Following on from part 1 of getting to know RED MILLS Rider Tina Cook – We recently caught up with Tina to find out more about her hobbies, and what horse she would like to ride!
So you’ve done a bit of commentary before at events, how did you get into that?
Well that goes back a few years to when I was second reserve for the Sydney Olympics and I decided to be there and experience it all, and if I get the chance to compete then great. I was out there for six weeks and actually, if I’m not doing anything I do get quite bored! As much as it was great to support everybody, I needed a job…
So at the showjumping on the final day of the games, Mike Tucker said to me “do you want to have a go at some commentary, do you want to join the radio team?” Lee McKensie was there, put me next to him, and he just said “talk down the microphone about what you see in front of you, I’ll work out the scores.” And I just really enjoyed talking about it; talking about the sport, talking about what you feel, and they said ‘oh you’re actually quite good at this’ but I’m not sure I believed them!
From then on Mike Tucker was fantastic; every time there was an opportunity when I wasn’t competing that I could sit next to him and just talk about the sport that I love, the people that I know and somehow they seemed to think my voice came across well and that I had quite a good way of explaining. I have a lot of unhorsey friends and I’m very aware not to get too tied up in the horse lingo and I enjoyed it. And actually, to do something that I would be there watching anyway. I’ve had great opportunities since then, to work with Clare Balding at the Europeans, and to learn from the very best. However whilst I enjoy doing my own sport, I think I would totally be a fish out of water in any other sport!
If you weren’t eventing professionally, what would you be doing?
Ooo that’s tricky; it’s what I’ve always wanted to do. I wasn’t very clever at school, I didn’t particularly enjoy school, I enjoyed being out with the ponies and the horses so that’s always what I wanted to do. But if I didn’t, I do enjoy photography and filming and that side of things. I think it would be something that I find fascinating and I would love to know more about it. I would like to go and travel and film wildlife and stuff like that because I enjoy what I can put on a camera so if I wasn’t riding a horse that’s what I would do.
If you could ride any horse, past or present, doesn’t have to be an eventer, who would it be and why?
Over the years that I’ve been in the sport there obviously are horses that do stand out. I think a lot of people probably wouldn’t remember Get Smart, Caroline Dickson’s horse. He was phenomenal. I looked up to him when I was competing against him actually. He was a horse that, to me, looked like he had everything. He could move; he jumped, he galloped, he was brave, he was a very special horse.
I suppose Toledo De Kerser would be a horse of a similar type to Get Smart. He seems to have everything and Tom rides him so beautifully and makes it look so harmonious and easy, which I’m sure he’s not, in fact I know that he’s not! I know he’s quite a sharp bright little chap, but the horse looks special and it looks effortless.
3 people you’d love to have a dinner party with
Gosh what a question! There are some amazing people in the world but I think people you can learn from that just huge knowledge of life and the world.
Nelson Mandela; I know he’s now dead but he would have just had so much knowledge. How he survived being locked away for so long and the humiliation of it. I just think would’ve been able to give a whole different perspective on life and he would have been really interesting to learn from.
Jeremy Bowen the news reporter; I find people that do something so different to what I do so interesting and because I don’t read much I watch the news – he would have reported on so many hideous situations. What has happened to people and what people do to each other that, not from a morbid point of view, but just what he has experienced in life really.
David Attenborough who probably should even have been at the top of my list! At the age that he’s at; I’m an outside girl I love nature and just to talk to somebody with such a huge amount of knowledge in his head of so many different things and has seen everything around the world and been to every country, in every situation.
I just think it would be fascinating, and because I don’t particularly enjoy reading, I would like to talk to people, I like learning through conversation and through seeing things so those three would really tick my boxes.
I like any food really but I do like Chinese; if I’m going to have a takeaway and treat myself it would be a Chinese
I like gin and tonic
I don’t have a lot of time to watch films but I did love and have watched Gladiator a few times
I never read!