Emma Bexson

I was born in 1975 in a village south of Solihull, on a small holding where my family professionally produced show ponies for a living.  I learnt to ride from a very early age and as a teenager worked in a horse racing yard at the weekends, leaving for Ireland when I was 16 where I rode in my first horse race. I came back to the UK a year later and became the first lady jockey to ride for David Nicholson - then champion jumps trainer. I had the honour and privilege to ride some famous and talented horses during my time race riding.

I started cycling aged about eight - my father had an interest in BMX racing and I was bought my first BMX for my ninth Christmas present. I had a go at BMX racing but never continued the interest, although I cycled regularly to support my fitness for competitive horse riding and rode my first time trial aged 17.

At the age of 20 I started running and spent the next 10 years middle distance racing and then extended my love of running to marathons, bagging my first decent age category London marathon place in 2005. I took my first county title in my late 20's and became the Women's Masters 2000m steeplechase county record holder for Warwickshire at the age of 35.  This record still stands.

I took up triathlon in 2007 after someone challenged me to a race! This was an enormous leap for me as I had to learn to swim front-crawl first. Somehow I qualified for the British age group team at the British Sprint Championships in the summer of 2008 at my first attempt.

On the 14th July 2010 I had a bike crash that very nearly cost me my life. Nine weeks in hospital, five spinal fractures, 24 rib fractures and a serious head injury resulted in 11 hours of neurosurgery and a lengthy and challenging recovery. On the 3rd of August 2010 I started physio and my journey to learn to walk again began. In June 2012 I returned to triathlon and won my first European medal - a Silver in Pontavedra. I went on to win subsequent medals at European and World championships.  However, in 2015 the surgery to remove metalwork from my back lead to complications and I spent 10 weeks, and Christmas, in a hospital bed.

This year my aim is to battle hard to get fit and well, and then hopefully to time trial in the West Midlands Womens League, and race in the Cotswold Race League.