Tales from Stoneleigh: same drive, different focus

  • Ruth Edge may have competed at grand prix dressage already, but you’d still most likely hear her described as an eventer.

    All that changed last month when Ruth announced she was “hanging up her eventing boots” to concentrate on dressage.

    “I’d just lost my buzz, and I thought I might as well stop while I was doing well,” she says, fresh out of the prize-giving for the medium gold championship, where she finished second to Charlotte Dujardin.

    “I’ve had a brilliant show. I’ve got two horses here, and they’ve both done the best they possibly could have,” she says, beaming.

    “I was watching the Olympics, and I was so inspired. I thought I should put all my focus into one instead of splitting myself between the two. I have the same drive, but a different focus.”

    That focus is the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Could Ruth be the first four-star winner to also pick up an Olympic medal for pure dressage?

    “I have a few lovely horses at home, but I’d like a few more!” she admits.

    An eventing background helps bring variety into the dressage horses’ lives.

    “The fitness and conditioning is different, and they will go up the gallops — slowly! — for the hill work. If they enjoy it, I will do small jumps with them.”

    She won’t be totally giving up eventing though – as a renowned coach, she will continue to teach a number of “fantastic clients”, focusing on her ethos of making sure the basics are well-established.

    “I work each horse individually, focusing on the basics first and making sure those are in place, through consistent work to help the horses build strength,” she explains.

    Her ride today, Lochwood (Jimmy), is a special horse for Ruth.

    “I bought him two days after my dad died, hence his stable name. His show name is the village closest to where my dad’s ashes are,” she explains.

    Jimmy will be leaving Ruth next week, however, as he has been sold to pony team medallist Rebecca Bell, who is over the moon with his success today.

    “He has such a lovely brain, which is the most important thing as I’ve not been on horses for long. I know that absolutely no corners have been cut during his training,” Rebecca says as the family congratulates Jimmy and Ruth after their prize-giving.

    Did she expect to buy her next horse from a four-star event rider?

    “I don’t know really — my trainer Caron Roberts events as well so it seems to work for me for the dressage. I’m not in a rush with him so we’ll take it slowly. He’s one for the future, not immediately,” she continues.

    “You can take the poster of Ruth off your wall now you’ve met her!” adds her mum.

    You may like...