A dressage horse gave an impressive national championships performance, despite a nasty stable accident just weeks before securing her place at the event.

Keri Bishop’s Danish warmblood mare Ekko Christianslund Gevalia (Gevalia) climbed out of her stable window on 27 July, sustaining wounds to her hind legs and belly.

The 11-year-old by DeNoir was spooked by a neighbouring farmer’s sheep, who had escaped from their field.

X-rays revealed she had not been seriously harmed, but she needed rest to allow the cuts to heal.

“Her legs were swollen and the cuts kept opening every time she walked,” Keri told H&H.

Keri was due to compete in the medium gold regional final at Bury Farm on 10 August and was only able to get back on the mare the day before the event.

“I had to compete after one 20-minute schooling session in the space of two weeks,” she said.

“A friend of mine who runs Dallas Burston polo grounds’ British Dressage competitions let me hire their arena with white boards the day before so at least she had seen an arena.

“The only thing I could do was go with what I had and not completely freak out that we were so unprepared.

“We had a few little blips in my test but was thrilled to score 69% and be placed third to qualify for the national championships.

“Luckily Gevalia isn’t a spooky horse at competitions so she was just really chilled out — almost too chilled out and in holiday mode.”

Keri and Gevalia went on to have a successful national championships last week, competing in the medium gold and the advanced medium, for which they had qualified directly at a premier league.

“Thankfully we were more prepared for the nationals,” said Keri.

“We came 11th in medium gold with 70% and 10th in advanced medium gold with 69%. To do that among some of the best riders in the UK and the world was absolutely amazing and I’m so proud of her.”

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This was Gevalia’s first championships and Keri is hoping she will do even better next year.

“She’s a really lovely character with a heart of gold,” she added.

“Her stable window will be remaining closed from now on!”

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