Chloe Vell is our latest addition to the Horse & Hound stable of bloggers. Chloe, 15, juggles representing Britain internationally at junior level with school and a part-time modelling career
Hello, I’m Chloe Vell. Welcome to my new Horse & Hound blog. Let me introduce myself.
I am a 15-year-old dressage rider, juggling school, part-time modelling, training and competitive riding.
After learning my basics at Bank Farm riding school, I got my first pony at the age of seven. Called Kelsey, she was a 13.2hh mare bought from a local farmer. She used to charge off with me in the joint work when we were showing, so it was then I decided dressage was worth a try.
I enjoyed taking part in all disciplines through my local pony club, East Cheshire, but I loved dressage the most. In time I moved on to bigger ponies including Duntarvie Catalan, a 14hh part-bred Welsh pony, who was a superstar but also very cheeky! Together we became Pony Club Dressage to Music Champions and competed in my first FEI competition. He really taught me how to ride (or should I say stay on!).
At the age of 12 I moved on to Danger 36 (Homer), a 15yr old Westfalian dressage schoolmaster, who had been to the pony Europeans. Not long after I was selected for my first international abroad for Great Britain, at Pompadour CDI in France. That was the first of our four international competitions together.
When I was 14, my parents decided it was time for me to move on and buy a horse. After looking at multiple horses, home and abroad, we found Kaja di Valentina (Kaja, pictured below) in the UK. She was a seven-year-old Hannoverian by K2 out of a Weltmeyer mare, who is talented, but very hot. I have learnt a lot moving from a pony to a horse and we are starting to build a really strong partnership together.
In our first year we won the advanced medium restricted title at the British Dressage Summer National Championships. I was then accepted on to the British Equestrian Federation excel talent programme and selected for the Great Britain prime squad [for junior riders scoring 70% and above from international judges]. I have competed in two internationals for Great Britain with Kaja at Biarritz CDI and Addington CDI with top 10 placings in both. I am so lucky to have found Kaja – she has opened up so many opportunities for me.
I am thrilled to have been given two more rides recently. Both of them are six-year-old pony stallions: one palomino called Classics Charmeur (Charm) who is owned by Emma Middlehurst; and one chestnut, Le Chiffre (Peanut), owned by Samantha Brown. I’m going to be bringing them on to get them established at FEI level for future pony riders.
During my most recent competition at Addington CDI over Easter, I stayed with my trainer Lucy Cartwright as we continue our preparations for the British Dressage championships and more international shows with Kaja. I am hoping to have Charm and Peanut ready to compete in their first FEI competitions in the Premier League show at Keysoe towards the end of this month. And in between I’ve been to London for a photo shoot for a beauty feature in the August issue of Bliss magazine, so watch out for that.
If you’re going to the BHS convention in April please come and say hello as I will be riding Kaja as an advanced medium demonstrator with international dressage judge and trainer Stephen Clarke.
In my next blog I’ll let you know how training and competition is progressing and there’s also some exciting news to come on the modelling front, so watch this space… In the meantime it’s back to school and internal exam revision – happy days!