Chloe Vell’s dressage blog: Exams and sport, sport, sport

  • It’s been a busy time since my last blog. I had my mock GCSE results which I was really pleased with, although I do need to brush up on a couple of subjects. It’s a difficult balance to be missing school to ride at international training/competitions and then having to catch up afterwards, but I need to achieve the best marks I can this year as there is no going back — these results will stay with me a lifetime!

    We entered another prix st georges (PSG) competition as I really wanted to try to qualify Kaja for the summer regionals before the international season kicks in and we get too busy.

    Having only one horse to ride means you have to be disciplined and plan the important shows without exhausting the horse — especially as Kaja is still only 9 years old. 

    I hope that other owners might offer rides, but it doesn’t seem to happen so much in the UK for younger riders which is a great shame. In Europe there are a lot more owners willing to let junior and young riders compete their horses as it is of benefit to profile the younger horses on the way up and gives opportunities to younger riders to improve.

    ‘We must all be mad’

    When the competition day arrived, yet again it was terrible weather and I agree with Henrietta Anderson’s comments in H&H (13 February) where she said we were being blown sideways in the changes!

    It seems to have been the story of winter 2013/14; I did consider we must all be mad riding outside in that and no wonder there were so many withdrawals. It produced many interesting tests but I was really pleased with Kaja concentrating in the wind and I made a couple of rider errors in my tempi changes as she got more excited, but scored 67.3% and qualified for the regionals, happily in 2 outings.

    chloe v3We then went on holiday at half-term — skiing in Chamonix. A final break before competing, revision and exams take me through to August. It was lovely to see the sunshine and have a laugh on the slopes.

    chloe v1A couple of days were a bit scary as low cloud meant struggling to try to stay on the piste and get back without being able to see the markers!

    It was great to have a week with my family as I am often away training and competing and my brother tends to stay at home.

    ‘A burst lip for my efforts’

    I returned late on a Friday night so that I could travel to Cardiff with my county netball team at 6am the following day to play against the Welsh National u17 side. It was a tough match which my team did not win, but we learned a lot and enjoyed watching the super league seniors playing after us. My snow-legs managed to hold up but I got a nice burst lip for my efforts!

    chloe v

    Now season preparations continue in earnest. Having received news from the selectors of our nomination, we will be competing in our first international competition of the year at Addington in Buckinghamshire on 20 March.

    It is a fabulous show and a chance for british spectators to see an international with all our British riders from ponies to grand prix. Well worth a visit so, if you can, please come and support our teams.


    You may like...