Tales from Stoneleigh: ‘I competed her mother here 15 years ago’

Private Dancer V has a strong connection with the LeMieux National Dressage Championships at Stoneleigh (20-23 September), where she competed this week.

“Fifteen years ago I competed Private Dancer V’s mother here in the prelim championship,” explains her owner, Jane Boothroyd. “I can’t believe it’s taken me a whole 15 years to get back here!

“Her mother, who was by a racehorse, was a lovely stamp and I couldn’t afford to buy a dressage horse. So I bred four foals from her and ‘Sarah’ was the best one so I kept her for myself. Her mother had such a good brain and that’s why we bred from her, but sadly we lost her aged 25 last year. I see a lot of her in Sarah though.”

Jane still competes Sarah, who is by Master, Kyra Kyrklund’s former grand prix dressage horse in riding club competitions, but arthritis in her hands and feet has led her to let another rider compete her alongside.

That rider is 20-year-old eventer Lucy Robinson, who is based just down the road from Jane in Derbyshire. Lucy has been riding the eight-year-old for almost three years and she manages to exercise Sarah two to three times each week.

“She is quite a straightforward character but she can sometimes get to a competition and sit behind me whereas sometimes she will come out all guns blazing,” says Lucy, who trains with Felicity Scott.

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The pair were British Dressage northern region elementary champions earlier this year and they finished the Childeric Saddles elementary silver championship at these championships with 67.344%.

“She loves an atmosphere and likes to show off,” says Lucy. “We’ve managed to progress nicely from prelim last year and she coped with the atmosphere really well today, especially as the crowd were clapping for Charlotte Dujardin in the other arena as she finished her test. We hope to go out at medium level next year.”

Keep up-to-date with all of the news from the National Dressage Championships by keeping an eye on the Horse & Hound website, and don’t miss the full magazine report, out on Thursday 21 September.

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