My name is Alex Tordoff and I’m a 24 year old event rider from Leicestershire. I’ve been riding for as long as I can remember, and my dream has always been to work with horses and reach the top of my sport.
Like many, The Pony Club was where I started and found my passion for eventing. After discovering the rush of cross country, I never looked back. In my teenage years, I was lucky enough to work in the yards of some fantastic riders, such as Ros Canter, Lauren Blades and Simon Grieve.
In 2015, my horse Emill and I had a year we’ll never forget finishing the season with 2nd in the British Junior Championships which secured us a place on the European team, where we finished just outside the medals and best British Rider. On return Emill was then sold, helping me work towards achieving the set up that we have today. I spent the next 2 years working at JP Sheffield’s yard at Rolleston. The time I spent there truly opened my eyes to see eventing beyond just a sport, but to see a business model.
In 2017 I stepped out on my own, and set up Hyde Lodge Horses, with the aim of running sustainable business. I would not be where I am today without the support of the my owners, sponsors, clients and family. Based in the heart of Leicestershire, I began to develop the stables and facilities. I’ve been very lucky to have had some fantastic horses to ride in this time and develop up the levels, both for owners and investors. Some were bought and sold, a part of the business that has allowed me to keep growing and expanding.
Thanks to the development of the facilities I’ve been able focus on our own training but also the training of others. I’ve recently begun to welcome clients joining our team specifically for training, which is an exciting new aspect of the business that is working brilliantly for both sides. I’m also in the final stage of my UKCC level 3 coaching qualification which I hope to achieve this spring.
The team at Hyde Lodge is invaluable to keeping the show on the road.
Peter Tancock is our Yard Manager, and shows incredible commitment and care to everything that he does.
Fran Grant, Niamh Quaid and Amber Baldwin are all also both incredibly hard working to make sure everything flows smoothly no matter what, and all together they make an unstoppable team.
Our farrier James Holliday and physio Becky Walsh also work very closely with us to make sure all possible needs of the horses are attended to.
My 2015 year will always have a special place with me, being my first international success and many opportunities followed thanks to it.
Another horse that has helped me is Cool Jack, whom we’ve had since a 5 year old. To say he is quirky would be an understatement, but has only made his progression all the more rewarding. He took me around my first advanced and 4*, and finished 6th in our first 4*L in Millstreet.
I also get a huge degree of satisfaction of seeing our graduates giving their new riders success and helping them achieve their goals, whether that be at the lower levels, winning european medals or achieving success abroad.
Aside from riding, one of my personal highlights would be Hyde Lodge Horses. The equestrian world is not any easy place to survive, but having a thriving team of horses, staff and owners who are all essential to making this business work would be my biggest success and allowing me to be lucky enough to make a living from this industry.
With a very strange 2020 behind us which has been more about survival through these tough times, we are all looking forward to getting in as much as possible this coming season.
We have an incredibly exciting string of horses who have all been working hard through lockdown. Our biggest goal will be for Cool Jack to obtain his 5* qualification for the year and for a couple of our other horses to step up to advanced. We’re also looking forward to focussing on developing our lovely younger horses for the future and sale, ranging from rising 4YO’s to some looking to step up to intermediate.
One horse I'm very much looking forward to following this year is Forever Noble. Sold from Hyde Lodge in 2017 to Britsh rider Holly Needham, he's showing great promise at 4* at a young age and they look to have an exciting future ahead of them.