I am so delighted that one of my horses (and my rider) has been honoured in such a way by Transitions and am so grateful for the support from the club.
I am very proud of Bessie and all that she has achieved both with her own and on my horses. At only 19, she looks set to have a wonderful career with horses and is just a delight to work with every day. She is always to take advice and works so hard to improve both herself and the horses with a calm and sensitive attitude.
Up until I started working for Heidi Emery at Hermitage Dressage, I had a general background with horses and was probably more focused on showjumping and eventing. On horses that I had trained myself, I have been a member of BEATS, completed a charity ride to Kalgoorlie as well as competing successfully up to 1* eventing, including the Diamond Class at Eventing in the Park.
I had just returned from 4 months riding in the Hunter Valley at Hunters Lodge show jumping stables when my jumping coach, Nellandra Henry, recommended me to as a good option for a general stable hand to Heidi. I started at Hermitage Dressage in May 2015.
I was also bringing on my young warm blood, Padbury Park Griffindor. Heidi happened to be a competition where I was competing with Gryffindor not long after I started working working for her and was impressed with how I rode him and was developing him. As a result, she initially asked me to sit on her thoroughbred mare (Over the Moon) and then asked me to try with Stately, whom she had been slowly bringing back into full work after some time off due to a muscle injury.
Stately is a very athletic 17h plus 8 year old German Sporthorse by Rich Charly (Rubenstein/Florestan) out of Palluca (Donnerchlag/Pardon). According to his pedigree, he has all of the 'rideable' genetics”which he uses sometimes! Stately is a quirky horse and it took some time for me to form a partnership as I adjusted to riding a horse of his exuberance.
Our first outing together was a clinic with Stefan Wolfe in July 2015 and I then worked with Heidi towards our first competition start which we completed in November 2015 with a start at Novice level at the SEC for a plus 70% win. I was super pleased with Stately that day and we realised that, despite all his quirks, he LOVED being a competition horse.
I then met Martina Hannover riding Stately at a clinic in January 2016 and decided to take up her offer to head to her stables in Germany and learn as much as I could to develop my skills in my newly found focus on dressage!
I had booked to leave Australia in May 2016 and we got to work with Stately making the most of the short time I had before I left. We competed successfully at the 2016 WA State Championships with top 10 placings at Novice level and just prior to my departure competed at the Perth Dressage Club May competition at the SEC. My first ever ride at Elementary level went well and then in difficult conditions Stately reminded us that he is a serious competitor and gave me a fabulous ride for a plus 75% win in the Novice.
Stately is a smart, clever but a quirky individual. He makes every ride a challenge but is always rewarding. He has taught me a lot, the main lesson being patience. Although he can be a little difficult to take out, at times, he has stepped up each time and made me very proud.