British rider Kristina (Tina) Cook (46) who is based in West Sussex is a long-standing member of British teams. Last year with Star Witness she was 7th at Badminton and 10th at Burghley. With Simply Red she was the travelling reserve for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
With De Novo News she was a member of the British silver medal team at the 2014 WEG and with Miners Frolic a member of the British Olympic team that won silver in London 2012 where she was sixth in the individual competition – the pair was 13th at the European Championships in 2013. (In October 2015 she sadly lost De Novo News after he contracted shipping fever on the way back from Strzegom.)
Tina first represented GB in 1987 winning team gold at the Junior European Championships (Song & Dance Man). She was a regular and successful member of British Young Rider teams and in 1991 was National Champion. The following year she competed at her first Badminton (10th, Song & Dance Man) and made her first senior team appearance in the 1993 European Championships when she won individual silver (Song & Dance Man). She was a member of British gold medal teams at the World Equestrian Games (1994) and European Championships (’95 & ’99) and in 1997 won individual European bronze with General Jock. With her Olympic ride Miners Frolic she won the European Championships in 2009 and Olympic team and individual bronze in 2008. In 2010 they won team gold at the WEG in Lexington where they were 29th individually.
Tina’s father the late Josh Gifford was four-times Champion Jockey and a successful trainer – he trained Aldaniti to win the Grand National in 1981. Her mother Althea Roger-Smith was a successful international show jumper who represented GB and was a winner of the Queen Elizabeth Cup. Tina is assistant to her racehorse trainer brother Nick at the yard in Findon, Sussex.
She has two children from her former marriage; Isabelle (12) a keen Pony Club member who has just started eventing & Harry (10) a keen rugby football and cricket player.
Star Witness is a 12-year-old Irish-bred gelding (Weatherbys NTR). He is by Witness Box out of Drive on Rosie by Glacial Storm. He was bought from Doncaster sales as an unbroken three-year-old ‘as a project and never left’. He completed his first four-star at Burghley last year in 8th place.
Billy the Red owned by Elisabeth Murdoch and Keith Tyson, is a 10-year-old German-bred gelding. He is by Balou du Rouet (a son of the leading sire Baloubet du Rouet and sire of Badminton entry Reve du Rouet). He is out of Simply Red by the thoroughbred Stan the Man (sire of Michael Jungs 2016 Badminton winner La Biosethique Sam and British Olympic medallists Shear L’Eau and Shear H2O). He was acquired as a six-year-old novice from Canadian rider Kathryn Robinson. Last year he was Kristina’s travelling reserve for the 2016 British Olympic team and was then 9th at Pau – his first four-star.
Calvino II owned by Philippa & Ailsa Wates and Equine Aqua Training, is a 12-year-old British-bred gelding. Bred in Hampshire by Shirley Foley he is by the former showjumping sire Carousel (sire of former Burghley winner Carousel Quest) out of Collectors Rock by the former eventing stallion Rock King (sire of four-star horses Rock Model, Kings Gem). Kristina acquired the ride from his owner Pip Wates, when he was upgrading from novice. He represented GB in Aachen last year (12th) and made his four-star debut at Pau (16th).
Billy The Red
16.1hh , chesnut , gelding
Sire Balou du Rouet
Dam Simply Red (Stan the Man)
Breeder Michaela Weber-herrmann
Elisabeth Murdoch, London
Keith Tyson, London
16.0hh , bay , gelding
Dam Collectors Rock (Rock King)
Breeder Shirley Foley
Owner(s): Philippa & Ailsa Wates and Equine Aqua Training, Billingshurst, W. Sussex
16.2hh , bay , gelding
Sire Witness Box
Dam Drive on Rosie (Glacial Storm )
Breeder Mr Andy Leahy
Jim Chromiak, Newbury, Berks.,
Bridget Biddlecombe, Petersfield, Hants.,
Shaun Lawson, Rudgwick, Sussex, Nick Embiricos, Kirdford, W. Sussex