Suzanna Hext

Return to list
Brand Champions - Suzanna Hext

NameSuzanna Hext

LivesCirencester

DisciplinePara Dressage

Biography

Suzanna is an International Grade 2 Para Dressage rider - Ranked World Number 1 (grade 3)

Just 2 years after getting back in the saddle Suz ended 2017 on a complete high

Winning at Deauville on LJT Enggaards Solitaire (owned by Henrietta Cheetham and the Lady Joseph Trust) 

Winning at Waregem on Abira (owned by Pammy & Charlie Hutton)

Winner of the final selection trial at Hartpury.

European Triple Gold medallist- Gothenburg

On the Lottery Funded World class Podium squad

Ranked World Number 1 (grade 3)

 

Suzanna is 29 years old and was brought up with her elder Brother (Jamie) on their parent’s farm in South West Cornwall. Having been born into an extremely horsey family it was no surprise that she grew up with a passion for horses.  She started riding at 6 years old, competing for The Four Burrow Hunt Pony Club, Hunting and spending most of her time around the ponies from a very young age. Suz started Eventing seriously when she was 13, and was longlisted for the FEI British Pony Teams in 2003 on Bensons Pure Gold. 

"Sport has always been a huge part of my life, whether competing at Athletics or Cross-Country running at County level, swimming, hockey or netball- it’s safe to say that sport has always been my happy place!"

Suz went on to gain a riding scholarship to Millfield School for sixth-form. At this time she achieved her BHS stage 4, BHSAI and Pony Club A test under the watchful eye of Danny Anholt. Summers and gap years were spent living, working and training with International event rider Lucy Wiegersma and Caroline Creighton. During this time Suz also competed up to 2-star level and was selected onto the British Young Rider long-list in 2008. After a couple of ‘Gap years’ she enrolled at The Royal Agricultural University and successfully gained a First Class honours Degree in Equine Science. 

26th July 2012…

"On the evening of the 26th July 2012 my life changed within a spilt second. The horse I was backing reared over and landed on top of me, crushing me twice from head to toe, causing spinal and head injuries. I felt like all the doors had been shut on every facet of my life… I was airlifted by the Wiltshire Air Ambulance to the John Radcliffe Hospital and I have endured 9 operations and numerous complications. 2012 was the year of the London Olympics/ Paralympics and I remember watching it all on TV from my hospital bed, this was definitely a huge factor that helped me keep driving.

‘If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you’

I had an incredible physio in Cornwall called ‘Gemma’, she let me take my saddle into my physio sessions and practice my neuro exercises in it. We got some strange looks, as I was wheeled into the hospital by my carer, with the 

saddle on my lap! Just under 2 years after my accident on the 11th July 2014, I got back in the saddle at Lakefield RDA in Cornwall. A day that gave me belief in myself again and that I had a future ahead of me, something I never would have dreamt of even a few months prior to this."

Once Suz was classified as a Grade 3 Para rider she made the move back up to Gloucestershire to train with her original trainer Pammy Hutton, at Talland School of Equitation. Alongside this, she went back to work for B&W Equine Vets (with whom she had done her final year placement) in their pharmacy. This is when life started falling in to place, competing Pammy and Lucile Webb-Peploe’s Amo and not long after she began riding the phenomenal and legendary Abira. What an honour…  Abira who is owned by Pammy and Charlie Hutton gave Suzanna her life back and the pair have been on an incredible journey over the past few years. 

‘Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much'

Suz was long listed for the Rio Paralympics, just 2 years after getting back in the saddle in 2017 she won Internationals in Deauville on LJT Enggaards Solitaire (owned by Henrietta Cheetham and the Lady Joseph Trust) and Waregem on Abira. Together they won the final selection trial at Hartpury to be picked for the championship team. 

 ‘Difficult roads, often lead to beautiful locations'

"The Europeans were held in Gothenburg and the week turned out to be the best week of my life, bringing home Individual, Team and Freestyle Gold. I’ve also ended 2017 as World Number 1 in my grade and I have recently been moved up onto the Lottery Funded Podium Squad, having been selected onto the World Class Podium Potential squad in 2016. As well as riding I spend a lot of my time in the gym, either in Bath for ‘Strength and Conditioning’ in the EIS gym or in Cirencester, I also swim and in 2017 I started swimming for ‘Swindon Dolphin’s’, for a bit of fun and it’s extremely helpful for my overall fitness and strength, something I feel is integral to gaining your optimum performance in the saddle. I have also gone on to do a few swimming competitions for the club! Life certainly brings about many highs and lows, but it’s how you deal with these lows that makes you as a person. If my accident has taught me anything, it’s that you must never let life hold you back, life is precious, life’s a gift and you must embrace every opportunity that comes your way. Make memories and treasure them, enjoy life and most importantly never give up. 

‘Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it'

It’s been quite a journey to get to this point, but this is just the beginning… I have high hopes for the future and I’m now working towards the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. 

‘Hard work is a two-way street. You get back exactly what you put in'

“It’s a real honour to be working with Suz, not just because she is a Cornish lass and truly believes in our products, but because she has achieved so much in the face of such adversity – a really amazing young lady.”   Sales Director, Ali Felton 


Rider blogs

Read the latest blog - here

Gallery