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Olympic Defender Takes Charge with Terrafirma

Posted on: December 12, 2012 by megan

We recently had the pleasure of meeting Team GB athlete
Crista Cullen at Allmakes 4×4 in Milton Park, Oxford.

Born in Lincolnshire, Crista spent her early life growing up in Kenya  and started her hockey career at the age of just 9.  After moving back to Leicestershire at the age of 12, Crista’s hockey accelerated quickly, playing County, Regional and England before being honoured with her Great Britain Cap when she was 18. Having competed at the highest level for quite some time, Crista has helped guide team GB to a 6th place finish at the Beijing Olympics, and at London 2012 the team secured a bronze medal, helping Team GB come third in the medal table!

Olympic success however, is but one of Crista’s many passions; her enthusiasm for Land Rover is shared amongst the rest of her family, who drive the vehicles back home in the remotes of Kenya, Africa.  In fact, Crista was offered a BMW Convertible as part of a three-year sponsorship deal which she declined. Instead, she set about sourcing her own vehicle. Crista contacted Land Rovers UK who responded with a part sponsorship/part purchase that would allow Crista to own the vehicle, get it modified to her requirements and get it shipped to Kenya.

It might seem unusual for Crista to have chosen a Defender 110 as her daily drive, however it is just what she needs at home in Kenya, where she still spends a lot of time and where this particular 110 is destined to go. The defender is a standard 2008 model 110 Utility, which helps Crista as she currently has to carry a lot of equipment for her coaching and charitable events. Crista needs a vehicle which will be reliable, tough and agile, something which will suit her in both the UK, and Africa.

Allmakes 4×4 have already got involved in modifying the Defender 110, however we plan on doing much more in the future. None of the parts will be for show, the roads around Crista’s family home in Kenya are not good and Crista is fully able to handle all the equipment necessary when driving out in the bush.


Allmakes 4×4 have so far fitted the following:

Terrafirma Steering Track Rod Guard- TF843

Driving her Defender over rough ground level terrain means that Crista needs a track rod guard which maximises ground clearance while totally protecting the steering track rod.

Terrafirma Front Diff Guard- TF844

Terrafirma differential guards are easy to fit and offer protection against the most aggressive attacks on obstacles. This will be great for Crista, who will be in constant contact with immovable objects such as rocks which could potentially damage the vehicles’ differential.

Terrafirma Rear Diff Guard – TF854

When in Kenya, Crista will be in constant contact with immovable objects such as rocks which could potentially damage the vehicles’ differential. Terrafirma differential guards will offer the protection she needs against rocks and other obstacles.

Terrafirma Cranked Rear Radius Arms –TF509

To relieve the strain in the rear radius arm to chassis and to improve suspension flex, Crista had these cranked rear radius arms fitted.

Terrafirma Alloy Steering Guard – TF841R

Crista has chosen these Terrafirma steering guards which are tapered for maximum protection, with a row of laser cut holes for additional styling and to provide air flow to the cooling system.


Crista will soon be competing in The Athi 4×4 challenge which is the only challenge type, extreme 4×4 event held in Kenya. It is the ultimate test of individuals courage and determination, featuring rocky mountains, deep mud pits, tangling tyres, water slides and many more hurdles. It is organised to raise money for the Rhino Ark Charitable Trust which is best known for the completion of a 400km long electric fence around Kenya’s Averdare National Park, recognised as a blueprint for the future of conservation.

Hosting The Athi Challenge, which will be held February 17th 2013, will also help raise money to enter Crista’s vehicle into the elusive Rhino Charge. They want to raise money and the profile of this event to help protect Kenya’s endangered wildlife and flora. Allmakes 4×4 are no strangers to the Rhino Charge, John Bowden from Gumtree 4×4 gave a very interesting talk about the Rhino Charge on our stand at Billing 2010. So far in their first two Rhino Charge competitions, Crista and her team have come 7th and 6th overall in a field of over 60. This year, they are aiming for top 3, so we wish them the very best of luck.

Land Rover World will be featuring  more of the Defender upgrade in a forthcoming issue and will  follow the 110 when it’s complete and gets shipped to Kenya. Crista will be using the Defender as her support vehicle in both the Athi, and Rhino Charge 4×4 challenge!

Allmakes 4×4 are proud to be helping Crista with the modification of her Defender 110, and we look forward to doing much more with her in the future. We wish her well in both her conservation and hockey success.



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