H&H’s para dressage rider of the day: “My stomach fell through my feet when I heard the bell”

  • Ireland’s Tamsin Addison had a less than ideal start to her World Para Dressage Championships campaign with the Fuerst Romancier gelding Fahrenheit when she inadvertently entered before the bell in the individual grade V championship.

    “I was cantering around and as I came past the kiss and cry stand I saw that the white boards to the arena were open. And what went though my head was the poor rider [France’s Celine Gurney] in Tokyo who didn’t hear the bell and she was eliminated. And here, I couldn’t see the clock, so I thought I missed have missed the bell.

    “So we came up the centre line and did a square halt and I thought, ‘Oh that’s really good, I’m pleased with that’. And then the bell rang and my stomach just went through my feet. I just thought, ‘I don’t believe it’.” I hadn’t heard the bell but the gate had been open  – I took the decision to enter on the bass that the gate shouldn’t be opened until the bell has rung.”

    Luckily Tamsin was not eliminated, but required to leave the arena and re-enter to start her test again. She scored 64.56% for 13th.

    She says she has tried not to let the experience play on her mind too much as she returned to the BB Horse Arena today (13 August) as the final rider for Ireland, and the very last rider of the entire team competition.

    “I was listening much harder for the bell – really hard!” said Tamsin, who was pleased that the 11-year-old gelding was more settled in the arena.

    “He felt hot in himself and he was quite tense, but I was really pleased we didn’t have any catastrophic errors. I could feel him going to change as we came up the centre line but we kept it together, so I was really pleased with that, and he was more settled than the other day. It wasn’t as expressive as I would have liked but at least it was correct.”

    Tamsin Addison and her Irish teammates – Michael Murphy, Rosemary Gaffney and Kate Kerr-Horan – finished in team ninth, a great achievement for a team at their first World Para Dressage Championships.

    “It’s really nice to be here,” confirmed Tamsin. “We didn’t make the last worlds so it is particularly special for us to be here. It is wonderful, and inspiring for everybody else back at home as well. It makes a huge difference – I get messages from people who say, ‘You’re amazing’. I say, ‘No, I’m not’, but if it is encouraging people to come through the ranks then that is what we need.”

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