Athlete Profile: Rebecca Bell

An image of Rebecca riding her horse and an image of Rebecca and her OUEC team mates holding medals


Rebecca Bell

Course and Year of Study

English (3rd Year)






Oxford University Equestrian Club

Highest Competitive Level

International - Team GB

Best Achievement

2015 U17 European Champion

Short Term Aspirations

U22 European team in 2020 (if championships go ahead)

Long Term Aspirations

Senior Championship teams

How did you get into the sport?

I rode when I was younger but did not focus on Dressage, I was then talent spotted and joined a development squad when I was 12 

How has the Blues Performance Scheme helped you?

Access to nutritional advice and sports psychology has been invaluable, especially when under the stresses of an Oxford term, and the team and individual S & C sessions have been a particular highlight, improving both my physical and mental health. I have definitely seen an improvement in my results thanks to the holistic "whole athlete" support of the BPS.

What is your advice on balancing sport and academia?

Plan everything! Then you know when you can feasibly take a break - which everyone needs. If you have a chance to get ahead, take it, your future self will thank you. Use the skills that you learn in sport to help manage your academic work, and vice versa; they really complement one another. 

How have you managed training during lockdown?

I have been lucky enough to continue to train with my coach remotely, through livestreaming. Since it looks like my main goal, the European Championships, may not go ahead I have been focusing on aiming for my very best performance, rather than tying it to any particular event, given the current uncertainty. I have really enjoyed taking part in the OU Sport livestreams; mobility with Duncan and Penny is always a really composing start to a day of revision.

Any advice for Oxford Uni athletes during the lockdown?

I would advise fellow atheletes to find what hasn't changed; though we've all had the rug pulled from under us, finding something that has stayed the same has really helped me. For me, it's been my end goal for this year: 70% in my individual test. Though I might not be able to get out and compete to prove it, I can still work towards achieving that test at home. I feel very lucky to have my sport at the moment; it's definitely keeping me sane!