“A rose by any other name is a Lily”

"A rose by any other name is a Lilly"

“A rose by any other name is a Lilly”

Hey Everyone, my name is Lily, I am from Auckland, my parents still live in Karaka though I have called England home for the past two years. My day to day life is built on a tonne of caffeine, often repetitive and not always instantly rewarding work, and a true belief that anything I want to achieve is possible if I have enough nerve.

At the moment my team of horses is small. It’s too hard and too expensive to build up a team of horses in Europe until you have a permanent consistent base. I have 12yo Ulysses NZPH who is regularly competing at 2 and 3* level and 5yo Firefly who isn’t competing at the moment, she’s just taking her time to grown into herself (she’s huge) and get stronger and wait to enter the competition ring until she can do herself justice.

My short term plan at the moment is to move to Europe, hopefully near Eindhoven where I would like to establish myself and my brand. Long term I would like to have my own property, while initially this is obviously more expensive, its more affordable long term with and would allow me to build up a larger team of horses. Ideally with a large enough number of stables to be able to make some income off renting some out. This could also be an ideal/affordable base for kiwis looking to move or campaign in Europe.

I am extremely fortunate to be surrounded by a wonderful team of owners, Theresa Gattung, Katherine Corich, Vicki Glynn, as well as my parents Cindy Mitchener and Jon Tootill. Im also incredibly lucky to be sponsored by some Fabulous companies, Emcee Apparel Clothing, Devoucoux Saddles from The Rider Shop, and Equifit.

My instagram is @lilytootillnz and my email is lily.tootill@yahoo.co.nz if you have any questions please send them through and I will make sure to get them answered in the next articles.

A little bit about where I came from and where I’m going:

My mum rode at pony club when she was younger but she didn’t carry on with the sport, though she still has a number of close friends who are or have been involved with the sport throughout their life. Dad is not even remotely horsey. To me there has never been any question about which equestrian discipline I wanted to pursue. I think that Show Jumping combines all the best qualities of the other disciplines, while they all require an immense amount of determination work and skill, Show Jumping comes with the glamour (sometimes) of Dressage as well as the thrill and adrenaline of Eventing.

I had my first riding lessons as a toddler when I was staying in Sydney with my godmother Helen Macaskill who is a GP dressage rider based in Sydney. Then after my 5th birthday party I started having lessons with Katja Kershaw in Whitford, organised by the late Mouse Weston and Lady Carolyn Todd. At the same time we put out a wanted add for “The perfect first pony, preferably pinto” and not long after we found my first pony, Twinkle. I had a lot of success early on in the pony show hunter ring, initially with Mystic Mint a semi retired Show Jumping pony formerly ridden by Lisa Coupe and my close friend Alexa Randall. I then rounded out my ‘tween’ years in the Show Hunter ring on Magpie, winning the Show Hunter pony of the year in 2009 and 2010 among many other classes. I finished my years on ponies early, after Horse of the Year 2012 when I was 14, after placing 2nd in the Pony of the year in 2011 as well as many other successes on the PGP circuit.

Before moving to Europe in 2019 I enjoyed a lot of successes on Horses including winning the Horse of the Year, Multiple World Cup Rounds and GPs, Junior Rider of the year and runner up Young Rider of the year and runner up in the Norwood Gold Cup as well as riding for New Zealand in a number of Childrens, Young Riders and Senior teams. Since moving to Europe I have placed in Multiple GPs and Ranking classes at 2 and 3* level in Belgium, Holland, Germany, and Spain. I am going to build on this and on my brand and my horses in Europe to build a business I can maintain the competitive lifestyle from.

My favourite horse that I have seen is Bacardi VDL, he’s so unbelievably scopey as well as careful and brave for the top of the sport. There are so many serious riders over here its hard to pick just one. I admire riders like Steve Guerdat, Mclain Ward and Marcus Ehnning who can win the big classes on any horse and have been doing so for a number of years (even decades). I have also been really impressed by Micheal Jung when I have seen him at shows, He’s always making sure his horses are ok and helping his groom out if she needs it. While I definitely agree that a good groom is an integral part of a top competition team, you see so many good riders, especially in the younger generation who don’t want to be involved with the unglamorous work around the stables, they just want to ride. Its almost as though they forget they’d be nothing in this sport without their horses.

My instagram is @lilytootillnz and my email is lily.tootill@yahoo.co.nz if you have any questions please send them through and I will make sure to get them answered in the next articles.

By Lilly Tootill.

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