Bryony Frost: ‘I have never thought this isn’t worth it, for this pain’

first_imgLast summer, a horse stepped on her stomach after a mid-race fall, giving her an arterial aneurysm. In Frost’s eyes, that was not another missed bullet, it was the reason for 10 missed winners while she recovered. “It’s your mentality. Never once have I thought this isn’t worth it, for this pain. It’s never crossed my mind. Get back up, get stronger, get out there.” As children in Devon, she and her brother used to pull each other off their ponies while moving at speed, so they could practise falling.When she needs to unwind, Frost is not the type to reach for PlayStations or pizza. She surfs in the summer and trail-bikes in all weathers. She enjoys climbing, indoors or out. “Normally I’m on my own, so I can’t have anyone belaying me. It’s what we used to do on Dartmoor. It relaxes my head because I’m just thinking about the next move, I’m not thinking about anything else.”The clerk of the scales wants his chair back, so it is time for Frost to get up and get back out there. Say Frodon lines up in the Gold Cup, what chance does she give him? “Everything has to fall right in any race. Say I get into a rhythm, say he jumps well, say he enjoys it … if I’ve got to ask him the biggest question of his life, then I’m sure he’ll answer it the best he can.” ‘Nothing beats winning’ – a rising star, a battle-scarred veteran, two Cheltenham journeys Thank you for your feedback. Twitter Support The Guardian Show Pinterest Facebook Twitter There was much Gold Cup-related excitement around Frost and Frodon when they won a trial for the big race in January but, as Festival week approaches, it seems Frodon may be switched to Thursday’s Ryanair Chase, a more winnable contest over a shorter distance. The same stable has Clan Des Obeaux for the Gold Cup and the majority view is that Frodon would struggle to beat him. Facebook Read more Those who enjoy seeing female jockeys break new ground would love to see Frost in the big one, but the Ryanair is also a huge prize and no woman has won it before, or any Grade One race over jumps at the Festival. Frost will take whichever opportunity comes. “He’s an amazing partner to have, beyond brave. He loves his racing. You know he’s going to give you everything he’s got.”Warming to her theme, Frost contrasts Frodon with the more stately Pacha Du Polder, on whom she won the Foxhunters in 2017, the first time most racing fans had heard of her. “Pacha’s the wise old owl in the yard, he just does his thing, never gets too excited, never gets too grumpy, he’s your sort of person that probably always has his whisky at six o’clock in the evening and sits in his armchair. Hide Frost knows about bravery. In her first Guardian interview in 2017, she spoke of being hospitalised for two months at the age of 15, when injuries from a fall led to septicaemia that nearly killed her. “Nothing too bad,” she said. “It gave me a chance to lose a bit of my puppy fat.” Sign up to The Recap, our weekly email of editors’ picks. Was this helpful? Quick guide Follow Guardian sport on social media Twitter: follow us at @guardian_sportFacebook: like our football and sport pagesInstagram: our favourite photos, films and storiesYouTube: subscribe to our football and sport channels interviews Reuse this content Pinterest “I’m just trying to make sure that I’m improving every time I go out and ride a horse,” she says, having been persuaded to come out into the weighing room and chat. “I watch every replay. I feel like, if you think that you’re good enough and you’ve got to where you should be, that’s the moment you start going backwards. I believe that next year I’ll be 10lb better than I am now.”Almost unknown two years ago, Frost has won a series of big races and earned significant praise for her skills, including from Ruby Walsh. It is not unusual to hear pundits suggest she is one of the best steeplechase jockeys riding in Britain. A 10lb better Frost would surely be very hard to beat? She brushes that off with “I don’t know about that”. What does she see to improve?“Little things. Over a hurdle, my heel came up a bit too much and I need to put that down, so the next time you go out, you make sure your heels are down into his sides and tight, just to make you more secure upon him. Out there, work on your racing clock, making sure you’re not missing any gaps you could have put your horse into and made a forward move. I missed it slightly there, or I had him on the wrong lead for that hurdle. It’s the little things that calculate into a big thing that make success.”So, a lot of video analysis? “Yeah. And a lot of time inside your own mind.” Share on WhatsApp Talking Horses: BetBright disgrace is a test for Gambling Commission Leicester 1.50 Hatcher 2.20 Cobra De Mai 2.50 Quantum Of Solace 3.25 Waikiki Waves 4.00 Eastlake 4.30 WaitinonasunnydaySandown 2.00 Precious Cargo 2.30 Bonne Question 3.05 Forza Milan (nb) 3.40 Keltus 4.10 Swift Crusador (nap) 4.45 Young WolfLingfield 2.10 Choral Music 2.40 Holy Tiber 3.15 Warrior’s Valley 3.5 Air Force Amy 4.20 Affluence 4.55 Sister Of The SignNewcastle 5.20 Seeusoon 5.55 Klopp 6.30 Pea Shooter 7.00Lukoutoldmakezebak 7.30 Kodi Dream 8.00 Star Cracker Tips by Chris Cookcenter_img Share on Facebook Read more Bryony Frost shares the credit with Frodon after winning the Crest Nicholson Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham trials in January 2018. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian Horse racing Share via Email Was this helpful? Thank you for your feedback. Since you’re here… “Frodon’s a bit of a young buck, a little bit cockier. A bit more bullish in his character. He’d speak up, he’d tell you his mind, he wouldn’t be scared to share an opinion. That’s what makes him tough and brave and unable to lie down in defeat, because he’ll always believe in himself.” Effervescent in public, focused in private, Bryony Frost will seek another big win aboard Frodon at next week’s Cheltenham Festival. The 23-year-old has charmed the public with her exuberant, voluble post-race interviews, which are unlike the recycling of cliches offered by many jockeys in their moments of triumph, but she can also be found in a more reflective mood, such as during an afternoon at Warwick when there were hours between her two booked mounts and she wanted nothing more than to climb inside her head and think about the next race. Cheltenham Festival 2019 Bryony Frost Share on Twitter Cheltenham Festival Share on Messenger Shining a Light on Racing’s Stars for International Women’s Day 2019. Show … we have a small favour to ask. 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