A trick rider with the Devil’s Horsemen stunt team has successfully switched disciplines to scoop victory at the British Dressage (BD) GB PRE and Lusitano championships, held at Keysoe (5 November).
On just her fourth dressage outing, Rachel Walbeoff topped the prelim PRE championship with 68.96% on Michelle Enoch’s palomino stallion Monteno III.
“I worked for the Devil’s Horsemen for two years, and have continued riding for them on a freelance basis since I left their yard — that’s where my obsession with Spanish horses came from,” said Rachel, who currently works for Premier PRE dressage yard in Oxfordshire.
“My favourite trick has to be the ‘death hang’, where you hang upside down from the side of the horse.”
As well as performing with the Devil’s Horsemen at shows and events, Rachel has also worked as a riding double, standing in for actors on sets for productions including Game of Thrones and King Arthur.
“I love trick riding — the adrenalin rush of it and performing in front of crowds at shows, but I wanted more of a steady job. I had always liked flatwork, but I had never competed in dressage until this year,” Rachel said.
“It’s very different to what I’ve been used to, as before working for the Devil’s Horsemen I was at a riding school. The biggest challenge is probably the discipline needed for dressage, and learning to sit properly.”
The eight-year-old Monteno (Harry), who is by Bronco x Dulcineo, was imported from Spain by Michelle in 2015 and is currently one of just two graded palomino PRE stallions in the UK.
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He had only been shown in hand until the end of last year, while Rachel has partnered him since May this year.
“I hadn’t been to anything like these championships before, having just done the three shows we needed to qualify, so it was all very new and I had no expectations of winning. But Harry was perfectly behaved,” Rachel said.
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