Teenage dressage rider Phoebe Peters has made a winning junior international debut.
The 16-year-old British rider was victorious in all three of her tests with Denford Surprise (“Parker”) at CHI Keysoe (15-17 April).
Phoebe said Debbie and Eddie Stibbe’s Concorde gelding kept improving as the competition continued.
The pair finished the week with a 73.8% freestyle, 3% clear of the rest of the field.
“It was our first ever freestyle together and first run with the music too,” said Phoebe.
“Huge thanks to my sister Camille for putting it together for us. I amended our floor plan to make it easier for our first attempt, so I’m looking forward to riding the original and more difficult version next time and hopefully improving our scores.
“It was so much more amazing than I ever could have imagined.”
17.2hh Parker was a huge transition from Phoebe’s 14.2hh gold medal-winning pony St Lucci.
“At first I found it tricky getting a big horse round small circles but now we have a really good relationship and work as a team,” she said.
“Lucci prepared me because he had quite big paces but I have had to learn to deal with Parker’s size and strength.”
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Phoebe added that it was a great opportunity to ride in front of international judges.
“Despite the fact that my tests were far from perfect and I know there are lots of areas that Parker and I need to improve on, I went to the show with one aim and that was to guide Parker through three clean tests and give him an enjoyable experience,” she said.
“I feel like we improved a lot over the week and I’m really looking forward to our next few months.”