Sophie Wells’ dressage blog: You can’t get to the top half-heartedly

  • It’s all go as the season is well and truly in full swing. The horses quickly recovered after Deauville and it was back to training again. In May we spent more time at home compared to April.

    It was also my birthday at the beginning of May, and I’m now well on my way to being 30 at the age of 26. It does scare me a little bit that when we were preparing for Beijing 2008 (where I was reserve for the Paralympics), I thought the age of 22 in London was old. Now eight years on I feel even older!

    It does make you look back however and appreciate all you have been through; the highs and lows, the tough decisions, sacrifices that you have made to do what you love. The people that have supported you through that, and have ridden the wave with you, sharing the excitement and heartache too! It is a sport you have to give your heart and soul to, you simply can’t get there half-heartedly. We live it and breathe it, but at the end of it, you are dancing with your horse that you have an incredible partnership with…one that no one can take away. That’s why we do it.


    I went to do a talk for one of my long-term sponsors, WeatherBeeta, at their head office recently. We met everyone and looked around the showroom which is always nice and we saw what you can put in your horse’s wardrobe next season! I think that loyalty is really important when it comes to sponsors, that two-way relationship and belief in the products/services. It’s great when your sponsors also stay with you through the journey and enjoy that too!

    With my sponsors

    With my sponsors

    Jorge had his debut at Prix St George (PSG) at the end of May. I had to dig out my tail coat having not needed it for nearly a year now while concentrating on para competitions (where we wear short jackets).

    Continued below…

    Read more from Sophie:

    It’s always exciting when you have trained a horse up the levels, and PSG is a big point in the journey. Of course there is always areas that need working on, and for Jorge it’s to find the tempi-changes less exciting! But he’s enjoying it which is great. All horses develop at different rates, so making an individual plan that is flexible is really important to each horse’s development. He got a smidge under 70% with some great marks, as well as a few fives where the excitement got a bit too much, but I’m not worried about that!

    Jorge with our Willberry Wonder Pony

    Jorge with our Willberry Wonder Pony

    Next up is Wellington Premier League at the beginning of June where we have our Summer Semi Finals (para); a bit like the regionals, which is also part of this year’s selection trials.

    I will hopefully be able to let you all know how that goes.


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