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July 2006

July has been a fantastic month for me as I have more than achieved my main aims for the year which were:

1. To represent Ireland at the Hartpury CPDI3*

2. To ride Winnie at the RDA Nationals

3. To qualify for the KBIS Championships

Hartpury CPDI*** International Para Dressage Championships

We had a great time at Hartpury in my first competition representing Ireland, and I achieved two 6th places with 67.4% and 65.4%, and on the final day was 5th in the kur with 70.0%.

Eilish Byrne was the only other Irish rider competing and she also had a successful show, in her first international outing having been reclassified from a Grade III to a Grade II.  

Eilish and her Dutch-bred mare Oberlina completed two powerful yet polished tests in the Team and Individual Championship tests, scoring 69.2% (5th place) and 69.5%(4th place) respectively.

14 nations attended the competition which was a test event for the Para Dressage World Championships which will take place at Hartpury in 2007. 

Eilish and me

Both myself and Eilish are aiming to compete at the Paralympic qualifying competition in Moorsele, Belgium in September where we hope to field a full team, and at next year’s World Championships.

We were supported by Chef d’Equipe, Adeline Brannigan, of Para Equestrian Ireland, and top Irish dressage rider Anne-Marie Dunphy who acted as team trainer at the event, as well as competing on two horses herself. Many thanks to both of them for their help.


RDA Nationals, 15 - 16 July

We set off back down to Hartpury on Friday 14th July for the RDA National Championships. There was a whole gang of us going down for the weekend from Yorkshire & Cleveland as I think around 17 riders qualified, which is fantastic!


I helped out on Saturday, and took Winnie to ride in the Open Grade III championship and Kur on Sunday. It was my first EVER competition on Winnie so all I could hope was that she would behave herself.

RDA National Champions
(Courtesy of Soley Photos)

As it turned out, Winnie excelled herself and we won the class with 71.8% to become RDA National Champion (Grade III) .

Me with Anthony Head
(Courtesy of Soley Photos)

In the afternoon, Winnie was so tired with all the traveling and the heat that she ran out of steam in the Kur, but we still managed to win the Open section. This was a great start for Winnie's competitive career with me so lets hope she keeps up the good work!


KBIS Qualifier, 26th July, Myerscough

Winnie's next competition after the RDA Champs was the KBIS qualifier at Myerscough College, near Preston on 26th July. There are only 3 qualifiers for the KBIS championships which take place at the Blue Waters National Dressage Championships, and this was the only one I could attend.

Nice Halt!
(Courtesy of Soley Photos)

There was quite a large turn out as lots of people realised it was their last chance to qualify. In the Derby Test (warm up) Winnie was a bit lazy but still managed to win the class. I also took Indi to this competition to give me two chances to qualify and I came 2nd and 3rd on my 2 horses in the KBIS class, behind Debbie Criddle riding Sophie Wells' Derwen Rondevous.

My score of 63.85 means I have qualified for Stoneleigh for the 8th year running. I can only ride one horse in the final so if all goes well in the next few weeks, I would like to take Winnie as it will be good experience for her.


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