5-8 September 2024

Burghley image

Former Groom takes the reins

Burghley first timer, New Zealander Hollie Swain (33) was born in Gore, South Island New Zealand and is now based in Bramley in the UK.

Friday, September 02, 2022 - 13:22
Hollie Swain Solo LRBHT PN22 39947

Hollie comes from a family who are regarded as one of the regions leading racehorse trainers, learning to ride through the Pony Club and spending six years training and riding for Jock Paget, Badminton winner and Olympic Bronze medallist.

“I’ve only ever previously been to Burghley on cross-country day,” admitted Hollie. “When Jock had horses here I’d initially stay at home riding and just come up to help on the Saturdays so it feels pretty surreal to actually be riding here. Having walked the cross-country course I now know what riders mean when they say they come here and know they’re at Burghley – it’s huge!”

Her ride here is Solo, (AKA Freddie) a 13-year-old Danish Warmblood, owned by John and Jan Bodenham. He is by Solos Landtinus out of Manie AF Sulsted, by Praestegardens Hamlet.

Hollie certainly had her hands full in the dressage arena where they posted a score of 42.2 - the flashy and imposing chestnut did some good work but was noticeably tense:

“He is a very big moving horse and I knew he was going to be lit up in there,” said Hollie, “as this is the biggest atmosphere he’s ever experienced. He’s a really insecure horse and my job was to give him confidence and encourage him to trust me.

"It’s a forever rolling snowball doing that as he changes every day – he’s got huge ability and is a very scopey jumper though which is why I’ve wanted to persevere with him. We’ve made it to Burghley which is something I never thought would have been feasible when I started riding him five years ago, so we’re definitely going in the right direction!”