A grand prix debut is in sight for a 14hh Irish cob who has been wowing dressage judges.
Sam Turner bought the now 16-year-old skewbald gelding Cuffstown Rumble (Billy Wizz) as a five-year-old to do some dressage, but he has exceeded all expectations.
Last month, (10 May) Sam and Billy Wizz did their first inter I test at Keysoe, scoring 63.16% and winning their section.
Sam said a British Dressage camp they attended in April was instrumental to their progress.
“I was taught by Mark Ruddock and he worked really well for me and gave me a huge confidence boost,” she told H&H.
“There’s more in the inter I test that keeps him together [than the lower levels]. We scored a 68% at camp at that level.
“Now we are trying to teach him piaffe. He can passage all day long and the piaffe is coming.
“Doing a grand prix would be a dream come true. Our dream was to wear a top hat and tails but now I feel like I’m within reach [of doing a grand prix test].”
Billy Wizz is schooled no more than three times a week and enjoys going on beach rides.
“He’s a least eventing fit if not better,” added Sam who comes from a point-to-point background and runs her own Hertforshire-based livery yard of 25 horses.
“He’s a cracking pony and a character. He knows how good he is.”
Sam has set up her own Facebook page, Sam Turner Dressage, which has been helping to inspire other riders on less typical dressage horses.
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“That makes it extra nice for me — we’ve inspired so many people,” said Sam.
“It shows if you’re prepared to put in the time and effort it can be done without spending a lot of money on a horse.
“We don’t always get it right but my partner has been brilliant supporting us, as well as everyone at the yard.”
Don’t miss next week’s cob special (6 July 2017), where we celebrate the greatest cobs of all time to have graced the show ring — and find out why cobs make the perfect family pony