My eventing diary: Alice Casburn

My eventing diary: Alice Casburn

Rising star Alice Casburn shares her diary from the end of the 2022 season to reveal how she’s prepared for 2023


Oh my goodness, I am so lucky to have won the Longines FEI Rising Star award! I never anticipated being nominated for it, so the fact I was nominated and then went on to win feels really, really special. I feel so privileged that people think I deserve the award – I’ve received so many messages of support since winning. It’s been emotional.

You might think that the time in-between seasons is a great opportunity to reset and recharge my batteries. However, I’ve never been very good at that! I take after my mum; we both get twitchy if we sit still for too long.

In the run-up to Burghley my social life was non-existent, so I’ve really enjoyed being able to catch up with friends since the end of the season. I’ve also been able to spend time with my mum without it being completely work focused.


There’s no rest for the wicked though and I know during the off-season I have a great deal of work to do. I’ve got a lot of young stock, so I’ve been backing quite a few and we like to do a lot on the floor with them when they’re younger. It’s been fun to play with them with no pressure, just getting them used to natural obstacles by walking up steps.

This time of year is great as it gives me chance to look back at what I achieved in the past 12 months and focus on my goals and ambitions for the season ahead.

Competing at Burghley on Topspin (Spin) was the most incredible opportunity. Not just because I won fifth place but because I’d been going with my grandmother every year since I was a little girl and it was a
childhood dream to compete myself at Burghley on Spin one day. So to actually be able to go, and to come fifth, was a real ‘pinch-me’ moment. Spin is my mum’s horse and it took some convincing for her to let me take him. She said it felt like watching her two children go around the course, and she didn’t know who she was more worried for!


Wow, it’s been a bit of a funny time here in Norfolk. Everywhere is covered with a blanket of frost and ice, so training keeps being called off. Mum and I are making the most of it by having some time in the office and catching up on schedules and planning. Luckily, the lunge pen hasn’t frosted over, so we’ve put the horses in there while we try and defrost everywhere – it’s not going very well though as the frost does not want to budge!

It’s my 21st birthday on Friday 20th, so it’s been quite nice to have a quieter week in the run-up to that.

I’ve been planning for 2023. My main aim for Spin is Badminton in May and I’m focused on getting him fit and ready for that. We don’t have any gallops nearby, so when the ground allows it, we’ll get lots of training done with him.

With my younger horses I’d like to get a 2* for them this year, but they’re young and still growing, so as long as they’re improving along the way I’m not too fussy and I won’t put pressure on them.

Training is going well for all the horses. I think it’s always important to look at what went well last year and see if you need to make any changes for the coming year but, equally, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it!

I took them all out just after new year and while I didn’t expect much from them, as Spin hadn’t run since September and the younger ones hadn’t run since October, they all did really well. It was great to see they’ve come back from the winter break and are clearly all feeling well-rested and raring to go.

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been encouraging the younger ones to trot and canter up a steep hill near us, and Spin has been doing a little bit more too. We get him working three times a week to make sure he stays on track.

This time of year is also the ideal time to make sure the saddles are all fitting well and ready to go, and that my physiotherapist is happy too. So, it’s a busy time of year.

I’m really excited to see what 2023 has in store for us all.