1st July 2017 by Larchfield Community
Debbie and Stephen are regular riders and competitors at the Unicorn Riding Centre which is literally a hop over Larchfield's back fence. On 4th June they set off for Richmond Riding Centre to compete in a dressage class with the chance to qualify for the RDA National Championships.
Dressage is a skilled piece of riding where horse and rider perform a series of predetermined movements from memory. The horse is expected to respond smoothly to the rider's commands while the rider should appear relaxed and effort-free.
It was a glorious day and a pleasant drive up to Richmond and we ended up following the horse box that contained their ride for the day - Thunder. After arriving at Richmond there was just time for a quick look at the arena before Debbie was first up in the dressage class with Stephen riding third. As the class was quite a big one we went to the cafe afterwards for some refreshments and to watch the other competitors.
Just before lunch all the morning riders were ushered into a room with a table laden with rosettes. The results were announced and Debbie and Stephen had both achieved excellent scores with Stephen scoring high enough to qualify for a place at the National Championships.
The RDA National Championships will take place across the weekend 14th - 16th July at Hartpury Equestrian College in Gloucestershire. Stephen will be supported at the competition by his dad Colin and is due to ride on the 16th. Stephen has also automatically qualified for an additional class - dressage to music. For this Stephen will design his own dressage test to music of his choice; as a dedicated Status Quo fan it will come as no surprise that Stephen's chosen track is 'You're in the Army Now'.
Stephen is one of 12 riders from the Unicorn Centre to have qualified for the National Championships which is a remarkable achievement.
Good luck Stephen from everyone at Larchfield and we look forward to hearing about your adventures upon your return.