The recent Sheepgate U25’s Championships is a week-long show specifically for under 25 riders. It is all about team spirit and having fun, with plenty of other activities too.
The WOW sponsored team of Josh Hill, Izzy Chaplin , Charlie Grieve and Chris Hammond won the Advanced /medium Team Championship here – here they are pictured in all their glory!
Congrats also to the winning Southern Elementary Team, comprising Hannah Knight, Bonnie Bourne, Amy Tickle and Hannah Powel. Well done to everyone and to all your support teams!
As WOW Saddles rider Izzy Chaplin prepares to go off to university, she looks back at what has been a very exciting August…
“Well August has been quite a successful month! Early in August I found out that I have been accepted into my first choice uni, Nottingham University to study Accountancy! I was absolutely thrilled as I was a bit nervous before hand. Then it was on to Sheepgate U25’s championships. I had an intensive training week before going up to Sheepgate where I was lucky to be able to have training every other day for a week with my trainer, Sarah Millis. We worked on getting Dora suppler and in self carriage and we had a massive breakthrough. It was as if everything has clicked and Sarah has given me some brilliant exercises to work on that I can also use in the warm up, which came in very handy in the warm up at Sheepgate.”
“You could tell you where further up north as soon as we got out the lorry, it was so cold! But luckily, thanks to WOW Saddles, we had our team clothing to keep us warm and looking very smart! As I had been picked for the Southern advanced team, I did two medium tests for the team over the 2 days. I also entered into the music class as this is something that I have wanted to do for a while. After sorting out a floor plan I decided on music from Narnia and Prince Caspian.”
“On the first day, Dora and I got just under 69% in the medium team test which I was really pleased with considering we had a mistake where Dora broke into canter in the shoulder in. My other team members also did really well and this meant that we were lying in 1st place as a team overnight. Later on was my music class. Dora felt fab in the test. We got a bit ahead of our music in the canter but apart from that the music worked really well with the test and I got all the extended trots in the right place! Our score can through at 74% to win. I was absolutely thrilled as this was only the second run through of the test and this meant a new personal best. You can watch my test on my YouTube channel.”
“Day two was just as successful for the team. I was one of the first on in the team test and we did a good test although I felt that she could have been a bit suppler and in more self-carriage. We got a score of 70% to get 3rd place. As a team we all did brilliantly again on the second day so we managed to win by a big margin. Prize giving was amazing as every southern member that had been competing was in prize giving. A very successful show! Unfortunately that was it for another year for Dora and I but it is such a lovely show and always a highlight of the show season. After Sheepgate, I went away on holiday with my family so the horses had an easy week but now that I am back I am looking forward to fitting in some training and competing before I go off to uni. I will keep you up to date on my Facebook and Twitter page.”
Read WOW Saddles sponsored rider Izzy Chaplin’s latest blog and find out how Dora and Sid have been going…
“I can’t believe how quickly the summer holidays have gone already! After finishing my exams (hooray!), I got to go out to Spain with my friends for a week for a girlie post exam holiday. It was so nice to be able to relax by the pool and go to the beach. Once I was back from Spain I have really focused on the horses, getting them out training and competing ready for competitions later on. Hickstead Premier League was a success where Dora and I got a personal best in the Junior tests coming 3rd in the individual test. Unfortunately I had a bit of a blond moment, thinking my test was 1 hour later than it actually was (my mum and I were quite happily shopping over at the showjumping) and only realised 15 mins before I was meant to go into the test! Luckily the secretary was extremely nice and let me go in at the end of the class! Panic over! But I was extremely pleased considering all the hurdles we have had to jump this year! She needed to be a bit softer over her back and I made a few silly rider errors so there is still a lot to improve on but it was a great competition with a lovely atmosphere.”
“Shortly after I found out that I have been selected to represent England as part of the Southern Team at the BYRDS Home International in Wales next week! This will be my third time competing at the Home International but my first time competing in Wales! In preparation for the Home International I have been fitting in a lot of training sessions with my trainer Sarah Millis. We have been working on suppleness to improve the quality of her way of going and improving the quality of the movements. Some of the exercises included doing a figure of eight around blocks with a pole in the middle. This really helped with getting Dora to bend round my leg. I have already noticed a difference in her half passes which seem so much better and easier, so fingers crossed it will pay off next week.”
“Sid has been out to a few shows recently. I have been doing a few novices and he is really settling down and growing in confidence at shows and is improving all the time. I was extremely pleased with him at Hadlow College where we gained 67.5% in a novice getting great comments from the judges.
I am also pleased to say that both horses have qualified for the Petplan Area Festivals. Sid has qualified at Novice Open and Dora has qualified at Medium Open. I am also hoping to qualify them both for the music regionals and to qualify Dora at Advanced Medium open.”
“Currently I am working on putting together a music routine for Sid and Dora, however my limited musical ability is failing me at the moment while trying to search for music for Sid but I will keep everyone posted! In my next blog I will tell you about the Home International but you can keep up to date on my facebook and twitter page in the mean time!”
The team at WOW Saddles are really looking forward to supporting Izzy Chaplin through 2014 and here she blogs about the start of the year…
“I hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Year! All the horses had plenty of carrots over Christmas as we had the whole family over for Christmas Day! I also had the amazing experience of watching Charlotte and Valegro achieve a new world record at Olympia in the freestyle. It was great to be able to see all the top riders, especially Carl and Edward Gal, who both really inspire me. It was also really sad to be saying goodbye to Alf, who put on an amazing display, still looking like an 8 year old despite his 18 years!”
“I have been very busy with school at the moment. I have just completed all my mocks, and its getting a bit scary how close I am to the real exams in May! I am also pleased to say that I have had all five offers from the universities I have applied for, so as long as my exams go well, I will be going off to uni in September to study Accounting and Finance! Hopefully with Dora!”
“On the horsey front, Dora has had a bit of down time over the holidays as she worked so hard last season, so she has temporarily taken up modelling as a reindeer…”
“I have also been up to the junior squad training sessions, watching my squad mates performing their tests, while also getting some great tips from the selectors about what to look for in the tests and how to maximise the marks for each movement. Meanwhile, I have been given the amazing opportunity to have the ride on a very cheeky horse called Cyrano L aka Sid. He is a 16hh, rising 7 year old. I am riding him for WOW Saddles to give him some competitive experience and I can’t wait to get him to his first competition!”
“Sid has an extremely cheeky temperament and unfortunately he also shares the same love of mud as a hippopotamus! Felix, my mum’s horse, has been doing his best stallion impressions when Sid arrived (Felix is a gelding). But they are all friends now and Sid has settled in really well.”
“After a couple of days of having Sid, we took him to a lesson with Darryl Thickett. It was a great opportunity to get to know how he would be away from home while also getting a few pointers from Darryl. I am really excited to take him out to his first show now, which will hopefully be in the next few weeks! In my next blog I will hopefully be able to tell you about Sid and I’s first competitions together!”
WOW Saddles are very proud to now sponsor up and coming South East based dressage rider, Izzy Chaplin. In her first blog for us she tells us a little bit more about her and her horses…
“Hi, I’m Izzy. I am a 17 year old junior dressage rider and I am a member of the Great Britain Junior Potential Squad. I have recently been given sponsorship from WOW saddles and I am really looking forward to working with them as their saddles are amazing. I especially love their new Bling Fly Fringe! The flexible tree in my WOW saddle has really improved how my horse moves, she is so much looser, I could not believe how much a saddle could improve her way of going! I feel like I am able to influence her a lot more in the saddle as well!”
“A bit about me… I live in the South East of England and I am currently in my final year at school. I train with Sarah Millis and Darryl Thickett. I started riding at the age of 7 at a local riding school and at the age of 12 I was lucky enough to get a loan pony called Kizzy who although being a little cheeky, gave me a lot of experience and definitely taught me stickability and how to ride! I did all Pony Club events and with Kizzy I got my first experience of dressage. I also got the ride on a friend’s pony, Rupert, who taught me how to ride the dressage tests and took me up to the Pony Club Novice Nationals.”
“Soon I began to want to move on so we found a 14.2hh pony, Brett. Brett was the ideal Pony Club pony and we did everything together including a bit of showing! We took each other through the stages of dressage and I began to learn how to influence him to get the lateral movements and improve his way of going. We started off at prelim and I then began affiliated dressage and we qualified for the novice open winter regionals together. Soon I had taught him the first stages of medium lateral movements and flying changes.”
“We also went up to the Pony Club Intermediate Dressage Championships where we managed to win our arena. As I began to get the bug for dressage I was introduced to BYRDS and I was picked for the Home International representing England in 2012. When I was 15, I was lucky enough to get the ride on an FEI dressage pony called Harry. He was a bit quirky, but taught me all the movements for the medium tests and I don’t think I would have the knowledge I have now without him! We got to compete at the Premier League competitions and we were selected for National Pony Training 2011/2012.”
“However, my 16th birthday was fast approaching and you can only compete on ponies up until you are 16. I knew I wanted to continue with dressage, so we went on the hunt for a junior horse. For juniors, I have to compete at advanced medium level and only being 5’1”, I needed a small horse! So I went on a search for a 16hh or under horse, preferably a gelding. After scouring the country, we travelled abroad to Holland and found a 16.2hh mare, Dora (Taijdora). Dora had just had a foal in summer 2012 so when we went to see her in December 2012, she had only just come back into work. She had an amazing temperament and natural ability, I fell in love with her instantly! Although we have taken a while to build a partnership, we are going from strength to strength and gaining so much experience together. This winter we have been selected for the GB Junior Potential Squad which is amazing, so I know we are going in the right direction! We have also qualified for the medium open Petplan Championships next April, my first BD Nationals!”
“My aim for next year is to hopefully train Dora up to PSG to contest young riders when I turn 18 and have to move on from juniors. I am concentrating on my training at the moment before the upcoming high profile shows next year while juggling my school work. I am really pleased to be part of Team WOW Saddles! I will keep you updated with my progress and experiences in my next blog! In the mean time do ‘like’ my Facebook page here!”