Gracie Tyte

Bed-Down - Just Better British Bedding

Brand Ambassador Gracie Tyte

Brand Ambassador Gracie Tyte is a young, up-and-coming event rider who recently came under the Bed-Down umbrella. We are very much looking forward to following the career of gracie over the coming years and wish her every success in her event riding.

What do you like to be called? What is your nickname?
I don’t really have a nickname; people sometimes assume my name is Grace and that my nickname is Gracie when in reality it’s just Gracie.

What got you into riding?
My mum used to ride and when I was very young, we had her horse Inky and I fell in love with her as she was so gentle. When I was desperate for my own pony, I had to prove to my mum I would be committed by helping her with Inky every day for 6 months, rain, wind or shine!

Do you remember the first event you entered? What / where was it?
 It was a gymkhana and we did a few races including ride and run. I was about 8 and was really determined and I won my first red rosette. My brother also dressed up as a racing car driver and rode my pony, dressed up as Lightening MacQueen from the film Cars for the fancy dress class. I also remember the first time I won a trophy for a small lead rein jump class – there was only two in it but I can still remember the pride I felt and I still have the trophy to this day!

Can you tell us a funny story about you competing? 
Danny, although mostly a superstar, is also very opinionated about some things and happy to tell me what he thinks about certain decisions. There was a venue which we used to go XC schooling at and whenever we competed there he would always nap and buck if the course went the opposite way to which he thought was the correct way – sticky buns breeches were always essential for that venue! There was one event where quite a crowd formed around us as Dan did his best impression of a rodeo pony after realising the course was not what he expected! Luckily, I stayed on and we even completed the course clear. The funny thing was, he never ever did it anywhere else!

Why have you chosen your discipline?
I love eventing because you have the technicality of all three phases. The dressage means that you have the basis for the other two phases and I love the fact you have a horse which can be well schooled, careful, accurate, bold and fast! I love the thrill of the XC phase the most though.

Who is your favourite horse and why does he/she stand out for you?
All my horses have such different personalities – Johnny is like a big Labrador puppy and he will have a special place in my heart as I bought him myself as a rising 4-year-old, so everything is our own work. Dan though, really is my special boy – he is grumpy and opinionated but looked after me as a nervous 11 year old who had just started riding again after breaking my wrist falling from another pony to be National Champion 3 times and virtually never coming home without a rosette. He taught me how to respect the relationship we have with horses and never to take it for granted because if I did, he would be quick to tell me. And he taught me how to not fall off!

What is your most memorable win (with that horse)? 
Winning the NSEA (schools) National County Championships showjumping class and then going on to represent English schools competing at the National Championships. Dan knew when it mattered the most and he was the last to go in the class. I will never forget the cheer as we jumped the final fence. 

What goes through your mind before, during and after a competition?
Usually before a competition I visualise what I would like to achieve and talk through how I’m going to do that – however sometimes this goes out of the window when I’m riding as adrenaline takes over! Especially with Dan, there’s been many occasions when I’ve walked a SJ course and figured out all the best lines, only to go in and end up cutting them all way sharper because both Dan and I are far too competitive for our own good!! Luckily, it has payed off a lot of the time because Dan really comes into his own during jump offs. After a competition, I look back at videos and see how I can improve for the future.

What is the best advice you have been given to help you prepare before an event?
Eventing is a mixture of hard work, courage and a great deal of luck a lot of the time as you never know who you will be up against and things do go wrong. The best piece of advice I have been given is to compete against yourself and your own goals, not against others because you cannot control how well they do, but you can control how you do. This has helped me to improve my own performance and stay focussed rather than letting the pressure get to me.

What daily routine do you follow to ensure your horse is in always on top form?
It’s difficult for me to have a daily routine as it would depend on my school day / homework / other sporting commitments but between my Mum and me, we always muck out and feed the 4 horses before school so that I have time to ride at least one horse after school. And again, I would help doing evening stables. We don’t have a really strict routine as the horses are kept at home with just me and my Mum looking after them so it’s important they learn to be flexible and adapt to small changes – it seems to work as they are all really easy going horses.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to compete in your discipline?
I think first of all it’s really important to make sure you are having fun and enjoy all three phases, so you don’t mind practising them all. Secondly, be prepared and make sure you and your horse’s fitness is good and that you are confident of the questions you might be asked in competition by doing them in a schooling environment. 

Why Bed-Down bedding?
We have used several different types of bedding over the years including straw and cardboard but Bed-Down Excel stands out as it is so nice to work with – it smells great and is really easy to muck out. It stays looking nice and most importantly it provides a really soft, absorbent and supportive bed for the horses.

What positive changes have you noticed in your horse since you started using Bed-Down products?
They lay down more – you can guarantee that within twenty minutes of coming in from the field, particularly if they have been living out, the two young ponies, Johnny and Rocco, will be lying down. The other two big benefits we have noticed is the reduction in dust levels compared to other bedding which is important for Dan who is a bit older and really important for the respiratory health of our competition horses and that there is virtually no smell of ammonia from their wee!

Do you use handy bales, classic bales or both and why?
I use the classic bales as we like a good, substantial bed for the horses. 

Gracie Tyte



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