All shapes and sizes of horse and pony are competing at this week’s LeMieux National Dressage Championships at Stoneleigh (14-17 September).
Llanidan Survivor (or Owain as he’s known at home) is a 15hh Welsh section D and is being ridden at the championships by Moira Bonner. He is owned though, by Jackie Warren George who bought him two years ago from a showing yard.
“I taught Jackie on her previous horse but we decided she needed a new one,” explains Moira, who is a freelance instructor based in Dorset. “We found Owain but he was so untrusting of us at first. It’s taken time, but in the past six months he’s really let us in and we absolutely love him.”
This is the first year Owain has competed in dressage, although he does a bit of everything.
“He knows his job and is a busy little thing,” explains Moira. “He’s cheeky and in your face, but loves the atmosphere and really rises to the occasion.”
Moira says she wasn’t expecting to qualify Owain for these championships.
“When we took him to the regional qualifier at Bicton, although he was capable of doing everything at home in training, we never thought he was ready competition-wise and so didn’t think he would qualify,” admits Moira, who has kept the ride for the past couple of months in preparation for the championships. “Now we’re actually here and we can’t believe it!”
The pair were competing in the Backinaction prelim silver championship and were 18th on a score of 67.76%.
“Owain will be happy as he’s allowed to jump again now that we’ve got this over and done with,” smiles Moira. “Jackie can have him back and he might do some BD combined training competitions.”
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.