Angus is one of Britains’ brightest young talents. Born into a family with a love of horses in the north east of England, it was preordained that he would start riding at a young age.
Angus’ father was an amateur hunt servant and both his mother and brother evented and so horses were always around. Inevitably, Angus became mad keen and enjoyed his first days hunting on the lead rein at just two and a half years old. Taking after his father Ian, Angus always wanted to go fast and jump and so his passion for hunting developed. Later, he joined Ian whipping in to the Braes of Derwent.
Like many British event riders, Angus went up the levels and competed in his first senior Pony Club Championship at Sansaw at the age of eleven. Over the years, Angus has had great success with limited resources and seen potential in ponies and horses that others had not.
Angus’ first big success was with Cornsay Sam, who was a hand-me-down from his brother. Together, they went to Ballindenisk in 2000 whilst involved with the British development squad. Angus and Sam joined the British Pony Team in 2002. They travelled to Hagen and achieved a team bronze medal, finishing best of the Brits.
Angus left home in October 2006 and headed to Leicestershire, joining Oliver Townend’s team as stable jockey. After just under two seasons based with Oliver, Angus set up alone when Oliver relocated to Shropshire.
In 2008 Angus began whipping in for the Fernie, and has continued to do so ever since. The 2013-2014 season was his sixth with the pack.
Cornsay Grouse, a horse bought from Ian Stark as a six year old, turned out to be Angus’ breakthrough horse, taking him round his first four star event at Burghley in 2007, aged nineteen. After his initial four star success, Angus was offered the ride on Saxon Cross. They finished third in the CCI3* under 25’s section at Bramham and were short listed for the Young Riders team in 2008.
Angus won his first senior title in 2011 with Clover Hero, a horse owned by Charlotte Straker. This British Intermediate title was won during the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park, a venue which is now close to Angus’ heart.
Angus’ records around some of the biggest European tracks are outstanding especially at such a young age. He has notched up six out of six clears at Burghley in consecutive years and has completed Bramham CCI3* every year since 2006.
Now based near Uppingham in Leicestershire, Angus has an exciting string of horses, many of which he has produced from youngsters. His loyal team of owners and impressive list of achievements are testament to his dedication and love of equestrian sport.
Angus Smales competing at Burghley Horse Trials.