Tales from Hartpury: rider who switched codes during lockdown scoops three championship tickets *H&H Plus*

  • A town planner who decided to give pure dressage a go during lockdown is reaping the rewards of her switch after scooping three tickets to the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships in her first full season.

    Lucy Lloyd and the “sweet and sassy” 10-year-old mare Glensensaw Sweet Girl made the switch from eventing to dressage when the pandemic hit – and have never looked back.

    “It’s just good to be here. It’s the first time I’ve ever been here because I only really started concentrating on the dressage during lockdown. It’s kind of spiralled from there and I’m really enjoying it,” Lucy told H&H, adding it was a “bit of a shock” to qualify.

    The pair finished second in the Petplan Equine medium silver Area Festival final on 69.22% and eighth in the Equi-Trek elementary silver Winter Championship on 69.27% on the opening day of the championships at Hartpury (28 June – 2 July). They have also received a wildcard for the the advanced medium silver Area Festival final on Wednesday.

    Lucy admitted she felt disappointed after her medium test, as they had two big spooks at splash marks on the white boards and broke in the medium trot, so was “really shocked” to be on the podium.

    “Her elementary test was really nice and she didn’t spook in that one. That was a really hot class, there were some really smart tests, I was really pleased with that,” she added.

    “We got her as an event horse actually from Gemma Tattersall, and then decided to focus on dressage during lockdown and have gone from there. She’s really enjoying it and I’m really enjoying it so it’s a bit of a curveball for what we actually bought her for, but I think she prefers dressage.”

    Lucy balances riding with working full-time as a town planner (“so nothing at all remotely to do with horses!”) and credits the support of her sister with the horse.

    She added: “I’d done some dressage for the eventing, but then during lockdown started training more on that side, started planning dressage competitions and I didn’t actually realise quite naively how much there is to plan for. I was really surprised at all the amazing things that BD [British Dressage] do for the amateur levels. There’s loads to aim for, and then to be able to come on somewhere like this.

    “She’s got a big heart and tries really hard and she always comes out with the same attitude. She always wants to try her hardest and learn, which is a really trainable attitude. I think that’s how we’ve managed to get three qualifications in such a short space of time because she just always tries her hardest.

    “She never comes out with the attitude of ‘I can’t be bothered’ or ‘I don’t want to try today’, She always gives it 100% and we always have a nice day out.

    “It’s just great to be here to be honest, because it’s such a big atmosphere and achievement for everybody to be here.

    “The quality of horses is amazing, there’s some beautiful horses, just to be in and amongst it, I feel proud to be here.”

    Read more reports from Hartpury…