Evie Toombes is a 19year old para showjumper based in Lincolnshire. Evie won our ALX Ambassador competition that we ran in July 2021, she stormed ahead with the votes to be our next ALX Ambassador and it really shows her popularity with how much support she has around her. We couldn’t think of a more worthy winner as Evie shows determination on a daily basis to not only fight her own personal battles but also to live life to the full and let nothing get in her way.
Evie was born with a spinal cord injury (Spina Bifida) which effects the nerves to her legs, bladder and bowels- and since then it’s become a rollercoaster of health battles for her in between riding horses!
“My journey with horses started at a young age at our local riding school after my neurosurgeon recommended horse riding to help with my balance and leg function. Since then my love for horses and showjumping began to grow and riding gave our hectic lives in and out of hospital some well needed balance”
Moving forwards, Evie was registered as a para athlete in 2012 due to her disability and she has since gone on to represent Team GB in Munich, claiming a podium finish. Alongside riding, she began writing a blog during her spare time in hospital- with her motto of #FindAWayNotAnExcuse at the forefront of her mind. This hashtag has since gone onto motivate, move and create a huge following of people.
“Writing and sharing the journey has been a huge part of what I love about the equestrian world, people supporting each other, learning from each other and all growing together is what makes us strong, and I love the community we’ve been able to create whilst coming together through one common thing - horses”
Last year Evie was voted and awarded Horse and Hounds amateur rider of the decade accolade, which we can all agree is a huge honour and I’m sure you will join us in congratulating her on her achievement.
Evie is now based with Keeley Durham in Retford where she keeps her main horse Daisy, who is her beloved chestnut. Alongside Daisy, more recently we welcomed ‘Jack Sparrow’ to the team, a mischievous yet fun and capable 7year old who she is now focused on producing with Keeley for a future prospect.
“Showjumping when you have multiple severe illnesses is a huge challenge at times, I have a Hickman line (a tube that goes into my chest, through my jugular and sits above my heart) this tube delivers all of the nutrients and fluids my body needs to survive directly into my veins (giving me what you would usually eat and drink) - alongside this I catheterise my bladder, have a Stoma bag and need 3x daily physio to be able to walk… I think the idea of me showjumping would terrify most doctors, however my team are very supportive of my goals!”
Evie is a Brand Advocate and here is what she has to say about our horseboxes:
With all of these complex needs, we needed a horse box that provided both good quality and design, as some of our local businesses had part funded us to make the horse box/mobile medical unit a reality and our ALX horse box has met the high standards needed to suit all the medical and equestrian needs.
All of this is only possible to juggle alongside horses because of our ALX horsebox, we now continue to adapt it inside with drip stands, physio space, a toilet that can cater for my needs and suitable facilities (much like in an ambulance). Our ALX horse box is an invaluable ticket not only to showjumping, but to quality of life for me and being able to understand the effort, quality and unbeatable design that goes into each horse box, I am completely thrilled to be representing the team and working with them.
1st Bolesworth National Championships – Grade 3
Wellchild Inspirational young person award winner
British Citizen Award medalist for services to society
Team GB para athlete
2020 Para Grade 3 National Championship
Back to back wins at Arena UK in 2020 during our debut show back
3rd for Team GB para in Munich 2018
1st in the final at the Forces Equine Games 2019