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November 2006

GB World Class Start & Potential Trials

Good luck to all those riders in GB who are attending the World Class Start & Potential Selection Trials on 4th-5th November. I'm glad I don't have to attend these trials any more - it was never a very enjoyable experience and the Unicorn Centre in November can seem very cold and unwelcoming.

I think this year there will be a few changes to the squads. I hope everyone who still wants to compete internationally for GB manages to keep their place, and perhaps there will be one or two new additions to give them a bit of competition!

Australian Para Equestrian Long-List Announced

According to the Australian Paralympic website, the Australian Para Equestrian Selectors have announced the following long-list for the World Championships in Hartpury, July 2007:


Jan Pike
Grace Bowman
Kate Doughty
Georgia Bruce

Emma Bennett
Mary Ipkendanz
Marita Hird
Rob Oakley

1st Reserve
Sharon Jarvis

2nd Reserves
Nicole Kullen
Anne Skinner

They are currently seeking horses that can help them achieve top 3 placings.

Northern Equestrian

The Winter Para Trial qualifier classes at Richmond EC (aka Northern Equestrian) were CANCELLED. There were various complications which meant that the classes didn't run, and this means we will now need to travel much further to attend a qualifier.

See future dates for these and other qualifiers

Stephen Clarke clinic

We went to Birstwith on 6th November to watch a clinic by dressage rider and trainer Stephen Clarke. It was organised by Cathy Burrell and was an excellent evening. We watched Stephen training Cathy and two young riders on horses from Novice to Grand Prix level. It was interesting to see that Stephen concentrated on the basics with every horse - going forward willingly off the leg, good brakes and bend.

The demo started with Cathy on a lovely 4 year old mare and finished with her 15 year old campaigner, the Grand Prix horse, Spinners Double. He is a grey by the Thoroughbred Java Tiger, and when he first came into the arena he looked like any ordinary horse with fairly average paces. However, once Cathy had warmed him up and he was going forward he became a different horse with an amazing extended trot! He also performed excellent examples of pirouettes and flying changes and was a pleasure to watch.

Cathy trains the Yorkshire & Cleveland RDA Dressage Group and is a very experienced rider and trainer who helps us a lot. We saw Fiona Maynard at the demo and she was a little nervous as next day she was going for a lesson with Stephen Clarke at Cathy's. Hope it all went well!

Training in Ireland

My latest training session in Ireland was on 25th -26th November. It was arranged at short notice so I borrowed a horse on this occasion - a very nice 15hh called Indy!


We also had a session with the Paralympic Council of Ireland's Sports Psychologist which was very useful. It was good for everyone to get together. Grade I rider Breda and her new horse are starting to build a good partnership, which was very encouraging.

James and Eilish

James and Eilish
with Jessica Ransehousen from the USA

Jame Dwyer was was home from training in America and plans to go back after Christmas. There will be a Paralympic Qualifier in the US in May so some of us may fly out to join James for this, but it depends on finances etc.

Indy and Donie

My lesson on Indy with Donie

Donie McNamara was the trainer, and I also went up to New Moors in the North East of England for a lesson on my Indi with Donie a few days before this. He seems to have a knack for helping me get Indi going really well - he managed not to miss his flight this time!


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