Blog Archives

Well done Team Southern

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!

Josh Hill, Izzy Chaplin and Chris Hammond (Charlie Grieve not pictured)

Josh Hill, Izzy Chaplin and Chris Hammond (Charlie Grieve not pictured)

Izzy Chaplin ridding Taijdora

Izzy Chaplin ridding Taijdora

Chris hammond riding Ruben D'or

Chris hammond riding Ruben D’or

Charlie Grieve riding Monticello

Charlie Grieve riding Monticello

Josh Hill riding Bewunder

Josh Hill riding Bewunder

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!

The Southern Elementary Team, comprising Hannah Knight, Bonnie Bourne, Amy Tickle and Hannah Powel.

The Southern Elementary Team were victorious!

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WOW’s sponsored rider Izzy Chaplin shares her news

I have some great news: I’m pleased to announce that I now have a lovely 4 year old Hanoverian gelding called Quinn! He hasn’t been backed for long, so at the moment it is all about becoming a partnership, but he is showing so much potential, and I’m looking forward to our future together!

Although I have only been to a handful of shows with Dora due to my studies, she has come from strength to strength. All the training has paid off and of course my WOW saddle means that I can achieve all those higher marks! At the beginning of June, I took Dora to Hickstead to compete in a U25’s show organised by southern BYRDS. Dora didn’t put a foot wrong, winning both tests on the first day with over 72% then nearly 75%, then on the second day we got another 72%+ score, to become the overall medium champion. I couldn’t have asked for a better two days of competing, and this made me even more determined for the upcoming regionals and home international.

Izzy Chaplin

Izzy Chaplin

When I got home from uni, I managed to fit in a show to qualify for the music regionals. Although we were competing quite late, which Dora wasn’t too pleased about, she performed two great tests to qualify at both medium and advanced medium with two 70%+ scores! I put my music together, and only had one practise of my advanced medium music, so I was extremely pleased.

Izzy Chaplin for WOW saddles

Then it was onto regionals at Sparsholt, where I was competing in the medium open class. The quality of the trot work felt the best it had been at a show for a while, but unfortunately we had a few costly mistakes in the canter work, but we still managed 6th which exceeded my expectations and made a great first regionals for Dora and I.

Sparsholt regionals

Sparsholt regionals

The week after, we were off on the long trip up to north Yorkshire for the BYRDS Home International. This show is always one of the highlights of the summer, as it is such a good team event with a great atmosphere. The first day I had a few mistakes, and didn’t ride my test the best I could have, but we came away with 9th. My other team mates also did well in their sections so we had a good placing overnight, and it was all to play for the next day. The team really stepped up to the occasion, all improving loads on their placings. I was a lot happier with my test on the second day with Dora ending in 3rd. Then it was the wait to see where our team had come. We were amazed to find out that our team had come 3rd, the best result team southern has had at the home international. Then to top it off I found out the Dora and I had become joint young rider medium champions. This was a lovely surprise, and it was a show I won’t forget.

Team 3rd at BYRDS Home International.

Team 3rd at BYRDS Home International.

With high spirits, it was then onto the next team completion at Sheepgate U25’s championships, where I was representing Southern in the medium/advanced team. After our team won last year, we were determined to do the same again. The first day Dora put in a great test to come 2nd with just over 70% with my whole team coming 1st to 4th. The second day we dropped 1 place to come 3rd but good performance from my team mates ensured that we stayed on top of the podium as a team. Individually I finished 2nd overall, getting some lovely prizes, so thank you to all the sponsors at the show. Unfortunately in my last test, coming out of the first medium trot, Dora tripped and landed oddly on the back fetlock. I then retired as she didn’t feel right, but a huge thank you to everyone who helped us after, everyone was so kind and helpful. Training will now start over the winter with the aim of PSG, so watch this space!

Kim’s story: A WOW horse in a WOW saddle!

Gaynor Ranshaw is a Certified Flair Saddle Fitter & WOW Saddle Retailer, as well as a Dressage Trainer and BD Listed Judge. Here, she tells us about a customer of hers that uses a WOW Competitor saddle, and has recently been to the Young Horse Championships, coming 9th in the International 5 year old finals as the highest placed owner-rider. “She also did the national class, & was 8th equal with Charlotte Dujardin – it’s not often an amateur rider can say that about a horse she has produced herself,” Gaynor proudly tells us.

Kim’s story: A WOW horse in a WOW saddle!

Kin & Merrie 2

Kim & Merrie

“I’ve been riding Merrie since she was imported as a freshly backed 3.5year old in January 2014. Gaynor Ranshaw expertly adjusted my WOW saddle for her at this stage, which fitted her beautifully and allowed her the freedom to move unrestricted through her back and shoulder. Due to her continued growth spurts, plus development of muscles as you would expect at that age, I regularly sought Gaynor’s advice on whether the saddle needed adjustment. The beauty of the WOW is the adjustability – we have changed her headplate on numerous occasions over the 18 months. The increase or decrease of air in the panels also allowed complete flexibility to know that the saddle was the perfect fit at that stage of her training and age. Also, the ability to change flaps and the seat is another bonus point to owning a WOW. I changed my flaps 8 months ago to allow for straighter knee blocks which helped my position. So I’m not only confident that it fits my horse, I’m happy and comfortable in it which is equally as important. I currently ride Merrie in a deep seat with seriously straight flaps.

Five year old Merrie is clearly very happy with her saddle, as her results speak for themselves. She has freedom through her back and shoulders to allow for fantastic movement. She has competed in Young Horse Classes at Premier League shows always finishing in the top 10, qualified for the Shearwater Young Horse Championships at Hartpury Festival of Dressage, and recently qualified for the Summer Regional Championships at Novice Open, from a weekend’s competition with scores of 74%, 76%, 78% and 79%. A happy horse with a very happy amateur owner/rider!

Our continued consistent training and support from trainer Jill Grant has allowed us to develop as a partnership and for these amazing results to happen. I manage to fit in all the training and competing whilst running my own business, which makes for a busy life. Gaynor is always happy to fit in fittings around work commitments, and you always have the option to go to her base which has all the facilities needed to do the fitting or she will travel to your home. A great service from a  fully flexible fitter with fully flexible saddles,” Kim concludes.

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Kim & Merrie

Gaynor may be contacted at info@gaynorranshaw.co.uk / Tel 07818 006 079.

Izzy Chaplin’s blog: A report on the Winter Championships

We catch up with WOW Saddles rider Izzy Chaplin to find out how her season is going so far…

“Easter was a really busy time for Dora and I. After the competition at Moreton Morell, Dora had a chance to go hacking and do a bit of jumping as I think it is really important that she gets the chance to do a variety of things. Before breaking up for the Easter holidays, I took Dora out to Swallowfield to do a medium and an advanced medium. Dora warmed up amazingly and was definitely showing off in the arena and we came out with 2 great scores of 74.32% and 71.08%. All that training is paying off and a huge part of this success goes to my trainer, Henry Boswell!”

“Straight from uni I went to the BD Southern Training camp held at Keysoe. It was such a fun weekend with a lesson a day, pole work, test riding and some interesting talks, including Pilates. It was also really great to see WOW Saddles there and to show more southern members how much of a difference a WOW Saddle can make to their horse. Dora was amazing in our lessons and we started playing around with the canter pirouettes which she picked up so quickly and naturally, it really makes me excited for the future! I then ran through an advanced medium. We scored just over 69% on the first day with a few mistakes but unfortunately the next day due to a few rider errors and hail halfway through my test we didn’t do the best test we could do, but it was a good experience to go through the test in such a relaxed environment.”
Camp April 2015 2“After that, Dora went up to boot camp with Henry while I went on a family holiday skiing in France, with strict instructions not to break anything. Straight after it was back to Henry’s yard to prepare for the Winter Championships. We had qualified for the Petplan Medium and Advanced Medium Open.”

“The advanced medium was first and Dora was really on form with some amazing scores getting 8’s and 9’s from an international judge. Unfortunately in our walk Dora got attacked by a fly which got her a little bit upset and some tension crept in in the walk and canter affecting out marks. Lesson learnt, put a fly veil on! But we came out with a great score still of 68.53% considering. This made me even more determined for the medium test a few days after. A few days on and Dora didn’t put a foot wrong in the test. I was so pleased with her and we got another 5th place. 2 top 5 placings which was a huge improvement from last year so I was incredibly pleased. Also nice to see Maggie from WOW Saddles there and a huge thank you for checking over my saddle to make sure Dora can perform to her best.”

Winter Champs 2015-3944“Dora then had a bit of a break but just before I went back up to Nottingham, I took her out to Oldencraig to complete our advanced medium qualification. We did 2 good tests resulting in a 71% and a 67%. Overall the Easter holidays were definitely successful and I am so proud of Dora. Now I am focusing on my exams which are in the next couple of weeks but I’m looking forward to our next competition at Hickstead in early June and hope we can keep improving!”

Izzy Chaplin’s blog: Moving Dora, training hard and qualifications!

We catch up with WOW Saddles rider Izzy Chaplin to find out how she is juggling university and training with the beautiful Dora…

“Uni has been going really well and I have passed all my first semester exams with a 2:1. Riding on the uni team has been a great experience especially as you have to adapt so quickly to a new horse you have never ridden. Five minutes with a horse before you go and do a dressage test or a course of jumps goes pretty quickly!”

“A month or so into uni, I decided that the best thing for Dora would be to move her up to Henry Boswell’s yard. This meant that I would have the opportunity to ride Dora more, rather than going 3 and a half hours home! I could also have a lot more help, so I could progress quicker and hopefully achieve my goal of young riders sooner (although we are still have quite a way to go). Everyone at Aspire has been so friendly and look after Dora so well, she settled in so easily. It was also lovely to be able to ride in an indoor school!”

Dora Training Henrys Jan 2015
“While the first term was mostly focused around training and getting Dora to go into more self-carriage, when she came home for the Christmas holidays I managed to get her out to a local competition. She warmed up brilliantly. We didn’t do our best test as we were both a bit rusty but we came away with a 1st place and a lot to work on. I was also lucky to go to Olympia Horse Show to watch the freestyle. It was amazing to witness another world record being set by Charlotte and catching up with everyone.”

“Soon it was back to uni and we took Dora back up to Henry’s. We carried on with training for a bit and then we decided to enter a competition that was local to Henry and do 2 mediums. Dora was brilliant and it was so useful to have Henry at the show to give us a hand and shout a few pointers at us in the warm up. In the first test we got a 71.55% which is one of our highest scores to date. I was so pleased especially as she had chucked in a flying change in one of the movements. It was also really nice to see another U21’s rider Becca Bell who I met when I was in ponies.”

“Then it was onto the next test. Dora really tried and we came out 70.94% to come equal 1st! We also got my first 9.5 for our first centre line. I was so pleased to get 2 scores over 70%. Only a few more points needed for regional qualification then onto advanced medium!”

Dora Warwickshire College Jan 2015
“When I got back I got some more good news, Dora and I had qualified for the Winter Petplan championships at 2 levels, medium open and advance medium open! So we can have another shot at the medium again this year and hopefully don’t have the same bad luck as last year. Now it is back to training for a while but we have a lot planned including BYRDS training and more competitions. Now it’s the countdown to the winter championships!”

A new rider on the WOW Saddles team!

We are very proud to announce the sponsorship of talented, South East-based dressage rider, David Rumsey!

In continuation of our commitment to supporting equestrian talent, we have added dressage rider David Rumsey to the team of WOW Saddles sponsored dressage riders, which already includes Richard Davison, Wayne Channon, Lesley Peyton-Gilbert and Izzy Chaplin.

31-year-old David turned to dressage ten years ago and is now based in Canterbury, Kent with fourteen horses in training. Each horse has been carefully selected and hand-picked from trusted sources, to progress through the dressage levels, whilst David is fortunate enough to train with Suzanne Lavandera and Carl Hester. David has recently stepped up to Grand Prix level with his 12 year old Hessen mare DRD Florina H (aka Feebie) and now plans to head to the Winter Regional Finals and then the Premier Leagues and International Finals throughout 2015.

“I am so pleased to be working with WOW Saddles,” says David. “I absolutely love the feeling I get from my WOW Saddle when I ride DRD Florina H. I feel closer to my horse and find it easier to sit to her, as she stays softer in her back now.”

“David’s talent, dedication and passion for the sport is very apparent,” says Maggie White from WOW Saddles. “This commitment reinforces our values and ethos, making him the perfect representative for WOW Saddles.”

To keep abreast of David’s progress, like WOW Saddles on Facebook to read exclusive blogs and updates www.facebook.com/wowsaddle.

Photo courtesy of Carla Jane Photography

Photo courtesy of Carla Jane Photography

Lesley recaps over 2014

Our WOW Saddles sponsored rider, Lesley Peyton-Gilbert makes good of the weather and updates us on her latest antics…

“A dull and wet day gives me the excuse to sit in the warm to do a quick catch up! My boys Woodcroft Garuda K and World Exclusive have had a few adventures! The National Championships in September were fab as always. It’s a great time to catch up with everyone and the atmosphere is always good. I don’t like the venue particularly but it is as it is and we all have to work with it. I feel particularly sorry for the young horse riders! I’m not going to moan but for our National Championships I do think we deserve a better venue now. So many people put so much in to making this a great time of year.”

“I have to thank British Dressage supporters club for my certificate for representing Great Britain this past two years at small and now Big Tour, it was a lovely way to mark something special!”

World Exclusive at the Nationals in the Advanced Medium Open

World Exclusive at the Nationals in the Advanced Medium Open

“In the competition arena we had a mixed bag! Wex always gives his level best of everything he has and did not disappoint in the Medium Open with a top ten place and a 12th in the Advanced Medium Open Championship. Both of these classes are super ‘hot’ and are rich with talent and potential international future stars so I feel very proud of the lovely boy! He was also much more relaxed and grown up staying away this year, he didn’t scrape a hole to Australia at the stable door this year, saying that I did bring a rubber mat to prevent this.”

“Garuda was on fire! Working in on the Friday night he was quite amazing! Not sure I was always in control but he was very happy to be out and about strutting his stuff, he was in for a busy couple of weeks with the nationals and then Saumur the following week. Horses they say are great levellers and being last to go after the amazing Carl Hester, to say the atmosphere was electric was a bit of an understatement! Still, we were here, a national final in my first season at Grand Prix, this had to make me proud and it did. As the test started Garuda felt fantastic, the halt and rein back were smashing and my marks on the test sheet reflected how good the first part felt. As I came across the arena in the extended trot I activated and picked up into the passage, it was lovely, as I turned across the school the little voice in my head said take it steady don’t rush him, Garuda then anticipated the piaffe, I went to push him on he tightened his back and came up a little against the hand, then took one look at the full to bursting stand and went I don’t think so! And sat down! I went to correct him he did a little rear and then I asked him again to straighten and he went up again, before his feet had hit the ground the judge at C had rung the bell and ended my test.”

“Quietly I turned and walked out of the arena. You have to take it on the chin, realise it’s horses but I was quite confused, as were the owners as to why the judge had not given me my 20 seconds, this became one of the talking points of the show as, according to the rules the master judge can send you out if they think the behaviour was dangerous! Well this is ridiculous as, I don’t have the biggest brave pants in the world, G certainly wasn’t dangerous he was just a bit taken by the atmosphere but the judge gave me no chance to rectify the problem and in terms of training this was not a good moment. I worked Garuda quietly outside where he happily did the passage transition several times …… A definite grrrrrrrrr moment. Certainly no room to have an ego around horses!”

“So it was with some trepidation I loaded up Garuda for our 511 mile drive via Calais to Saumur! I was very excited about this show, especially as it is the home of the French classical school and their national equestrian centre. Thankfully Garuda travels well and the French roads were good, even if Rouen is blooming confusing to navigate around! The motorway ends and you have to dive through the outskirts of the town.”

“The welcome in Saumur was fab, super friendly stable manager, lovely stables and super facilities. There are 17 separate ‘poles’ each with an out door arena, indoor arena, stables showers, lunge area wash down area. The hacking is fantastic, indeed some riders bring a second horse just so they can give it a nice international show experience and go hacking! The Cadre Noir are based here, the town of Saumur being the home of the French Calvary with the Napoleonic stables and barracks still being the town centre piece. The National Equestrian centre is a few kilometres out of town set in the forest.”

image“The competition arena was stunning! As you can see. I was really excited about being able to ride in such an amazing place.
At the same time as the CDI the French national young horse and breeding championship was on so it was lovely to see their best young horses and for them to enjoy the atmosphere of the CDI, their classes were in the lovely outdoor arena where the spring CDI is held. The show was sponsored by NAF and a local champagne company! We were very well looked after! The riders welcome was fantastic, lots of free sparkling stuff and canapes! We also had a free tour of the wine caves on the Saturday morning! With a spot of tasting of course!”
image“The business side of things started on the Thursday with the trot up, really well organised and a big relief when over! And everyone passed! The draw for the Grand Prix put me in the second half of the class, the French tend to do a draw based on world ranking and as I now have a world ranking! (I can’t believe it! 340th but a world ranking all the same!) I was a little tentative going into the first piaffe but once we had that over and done with my confidence grew and we had a good test, he jumped together in one step of the one the tempis, costly as a x2 movement but we ended up with 66% and a top 15 place so good enough to go into the Kur. Which was my aim as I have finally got a programme!”

“So it was on the Saturday night with a pretty full house I did my first ever Kur to music, I’d never even had a run through! Luckily I followed the advice from David Trott to keep it simple and the wonderful Kay from Music In Motion did an amazing job of my music from the film Rush. The moment for me was as I hit the one time tempis totally on the music, it was fab! He lost a bit of balance coming out of the right pirouette but other than that smashing and a 69.97%! Just shy of the magic 70%, I was thrilled and came 7th! So we got to do a prize giving trot round!  The other great thing was that all the Brits had a great show.  Charlie Hutton was unbeatable in the small tour but Hannah Biggs and the lovely Welzin danced to fantastic superman music to win the Kur! You can safely assume we consumed a few glasses of the champagne we bought earlier in the day!”

Saumur - waiting to do the prize giving

Saumur – waiting to do the prize giving

“So the next day we packed up and made the long journey home after some great times, beautiful weather……..Older, wiser and happier! Our next adventure is the high profile show at Bury Farm. Wex does his first advanced! And Garuda has a run out in the Grand Prix on Saturday night and the Kur on Sunday. I’m hoping this will be a good wake up having not been out since the Saumur trip as we head off to Roosendaal in Holland to do the Christmas show there.”

“I can hardly believe that it’s a year since we did our first Grand Prix at Bury Farm! It’s been a real voyage of discovery! And one that I hope we can continue to make next year! Sadly Wex is going to be put up for sale as his owner is wanting to downsize her business and move to Spain. I’m really sad as he is such a joy to do, I hope we can find his a great home where he can continue with his career and give as much joy as he has us. I shall therefore be on the look out for a new project as I only have time and space for a few at a time if they are to be done properly and given my attention. So the pending new year will, I hope bring new challenges.”

“Not long until the shortest day, then Christmas ! So I hope everyone has a great close to this year of highs and lows and looks forward to the next! Thank you to my sponsors, especially First Thought Equine and WOW saddles!

Izzy Chaplin’s blog: Uni life and riding for the team

Despite her being very busy with student life, we had a lovely catch up with WOW Saddles rider Izzy Chaplin to find out how things are going with university and the horses…

“I have been at uni over a month now. It is such a change from being at home and definitely a bit of a shock not riding every day! Before I came up to Nottingham I managed to fit in a bit of training and competing. I took Dora to 2 Area Festivals to try and qualify for the winter national championships at Hartpury next spring. I also took Sid out to a competition in the first week of September. He behaved impeccably at the show. We did have a mistake in the test but we still managed to score over 67% to come 2nd so I was extremely pleased with him.”
Speedgate September 2014“Unfortunately the day before I was due to take Sid out to another competition he managed to pull his shoe off and due to early test times the next day we couldn’t have the shoe put back on until midday. I was absolutely gutted as he has come on so much in the past couple of weeks and I know that he still isn’t going at his best, especially at a show where he sometimes gets a bit nervous.”

“Then it was Dora’s turn. Firstly I took her to Wellington Riding area festival to do the medium open. I was one of the first to go in my arena so it was a nice and early, 4 o’clock start. Dora warmed up really well and didn’t put a foot wrong in the test. Unfortunately, I pushed Dora a little bit too much in the extended trot which meant she broke into canter so we were marked down quite a bit for that. But we ended up in 3rd place, just 5.5 points behind the winner’s total marks, so it was very close. This made me even more motivated to do well in the next area festival.”

Patchetts Petplan 2014 2“I then entered Patchetts area festival. I entered both the medium open and the advanced medium open. We didn’t have a single mistake in the medium test. Dora could have been a bit suppler, especially in the canter half passes but I was extremely pleased with the overall test. We got 67.5% to come 5th. Then in the advanced medium I came 4th, half a percent behind 2nd. We still have a lot of work to do in the advanced medium as I didn’t set Dora up enough for some of the movements so threw away marks.”
Patchetts Petplan 2014 8“After going to uni I managed to come back home to have a ride and have a lesson on both Dora and Sid with Henry Boswell. Both lessons were brilliant especially with Sid. We got great leg yields and the canter work improved so much! Unfortunately as I am at uni we decided that Sid should go back to his owners. It has been a great learning experience working with Sid and he will be missed by everyone at home, especially for his cheeky personality. He is such a talented horse with so much to give and I am so grateful to Maggie and Dave for giving me this opportunity.”

“Lastly, I have some good news. I have been picked for the Nottingham Uni Riding A Team. This means that I will be competing for the University of Nottingham at competition against other unis. It will be a very different experience to what I am used to as you ride a big variety of horses, but it should be very fun and I should learn a lot! I will keep everyone updated on how the team does.”

Lesley Peyton-Gilbert’s blog: How time flies

WOW Saddles Sponsored rider Lesley Peyton-Gilbert reflects on a fun, crazy, challenging, frustrating and sometimes painful year so far…

“Well here I am and i’ts September! How on earth did that happen?? It’s been a fun , crazy ,scary , challenging, frustrating and at times painful! Woodcroft Garuda K has taken to Grand Prix like the proverbial duck to water and we continue to grow and develop . We have done premier leagues and several internationals, one in France which was very eye opening and disappointing in that we drove 700 miles only to be allowed to ride one test and pay £900 for the privilege. Don’t for one minute think we get any support for going on these international expeditions. I have to say  a MASSIVE thank you to my horses’ owners Woodcroft studs Tim Harris and Bernadette O’Sullivan for making it possible for me to have these international experiences! Deauville was a stunning location found at a very late hour and making like ‘wee Willy winky’ running through the town looking for our stable at 3 am! Hilarious if we weren’t so exhausted! It was HOT, 32 degrees sand arenas that were over watered and rock hard.”

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“The positives were the food! The Australians, French and Brazilians were doing their final team selections for WEG so there was a lot of tensions at the show and some interesting tests and riding ! We got home to have three days break at home and then travel to the CDI at Hickstead! Again a great show and a steep learning curve but certainly the Grand Prix Special was our high light, like the one we did at Hartpury international to come third with Carl and Nip Tuck winning. I had got Garuda ready to travel home and had to do the prize giving on foot!”

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“Yet again the team at Hickstead had produced great show and I never fail to enjoy my time there and the wonderful atmosphere aided by the Irish bar for the riders and connections! I hope that the public enjoyed watching as much as we riders enjoyed taking part.”

“After Hickstead it was time to really turn my attentions to my younger horse, World Exclusive, as it was the regional championships at Addington. The weather was truly awful on the day we were there and at one point hail stones the size of marbles pelted down. I thankfully only had sideways rain to contend with, and Wex was a super star. The classes were huge, and the depth of talent bottomless. So I was very pleased to come 6th in the 30 strong medium and 7th in the advanced medium both with scores a hairs width off 70% meaning as we were one place off qualification in both classes that we did get wild cards for the nationals!”

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“Garuda, who had qualified for the Inter11 got his place in the Grand Prix, realising a massive ambition to ride at the nationals at Grand Prix!  We have to drop the inter11 as we had ridden a big tour CDI abroad. Consequently I am now madly trying to get a Kur together! It’s compulsory to do the music if you get into the top 15! The weekend is going to be a busy one at the nationals (18-21 of September). Outside of my riding I’ve been helping my pony club teams get ready for their area championships and for a couple of my riders the pony club nationals champs. This is such a rewarding process and I am so proud how far they have all come. I think I can say that for all my pupils , young and old! I do give them grief at times but always in good humour! I have also have the pleasure to judge some amazing horses during the coarse of judging the BEF Futurity scheme, there are some  very exciting young horses out there so remember that when looking for your next equine partner!”

“I have managed the odd day off too, here is evidence! A day out with my dogs , to watch my husband play some polo! A bit of a bus mans holiday but I got to chill out for a change! The autumn looks to be as busy as the summer, we are off to Saumur in France to represent GB again the week after the nationals! I’m very excited about this as for me this is one of the real homes of dressage. Just hope I get the chance to go and explore a bit!”

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Pete and Gaynor have a great weekend at the Petplan Area Festival

Great to hear from WOW Saddles advocate Gaynor Ranshaw that Pete (Zero to Hero) had a winning weekend at the PetPlan Area Festival in his WOW Saddle
 
439“We arrived on a VERY WET Friday morning and had a super lesson with Jill Grant who is based at Morris. We ran through our tests for the weekend and worked on improving a couple of the movements, Jill thought he was looking good and his canter work was much more through with greater cadence than when she had last seen him. I then installed him in his stable and gave him a shiatsu massage before spending the rest of Friday helping 4 pupils and warming them up for their various classes on Friday evening. They all did good tests and we had a fun evening when they had all finished.”
 
“Up early on Saturday morning to take Pete for a walk prior to warming up Moira, Siobhan, Pam and Marita for their tests that started at 8.20am! Between working with pupils I took Pete out for various walks around the show ground, massaged him and let him munch grass in a nearby paddock. By 5pm Pupils were all finished so it was time to scrub off the stable stains and plait Pete up. At 7pm I got on and walked him for half an hour then went to warm up. He felt absolutely super, really listening to me and as we entered the arena I felt confident that he would do a really relaxed test. I could have probably asked a bit more in my Medium trot but was pleased with our test and even more so an hour later when I discovered that he had WON the Petplan Elementary Open. Both judges said it was a lovely test from a harmonious partnership.”
 
“5.30am Sunday came round awfully early and Pete was sound asleep when I gave him his breakfast. He was lying down again when I returned an hour later to plait him up and scrub those hocks! I got myself ready and went back to the stable to tack him up and yes he was lying down again!!! However, as soon as I got on him he felt great and we arrived in the warm up arena at 7.45am. He felt good and Jill assured me he was looking good so in we went. Other than a not too brilliant walk pirouette, I was really pleased with him and Jill assured me that it looked flowing and easy!  I was hoping to be in the top half of the class and was completely overcome when I discovered that we had won the Medium Restricted. So that’s us qualified for the Championships at the Spring Nationals 2015 at both Elementary and Medium level – Pete really is a Hero!”

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