Grantham event rider targets Olympics
By Max Chesterton
A Grantham event rider is targeting representing Great Britain at the 2020 Olympics after a series of stellar performances in his first year competing at an elite level.
Nineteen-year-old Richard Coney has shown all the signs of one day following in the footsteps of Great British equestrian royalty, such as William Fox-Pitt and Charlotte Dujardin, with an outstanding second placed finish at Barbury International in June.
Despite missing out on selection for the U21 European Championships, the teenager has high hopes of one day representing Great Britain on the international stage.
He said: “This year has gone really well. I have stepped up to three-star level which is Olympic level.
“I got a second place at Barbury CCI three-star which was amazing, having only just stepped up to that level this year.
“I just missed out on selection for the U21 European Championships which I was disappointed with after doing well in the trials.
“I think within the next few years, I want to compete at a four-star level and continue progressing at three-star and try and get in contention for the 2020 Olympics.”
Coney’s cause is also being helped by The Nottingham Building Society who are teaming up with charity SportsAid to support 50 local athletes as they try to find their ‘time to shine’, with each receiving £750 of funding.
Having already donated £240,000 to SportsAid to help athletes buy equipment, travel to competitions and receive the training they need to be the best they can, The Nottingham Building Society are now also helping athletes on the path to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, and beyond.
For Coney, that also included a trip to Nottingham Racecourse to take part in a workshop, joined by world champion short track speed skater Elise Christie and Olympic champion canoeist Etienne Stott as mentors, an experience he was delighted to revel in.
Coney said: “SportsAid has helped me get to more events and get me the training I need. It has made my life a lot smoother.
“It was really interesting and useful. They gave me tips on nutrition and everything you should be thinking about to be a top level athlete. It was really helpful to get to meet the people behind SportsAid."
+ Nottingham Building Society and Harrison Murray teamed up with SportsAid in 2013 to help future sports stars get their time to shine. Visit thenottingham.com to find out more.