It will be a third consecutive visit to Badminton for British rider Becky Woolven (29) who is based not far from Badminton near Tetbury where she runs a competition and training yard. Becky made her Badminton debut with Charlton Down Riverdance in 2017 and pair competed here last year but has yet to complete. In 2016 the pair completed Burghley in 17th place and Becky was awarded the prize for the ‘best first timer’.
Becky, one of four children, grew up in the village of Medmenham, Buckinghamshire. Although from a sporting family Becky is the only rider, determined from an early age to ride despite her parent’s best attempts to sway her towards any other sport. Brother Tom and sister Jenna played hockey for England U18s while sister Pippa ran in the 300m steeplechase at the Commonwealth Games – her parents play golf with a single handicap.
By the age of 14 Becky had her first taste of eventing on her 14.2 pony ‘Bluey’ whom she produced herself from a five year old. Becky progressed through the Pony Club and had several good results at the PC Championships. Aged 17 Becky competed in her first BE event and four-years later at the age of 21 had produced her first horse to advanced level. In 2010 she made her first international appearance a winning one, claiming individual and team gold at the Student Riders Nations Cup (dressage and showjumping) in De Mortel and later that year won individual gold and team silver at the World University Equestrian Games in South Korea. In 2013 with Charlton Down Riverdance she was second at the Pony Club Championships.
In 2014 with LB The Phantom she, competed at her first three-star at Bramham, won the prize for the ‘best under-25’ in the British Open at Gatcombe and six weeks later the ‘best under-25’ and ‘best first-timer’ in the CCI3* at Blenheim. She completed her first four-star with Riverdance at Burghley in 2016.
Becky trains with Rowland Fernyhough and Sam Ramatallah.
Charlton Down Riverdance, is a 13-year-old Irish-bred gelding. He is by Tullibards Shakespeare (sire of Paul Tapner’s former four-star horse Kilfinnie) out of Shady Queen by Captain Clover. He was acquired as a four-year-old and has been brought through the grades by Becky. He is described as ‘a the gentleman of the year and a very humble horse who has no idea how special he is’.
Charlton Down Riverdance
17.1hh , brown , gelding
Sire Tullibards Shakespeare
Dam Shady Queen (Captain Clover)
Breeder Jeffrey Hall
Julie Record, Tetbury, Glos.