Bright Young Thing
PUBLISHED: 11:18 15 November 2010 | UPDATED: 18:10 20 February 2013
Chigwell's Tom Plaster, 16, explains what it's like to compete as a <br/><br/>prize-winning national show jumper
What do you do?
Im in the sixth form at West Hatch High School studying Business Studies. I have been show jumping since the
age of 10 and compete in national competitions all
across the country.
When did you first start horse riding?
When I was two years old my parents bought me a Shetland pony to be led about on. At the age of eight they bought me my first jumping pony, which is now being used by my sister so she can learn.
What is the most exciting thing that has happened to you over the past year?
I won at the show jumping Winter Premier Shows in January, and qualified for The Royal International Horse Show competition at Hickstead. I also won eight Horse of the Year Show qualifiers this summer, and the National Foxhunter Final with a pony that I produced from a novice, called Amilie. She is considered to be one of the best in the country. Ive also been in Horse and Hound magazine!
Who are your influences?
My two biggest show jumping influences are Ben Maher, a great British Olympic show jumper, and German rider Marcus Ehning, who is the second best show jumper in the world.They are both very stylish and perform at the top level on a number of different horses. They are the ultimate professionals who I would like to emulate one day.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
I would like to Show Jump professionally. I have produced ponies and would like to do the same with young horses. Now that Ive started winning I want to ride horses as my career, and am looking for a sponsor.
Tell us about your family
I live with my mum, dad and seven-year-old sister, Grace. My parents own a shop in Loughton and my dad trains me. The whole family is very supportive of what I do and we travel to events all over the country together.
What do you like about where you live?
Its close to the Underground with good access to places in town but is also only a few minutes away from the countryside.
What are your hobbies?
Apart from riding, I have a large network of friends across the country from shows, with whom I try to meet up with whenever possible. I also like to go to the gym and listen to music.
How do you relax?
Usually by listening to music. My favourite song at the moment is Taio Cruzs Dynamite. Its my kind of music!
What is your worst habit?
My bedroom is really untidy.
What makes you smile?
Do you have a claim to fame?
Winning the JC Grand Prix at The Pony of the Year Show at Easter this year, with my pony, Amilie JR Z. I also won the Junior Foxhunter Final at the Horse of the Year Show in October, which is Sponsored by Squibb Demolition who are also based in Essex.