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 two European and two World Championships and the London 2012 Olympic games.
The wonderful Opposition Buzz had been the pathfinder for the GB eventing team 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 still had the excitment of the cross-country at a high level, but not the rigours of CCI**** and he loved it, winning the CIC*** at the Gillespie MacAndrew Hopetoun Horse Trials. He finally retired at Allerton Park finishing 2nd and sadly after only a few weeks into retirement he suffered a seizure and was put to sleep on veterinary grounds - gone but never forgotten!!
Of the young up and coming horses to follow on from Opposition Buzz; the two mares, Annie Clover and Beltane Queen are going from strength to strength. In 2014, Beltane Queen contested her first Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, with Annie Clover finishing on her dressage score to be placed 4th in the CCI*** competition at the Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials that led her to be selected to represent Team GBR at the Alltech World Equestrian Games.
Watermill Vision, has stepped up well to CIC/CCI*** level and finished 5th in the CCI*** at Boekelo International Horse Trials.
One Two Many is the current CIC*** Scottish Open Champion and finished the season being placed 8th in the CCI**** at Pau International Horse Trials.
Kiltealy Brief an exciting new ride for Nicola in 2014 was placed 8th in the CIC*** at Hartpury International Horse Trials and 8th CCI*** at Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials.
Ngong Hills has now upgraded to Advanced level and finished the season being placed 13th CIC*** 8/9 year old class at Blenheim International Horse Trials.
Bulana, a new ride for me in 2014 finished 2nd in the CIC** at Pau International Horse Trials and is an exciting addition to 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 for the start of the eventing season........
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, Rebecca Tidd and Esther Thompson, with 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.