Sophie Wells dressage blog: Coming back down to earth with a bump

  • It’s been a bit of a roller coaster over the past couple of weeks since Holland.

    It was full steam ahead with the horses that had been left behind while we had been away. Unfortunately after a week back at home I had quite a bad fall.

    We all accept when getting on a horse that there is a risk, however you hope that it is a calculated one.  Safety is paramount.

    It was unfortunately a horse bought for a Grade 1a rider that I fell off, and completely out of nowhere I suddenly found myself on the floor.

    I was taken to hospital, and by the time the early hours of the morning arrived thankfully the x-rays of my back returned clear. There was just some good bruising, which is painful enough.

    Time was needed to heal, although we didn’t have much of that…with a week off riding (which never happens), I had to get back on board with Hickstead only a week away!

    I am grateful for the support I have from World Class Programme and the Lottery funding, as the team physio, Lucy Bell was able to come out to see me at home a couple of times. The team osteopath, Karen Robertson was also at Hickstead to strap me up and get me through the competition. I’m also lucky to have a great support team at home of sports massage and biomechanics coach Darren Bettison and osteopath Victor Henighan who got me moving again.

    Noki had to have one of his regular heart check ups, due to his various problems (which is why we found each other in the first place). We have had to keep a close eye on him. His specialist heart vet came to see him and thankfully all is ok and he is able to keep doing what he loves.

    Show time

    Hickstead went well. As I wasn’t feeling 100% Noki stayed at home, but I took Reece and Jorge to do the para classes, which is part of our final selection.

    Reece (pictured) had a bit of an upset in the first test, spotting someone popping through the hedge next to the arena. He went from one side to the other side of the arena so quickly, it was lucky I stayed on and that we stayed in the arena! However with not feeling great thanks my back already, it didn’t really help. I finished that movement, then was distracted by the pain and lost where I was going, so trotting a big circle in rising trot to get myself back together and continue. Thankfully Reece also regained concentration and finished the test well.

    Jorge then went in to show Reece how it was done and was on his best behaviour, to win the class by nearly 4% on 73.99%, ahead of Reece on 70%. The following day in the international arena, the order was reversed, and Reece managed a good win on 73.98% and Jorge came second on 71%, just having a few little wobbles where he got worried. Overall it was very successful considering the circumstances. I did decide with the help of my team to withdraw from the freestyle that determined the supreme champion, and give myself a bit more time to recover for Hartpury.

    I now have a week at home before heading to Hartpury CPEDI and CDI. Reece and Jorge have been selected in the para international, and Noki in the senior grand prix, which will be a great experience.

    As far as the Riding for the Diabled (RDA) goes, Victor Henighan (my osteopath) did an amazing fundraising event, cycling the 170 mile The Way of the Roses challenge in one day raising £1000, which is amazing!


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