Pictures By Dave Poole
Former professional horsewoman Lottie Prentice has achieved a lot in her illustrious career as one of the country’s top three-day eventers. A member of the British equestrian team since her early teens, she competed to international acclaim on some of the toughest tracks across the world. She puts much of that success down to her trusty steed Ted.
The eye-catching grey horse, with his seemingly effortless skill for clearing the widest jumps at events such as the Burghley and Badminton Horse Trials, was almost as well recognised as glamorous Lottie herself. The two of them made a striking pair in the world of eventing, with Lottie’s athletic figure and mane of blonde hair making her an obvious choice to model for the major equestrian sponsors. She and Ted were best known for achieving the speediest cross-country times, with regular wins at the stalwarts of the annual eventing calendar.
When Ted passed away last year at the age of 19 (after Lottie made the heartbreaking decision to put him to sleep because of agonising arthritis in his hocks), she wanted to immortalise the horse that had made such a lasting impression on everyone. Her newly published children’s book A Tale of Ted could not be a more fitting tribute.
It is set during the height of Ted’s competitive career, against the backdrop of Lottie’s professional stable in the Cotswolds, and tells the story of some of Ted’s particularly mischievous antics. Lottie’s three dogs, including Rhino the jack russell, also star.
As Lottie, 37, explains, she didn’t have to use too much imagination when it came to describing the fictional Ted’s exploits – biting the blacksmith when he is being shod, escaping over the stable gate and chewing his brand-new rug to pieces. ‘All those things actually happened,’ she laughs.
‘Ted was a legend. He was so naughty but so clever and funny, too, that you couldn’t stay angry with him for long. He loved to provoke people and get a reaction. Everyone loves a cheeky character – they make you smile. I want people who read the book to fall in love with Ted as I did.’
Lottie’s fellow competitor Zara Phillips was also a fully paid-up member of the Ted fan club. ‘Zara knew Ted from the times we did events together. When you’re competing at top level there actually aren’t that many of you. So we all looked out for one another and we got to know each other well.’
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