Chloe Vell’s dressage blog: Revising for GCSEs after disappointment in Holland

  • Well, since my last blog I travelled to an international competition in Holland in my school holiday. We travelled well and arrived in fine form in the sunshine.

    Many of my friends were competing so there was great camaraderie from the Brits.  Kaja was super in her schooling session and we looked forward to the next day as it was an early start for the arena walk, then juniors were first to go each day.

    We had an interesting warm-up the day of the team test as 2 classes were warming up in a 20×60 arena with a wild horse lunging over the hedge from us, a full horse-walker and excited horses being turned out into the field beside the warm-up arena.

    Nothing in the UK seems to prepare our horses for this experience and many of the GB team suffered a tense warm-up.  Perhaps we should be looking at this in our preparation. Are we too quiet around our British competitions?

    Despite this Kaja was soft and expressive, but also very excitable and I found it difficult to control all her excitement through the test and made costly errors. It was our first outdoor international of the year and an interesting time of year for an excitable mare, but I still felt disappointment in my scores, which were lower than I had expected even with the errors and I knew they would be scrutinised.

    I came from the highs of a personal best at Addington CDI to an all-time low score. Partly it was down to my mistakes, but it was partly that all the class was low scoring. What was I saying last week about enjoying the highs because there are fewer of them?!

    Kaja decided to be completely “hyper” in the music. It started well until the canter work when she took over control galloping off and doing one-times on a circle. She has never done a change before without being asked so I was taken by surprise!


    So I had to recover from the disappointing show results and get back to revision. It’s tough, but that is the sport.

    Kaja then got to play out as the fields have dried out enough for turn out and I got to relax into my revision (ha). I have lots of decisions to face in my future and all I am aiming for at the moment is a good set of GCSEs and to ride my lovely horse to the best of my ability.

    I felt sad after Holland but on reflection, I am just so amazingly lucky to have the opportunities to ride for my country on my inexperienced horse. She is just the best to me so I am grateful to all who surround me on my journey and support me.

    UnknownMy modelling has had to take a little break due to time pressures and I have disappointingly had to turn down big jobs in Paris and Germany. Meanwhile, on the positive side my partnership with my sponsors, Cavalleria Toscana, has grown as my image has travelled worldwide with the brand and I am so grateful for their support.

    I have wanted to combine my modelling with my riding as it is useful to equestrian companies and I thank Four Seasons Equestrian and Cavalleria Toscana for this opportunity.

    I now have Easter to revise and train and focus on Saumur CDI before my exams begin.


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