Saturday November 17, 2018
Area 9 Dressage @ Frampton August 2017

After a very early start for some of us and the prospect of a very wet and windy day, 25 riders set off to Frampton on Severn to dance their way down the centre line at the Area 9 Dressage Competition in the hope of qualifying for the National and Grassroots Championships.  We had a few last minute changes but on the day, an Open team, 2 Intermediate teams, 2 Novice teams, a Grassroots team and an individual all strutted their stuff with some fantastic team results and some super individual ones as well.

There was a brilliant whole team atmosphere amongst the girls, some riding for the Pony Club for the first time, several riders having gone up a level and so out of their comfort zone and two riders who were there despite a nasty fall and an awful bug. Lauren and Zara, along with Sascha Stokes were quick to help groom and plait Amelia’s pony as poor Amelia and her mum were extremely fragile. Amy, having stepped into the breach following Imo’s withdrawal due to a kick to her hand, soldiered on, despite having a nasty fall herself the day before.

We got the giggles slightly (or maybe that was just me) putting up the gazebo, but again, team work prevailed and many hands make light work. I would now like to think we can whip it up in record time next time!

The promised dreadful weather thankfully didn’t quite materialise and most managed to ride in relatively nice weather, on superb grass arenas in front of the awesome back drop of Frampton Court. Vic was on hand to warm up the novice team in the morning, and Steffi came along to help the Intermediates and Grassroots riders in the afternoon thank you so much ladies, your calm, experience, and knowledge was hugely appreciated by all.

So how did we do? Well, it took a VERY long time to find out, but I am very proud to report that the Open Team of Tash B, Liv S, Sasha G and Alex H won and qualified for the Nationals. Liv finished 5th in her section with Alex just .3% off a ribbon and Sasha was 4th in her section with Tash, on her sisters pony also riding a very respectable test but just missing out on a place.  After an even longer and very nail-biting wait for the novice results, the Beaufort Rubies made up of Grace T, Lauren D, Rachel H and Tegan W won and therefore qualified for the champs and the Beaufort Diamonds, made up of Beatrice M, Millie K, Molly S and Zara BT finished 5th. Scores were extremely tight for 2-5th being down to tiny differences in the collectives so the Diamonds didn’t quite manage to qualify this time. There were some super individual placings, Grace was 1st in her section, Rachel 2nd in hers, Bea and Millie 3rd, Lauren 5th, and Molly, Tegan and Zara all had super scores too, just being pipped of a prize. These are fantastic results for everyone as there were 27 teams!

It was then over to the Intermediates to do their thing. We had two new teams at this level with riders having moved up from novice. AGAIN, some brilliant results! The Beaufort Sapphires made up of Georgie G, Isla G, Milly H and Poppy R won their section with Georgie finishing 1st, Milly 2nd, Poppy 3rd and Isla just pipped for a place. The Beaufort Emeralds made up of Amy C, Lottie H, Maddie A and Molly B, all new to Intermediate did not place but all riders rode great tests with all receiving very respectable scores. Lottie finished 5th and Molly B finished 6th in their sections. These new intermediate riders showed a great deal of promise and I am very excited about their prospects for next year!

FINALLY, our gorgeous Garnets rode their tests with the aim of qualifying for the Grassroots Regional Finals at Rectory Farm. Amelia H, still rather pale, Daisy D, Iona S, Jemima K and India HB as an individual all rode their socks off with the team finishing 3rd and qualifying for the champs, Amelia managing to win her section despite being so poorly and Iona finishing 4th in her section.

I am so very proud of EVERYONE who competed at the areas, placed or not. Everyone had prepared well, many moving to a higher level than they’d ridden before and most importantly everyone looked after and supported not only their own teams but the other riders as well. The grassroots team had a couple of setbacks during the day however, I am SUPER PROUD of the way that they helped, supported and looked after each other. For those so young, a huge amount of maturity and team spirit was shown by them all.

Onwards and upwards everyone there is some very promising talent amongst you. I do hope you keep the dressage bug and look forward to seeing you out and about again  you see, DRESSAGE CAN BE FUN!!