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Monday, 29 May 2017

Meet Blue Chip All Star Academy Pupil, Tina Wallace!!

Last night (Sunday 28th May) saw the Blue Chip All Star Academy return to Horse & Country TV for its second series.

Series one was a great watch, covering all sorts from Rhi's first dressage lesson on her ex-racehorse & who had only been off the track three weeks, to seeing the pupils being put through their paces with Pammy & Charlie Hutton on some of Talland's top schoolmasters. The series also cover jumping session, as well as one-to-one interview and vlogging opportunities with some of the top stars of the equestrian world. But it wasn't all glam - veterinary care, bandaging, stable management and plaiting were amongst the non-ridden tasks that the series included.

Well, as the series launches, we've had the unique and privileged opportunity to speak with one of the stars of series two!!

Meet Tina Wallace and her horse Banksy in our quick fire Q&A!

Tina & Banksy all settled in at Talland

1) Tell us who you are, & a bit about yourself and your horse

So, Hi everyone my name is Tina Wallace I'm 31 years old and live in sunny Cornwall. We have a small holding a couple of miles outside of Truro where I live with my husband Rob, our 2 dogs and my main man Banksy! 🐴!
I work in the motor trade which I have done since I was 18 in order to fund my expensive hobby that is eventing. 

I rode as a child from about the age of eight at a local riding stables, every Saturday morning but was never fortunate enough to own my own horse until six years ago.  Cut a long story short, it very quickly spiralled from happy hacking around the beautiful Cornish countryside to driving hundreds of miles to partake in British Eventing!!! Much to my husbands delight!!!

2) What made you want to be involved with the series/academy? Going on TV can be pretty daunting!

I applied to be on the academy, because I recently sold my pony of a lifetime Buddy, I say pony he was 15.3hh but he rode like a pony and gave me so much confidence!!! I needed something to give me drive and motivation to put all my time and energy into Banksy!! I had watched all of last years series and to me it seemed like an adult pony club camp. Pony club was something that I was never fortunate enough to be a part of when I was younger, therefore I thought this would be perfect for us, not only for the riding tuition but the educational element of the stable management and possible veterinary tasks. Also with dressage being by far our weakest phase, training at Talland with Pammy would give us a fabulous foundation for the season ahead!!

The prospect of being on TV to me wasn't actually that daunting, I've never been on TV before but was massively excited about the opportunity and determined to give it my best shot.

3) How did you go about creating your application?

I am a social media addict and have always loved taking photos/videos, I particularly enjoy editing them so when I saw that the auditions were open I was awake all night trying to think of ways to make my video unique and stand out!! 

I decided to do it on a local beach I thought that will be a little bit different to the usual sand school or stood by the stables, like a lot of last year's auditions were. 

However the day I went to the beach Storm Doris put pay to you being able to hear anything I said on camera!! 

I was however massively surprised and pleased at how calm and controlled Banks was in the gale force winds on 3 miles of golden sand!! So we shot a little footage but then did the rest in the trailer, and the final bit at home. 

I really enjoyed making the video,in fact I struggled to get it to the two minutes guidelines that Horse and Country TV had given us!! I had to really pick and choose which bits I removed and have some hilarious outtakes which I shared on my Instagram!! 

4) You must have met some really cool people along the way - coaches, celebs & the other academy stars. How was that?

Met some really cool people yes but a few of them I'm not able to tell you about just yet!! 

Everybody was so lovely from the presenters, to the producers, the camera crew, the trainers and my fellow all-stars!! 

I have certainly made friends for life...some really inspirational and motivating people, I feel very lucky to call them friends. 

5) The series shows small snippets each week, but what's it like going to Talland and being put through your paces in this style?

Yes obviously you'll get a insight in to how we got on in the first episode but whether the whole series portrays how it felt to actually be there I won't know until I have watched it. It was a complete whirlwind it went so quickly, we learnt so much in such a short space of time and I really can't wait to watch the whole thing to bring back memories and remind me of some little things that then generally mean the most!! 

To ride in that huge indoor arena in front of Pammy, Charlie, Jenny and the camera crew on the first day was very nerve wracking especially on Banksy who can be lets just say "unpredictable" at times!!

6) Tell us all you can about what we should look forward to in the series! 

Now this is a hard one, as what happens and Talland stays at Talland 😉

But..... if you've watched the trailer you'll know that it's sure to be entertaining, at the preview we were literally in hysterics one minute and goosebumps and tears the next!! It was a proper rollercoaster of emotions!! 

7) What was one of your best moments?

I actually think my best moment was my first canter in the indoor arena on the first day it was a surreal moment, I actually had a little blub whilst giving Banksy the HUGEST hug...(I don't think anyone saw!!) 

Tina & Banksy's first time in the Talland indoor arena

A complete..... wow I'm actually here moment! I'm on my lovely handsome boy, enjoying this fabulous educational journey together and being filmed as part of a TV show! 

I had been worried for weeks as he's quite accident prone so I had been wrapping him up in cotton wool keeping him in for as many hours as possible and keeping everything crossed he would stay sound and injury free, as they had stressed that we won the place together, we could not just take another horse if anything was to happen. 

So my weeks of stress and worry were over and we were there embracing the experience.

8) What was your biggest learning?

Oh my God that's a hard one I learnt so so much! I'm relatively novice when it comes to looking after horses having had them at home for six years and when I say home that is alone just me and my non horsey hubby! Not like when your on a livery yard with other people that you can check with... "is this right, is that right?"  & "should I feed this, should I tighten that?"

So to be surrounded by such knowledgeable people meant the learning was never ending and invaluable to me.

9) Now that filming is all done and dusted, what's your future plans?

To truly focus on the dressage (& stop calling it stressage!), and attempt to qualify for Badminton (Grassroots obviously!!) 

We had two top 10 placings at BE 90 at the end of last season, so with some serious dressage training we think it's possible!

Tina & Banksy in action at Bricky in 2016, coming sixth

Banksy's jumping is generally spot on, I'm very fortunate in that he enjoys it, knows his job and gets on with it....with minimal interference from me!!!!!

Dressage however we both get very tense and have had quite a few hairy scary moments, when it's good it can be very good when it's bad it's extremely ugly!!

I was fortunate enough to experience badminton grassroots with my best friend Emily a few weeks ago she was competing in the BE90 Championship on her 22-year-old mare they have been a partnership for 12 years, so I'm figuring Banksy has got a good 10 years ahead of him us as a team to attempt to get there...but I'm hoping we do it sooner! 😉

Tina's dream is to jump towards the Badminton House one day!


We've had a great time finding out all about Tina & Banksy's experience in the Blue Chip All Star Academy & will be tuning in each week to see how they get on.

In the meantime, you can follow their progress through their Facebook page, Instagram account or on Twitter.

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