A famous name was listed in the programme at this week’s LeMieux National Dressage Championships at Stoneleigh (14-17 September).
Frankel isn’t that Frankel though. This one is a grey, German-bred five-year-old, who does dressage.
Frankel is ridden by 15-year-old Bethany Edginton and she bought him in July 2016.
“I used to have a showjumping pony, but I taught him to do dressage and fell in love with the discipline,” says Bethany, who has just started her GCSE year at school in Wakefield.
Bethany and Frankel already have a novice under-25 national championships title to their name, but it hasn’t all been plain sailing.
“He was out of action for about three months last year,” explains Bethany. “We thought he had mud fever, but it transpired to be photosensitivity in one of his hind legs. We’ve now learnt how to manage it and part of this is making sure we don’t turn him out in the field before the dew has disappeared as that coupled with sunlight flares up the issue.”
Bethany says that Frankel is quite a character.
“He likes to amuse himself when he’s bored and some of his tricks include shredding rugs and taking off any boots he’s turned out in,” she laughs. “But thankfully he’s amazing to ride and we’re hoping to go up the levels.”
Meet a super-young competitor and her tiny pony
Bethany, who is trained by Caroline Saynor and her grandmother, Jackie Edginton, who also owns Frankel, was competing in the Backinaction prelim silver championship at the nationals. They scored 70.75% and finished eighth.
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.