Shaun Mandy’s dressage blog: double win, Diva Camp and a missing Pringle

  • Dear Gorgeous Readers,

    As I write to you, I am basking in the glorious sunshine here at Forest View with a small Pinot at hand.

    ShaunandsarahbaddersIt has been a great weekend with fun at Badminton on Friday with my dear friend, Sarah Boon and then spending most of Saturday glued to the telly for the exciting cross-country.

    To place the cherry on top, Poppy (Dressage International Dompadour) and I won both the mediums at East Soley on Sunday! I needed to gain another five points in a qualifier and so had to score a minimum of 68%. We managed a 68.8% and so have qualified for the medium open summer regionals.

    This was Poppy’s third outing at medium level and so was thrilled with her, especially as she struggles to carry her own head from time to time!

    Adding to the day was that my lovely family came up from Bournemouth to support with my good friend, Sarah Keen, who is a star!

    Diva Camp

    So, when I left you last, Edward (Creamer) and I were on our way to Somerford Park, Cheshire to teach at the Active Rider Diva Camp. It was such fun and we had a laugh from the moment we set off until returning home.

    Shaun ed annastatiaThe Divas were brilliant and I taught 16 lessons on Saturday and the same on Sunday. On Saturday evening, Ed, myself and the gorgeous miss Annastasia Neale (who was also teaching for the weekend) enjoyed a fun-filled Prosecco night in the local town, Congleton.

    Jane Walker, president of Active Rider and also an absolute riot, has invited me back for next year’s camp so safe to say my training went down well.

    I also loved how super friendly people are in the North (if I can say Cheshire is north?!) You just have to walk into a Tesco express and you walk out with five new friend requests on Facebook!

    Training an eventer

    trainingalexshaunA couple of weeks ago, I went down to Somerset to train international event rider, Alex Bragg.

    Sarah Boon has her super talented KWPN six-year-old gelding, Esau (Spypark Ferro), by Creevagh Ferro, based with Alex. Sarah bought him from a UK dealer thin and weak and started his work before sending him to Alex in March last year.

    Alex has done a great job producing him and has been placed in all, but his first BE100 events. The weekend after my training session with Alex, he won his event at Bicton with Esua’s best dressage mark to date of 22.3!

    I also trained him with another one of his rides, The Night Traveller, who will be going intermediate soon and is a real little power house!

    I shall now be going to Bridgewater monthly to train Alex and his wife at Simmone Bragg’s friendly, professional event yard, Poplars Equestrian.

    Pringle goes missing

    PringlePringle decided to give me heart failure last week by disappearing! After scrolling through our yard CCTV to see when she was last spotted (just before 3pm with my farrier, Matthew Wilcock) phoning the police, posting on lostdog.com and Facebook, where more than 100 friends shared my post, she strolled up the garden at about 11pm!

    We believe, based on the colour of her coat, that she got lost between the wall of the indoor school and kick board. Burrowed her way in, but struggled to find her way back out! I really feared the worst and thought she had been stolen so was so relieved to have my little shadow back!

    Continued below…

    Read more of Shaun’s blogs

    New gear

    I am super excited as after chatting to Vanessa Fairfax at Badminton, I am going to one of the launch days of the new Fairfax bridle. She will give a talk on the science behind the bridles in the evening and then the following day, I will ride Poppy in her own double bridle and then Vanessa will fit the Fairfax one for me to try.

    At £600 a bridle, I am hoping there is an auto pilot button! Looking forward to feeling the results.

    Well, now that I have qualified for the regionals, the next month is going to be all about the training at home. I need to pin down the fabulous Mr Peter Storr for as many sessions we can fit in among his international judging and teaching schedule — he is always in another country!

    I have a lesson with him here on Thursday so will get some dates in the diary.

    The next operation in the pipeline is starting my BD UKCC level 3 coaching course. More news on that when I next write to you and a visit to my second home, Denmark, shall be taking place before that too!

    Until soon xx

    Body Mind Mastery quote: (I love how apt this is for riding!)

    Learn to think with the whole body – Taisen Deshimaru, swordmaster

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