Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cash Is the Biggest Hurdle for Katie in Bid for London Gold; in the First of a New Fortnightly Series on the Sports That Will Feature at the London Games, Adrian Warner Looks at the Challenge Facing One Young Rider LONDON 2012 THE ONES TO WATCH

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cash Is the Biggest Hurdle for Katie in Bid for London Gold; in the First of a New Fortnightly Series on the Sports That Will Feature at the London Games, Adrian Warner Looks at the Challenge Facing One Young Rider LONDON 2012 THE ONES TO WATCH

Article excerpt

IF KATIE BAILEY realises her dream of competing for Britain at the 2012 London Olympics, it will be a remarkable victory over financial constraints for her multitasking mum.

Cash plays a crucial role in securing success in the equestrian discipline of dressage, whether used for breeding or buying the top horses or simply getting together the [pounds sterling]1,000 worth of kit needed to compete - including the trademark [pounds sterling]120 top hat.

This is a sport where multimillionaires such as Noel Edmonds have helped their daughters make the GB team from glamorous country homes equipped with stables, grooms and personal trainers.

Bailey, 18, is launching her bid for glory in 2012 from a modest, twoup/ two-down house on a quiet housing estate in Hitchin, north Hertfordshire, where she lives with her mum Roberta.

While many of her rivals need only walk 20 seconds across a stable yard to see their horses every day, Katie has to rush from school to make the 20-minute journey to the nearest stables to look after and train with her pride and joy, Adrian Alfarvad.

While some of her domestic and international rivals can afford to employ grooms and trainers close to home, Katie has a two-hour car journey to get to training with her coaches in Cirencester and the Midlands.

Katie's father, who runs a small business in Luton, does what he can to help but Katie and Roberta have to watchtheir pennies to make ends meet.

With the expensive costs of keeping two horses and transporting them to events in Britain and abroad, it can cost up to [pounds sterling]50,000 a year.

Yet Katie has been picked out as one of the most talented dressage riders of her age and is close to earning a place in the GB training groups, which will seal her share of world-class Lottery funding.

Walk through the door of their modest home and it is immediately clear that life at the Baileys is dominated by Katie's quest for a placeat the London Games.

Roberta points immediately to pictures on the hall wall of her daughter in action. A former rally driver-cum-golfer, Roberta makes [pounds sterling]40,000 a year putting together inventories for estate agents and virtually all of it goes to support Katie's dressage career.

Roberta is the ultimate multi-tasker: a mother and bread-earner as well as Katie's manager, part-time groom, stable cleaner and horsebox driver.

Yet there is no sense of jealousy from either Katie and Roberta about the advantagesof their richer rivals just a determination to qualify for the Games. The fact Katie's great grandfather Horace Bailey won a gold medal for Britain in the football tournament at the 1908 London Games has given Katie an extra incentive. She said: "It would be amazing to be able to compete at the London Games, especially after my dad's grandfather got that medal in 1908. …

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