CHAMPION showjumper Vicky Lister is from a public school background but has embarked on an unlikely career – as an HGV driver.
Her well-spoken voice and chic sense of style earn the 23-year-old the title Princess of the Roads as she climbs behind the wheel of a huge Volvo FH12 Globetrotter 500.
To the surprise of family and friends at her local hunt, she beds down in her cab in lay-bys and knows all the best roadside greasy spoons.
She is used to other drivers doing a double-take when they see her – and their humour. “It’s all blokey jokes,” she said.
“I get ribbed about parking all the time. When I arrive at a site I get a crowd of boys coming out to watch. I can’t make a mistake, there’s added pressure.
“But I find it pretty easy, I’m better at parking the lorry than my car! I definitely prefer it to working in an office, I have the radio on and have a little sing-a-long.”
Her trips have seen her deliver JCB diggers and machinery in Belgium, as well as the farthest parts of Britain. “I’m used to being away all week,” she said, “so I now have a lot of friends out there on the roads.”
Vicky attended £4,000 a term Witham Hall Preparatory School, then £3,000 a term Kirkstone House School, set in 60 acres of woodlands and lakes, both in Lincs.
But after growing up as a member of the pony club, she opted not to head to university and instead got her trucker’s licence at 19.
After studying agriculture at Riseholme Park, Lincoln, she set up her own livery yard with her mum Caroline, 47, near their home in Langtoft, Cambs. To help fund the venture the horse fanatic has been hauling her truck around ever since. She has had scary moments when she was asleep with someone trying to get into the cab and an attempt to steal her lorry’s deisel.
“Some people think I’m really brave for staying overnight in the lorry cab but I always make sure the doors are locked and the curtains drawn,” she said
“When I started I just did it for a bit of extra cash to fund the horses but I love it now.”
Caroline said she was “surprised” when her daughter said she was going to be a trucker. “It provokes a reaction,” she said. “Once I got out the cab to hold the traffic while she backed into a tight spot when I heard a man say ‘Isn’t he good’.
“I replied ‘Actually if you look you’ll see it’s a she’…you should have seen his face. He just couldn’t believe it!”