From catastrophic fall to 5* qualification, Laura Wallace epitomises eventing grit

Laura Wallace will achieve a goal that's been a lifetime in the making when she rides 5* at the Adelaide 3 Day Event next April. Laura and Van Heck have galloped their way around 4* Cross Country courses across Australia, and as she approaches her first 5* she reflects on how far it's been from an easy ride. 
Laura's journey to the very pinnacle of the sport has been anything but linear, and in 2008 she fractured her C1 and C2 vertebrae in an almost catastrophic cross country fall.


"I actually broke my arm too, but it was the neck that was more important!" laughs Laura, as we discuss "that" fall. 

"I was in a halo neck brace for six weeks. Eight weeks later, I was at Melbourne 3 Day riding cross country on the same horse (Kirby Park Fedwel). It may not have been the best strategy!"

Laura Wallace and Van Heck

Despite her quickness to not only get back in the saddle, but to get back to high level competition post injury, Laura explains that the road back was incredibly difficult after the fall. She says that she greatly underestimated the time it would take to rebuild her trust and connection with the horse she fell from. 

"My coaches were incredibly supportive, and very very tolerant of my lack of confidence," says Laura.

With a strength of mindset possessed by very few, Laura says that her journey with Sugoi after their fall became a really successful partnership. They went on to compete together at Adelaide 3 Day Event, and Laura later went on to move to the UK in 2011.

Laura Wallace
When talking about how to regain confidence after such a severe fall, Laura strongly emphasises time. 

"It took a lot of time and patience, but really, we just had to work it out together."

When asked what motivates Laura now, almost 14 years after her major career comeback, she is quick to praise her now long-term partner, Hector.

"I think what motivates me to keep doing what I do is having horses like this guy (Hector). I always think that you're probably only as brave as what you are sitting on, and it is really important that the horse you ride gives you as much confidence as you give them, says Laura.

The resounding advice from Laura is to "Just Keep Going". She laughs as she reminisces on how it took her three years to qualify Hector for 5*, not due to jumping difficulties, but just due to his 'enthusiasm' in the dressage ring. 

"Now we are here, and he qualified, and the dream has really happened."

You can shop Laura's Lumiere style below:

Breastplate (HERE)

Jump Bridle (HERE)

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