Richard began riding at five years old, he was bought his first pony aged nine and became a keen member of the Pony Club thereafter. He worked for a brief stint at his father’s PR company, however he was more likely to be found hunting with the Meynell than at his desk. As a result, Richard left his job to pursue his equestrian ambitions.
Richard’s career began with Sandra Pearson-Adams, who was an event rider and had just been made a Fellow of the British Horse Society. After a while Sandra sent Richard on a dressage course run by Barbara Slane-Fleming, and it was at this point that Richard caught the dressage bug. After years of training with classical dressage greats such as Arthur Kottas and a short spell at the Spanish Riding School, Richard had a lucky break when Sir Anthony and Lady Bamford bought him Master JCB. It was on this horse that Richard won his first European team medal back in 1993.
A decade later, Richard was a member of the bronze medal-winning team at the 2003 Hickstead European Championships, when he rode Gwendolyn Meyer’s lovely mare Ballaseyr Royale, the horse with whom he also became British Dressage National Champion and rode at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Richard has competed in four Olympic Games including London 2012, where he scored 72.812% in the Grand Prix on Hiscox Artemis. He was Britain’s team captain until the end of 2012, and was instrumental in helping the British squad to achieve team silver at the Windsor Europeans 2009. Richard narrowly missed out on a place in the gold medal-winning team for the 2011 European Championships.
Beyond Richard’s own successful competitive career, in 2008 he also became Performance Manager for the World Class Dressage squads, a role he fulfilled until the end of 2012. He is also a Fellow of the British Horse Society and a sought-after trainer, running an annual Dressage Convention with Carl Hester each Autumn; a convention designed to simplify and popularise the art of dressage.
Richard was a founder of the Burghley Young Event Horse series, and he currently coaches some of the most successful dressage and show jumping riders, including World and Olympic medallists, at his school in Staffordshire.
Richard continues to compete at the highest level including recent wins in 2017 at the CDI3* Hartpury and the CDIO3* Hickstead in the Grand Prix Free Style to Music on the 11 year old bay gelding Bubblingh.