Laura Cocking Eventing – Sponsored by Forageplus

Earlier in 2015 a chance visit to a lovely pub in Abergele resulted in our meeting and offering sponsorship to Laura Cocking.

She found out about Forageplus by eves dropping on a conversation about this website and was intrigued with our nutrition approach.  

A quick Google search found Forageplus and she decided to approach us for sponsorship. We received a fantastic email from her and were inspired by her tenacity, passion for horses and eventing talent, and of course she is Welsh, so the sponsorship had to be!  

Laura Cocking LLanynynych Horse Trials 2015

My name is Laura Cocking. I am a 24 year old event rider from North Wales.  Through this blog I hope to give you an insight to my life and my journey and aspirations to reach the very top of eventing!

You can also catch up with Laura at her website and chat to her on Twitter.


How I Started Eventing and all about Arkendale

It all started for me at 6 years old, when my Nan took me and my 6 cousins for a riding lesson one Sunday afternoon – so my parents blame her for my career choice!

Phantom and Laura Cocking

After years of nagging I finally got my first pony ‘Phantom’- he taught me the most important lesson …… that showing was really boring!

I begged to go to our first One Day Event with ‘Flint and Denbigh’ Pony Club, in the end I persuaded a close friend to go too and her mum drove! That is where the eventing ambitions all started and I began as working pupil with Sian Wynne Morris to help achieve my dreams with my first JRN ride ‘Sandy Man’.

I produced my current horse Arkendale from a novice after Sandy Man reached his limit. He has the most brilliant scopey jump and is amazing to ride cross country. I have also enjoyed producing others for myself and owners including the talented Bellavista, Harlequin and Danesfort Boy who won Badminton Grassroots Championships!

My first season with Arkendale (Charlie) consisted of the Pony Club Eventing Championships and being chosen to represent Wales and Borders at the JRN Championships which was a massive achievement and one I had been longing for all year!

Laura Cocking Eventing Arkendale

The next plan was 2* which we achieved the following year at Weston Park, in the ever strong Young Riders section, where we finished 6th with a double clear. This was a really proud moment as it was our first time at this level! Charlie thought the lap of honour was pretty cool too!

Charlie gave us our first win too – an Open Intermediate section at Withington. We also placed at Houghton 2* and were selected as reserve for the GBR Young Riders Squad.

The following year I was excited to be picked for the Young Riders Squad at the final trial at Aston Le Walls. I’d made the British Young Riders team! I had worked so hard and wanted it for so long, it was an incredible feeling to finally make it! It was an amazing week, massive team atmosphere, friends and family from all over the country, with Charlie on serious form jumping a faultless double clear and finishing in 7th in Europe!

Charlie also gave me my first CCI3* completion at Bramham and Chatsworth and hopefully our dream of 4* will come true!Click To Tweet

It’s such an exciting opportunity to join forces with Forageplus and I’m so grateful to be able to feed for ultimate eventing performance. I have a very exciting younger horse, Eds Or Tails who’s up and coming, jumping double clears at Novice. He and I are aiming for Intermediate and CCI1* this season.

Laura Cocking LLanymynych Horse Trials Eds and Tails

I have a new warmblood mare, Queen Of Hearts who I’m hoping to make my debut on very soon!

I am a very determined and ambitious rider always open to new rides for the remainder of the season and beyond at all levels.


Summer Eventing Update 2015

Well since I last blogged I’ve had many highs but quite a few lows as the season starts to come to a close.

I’ve made the really really sad decision to retire my top horse Arkendale (Charlie) from top level competition, it will be so weird and hard without him but he’s been an incredible horse to me. I owe it to him to let him downgrade and enjoy the rest of his career. He’s also a very talented show jumper frequently jumping 1.30m classes British Show Jumping so this is also an exciting option for us! He owes me nothing, we jumped out first advanced, 3* at Bramham, Chatsworth and Burnham Market and of course earned the honour to ride with the British flag on our hat finishing 7th at the European Championships!

Arkendale Laura Cocking Eventing

Eds or Tails on the other hand had a brilliant eventing season, finishing 6th at his first event at Solihull with a dressage of 22!! He continued on to jumping his first novices of the season gaining his first point at Llanymynech jumping a double clear again with a brilliant dressage! It was lovely to have top photographer and supporter Sarah from Forageplus there too!

All the hard work was paying off with SJ being his weakest phase he proceeded to jump the next few rounds clear as well! He jumped an epic double clear at Brand Hall where it was causing carnage, he’s really grown up this year taking the courses on and thinking for himself!

Eds and Tails Laura Cocking Eventing

Rockingham International was a brilliant event, serious top end XC and Ed’s first experience of an international arena. He really stepped up, a lovely test followed by a classy clear SJ! This I was seriously pleased with as the technicality was the same as the advanced class and they were top end on height too! The XC course as usual had its questions, a decent log into the dark water early on with a skinny out, some big tables and a hedge question with a quick thinking turn to a nest type skinny jump, this was my biggest concern!

Eds or Tails on the other hand had a brilliant season, finishing 6th at his first event at Solihull with a dressage of 22!! Click To Tweet

As it turned out he was mega, one of the best rounds he ever jumped. We did unfortunately have a green moment three fences from home which was a bit gutting but I was still thrilled with him. He jumped the trakehner with a decent ditch underneath, pretty high, next fence a big open ditch, with my fingers under the neck strap so not to catch his mouth I encouraged him in and he jumped even higher, next fence a rail ditch rail combination, he just lost a bit of concentration and slid into the first rail, but being the pro he has turned out to be jumped it beautifully second time completing full of confidence!

His aim was to jump his first intermediate and then the CCI1* at Hartpury, however very sadly he’s picked up an injury in the field ruling him out for the rest of the year.

On a happier note Galphrays Pride (aka CHARLIES LITTLE BROTHER!!) attended the British Equestrian Federations Futurity evaluations where he was awarded a Higher First! All three year olds awarded with this award are invited forward for the Equine Bridge 2016 for the talented young horses of the future!

Laura Cocking Eventing

Sitting on Charlie’s little brother for the very first time!

Today Galphrays started on the longlines in his journey to being broken and he’s already proving pretty challenging, questioning everything I ask to see if there was a way round doing it or if he could do it another way but he does seem to give in quite easily, so I’m hoping he has a brain and some fire in his belly to do a job well in the future! Watch this space!

So with a couple of others in to sell and schooling liveries to keep me going I have spaces for more schooling liveries of any age/ability 15hh+!

Also I am actively seeking new rides and owners for showjumping and eventing, whether you have a superstar in your stables needing a jockey or are new to ownership I’d love to hear from you! Attending all the events especially with the higher level horses is loads of fun and seriously rewarding![bg_faq_end][bg_faq_start]

July 2016 Update

Hello! July already, Lots to catch up on after a really busy start to the season! Lots of highs but also a terrible low to report.
I’ll start by introducing my new boy PLS Ballinagore aka Harley, a gorgeous 17hh Irish gelding by top competition stallion Harlequin Du Carel. I bought him over from Ireland back in March with 2 others where he had done some showjumping, getting the hang of the XC learning to gallop and his dressage has come on amazingly! I’m hoping he will be good enough to keep and go far with, he’s definitely not short on scope!

The other two we bought, Max and Quanti are also coming on well, Max is a super cool sporty Irish cob type who is a total dude! He’s really straight forward and jumps anything for fun, he was bought for my mum and sister to share, worth his weight in gold! Quanti I’ve just sold, he’s a really smart 5 year old who’s ready to go out now and win!

Arkendale my horse of a lifetime who recently retired from top level has fallen on his feet finding his perfect new home with Ed Williams a local junior rider who I have known for years, he’s learning the ropes of eventing so who better to teach him than Charles! He’s leasing Charlie and has just jumped his first ever novice on him having jumped double clears at BE100 together already!

I’ve done a few events with Harley, starting with Kelsall BE100 where he jumped his first ever XC course with just one green moment at a corner, it was lovely to see Sarah and Lee of Forageplus and show Lee what we do!

Harley then went on to jump clear inside the time around Somerford BE90 where we would have been 2nd had we been able to be competitive (I’ve ridden at advanced so can’t compete 90)! He then jumped even more confidently around Brand Hall BE a week later. We also jumped double clear in out first Newcomers together BS!

He heads to Stafford BE100 in a couple of weeks with Galphrays Pride who’s also heading there for his first ever event in the 4yo class! We are all really excited about him as he’s full brother to my advanced horse Arkendale and he’s showing all the potential to be good! Neck strap will be on!!

I’m currently spending a lot of time over in Cheshire with Hayden & Dee Hankey training hard and helping them out at the same time. It’s very early mornings and late nights, I’m constantly exhausted but it will be worth it in the end!! Harley is living there and he’s coming on really well!

Galphrays Pride is coming to my last ever pony club camp on the 11th July for a few days, turning 25 this year means it’s my final year in Pony Club which is sad! I’ve had some amazing years with Flint & Denbigh made so many friends and great memories but I guess we all have to grow up at some point! My sister is also planning on taking Queen of Hearts (Money) to camp, my big mare who I jumped around a few BE90s last year, she will then be sold too (if I can get her back!).

On to the sad news, devastatingly we lost our lovely grey horse Eds Or Tails last week. He’s been out of work for a year with an Injury that unfortunately got worse rather than better. He was never going to be sound or pain free again, so we took the really really sad decision to put him to sleep. At the beginning of last year he jumped lots of double clears at Novice and was aiming for his first international before going lame, he was only an 8yo so had his whole future ahead but it wasn’t to be. Rest in peace Ed ❤️<![bg_faq_end]
Laura Cocking Eventing Llanymynych Horse Trials

Laura is a brilliant young rider who deserves enormous support for her talent and dedication to achieving the best with her horses. We look forward to posting more of her competitive journey with her horses so that you can live her dreams too.