A young dressage rider has got her competition career off to a good start – by winning her first rosette at the age of 10 months.

Darcy Ella Makin came fifth at a show in aid of the Poppy Appeal on Remembrance Sunday (13 November), riding Shetland pony Super Splash.

With a little help from her friends — mum Jade Campey and cousin Victoria Campey who owns Splash — Darcy achieved a seven for every movement.

“I was super-proud,” Jade told H&H.

“I’ve got three horses and Darcy’s always been around them; she loves them, and all animals. I’d never force her into riding but she absolutely loved every minute of it.”

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Darcy enjoys a breather on competition day

Jade explained her cousin’s parents Liz and Paul Campey own Mill Lane Stables, in North Yorkshire, where the show was held.

“They do normal tests at their shows but they adapted one of the walk-trot tests for a lead rein class,” she said.

“It was a three-minute test and Darcy loved every moment, you can see by the photos, although she prefers going faster!

“My dad was there and he’s the least horsey person ever, but afterwards he said he was really proud and I think he had a tear in his eye.”

Darcy had to contend with a tweed jacket that was slightly on the large size, although her cream jodhpurs appeared a perfect fit, but the judge was clearly impressed by her performance.

“The comments included ‘cuteness overload’ and ‘rider great, leader and holder shocking!” said Jade.

“It finished by saying the leader and holder required sports bras!


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“Splash was great too. Most Shetlands’ main aim seems to be to get you off but he’s so laid-back, you can do anything with him.

“It was great. I’m not really into dressage but will be really pleased if she carries it on.”