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13th June 2017. I am now a BD List 1 Judge!!! Following the final two sections of the BD List 1 judges exam which I took on 10th June, I have just heard, that I have successfully upgrade to List 1. This means I am eligible to judge all dressage classes at all levels in Britian, up to and including the Olympic dressage test. I couldn’t be more happy (and relived) that all my hard work has paid off and I have upgraded, especially as I ‘skipped’ a level and went directly from List 2 to List 1, without becoming a List 2A judge first. Truly over the moon with the result and now looking forward to judging some Grand Prix tests for real!
9th June 2017. The fifth BD Premier League Show of the year and once again I made my way there and organised some training ahead of my List 1 exam. This show was held at Wellington Riding and I was lucky enough to be sat in with Trond Asmyr, FEI Judge from Norway (& ex-director of dressage for the FEI) while he judged the Intermediare 2 class – it was another valuable experience and I’m now feeling very happy and comfortable ‘judging’ at these levels … now roll on the final parts of the List 1 exam!
28th May 2017. As if this past week couldn’t have been any more exciting, today I went to the fourth BD Premier League Show of the year, this time at Somerford Park where I was to be ‘button pushing’ (inputting the live scores) for the Grand Prix class. When organising this training, at no point had I asked the show organiser who my judge would be, so imagine my delight when I arrived and found I would be in the judges hut with Stephen Clarke, who is not only a top FEI Judge, but has judged at the last two Olympics (and is quite possibly my idol when it comes to judging!) Then top off a fantastic afternoon spent learning with Stephen, I then was joined by Sarah Pidgley (another FEI judge) as she judged the Under 25 Grand Prix, so it was a truly wonderful learning experience – even if ‘button pushing’ was a little daunting at times, when the iPad did not always want to cooperate!
25th May 2017. Another super BD training day, this time with a ‘Yard Visit’ to Laura Tomlinson’s base, where I was privileged to watch a variety of top class horses work with their riders, including two GB Team hopefuls for this years European Championships! It was inspiring to see behind the scenes and the day to day activities at such and incredible centre, plus we even had the chance to say hello to the now retired, Olympic team gold and individual bronze medal winning horse Mistral Horjis as he grazed outside Laura’s house.
24th May 2017. I took Tara for a 29 day ‘heartbeat’ scan this morning – and in a week with lots of exciting news, I can now tell you that Tara is in foal to the lovely young stallion, KL Mac. The foal is due on April 1st 2018 … so I’m keeping everything crossed for an exciting April Fool’s Day surprise.
22nd May 2017. Introducing my new horse ‘Louis’! I first met Louis as a 4 year old, when he attended a couple of Bath RC training session that I was teaching while being ridden by Laura Wetherall. Louis is now 9yo and working towards grand prix dressage movements in his training – and a simply charming horse!
19th May 2017. Some of you may know that Damo (Cold Diamond) has been on loan to a lovely junior rider Chloe Baker for the past couple of months, to allow Chloe to progress her dressage education while giving me more time to work towards the BD List 1 Judges exam … well I am thrilled to announce that Chloe is now the new owner of Damo! I’m so happy that they have been having such fun together and can’t wait to hear about their future adventures together.
13th May 2017. The third British Dressage Premier League Show of the year and this time I attended a really inspiring Grand Prix judge training session with Sarah Pidgley – I am now genuinely looking forward to taking my exam next month!
11th May 2017. A lovely evening spent practice judging the International Grand Prix Dressage class at the Royal Windsor Horse Show – a fantastic venue and a confidence boosting session as I now feel quite at home judging the Grand Prix test.
28th April 2017. The second British Dressage Premier League Show of the year and this time I was in the judges box at C writing for Dutch Olympic dressage judge Eddy de Wolff van Westerrode in the Grand Prix – exhausting, yet a fantastic experience at the same time!
18th April 2017. I attended British Dressage’s National Judges Convention at Addington. It was an interesting and educational day with top International Judges giving their feedback on some lovely tests.
17th-18th March 2017. More fantastic Grand Prix judge training this time during the International Grand Prix classes at Keysoe CDI. Formal judge training with David Trott on Friday night and the sitting in with Peter Storr while he judged the Freestyle on Saturday night – feeling very inspired now!
9th March 2017. An interesting day at the BD List 1 & 2 Seminar at Hurstbourne EC with Judy Harvey taking the course.
4th-5th March 2017. Two wonderfully educational days spent at Myerscough Premier League Show sitting in with many international dressage judges while they judged various Grand Prix level classes.
17th February 2017. Today was a real treat, as I attended a BD Training Day at Carl Hesters yard, where we were lucky enough to watch Charlotte Dujardin ride some of their exciting younger horses, all the way through the levels of training finishing with Valegro, while under Carl’s watchful eye. It was heavenly to spectate the ‘day to day’ training of such horses and a privilege to see so many stars of the future … watch out everyone, I’m feeling really inspired at the moment!
13th February 2017. Attended Charlie Unwin’s latest Sports Psychology lecture at Millfield this evening. As always Charlie leaves me studying my daily actions to see how I can progress my own performance, as well as that of my pupils – I always feel that it is of great benefit attending these talks and thoroughly recommend them to anyone who is interested in the psychology of improving our skills!
12th February 2017. A reminder of how wonderful my friends are! Today I was travelling Damo to our first show of the year, to take part in the BD Southern Winter Regional Championships in the Elementary Gold class, when sadly my lorry brokedown on the M3. A quick facebook appeal for help and many offers came through, which did allow us to get to our show, but sadly six and a half hours in the lorries meant Damo had lost this sparkle and energy in the test. That said, we still finished within 4% of second place, so not a total disaster! Now to get the lorry fixed and crack on with some advanced medium classes at our next shows.
24th January 2017. A fantastic start to 2017 – I have just found out that I have passed part 1 (the written paper) of the BD List 1 Judges Exam, which I sat at Hartpury on 15th January. The final parts of the exam will be at Wellington Premier League in the summer.
16th January 2017. Attended the BD Young Horse Seminar at Hurstbourne EC. A valuable day for judges, trainers and riders to discuss the progression of the horses development from just backed up to the new FEI 7yo classes.
12th January 2017. I have bought a new horse! Phoenix has just arrived this afternoon … photos and more details to follow soon!
11th January 2017 – attended the British Eventing Coaches Day at Unicorn. A wonderful day full of inspiration and discussion of XC course design with Eric Winter, dressage with Stephen Clarke and physiology with Charlie Unwin, many ideas to add to my own teaching in 2017!
10th January 2017 – an inspiring first training day of the new year, having travelled up to Northop College in Wales for a BD clinic with Stephen Clarke – I was due to be riding in the clinic but, as my lorry is currently at the garage, I had to learn from the grandstand instead!
11th December 2016. My final goal of 2016 was to ride an advanced medium test on Damo, so today we went to the show at Half Moon Stud to compete in Advanced Medium 85 – not only did we complete the test with clean flying changes, but I was thrilled by how responsive Damo felt in the arena and very pleased to score 69.56% for second place! A real confidence boost and great to know all our home work is paying off … now to plan more tests at the level next year!
7th December 2016 – attended the British Eventing Masterclass with Lucinda Green ‘Cross Country Riding for Success’ at Merrist Wood – watch out pupils, more new ideas coming your way!
28th November 2016. Took Damo to a BD Test Riding Clinic to run through the test for the Elementary Regional Championships, as I have struggled to find any shows using E59. It was a busy test, but I was thrilled to receive a mark of over 70% and it now gives me plenty to work on before the Regionals in February.
20th November 2016 – attended the British Dressage National Convention at Hartpury – I do love all the training opportunities open to riders, trainers and judges at this time of year!
16th November 2016. Damo and I attended a BD Biomechanics Training Day at Crofton Manor EC with a mounted training session with Russell from Centaur Biomechanics, followed by a dismounted Pilates session with a fully qualified physiotherapist. Lovely to go home with some positive homework & more fresh ideas for our training sessions.
6th November 2016 – attended the British Dressage Training Camp with Peter Storr and Ferdi Eilberg as a spectator for the day, it’s always a treat to watch top trainers in action & hopefully take home a few new ideas too.
5th November 2016 – attended the British Dressage Music Freestyle Seminar with Stephen Clarke – a fascinating day learning from one of the world’s top Dressage Judges.
3rd November 2016. Damo’s fourth elementary test with me … and we finished our qualification for the British Dressage Winter Regional Championships at Elementary Gold!
30th October 2016 – Judging at the BD Team Quest Finals at Bury Farm.
6th October 2016. BD show at Half Moon Stud to try two elementary tests with Damo – and we won them both! Now only 4 more points required to complete our Winter Regional qualification at this level.
2nd October 2016. BD show at Hartpury College. As Hartpury can be quite a daunting venue I dropped down to novice for this show & Damo continued his winning form by winning the gold section of both classes!
8th September 2016. My first show of 2016 (and Damo’s first BD since April 2011). We went to the BD Show at Half Moon Stud to just do one Elementary class – and we won the gold section on over 70% … truly thrilled to be back competing again!
5th August 2016. On my way to Gatcombe Park to judge at the Festival of British Eventing, Novice Open Championships – for the fourth year in a row!
14th July 2016. On my way to Badminton House to judge at the Badminton Dressage Championships!
15th June 2016. Sophie has just found out the result of her British Dressage Judges exam taken at Wellington Premier League last weekend … she passed and is now a List 2 Dressage Judge, so allowed to judge all classes up to and including Prix St Georges, all levels of British Eventing Classes & all Young Horse Classes!
10th August 2015. Apologies for the lack of regular updates on this page – I do give weekly updates via the facebook link above. However, I do have some exciting news to share with you all now … this weekend not only have I been judging at Gatcombe Festival of Eventing (for the third year in a row) but I’ve also moved house & yard back to Westwood, just south of Bradford on Avon. All horses appear very settled & I’m very happy to be back in the village that feels like ‘home’ to me & my horses.