My dream came true to be part of Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics and to win a team silver medal was so thrilling and exciting.
I was so lucky to have a great support team at home but also the support that surrounds Team GB. The whole team had the most fantastic time and there was a fabulous team spirit throughout the competition.
I am based in Northallerton, North Yorkshire and started eventing professionally after graduating from university with a 2:1 in sport studies and business. I have produced many horses from novice level through to international level, representing GB at European and World Championships and the London 2012 Olympic games.
Opposition Buzz has been the pathfinder for the GB eventing team for the last four years at two European Championships; Fontainbleu 2009 and Luhmühlen 2011, the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky 2010 and the London 2012 Olympic games and with his obvious enjoyment for the cross-country phase he has quite a fan club.
In 2014 we made the decision to retire Opposition Buzz from CCI**** competition and to concentrate on CIC/ CCI*** classes where he can still have the excitment of the cross-country at a high level, but not the rigours of CCI**** and he is loving it, having recently won the CIC*** at the Gillespie MacAndrew Hopetoun Horse Trials.
I have an exciting string of young up and coming horses to follow on from Opposition Buzz; the two mares, Annie Clover and Beltane Queen, who are continually going from strength to strength. Beltane Queen contested her first Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials in 2014, with Annie Clover finishing on her dressage score to be placed 4th in the CCI*** competition at the recent Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials.
Watermill Vision, a new ride last year, stepped up well to CIC/CCI*** level and shows great potential for the future.
Another new ride, One Two Many successfully competed in three Open Intermediate competitions in 2013, which was a fantastic way for us to both strike up a partnership in readiness for the 2014 coming season, where he is now competing at 3 star level. He stayed in work during the winter and has qualified for the British Dressage Winter Regional Final at Advanced Medium level.
Ngong Hills has now progressed to CCI*** level after being in the top ten in both of his CCI** starts last year and with Hero Motivator also being in the top ten at CCI* he heads the younger generation of my string that also includes horses from 3yrs+ starting their education with the hopes and aspirations of stepping into the older horses shoes when the time comes. Only time will tell, but as we all know with horses it could be exciting times ahead but it could so easily go the other way! Can’t wait to find out – Roll on 2014…
The two horses who gave me my first taste of International and CCI**** experience were Mr Bumble who I rode at Pony Club and he took me all the way through to my first CCI**** at Burghley where we were 10th and being part of the Young Rider squad in Pratoni. The other horse was Skiver, who I produced from a novice to being reserve for the European Eventing Championship in 2005 and coming 9th Luhmuhlen CCI****, but it has been Opposition Buzz who has bridged the gap to senior team selection and winning medals.
As a pony mad child, I was part of the Hurworth Pony Club and enjoyed being in all the teams and I represented the British Pony Club in the sport of Tretathlon (shooting, running, swimming and riding).
None of my success that I have enjoyed as an International event rider would happen without my back-up team; head girl Lynn Swift, ably assisted by Carrie Myatt, Lindsey Peacock and Gabby Dickerson, Melanie Lawson who assists me in the office, the support I have received from my parents Barry and Mary Tweddle, my family, my husband Alastair, all my owners, sponsors and Lottery funding.
Nicola has always been keen to 'give' something back to the equestrian world and in January 2014 it was announced that Nicola was to become patron of the RDA Unicorn Centre based at Hemlington near Middlesborough and has also become an ambassador for Saddle Up, the dedicated rider campaign for Spinal Research.