Q&A with Bella Innes Ker

Oct 6, 2016 | Bella's Blog

This month we caught up with 22 year old International Event Rider, Bella Innes Ker.  Based in the Scottish Borders, Bella has ridden and competed alongside her academic career, reading Sports Management at Northumbria University.  Representing Great Britain at the Junior and Young Riders Eventing Europeans, Bella has certainly launched her eventing career with a bang, bringing home two team gold medals!

“My earliest memory of being on a horse was riding my 11.2hh, roan, Welsh pony that did nothing but buck me off!”  laughs Bella, “luckily he was replaced by a wonderful 11.3hh five year old called Mac who was much kinder to his jockey, and actually enabled me to win some rosettes!”

Bella was lucky enough to grow up watching the Floors Castle Horse Trials from her bedroom window and spent the day wishing she could ride there one day.

“For as long as I can remember, Pippa Funnel has been my eventing hero,” says Bella.  “For my tenth birthday I was bought, at a Charity Auction by my Granny, the opportunity to spend a day with Pippa at Chatsworth Horse Trials.  This only strengthened my desire to be like her one day!  Even today, she sets an incredibly high standard and it is a joy to watch her ride in all disciplines.”

With the Roxburgh Stud on the door step, there’re certainly a few family favourites to choose from.  Bella comments; “Without a doubt, one of my favourite horses has to be my Dad’s racehorse, Attraction, who we bred at home.”  Describing Attraction as the ‘ugly duckling’, the Innes Ker’s struggled to sell her and so decided to keep her in training.  “She turned out to be the only horse to have ever won the English and Irish 1,000 Guineas.  Her grit, determination and huge heart gave so much enjoyment to my family, and she really was a one in a lifetime horse for my Father.”

Turning to eventing, Bella says; “I’ve also been privileged to ride some wonderful event horses and the one with the biggest character, and most challenging, has to be Carolyn, also known as Poppet.  She’s a real princess and a massive diva that likes her own way, however has a heart of gold and would now do anything for me.”

For the majority of 22 year olds, their favourite mode of transport would probably be something new and flashy, however this is certainly not the case for Bella who much prefers her trusty Oakley horse box which she calls Rebecca, commenting; “I would be very happy to live in her all year round!”

Like all eventers, Bella likes nothing better than a serious adrenalin rush and says; “If it wasn’t horses, I’d probably be throwing myself out of a plane, or discovering the world below the sea!”

“My tip for anyone coming into the horse industry would be to always believe in yourself, never let the bad days get in the way of the good ones.  We all need to learn from our mistakes in order to improve, so don’t be disheartened when things don’t go your way.  Everything happens for a reason!”

Finally, we asked Bella why she would choose to sleep on a Bedmax bed.  “Bedmax is a fantastic supporter of Floors Castle Horse Trials and a company we rate so highly at home.  We use Bedmax Shavings at the stud and for my eventers and I would be so happy to sleep on it myself.  It’s low dust and has such a unique clean smell of pine.”

With the eventing season drawing to a close, Bella now heads to Boeleko with Carolyn having recently finished third in their section in the Advanced at Allerton Park.

To round up, we asked Bella some fun, quick fire questions:
Q1.  Traditional or bling?
A1.  Traditional
Q2.  Cats or dogs?
A2.  Dogs.
Q3.  Peas or Beans?
A3.  Peas
Q4.  Wine or Whiskey?
A4.  Wine.
Q5.  AP or Ruby?
A5.  AP

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