“While other little children may have grown up thinking they wanted to be an astronaut, a fireman or a soldier, I was always dead set on becoming an event rider and following in my father’s footsteps.”

Dawn is hours away but you’re already up and outside. It’s cold. You’re tired. You ache from yesterday. But it’s a new day and your partner is waiting for you in the stable. Ready to begin another day of gruelling training that you must undertake if you want to achieve what you set out to.

Tomorrow, it will start all over again.

“When children ask me what skills they need to get into event riding, the first thing I say is tenacity. In many ways it’s a wonderfully glamorous sport. But it’s hard work. You probably take one day off in six weeks and you’re training 7 days a week. There’s a lot of physical work and a lot of lows as well. You can’t go into it lightly.”

Harry Meade began riding as a young boy but didn’t initially involve himself in the competition circuit. Instead he spent his formative riding years developing his instinct and finding his natural seat. Now, after years of training, Harry has become one of the UK’s best event riders. This 2020, he has his sights firmly set on Tokyo.

But it hasn’t been an easy ride for this equestrian.

“I thought my whole career was over. Only days earlier I thought I was still only in the first half of it.”

During an event in August 2013, Harry shattered both elbows in a rotational fall. He then spent months in hospital and was told he would probably never ride again.

“It was an opportunity to stand back and reflect on my career. The doctor said it was unlikely I would ever ride again. I heard that as – there’s still a chance you will. I took that slither of hope and held on to it. I decided I was going to get better. That I wouldn’t let this defeat me.”

A year later Harry placed 3rd at Badminton and won a silver medal in the team event at the World Equestrian Games.

To be human is to be breakable. To be a legend is to put yourself back together again and strive on.

A year after Badminton, Harry lost his father Richard Meade, a triple Olympic gold medalist and the first British equestrian to win an individual Olympic title.

“Do I feel pressure about being Richard Meade’s son? I don’t think so. The inspiration I took outweighs any pressure. I wear his coat when I compete at international events. He wore it at all his Olympics. I remember talking to him shortly before he died. He said: ‘It’s yours now’.


Share yours with us today.
Who are the legends in your life? Where are the legendary places you’ve been? What legendary experience are you having?

Tell us what your#LegendsAreMadeOf

The countdown is over. The legend starts now.