Coaching grand prix horses as much as the highest degree is all the time a protracted, difficult however rewarding journey, particularly when you have labored with a horse proper from the beginning of their dressage profession. Once we watch established horses and riders acting at this elite degree, it may be simple to overlook the years of exhausting work that goes in to each single horse that has reached the top of the game.
So, typically, it’s good to have a look again and admire simply how far these horses – and their riders – have come. We delve by the archives to hunt out pictures of only a few profitable British horses, from after they have been simply setting out on their aggressive careers….
Gio (Apache x Tango)
Get pleasure from this throwback of the well-known Gio competing at his very first UK present (above), and his first with Charlotte Dujardin, again in February 2017. Charlotte and the then six-year-old gelding scored 74.4% in elementary 44 and 77.94% in elementary 53 that day. “Pumpkin” went on to turn out to be one in all Britain’s most profitable grand prix horses, profitable double bronze on the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, and silver and bronze medals on the European championships the identical yr. Gio is now serving to his present proprietor, 17-year-old Annabella Pidgley, be taught the grand prix ropes.
Habouche (Ampere x Sydney)
This pretty gray mare is likely one of the most fun grand prix horses on the British scene in the mean time, having made her debut at prime degree simply this yr with Anna Ross. “Holly” has already achieved some spectacular grand prix wins and placings, in addition to a triple worldwide center tour victory at Crozet DI, France, in August. She is a good instance of what good coaching and foresight can obtain, having seemed very completely different as a inexperienced four-year-old at her first present again in 2016 with Jess Ralton (above).
Rudy (Cancara x Julio Mariner)
Taking a horse from prelim proper as much as senior grand prix is all the time a powerful achievement for a rider, however particularly so when it’s earlier than you flip 25. That’s precisely what Lucy Amy has managed with the Holsteiner gelding Rudy. Rudy wasn’t supposed to be a dressage horse, however he has taken Lucy to the under-25 European Championships and competed each nationally and internationally at senior grand prix in 2022. He already seemed fairly sensible again when he was competing at prelim in 2014 (above), however it’s fascinating to see the event.
Into The Blue (Ublesco x Calvaro Z)
Into The Blue is an attention-grabbing instance of a horse who has been produced proper up the degrees as a result of he and rider Louise Bell had an extremely profitable profession on this planet of working hunters previous to transferring into dressage. It’s pretty to look again on the pair of them using their first dressage check (above), at elementary, again in 2011 as a part of a Horse & Hound self-discipline switching problem. Now we have adopted their journey proper as much as representing Britain on Nations Cup groups and at a few of the world’s largest worldwide reveals.
Headmore Bella Ruby (Belissimo M x Rubinstein)
Using and coaching a home-bred horse is a particular expertise, and one which Alice Oppenheimer is aware of all about, having ridden an ideal most of the gifted horses bred by her household’s Headmore Stud. Some of the thrilling of those, who just lately made her grand prix debut, is Headmore Bella Ruby, who’s out of the stud’s basis mare Rubinsteena. Bella has been a star since an early age, profitable a regional title at novice in February 2018 (above), however has actually come into her personal extra just lately as she has made her means as much as prime degree.
Valegro (Negro x Gershwin)
We couldn’t fail to incorporate arguably the best equine success story of all time. Valegro might need ended up a double Olympic champion and holder of all world data, however in his early days proprietor Carl Hester had reservations when it got here to his potential, together with whether or not it could be doable for him to be taught to gather his colossal canter. Get pleasure from this throwback to Valegro profitable the four-year-old nationwide championship in 2006 (above), ridden by Carl.
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