understand that it’s a way of life not
What do you dislike about the horsey community?
We are quick to forget how far we have come! No matter what stage you are
at or discipline you do, we all started somewhere. No matter how good you
are there is still so much to learn! Even top riders are still learning so lets be
supportive of all levels and encourage each other no matter our ability!
Do your family share your passion for horses?
I am so lucky that my mum and sister are horsey! Mum looks after my first
horse ‘Old Man’ who is now 26 and enjoying the slower pace of life! When I
deploy Mum takes care of both Smiler and Old Man which is a huge relief, she
is the only person I trust to care for them and she’s my biggest supporter.
Success in the equestrian world is never just a one person thing, there is a
whole team in the background supporting you and my family are at the
forefront of that! My dad however thinks we are all mad! Haha!
Tell us your funniest horse related story?
Smiler is very sensitive, I am most at risk of falling off after his first clip in the
winter! Last winter after his clip we went in the school, a bit of rubber hit his
tummy, he did a huge buck, I did a full 360 summersault, landing on my feet,
reins in hand facing him!! I never knew I could be so athletic!!
Who is your favourite famous horse rider?
I completely idolise Ben Maher, he is always so calm, he rides beautifully and
makes it look effortless. I’ve watched him many times warming up and it is
like watching poetry in motion, a truly humble and talented rider!
Who is your favourite famous horse?
Ben Maher’s Tripple X, he was home bred by Ben and produced by him. Super
gorgeous horse that jumped the moon and just has great presence in the ring.
I feel he jumped his best with Ben demonstrating the strength of partnership
between horse and rider!
How many times have you fallen off?
I have literally lost count....haha! I have only fallen off Smiler a handful of
times but others...jeez quite a lot!
What horsey product can't you live without?
Finishing Spray! Even the dirtiest horses can’t fail to shine when you use it!
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself
I jumped at Olympia in 2017 for the Royal Navy! A childhood dream come
true! A lot of my equestrian dreams have become a reality thanks to the
support of the Royal Navy and UK Armed Forces team!
Well done Petty Officer Fuller, you have completed the #10minutesinthetackroom challenge. If you would like to take part in the challenge please email firstname.lastname@example.org