Christine Bates

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Originally from Perth, WA, I did my first one day event at the Darling Range Pony Club, Perth, at the age of seven riding Mandy. I wasn’t one of those riders who showed super talent at that young age in fact I got eliminated at that one day event in both the show jumping and cross country. I moved to the Sydney area in 1994 and since that time I have been lucky enough to hold a Sport Scholarship from NSW Institute of Sport.

I am now based in Wilberforce, in the Hawkesbury area, west of Sydney with my husband Mathew and our five-year-old son William. Our business has two sides to it – the eventing side and the breaking in side, so we are certainly kept busy enough.

I have enjoyed some great moments in eventing, one of them was winning the Melbourne CCI3* back in 1999 riding Masterprint. Following on from that I was long-listed for the Atlanta and Sydney Olympics and was the Australian based reserve for the 2002 World Equestrian Games. Eventing is such a challenging sport on every level and it has taken me a long time to get back up being in contention for a spot on another Olympic team.

After wining Sydney CCI3* last year (on Adelaide Hill) and my performance at Adelaide CCI4* I now find myself on the National A squad with my two horses Adelaide Hill and Delago and it’s all systems go for London. But whatever happens this year I’m lucky to be riding two such great horses and the future’s looking pretty good.

Back in 1999 I was so focussed on winning and making a team but now I look at things from a different perspective and I think that came about after having William. I am still fiercely competitive. I want to win and I want to make the team but there are other things in my life, like my family, that have given me a really good balance. If I have a bad event William is still there saying ‘can you read me a story?’ and it makes the bad event seem less important.

Being dyslexic my blogs could be quite a challenge and I have told Alison she will have to proof read them well, but I hope you enjoy reading them and following our adventures, good and bad … but hopefully more good than bad!

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