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Successful training camp in Beijing - see right.

August 2007

Confirmation of a place at KBIS Para Dressage Rider Final


I was pleased to receive my letter from British Dressage recently, confirming that I have qualified for the National Para Dressage Rider Championship for the 9th consecutive year. We tend to stay at Stoneleigh for a couple of days so that we can watch lots of dressage. As always, the Championships coincide with my birthday, so I will enjoy the opportunity to treat myself at the trade stands!

The horses have had a well-earned break following the World Championships, but will start serious work for the Nationals soon.

You can see who else has qualified as the entries get posted online at www.bdchampionships.com.

Paralympic Acclimatisation Camp in Beijing

22 August - 3rd September

I will set off on my trip to China in just over a week's time along with 36 other athletes and 30 support staff from the Paralympic Council of Ireland, for our Acclimatisation Camp. I am almost ready to pack everything and I have had all my jabs - now I know how Indi feels when he has his bi-annual vaccinations!


Eilish, Breda and James are the other three riders attending the camp, and we will be accompanied by our chef Adeline Brannigan and trainer Donie McNamara. The plan is for us to ride up to twice a day on borrowed horses (depending on the suitability of the horses). The weather will be hot and humid and we expect it will be quite draining to ride every day in these conditions. I've been given a couple of pairs of lightweight cotton breeches by John Whitaker International, and will be taking plenty of thin riding tops. The officials will be monitoring our progress during training and it should be a very useful exercise for planning towards the Paralympics. I have been practicing drinking more water as it will be easy to become dehydrated.

I'm sure it will be a unique experience and I was pleased to find out we will be going on one or two sightseeing trips to soak up the Chinese culture.

While I'm away, my horses will go to Moody's for training in preparation for the forthcoming BD Nationals. I'll need several days to recover from the trip to Beijing as I expect that the travelling will be very tiring, but I should have time to fit in one final competition for extra practice just before the Nationals.

**Update from Beijing - 25th August**

Arrived safely in Beijing. We started riding yesterday and I was riding a horse called Happy.  It was very hot and we worked indoors.  Today I rode a different horse and we may be trying new horses tomorrow.  The horses are all riding school horses and have no idea what it means to be on the bit!  

 Photos courtesy of Bruce Wardrop

I can pick up my emails at paraequestrian@hotmail.co.uk and it's great to hear news from people back home.


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