I started riding when I was four years old at my local riding school and got the bug very quickly!
My parents bought me my first pony, Chas when I was six and like many children found the thrill of showjumping much more exciting. That was until I had a bad fall when I was nine and fractured my spine only 2mm away from the spinal cord.
I was very lucky.
After being advised not to jump for a while I decided to have a go at flat work and we discovered that my New Forest pony Chas was actually quite good at dressage as well as jumping!
Encouraged by our successes - and the frowns from Mum if I even thought about jumping again I decided to join BYRDS - the British Young Riders Dressage Scheme.
I met some great people and trainers when I was part of the BYRDS programme and can highly recommend it to parents looking to introduce their offspring to the sport of dressage.
However my Chas wasn't going to win us any medals and being a competitive girl I wanted to be able to compete and WIN!
So when I was twelve my parents bought another pony for me to compete solely in dressage. He was called Fijal Figaro and we competed in Blarney, Ireland and won Team Gold followed by me coming a very credible second in the Pony Talent Spotting Final in 2002.
After the Pony teams I moved onto Junior teams with a new horse called Adrian Alfarvad. He was an ex showjumper when we bought him and had only done four medium level dressage tests in his life! I trained him myself under the instruction of the Junior team trainers we worked with and in 2005 and 2006 I competed at the Junior European Champs. Overall we competed in 13 internationals together - not bad for a former showjumper.
I left school after A levels and knew that horses were my career so aged nineteen I secured a scholarship to Talland with the goal of getting my teaching qualifications. I stayed there for six months and after finishing I saw an advert in Horse and Hound magazine for a groom/rider position at Carl Hester's.
This is when my career was given a huge boost. The opportunity to train and ride with Carl and his team, including Charlotte Dujardin gave me the grounding for my own riding and training. I was fortunate enough to ride and compete horses including Supanova and Nip Tuck up to PSG at Premier League shows and ride a number of amazing horses including Valegro, Uthopia, Dances With Wolves and many other household dressage names, training up to Grand Prix.
While Carl and Charlotte were winning Team Gold at London 2012, I helped the Canadian Para-Olympic team train at their Hartpury base before London 2012. This is when I knew that training other riders was a career path I wanted to pursue. I love helping other riders especially ones who are keen to learn - no matter what their ability or disability!
I made the decision to leave Carl’s in 2014 to set up my own business Katie Bailey Dressage. In June 2019 Tom Hobday (who has years of experience grooming for the Under 21 European teams) and I joined forces to run the competition/training business. I met Tom through a mutual friend when I was looking for someone to help me at shows back in 2014 after leaving Carl’s and we have been friends ever since.
Being a dressage trainer, I now teach lots of clients all over the country and have a few of my own horses including Hillgrounds Wolkenhall who has been very successful. I offer dressage schooling and dressage training for all levels of rider. My competition record sees wins and placings from Novice to Inter I at Regional and National Championship as well as Premier League and Internationals..
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Katie Bailey +44 (0) 7917 822878
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