My Christmas came early, in the form of a new ride for 2016! I’m so grateful to the Lady Joseph Trust, formed in 2009 to buy horses for the UK’s elite para dressage riders, who have bought LJT Streisand for me to campaign. The beautiful 13 year old Westfalian mare, stable name Star, is by Show Star (Sandro Hit) and was previously produced and ridden by Michel Assouline up to FEI Intermediate I. Michel won many championships with Star, including the High Profile Hickstead Master Championships.
Tika and I were invited to compete as part of Team GBR in Doha (the show looks out of this world!) but after considering it for a few days I decided it would be more sensible to save Tika from flying and keep her focused on Rio.
My arena has had a bit of a new year makeover, and I’m extremely grateful to my sponsors Equestrian Direct who supplied the Flexi Ride surface and to Graham at King Pin arenas for laying the surface.
February has been a busy month so far, and we’re only half way through! We started with a busy few days at Squad Training with both Tika and Star, followed by the Equestrian Team GBR briefing for Rio at Bisham Abbey. Lots of potential Rio athletes all under one roof, going through the Olympic and Paralympic guidelines – the atmosphere was great! It looks set to be an amazing Paralympic Games, and I’m so excited to be campaigning for Rio.
Last week Tricia Bracegirdle from Childeric came out to fit Star with a new saddle, and the first proper ride I had in it was at a competition! Despite having had a hectic week, newbie Star (LJT Streisand) was an angel at a sunny but very cold Solihull RC and even though we’re still getting to know each other we scored a very respectable 71.45% in the team test and 73.05% in the championship test. A big thank you to Tricia who came along to support me and also to The Lady Joseph Trust for giving me the opportunity to ride Star.
We’re off to Squad Training again this weekend, and then gearing up for the Para Winter Championships at Vale View at the end of March. I’ve also just had the fantastic news that both Tika and Star have been selected for Deauville 3* in April, I’m so excited that both girls are going!