Tales from Somerford: ‘There was Colin with ribbons and bows all over him’

  • A horse originally destined for a career in a riding school before being gifted to his rider on her 10th birthday made his Lemieux National Dressage Championships debut. Emma Mounfield competed in the Bettalife novice silver championship at Somerford Park, Cheshire, with her 16.2hh 16-year-old coloured gelding Colin II. Emma first started riding the horse when they were both “youngsters” as she explained.

    “I’ve always ridden at Joyce Fearn’s yard in Beverley; it’s where I first met Colin and where I have always kept him.”

    Joyce, a regular at championship level herself, bought the then three-year-old thoroughbred/cob as a future riding school horse expecting him to make a big weight carrier, but although he now measures 16.2hh, stamp wise he takes after the thoroughbred side of the family.

    “I started riding him a bit for my lessons when I was nine, and he was five,” continued Emma. “My legs barely reached the end of the saddle flaps! Then on my 10th birthday I went to the yard and there was Colin with ribbons and bows all over him – the best birthday present ever,” she said. “The rest of the kids I rode with were all on ponies doing games, which didn’t best suit us, and we slowly migrated to dressage.”

    It was a good move: the duo won the overall rider test at the Riding Club Championships with 94% in 2019 representing the East Yorkshire Riding Club (EYRC); they have won pairs dressage again representing EYRC; they were third at the Area Festival Championships at Hartpury in 2020, won their winter regionals earlier this year and then were third at the summer regionals, gaining their ticket for Somerford.

    “We came to Somerford for a nice time – he really feels on form at the moment,” said Emma, whose riding fits in around working for the family business J A Mounfield & Son – a butcher who won best Yorkshire pork pie accolade in 2019 at the Deliciouslyorkshire Taste Awards. 

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