British rider Tom McEwen (26) is based at Gatcombe in Gloucestershire. Last year with Toledo de Kerser he completed Badminton (11th) and later in the year at Burghley CCI4* gained a career best when the pair was placed fourth. He is a former Under-25 national champion and has represented GB at Pony, Junior and Young Rider level.
Tom comes from an equestrian family. His Mother Ali was a showjumper and father Bobby, is a senior partner at The Valley Equine Hospital in Lambourn and has worked at Badminton horse trials for 30 years. His Uncle, John McEwen, was Vice President of the F.E.I. for eight-years and is currently Chairman of F.E.I. Veterinary Committee.
In 2007 Tom was a member of the British Pony team winning team gold at the Pony European Championships with Dick Taytoe. In 2010 he was a member of the British Young Rider team that won team gold at the European Championships in Pardubice (14th – Major Sweep) and at the end of the 2010 season he was awarded the Edy Goldman Trophy, for the Under-21 rider with the most BE points, as well as the Horse Trials Support Group Young Rider Training Bursary. Tom’s sister, Ella also events and rode for the British Pony Team in 2007 and 2008.
In 2011 he won another Young Rider European team gold at the Championships at Blair Castle (4th – Private Rudolph). In the September of that year he made an impressive four-star debut at Burghley with Dry Old Party winning the best ‘first-timer’ award and at the end of the season retained the Edy Goldman trophy. In 2012 with Diesel Tom won the two-star at Houghton and in 2013 the pair won the U-25 Championships at Bramham. They were subsequently selected for the British Squad for the European Championships (Tom’s first senior championship) in Malmo but Diesel was eliminated at the first horse inspection.
In 2013 Tom made his Badminton debut with Dry Old Party. The pair finished in 19th place and won the prizes for the ‘best placed British rider aged under-25’ and the ‘best newcomer’. The following year he was the youngest rider to have qualified two horses for Badminton (Dry Old Party and Diesel).
Tom who trains with Ferdi Eilberg and Tina Fletcher enjoys rugby and racing
Toledo de Kerser is an 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding with an impeccable jumping pedigree. He is by the World number one showjumping sire Diamant de Semilly out of a mare by the influential sire Papillon Rouge. He was produced as a five-year-old by Sammi Mcleod and Tom took the ride in 2013. In 2014 the pair was second in their first international CCI* and later that year second in the CCI2* in the World Young Horse Championships. Toledo completed his first four-star at Pau in 2016.
Strike Smartly is an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding. Bred by Patrick Fenlon he is by the thoroughbred sire Ghareeb (sire of many event horses including four-star horses Coolio, Trig Point, Kilronan) out of a mare by the Irish Draught Diamond Lad by King of Diamonds. Strike Smartly is a full brother to the former four-star event horse Kilronan (the ride of Paul Tapner). Strike Smartly was produced as a four-year-old by Paul Tapner and then by Daisy Berkeley who competed him to three-star level – the pair was 16th in the CIC3* 8/9 at Blenheim in 2016. Tom took the ride at the beginning of 2017. The pair won the CCI3* at Cappoquin. Badminton is the horse’s first four-star.
Toledo de Kerser
16.2hh , bay , gelding
Sire Diamant De Semilly
Dam Ariane Du Prieure II (Papillon Rouge)
Breeder Mrs Isabelle Drevet
Jane Inns, Brackley, Northants.
Ali McEwen, Swindon, Wilts.