The Magazine Meet The Team

Whether you're a beginner, a returner, an established rider seeking new skills or an experienced competitor, there's someone at Horse&Rider who's rooting for you.

Louise Kittle Editor

Joined Horse & Rider in 2014 Started riding age 7

After just 18 months as editor of Horse&Rider, Louise was awarded the title of ‘Editor of the Year’ in 2015. With many years of horsey experience and lots of horsey qualifications (Louise is a qualified BHS IntSM), she’s perfectly positioned to steer the H&R ship and crack the whip. Louise is always first to get involved in any horsey office discussions and debates (and as you can imagine with so many horsey staff there are a lot!) and she’s often found on the phone to celebrity riders planning exciting features and photoshoots. Louise owns Ted, a six-year-old Irish gelding. She tells herself he’s small, but at 16.1(and-a-half), his great figure has landed him a few modeling positions in Horse&Rider – a perk of the tough job as editor’s horse! Together they hope to event – well, Louise has her plans, while Ted is currently more concerned with the whereabouts of his next meal.

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Lucy Turner Acting Editor

Joined Horse & Rider in 2006 Started riding age 12

Lucy is a long-term resident at Horse&Rider HQ. Now in her role as Acting Editor, Lucy enjoys nothing more than writing training and vet features for you to get your teeth into. She is also the chief of checking all spelling and grammar in Horse&Rider. After leaving school, Lucy set out to complete her BHS stages 1, 2 and 3, and PTT, which set her up perfectly for a career with horses and landed her a dream job of working for eventing legend Pippa Funnell! Lucy then worked as an equine vet nurse, which is where we suspect she developed her love for all things with a hint of gore. Alongside permanently pampering her Jack Russell, Lucky, Lucy is currently riding Thomas, a 17hh Thoroughbred X Cleveland Bay, who treats the feed room like it’s a self-service buffet!

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Jo Browne Acting Assistant Editor

Joined Horse & Rider in 2017 Started riding age 1

Jo grew up on a farm, where her favourite after-school activity was to jump on her pony and round up the cows for milking. These days she enjoys hacking out and taking part in Riding Club activities, and she harbours a dream of turning her coloured cob, Betsy, into a showjumper. When Jo’s not riding, she’s walking around the woods with her daughters and their ponies or taking them to Pony Club rallies. Jo’s horsey claim to fame is that she rode in the Shetland Pony Grand National at Olympia and won an enormous trophy – for falling off!

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Rachel Dyke Staff Writer

Joined Horse & Rider in 2016 Started riding age 5

Born and raised in the Essex countryside, Rachel got her first pony, Willow, for her sixth birthday. After achieving a joint honours degree in English Literature and Creative Writing at Bath Spa University – and writing a pony novel for her dissertation! – Rachel completed a Post-graduate Diploma in Applied Equine Science at Writtle College and worked for Dengie Horse Feeds for two years, before finally getting the longed-for editorial job at Horse&Rider. When she’s not meeting top riders for photoshoots or choosing products for H&R’s next tried and tested feature – it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it – Rachel spends all her time with her high-maintenance Haflinger, Amalie, who’s been ruling the roost since she arrived in Essex as a rising two-year-old in 2015. They’re happy to try their hand at anything, including TREC clinics, showing and cross-country schooling, but Amalie’s absolute favourite thing is going for a splash in the river.

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Bethany Searby Editorial Assistant

Joined Horse & Rider in 2017 Started riding age 4

All it took was one sit on a pony while on holiday to give Bethany the riding bug. Fast-forward five years and a pony was bought, which catapulted her non-horsey parents into the world of horse ownership. It didn’t take long to get them on board, literally, as now they’re both keen riders. Bethany spent her time at university juggling English studies with schooling various project horses, which prepared her well for a job that has her writing one minute and handling correspondence or giveaways the next. After spending a year freelancing for local newspapers in her native Lincolnshire, Bethany moved to Surrey to pursue her dream career at Horse&Rider. Although she misses her homebred gelding, Phillip, who lives with her parents in Lincolnshire, she still manages to get her horsey fix ‘down south’ by exercising hunters.

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Sarah Garland Art Editor

Joined Horse & Rider in 2014

Sarah is the lead mare when it comes to anything art-and-designy at Horse&Rider. In addition to creating interesting designs for all the pages and tweaking them to perfection, Sarah puts together all the beautiful H&R covers giving us so many to choose from for each issue. In the summer, Sarah is always the first to volunteer to go on a photoshoot, especially when we go in search of stunning new cover shots (whether it’s because she likes spending the day with all the lovely horses or because she just worships the sun, we couldn’t say). She also has a hard time keeping on top of the pesky editorial team, who occasionally like to think they can extend their skills to design, but often end up being more hindrance than help!

Adam Witt Designer

Joined Horse & Rider in 2013

Before starting at Horse&Rider, Adam didn’t know all that much about horses, but that’s changed since he joined the team of extreme equine enthusiasts. The turning point was probably when he had to reproduce hundreds of complicated equine anatomy drawings for all the veterinary features. Want to know the internal structure of a hoof? Adam’s your guy, and he can even tell you about laminitis! Listening to how much everyone in the office spends on their horses, Adam spends his spare time praying that his daughter doesn’t get hooked on ponies, not just yet anyway!

Sophie Rigby Designer

Joined Horse & Rider in 2013 Started riding age 1

With very non-horsey parents, Sophie's passion for horses was a challenge to pursue! It all started with a walk around the local common on a family friend's pony, and since then Sophie has gone on to train an RDA pony, backed two four-year-olds and now trains and competes primarily in dressage on her loan horse, Blackie. Sophie juggles working for Horse&Rider in a busy design team, alongside her own equine portrait business. With a childhood dream of buying her own horse and keeping it in her back garden, there’s lots of work to be done!

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Jake Booth Junior Designer

Joined Horse & Rider in 2017

Jake joined the design team thinking he’d just be making the magazine pages look good, but little did he know that making him horsey would become the editorial team’s new favourite hobby! Although he was last seen revising for his Pony Club E test (with the PONY mag team as his unofficial assessors), Jake spends the rest of his time at work making all the magazine features look fresh and easy to read, and photographing horses "doing all sorts of weird things”.

Andrea Moffatt Deputy Managing Director

Joined Horse & Rider in 1991 Started riding age 7

Andrea began riding aged seven and four years later, after a lot of pestering, finally persuaded her parents to buy her a pony of her own, which she spent a lot of time falling off. After three horse-less years at university studying English, Andrea got back into riding by loaning a horse – not the most practical option while working and living in London! However, she joined DJ Murphy two years later in 1991, which allowed her to move to a more rural location and hasn’t had a horse-less moment since. Andrea has gone on to compete at PSG with her warmblood Kinda Magic, and also owns a warmblood stallion called Spirit. As Deputy Managing Director of DJ Murphy, she juggles advertising sales, new commercial initiatives and the day-to-day running of the business with riding and competing in dressage.

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Zoe Cannon Publisher

Joined Horse & Rider in 2001 Started riding age 1

Zoe started riding early – plonked in a basket saddle at just 10 days old. She had a very horsey childhood and took part in all Pony Club activities, gaining her B test and competing in dressage, showjumping and eventing with her chestnut Arab mare (sounds like a tricky combination!), Monique. Now Zoe juggles life as a working mum with riding Dolly, the fantastic been-there-done-that Irish Sport Horse she shares. As Publisher of Horse&Rider, Zoe oversees the magazine and focuses on its distribution, making sure it gets from the office to you.

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Gemma O'Neil Marketing Manager

Joined Horse & Rider in 2014 Started riding age 9

Gemma fell in love with the world of horses aged nine and has been hooked ever since! She’s owned her traditional cob, Dollar, for eight years and he even attended her wedding in July 2014! Gemma also helps exercise a friend's horses and her regular mount is Snappy, a fantastic chestnut NF x TB mare, who she has great fun hacking, schooling and jumping at home. Gemma heads up the marketing department at Horse&Rider, working across many areas from subscriptions and advertising campaigns, through to social media and digital initiatives.

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Ali Hill Marketing Co-ordinator

Joined Horse & Rider in 1999 Started riding age 8

Ali's passion for horses started aged eight with a bareback lead ride on a retired horse called Rustler. After college, with her heart set on working with horses, Ali returned to the school where she originally learnt to ride and thoroughly indulged herself in the horsey life, before landing a job at Hermes managing events. During this time, Ali took a sabbatical to train for her BHS AI and eventually moved out of London and back to Surrey. She now co-ordinates the attendance of Horse&Rider at all of the major equestrian events and owns two dressage horses Walnut and Amos, as well as her retired horses Hudson and Teddy. If you see Horse&Rider at an event, go and say hi!

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Hollie Bladen Marketing Executive

Joined Horse & Rider in 2016 Started riding age 1

Born and raised in the New Forest, Hollie was put on a pony before she could walk and it wasn’t long before her 14.2 New Forest pony, Solo, joined the horse-loving family. Hollie competed up to county-level showing and insisted on entering Working Hunter classes because really she loved to jump! Now she owns a 16.2 Thoroughbred, Ozzie, who she plans to showjump (if she can convince him that it’s more fun than galloping across the forest!). Hollie lived in Canada for two years and worked in radio broadcasting before landing her dream job as H&R's Marketing Executive. This is one of the most sought-after jobs on the team – Hollie spends her days manning H&R’s social media channels, filming celeb riders on photoshoots in the sun, and making adverts for Horse & Country TV. She insists that it’s not all glamour, but we don’t believe her!

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Lianne Tadd Marketing Assistant

Joined Horse & Rider in 2018

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Laura Sturt Promotions Co-ordinator

Joined Horse & Rider in 2017

Laura works on sourcing, designing and producing the freebies that sometimes appear on the front of the mag. Sounds simple? Not when your products are stuck the other side of the world because of a typhoon – luckily she’s the queen of logistical problems!

Janice Sexton Production

Joined Horse & Rider in 2017 Started riding age 5

Janice deals with all the adverts in both Horse&Rider and PONY. It’s her job to make sure all they call come in on time, then she presses the final ‘button of doom’ that sends the magazines to the printers. Janice has her own land, where she keeps her three horses – Indi, a 22-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, Gilbert, a massive eight-year-old cob X hunter, and a 13hh rescue pony called Posy. Janice enjoys dressage, hacking and walking her two mad spaniels, Toffee and Henry.

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Samantha Backstrom Business Development Manager

Joined Horse & Rider in 2014 Started riding age 1

Sammy was bitten by the riding bug at a very young age, and soon had her sights firmly set on the British showjumping squads. In her time on ponies, Sammy won two team golds and an individual silver at the European Championships! She broke many pony records and became the youngest rider to jump a World Cup just after she turned 18. As Business Development Manager, Sammy heads up the advertising team, and advises her clients how they can best deliver their advertising to you.

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Franchesca Slack Sales Executive

Joined Horse & Rider in 2016 Started riding age 1

Fran’s been riding all her life and was lucky enough to grow up on her mum’s livery yard, which meant she could go out and see her pony in her pyjamas! She was a member of Pony Club and, after leaving school, went on to study at Sparsholt College, where she completed a national diploma in equine management and BSc (Hons) degree in Equine Studies. While there she also competed on the inter-college riding team. Fran worked as a groom, and in retail and equestrian wholesale before getting the job as a Sales Executive at Horse&Rider. She owns Sekonda, a 17hh Irish Draught, who she enjoys dressage with. They’re also thinking about having a go at showing, if Fran can keep Sekonda clean for long enough – he is grey after all! She also shares two Shires, Sammy and Roxy, with her partner and uses them for draught work, riding and driving.

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Lauren Brown Sales Executive

Joined Horse & Rider in 2016 Started riding age 1

Lauren was fortunate enough to be born into a horse-crazy family. She learned to ride on their family Dartmoor pony, Jim, who is still going strong now! After working her way up through the heights of various native ponies, she now finally owns her 15.2hh working hunter, Coco. They love to do a bit of everything together, but in the summer you’ll most likely find Lauren trying to keep Coco’s attention on leaving the poles in the cups in Working Hunter classes. As a Sales Executive, Lauren looks after all the lovely advertising clients, keeping the team up to date with the latest fashion and trends.

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Horse and Rider July 2018 Magazine

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