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meet the five-star debutante who works for Pfizer


  • Twenty-three-year-old British rider Xanthe Goldsack is tackling her first five-star at Pau Horse Trials this week. And riding at this level is something she has been working towards for many years.

    “It feels like it’s been a long time coming,” says the rider from near Altrincham, Greater Manchester.



    Xanthe is partnering Hi Tech, or “Snip” as he is known at home, a 13-year-old gelding she has owned for seven years.

    “I bought Snip as a rising six-year old from Andrew Heffernan ,who didn’t really get on with the horse,” explains Xanthe. “He was really quirky and very sharp, which you wouldn’t know now – handling him is so easy, but to ride he’s got his own way and you have to work with him.”

    Xanthe travelled over from the UK with Ros Canter and her ride at Pau this week, Rehy Royal Diamond.

    The rider said: “I’m so proud of him and how he’s come out. We’ve never travelled this far abroad, but he’s managed it so well. He’s been really focused since we’ve been here.”

    Xanthe and Snip scored 39.8 in their dressage test at Pau yesterday (27 October).

    “He finds the dressage difficult and he always has done, but he always tries really hard for you so you I can never be mad with him.,” said Xanthe. “He’s doing his absolute best all the time, so that was the kind of mark I was expecting and he gave me everything I asked for.”

    Xanthe Goldsack isn’t your archetypal five-star event rider. She competed internationally as a young rider, but has since gained a degree from Newcastle University, for which she sat her final exam for on Thursday of Bramham Horse Trials this year, where the pair finished 11th in the under-25 CCI4*-L class.

    “A week after Bramham I started working full-time as a brand manager for Pfizer, specifically on the rheumatoid arthritis drug Xeljanz,” explains Xanthe. “I work from home, but it’s very stressful and is very full on. I missed out on a grad position, so I went straight into management and full-time employment so it’s been a steep learning curve.

    “It’s also made preparing for somewhere like here a lot to handle and fit in. I work from home and have two horses that are stabled 30 minutes away. We don’t do this [eventing at top level] every weekend. The last time I ran Snip properly was at Little Downham at the start of this month but he’s my dream horse, we’ve come up the levels together and I’m really looking forward to the cross-country as that is his forte.”

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    Keep up with all of the breaking news, behind the scenes insight and the best of the action throughout Pau Horse Trials with no limit on how much you can read from as little as £1 per week with a Horse & Hound unlimited website subscription. Sign up now. Plus enjoy our full magazine report on Pau Horse Trials in the magazine dated 3 November. 

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