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Festive stars: the Jersey-born rider who never intended to take up dressage

Over the festive season, we are shining a light on up-and-coming talent across the equestrian disciplines. These are riders you really need to keep an eye out for during the 2020 season...

Lucy Amy may have grown up in a thoroughly horsey family — her parents run a livery business — but dressage wasn’t the discipline on her mind as a child.

I was brought up in Jersey, Channel Islands, and I used to showjump,” explains 22-year-old Lucy, who rode (and won) her first dressage test aged 11 on her 13.2hh pony Goldsborough Noble Heir, but was primarily focused on jumping.

Fast forward 20 years to 2018 and Lucy was competing internationally in young riders, having made the move form Jersey three years ago to base herself and her horses, 10-year-olds Extra Time and Rudy, with Richard Barrett in Hampshire.

“Both horses belong to my dad and were originally bought as showjumpers — we got Extra Time (Hughie) as a foal, and Rudy came from the Brightwells sale as a two-year-old,” says Lucy. “When they were both four, and I was 16, I started having lessons with Roland Tong to improve the horses’ flatwork. We took Rudy to a dressage show the next year, and he won! Then he won again and I realised I quite enjoyed dressage. We qualified for the Sparsholt regionals that year, and won there too — although I did go straight to Hickstead to do some showjumping afterwards. Roland was mortified!” she laughs.

Two months later, the pair became British Dressage national champions at prelim, scoring over 75%, and Lucy was officially converted to dressage.

I love the relationship that you build with the horses doing dressage, though I certainly didn’t imagine doing this when I was 12. I realised that I didn’t really want to jump 1.60m a get to the top in showjumping, but I did want to get to the top in dressage,” adds Lucy, who says that she does still jump her horses at home as part of their training.

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In 2018, Lucy put herself on the map when she won all three of the young rider classes at the Hickstead CDI, and in 2019 she has stepped both horses up to inter II level, achieving the scores required to compete internationally at under-25 level in 2020. She has also continued to excel on the national scene, having qualified for and competed at the national championships every year since she first seriously took up the sport, and this year collected her third regional title riding her upcoming prospect, the five-year-old mare Jaliva W. Watch out for this rider as she takes the big step up to under-25 ranks in 2020.

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