By Jack Wilson-Mumford
A UCLan student will be performing in front of the Queen at an international horse show next month.
Daniel Petho, a 2nd year Psychology student, is set to represent the UK Armed Forces Reserves at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May, alongside his horse Corporal.
Mr Petho, 22, of the Lancaster detachment of Liverpool University Officers Training Corps will be competing in the International Military Class show jumping after impressing during recent qualifying tournaments in the Cotswolds.
Mr Petho said: “This makes me feel immensely proud that I am not only representing my regiment and the Army Reserve team, but also my university on an international level.”
High quality competitors from all over the world are not the only thing Daniel has to consider when his time comes, he will also be performing in front of the Queen, something he is using to motivate him to work even harder.
“To be performing in front of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is something that I never would have dreamt of doing. I cannot lie and say it doesn’t make me feel nervous, because it does, the amount of pressure to excel myself has hit home. However, I always find I perform better on the course when placed under pressure.”
In order to qualify for the event, Daniel and his horse had to cleanly navigate a tight course of 10 fences at 1.05 metre and 1.10 metre heights demonstrating a rhythmical, balanced and powerful canter at all times. Daniel maintained a clean and quick ride and was invited back to the Cotswolds to begin training for the showpiece event.
This training weekend is where Daniel met his horse for the competition, Corporal. They’ve since only been able to work together for 4 hours, a small amount of time compared with the majority of competitors who will have been riding with their horses for months.
He isn’t putting too much pressure on himself ahead of the big day though: “I expect to give it my all, we can only see how it goes on the day.”
Preparations are well underway for Daniel. He’s spent some time working out Corporal’s quirks and has even had a go at polo to improve his body position and balance within the saddle.
He plans to use the Combined Services show early next month as his final warm up before he appears in front of the Queen between the 13th and 17th May.