Meet Emma Douglas, Podium Potential Para-Equestrian Dressage squad member, as she introduces herself and horse Solly as they tackle the world of International Para-Dressage.
I got involved in Para Dressage in 2010 after I sustained a spinal injury through a riding accident in 2005. I started out on my ex-eventer Cartoon Top Cat who took me to several international competitions and numerous National Championships, winning our first title last year at the 2014 Para Open Winter Championships. I bought Solly at the end of 2012 as my future international horse, I moved from Inverness to South Buckinghamshire in 2013 to base myself with Sacha Hamilton to have access to better training and be closer to competitions.
Between all this has taken me forward on to the World Class Programme as part of the Podium Potential squad for 2014-16! I’m very excited about what the future will bring!
APART aka Solly is a 16.2hh 10yo KWPN by Quite Easy, I've owned him for 2 1/2 years, and started competing him in Para Dressage in 2014. He is schooled to advanced medium level and is currently competing novice level with me.
Over the last month it's been full steam ahead. I competed at Hickstead Para Championships 26th - 27th June, getting consistent scores of 68%+ coming 3rd in the warm up and 4th on the championship day! I was selected for my first Para 3* International at Hartpury Festival of Dressage, which was a huge honour and also a massive learning curve for me! I've never competed at that level and against some of the world’s top para riders was just amazing. Unfortunately it wasn't our finest performance not helped by the lack of lights in the indoor school during our test on day one of the competition, so naturally Solly backed off me in the darkness. We managed 65%+ on both days and hoping to build on this at our next big show!
I've been selected to compete at our next international show at Bishop Burton on 4th - 8th August which is very exciting and something to work towards. Then next squad training is 15th and 16th August! Hopefully we will smash some targets!
Images courtesy of: Spidge Event Photography