My name is Rose Hugh smith and I am a 15 year old dressage rider. I currently have my European Team Pony, Holsteins Derwisch (Wisch), a 10 year old German Reit pony and my 10 year old 16.3 Oldenberg, Florentino (Flo).
I have had a very busy last 18months, Wisch and I have done 9 Internationals, placing in the top ten in 11 classes, the ultimate being part of the Bronze medal winning team at the Pony Europeans in Arezzo last July. We have had a season of highs and lows as in every sport. Wisch and I have scored 74% from a German judge in Saumur, France and have encountered some mishaps in Kapellen. I am thrilled to be this year’s reserve for the Europeans in Millstreet Ireland.
Wisch has been wonderful this season with his overall way of going improving immensely, so we thought he deserved a holiday of hacking and stretching. He has also claimed a title of the “biggest time waster”, He will trick anyone into spending hours in his stable caring to his every need, he often loves to have his Equilibrium Vita-munch to nibble on when he comes in from the field and is very reluctant to leave his stable without being stretched, needless to say he has the biggest personality and ego I have ever encountered in a pony! Wisch has tried his best all season and has worked very hard so it has been important that after the final selection trial at Wellington Premiere League, where we were placed 3rd, he had some time off to bring him back refreshed for some focused training with team trainer Peter Storre before the European training camp. We have now qualified for the Regionals at Medium Open with Wisch and I am yet undecided whether we will compete.
Flo and l have enjoyed our first season together winning the majority of our shows. He is a very hot and nervous horse so gaining his confidence is key. Flo and I have established a strong bond together as he trots up to me in the field and likes to fall asleep on me when I try to muck him out before I go to bed! I was beyond thrilled to qualify him for the Regionals at both Medium Open and Advanced Medium Restricted. Before competing at the Regionals, I will be competing at the Home Internationals at Mt.Ballan in Wales for the Central BYRDS team. We will be doing the Medium for the team and the Junior FEI as an individual. Flo enjoys his changes a lot so I will need to concentrate especially on the counter canter in the Medium. Flo has also improved leaps and bounds particularly after we rode him in the Antares saddle, it freed his shoulders and allowed him to come up through the withers. I have to say Flo is a lover of bling as his face lights up whenever he sees his stunning bridle from Wolds Exclusive Bling, although this is not too surprising as what dressage horse doesn’t love a bit of sparkle?
Both Wisch and Flo have had a successful season and I can’t wait for the competitions ahead! The home Internationals will be the first show I ride in my new Parlanti boots from Paul Morgan Equestrian as my recent Parlantis’ are rather short due to my growth spurt. The support I have had this season is amazing and I wish I could thank each person individually. Red Horse products have been wonderful and I now swear by their products. But I wouldn’t be where I am without my wonderful trainer Emma Leech and Gareth Hughes and pony team trainer Peter Storr.
Wisch and Flo are a very troublesome pair and love nothing more than to race each other in the field and play over the fence, sometimes being joined by my fathers’ retired polo pony Capalan. Both of them have such huge but different personalities and bundles of talent. I am very lucky to have such wonderful horses to ride and for the support I have received.
As I am doing GCSEs, I have free periods which I use these to go and ride as this way I don’t miss any lessons and I get to ride in the daylight! Heathfield is very good at sending me work when I go Internationals or miss any lessons. I try to do the work at the show but as I would rather ride, watch and be with friends, this can be a challenge and I mainly catch up missed work in the Free periods I have in the morning and at study time at the end of the day.
I go to school with my older sister Lily who is 17, she helps me by explaining what to expect at GCSEs and is always supportive of my riding. I also have an older brother called Piers who is 19. He is very understanding of my riding and helps me with my sponsor proposals. He is a very good sailor and has just recently returned from the Britain and Ireland race where he was very successful. As my brother and I are both competitive and both compete at the top level in our sports, we get along very well.