International Para-Dressage rider Nicky Greenhill was born with a deteriorating eye condition called Stargardt disease, but it hasn’t ever stopped her. Nicky holds numerous national and international titles, including her recent silver medal at the FEI European Championships. And with each step forward, Nicky continues to keep her horses’ health a top priority, with SUCCEED.
A Life Centered Around Horses
When Nicky was eight years old, her parents took her to the Wormley Riding School, a local stable near her childhood home. That first introduction to horses was all it took for Nicky to be hooked. She started taking riding lessons, joined a riding club and began showing.
Three years later, Nicky struck up an agreement to lease her first show partner, a 13.2 hand pony named Velly. Around the same time, Nicky was diagnosed with Stargardt disease, a genetic eye disorder that would cause her vision to deteriorate over time. Despite this unexpected turn of events, Nicky didn’t miss a beat.
Nicky continued to pursue her passion for riding. As a teenager, she spent all of her free time at the local stable visiting the horses before and after school. She started riding Nobby, who quickly became a long-term showjumping partner for her. Nicky competed at the novice level with showjumping fences that reached up to 1.10 meters.
“Even though my sight was failing, I had a very good ‘eye’ for a stride and loved the adrenaline of jumping against the clock,” Nicky says. “I was quite successful at that level.”
Nicky’s horsemanship and showjumping talent were apparent to others around her as well. She had planned to finish a degree in Equine Science when a prestigious showjumping yard reached out to her. They offered Nicky a job that she couldn’t resist, and she decided to forego her university placement and focus on an equestrian career.
Nicky Turns Her Attention to Para-Dressage
Nicky competed in showjumping until her early twenties, at which point her rare eye condition resulted in the loss of her central vision. Nicky’s resolve to ride continued, however, and she opted to turn her attention to dressage.
“At the age of 30, I took part in my first Para-Dressage competition since my sight had deteriorated so badly,” Nicky says. “I was blown away by the support at Para competitions, and I quickly fast-tracked my way to the top.”
When Nicky competes, her husband Gary stands in the middle of the ring to call out the course markers as she reaches them. And other than her husband’s verbal direction, Nicky competes exactly the same as her competitors.
In 2019, Nicky earned one of her crowning achievements to date. She was a member of the British silver medal-winning team at the FEI European Championships in Rotterdam. Nicky, along with three other teammates, secured the elite, second-place finish in Para-Dressage. This win adds to her growing collection of national and international titles that she’s earned throughout her career.
And while Nicky’s eye condition has been progressive throughout her life, her determination to succeed has stayed strong. Nicky is currently working towards competing at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, and then hopes to continue on to the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics.
Discovering SUCCEED for Healthier Horses
Today, Nicky manages and trains her two horses, King Edward I (“Eddie”) and Betty Boo (“Betty”), from her home in Surrey. Her yard, which is tucked away in southeast England, is a place where Nicky strives to keep her horses happy and relaxed. But competitions often take a toll on performance horses.
“When managing competition horses, it’s difficult to get the right balance of energy levels with specific temperaments,” Nicky says. “Managing gastric health throughout training, traveling and competition is a challenge.”
Her horse Eddie, in particular, struggled with gastric health and maintaining his conditioning and was a fussy feeder. When maintaining digestive wellness continued to be a challenge over a number of years, Nicky needed a solution. Her vet highly recommended that she try SUCCEED.
“Once I started SUCCEED, my horse’s consistent loose droppings stopped, and he stopped suffering from post-competition gastric issues,” Nicky says. “SUCCEED massively helped to maintain his conditioning and allowed him to compete at the highest levels.”
Nicky’s Competition Horses on SUCCEED
Nicky continues to use SUCCEED for all of her competition horses. She assesses her horses’ nutritional needs on a weekly basis to determine if any changes are needed.
Each horse is given hard feed and haylage four times a day, combined with daily turnout. She says that SUCCEED, along with a good feeding regimen, has helped her horses perform at the top.
Nicky particularly likes that SUCCEED can be administered orally, with a syringe, making it easy to dispense at competitions. She says that it’s “incredibly easy to use” for even the most fussy horse, and it protects their entire digestive tract.
Why Nicky Greenhill Recommends SUCCEED
Since starting SUCCEED, Nicky’s horses have had stable guts and conditioning year-round—and she plans to keep it that way.
You can keep up with Nicky Greenhill as she makes her way to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and Paris 2024 Summer Olympics. Follow her on Facebook @nickygreenhillparadressage or visit her website, nickygreenhillparadressage.co.uk/.