Chloe Vell’s dressage blog: Freedom at last!

  • The past few weeks have been hectic with competing and completing my A Levels.

    In my last blog I was about to go to Somerford Premier League with Kaja and Lola who had only been with me for a very short time but I wanted to learn what she was like in this environment as quickly as possible.

    There aren’t so many Prix St Georges (PSG) competitions locally so it is essential to use the premier leagues.

    Day one was a challenge with Kaja having a very early start time. But she performed beautifully coming first with over 65% which is a new level for her.

    On taking Kaja home after her test to drop her off and pick up Lola for the same class, we had a tyre blow out of all things!

    A local company came and did the fastest tyre change ever seen and the organisers kindly let us go in at the end of the class but still we had only approximately 10 minutes to warm up which for a 17hh+ horse at PSG is not ideal! Therefore, our test was not the best we can do.

    The next day, I was keen to get it right with Lola. Erin Williams, who owns her, came to help me with the warm up and as moral support.

    Lola was fantastic and scored 66.5% showing much promise for the future — one judge gave us over 69%.

    Later that day we enjoyed the hospitality of the show with a champagne reception while watching the first few of the PSG freestyle.

    Somerford put on a fabulous event with beautiful arenas and surfaces with warm northern hospitality. If you have never been, I would definitely recommend you pay it a visit.

    Kaja was last to go in the PSG freestyle class at 9pm and we felt a little lonely in the warm up which was challenging. She produced a lovely test to finish in fourth place and she enjoyed the spectators patting her on their way home. Overall, a busy but successful trip.

    The next day my mum and I boarded a flight to Pisa where my sponsors, Cavalleria Toscana (CT), were having a special event. But first we needed to get there early for a shoot in the afternoon before their gala dinner.

    I joined several showjumping stars such as Maikel van der Vleuten and Marcus Ehning and I also had another special surprise, modelling the dressage clothing with Swedish Olympic star Partrik Kittel and ex-footballing legend Juan Sebastian Veron.

    Modelling with Patrik Kittel

    Modelling with Patrik Kittel

    The gala dinner was in the evening and featured a release of their 2017 collection. I was required to show the clothes on the catwalk while my mum had the pleasure of eating dinner with Patrik Kittel and many CT colleagues. It was a real treat for both of us and I am so lucky to have such great sponsors that feel more like family.

    Walking the catwalk

    Walking the catwalk

    Once home I travelled to Carl Hester’s yard to be part of an amazing experience doing a photo shoot with Carl and Valegro and my friend Erin Williams and also Ben Neal. The new Valegro clothing range is lovely in blueberry colours to support our amazing British Olympic horse and wishing him luck in Rio. I was so proud to be asked to do it and it also meant I got a different modelling experience.

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    Sadly it was then back to the books for three weeks of hard graft with challenging exams in psychology, biology and maths, broken only by the chance to ride my three horses daily.

    It was such a grind but now they are all over and I get to enjoy a long summer break followed by a fabulous year out away from academia, starting with a rest for the horses as I have signed to model in Milan for two weeks in September. I’ll keep you posted!


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