AP McCoy to try his hand at dressage

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  • AP McCoy will be back in the paddock at Cheltenham next month, but this time it will be aboard a dressage horse.

    The 20-time champion jockey, who retired earlier this year, will be under the tutelage of Olympic gold medallists Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin.

    The jockey will be put through his paces on Countryside Day (13 November) at the Open meeting at the Gloucestershire course.

    “It was Yogi’s [Breisner] idea that it might be nice to get AP to have a sit on a dressage horse and see what he can do,” Carl told H&H.

    “So we’re taking a grand prix dressage horse to the racetrack and will be riding round the paddock.

    “I’ll talk Charlotte through a demo first — explaining to the crowd as runs through some movements, including piaffe and passage to get a feel for it. We’ll explain what we’re asking the horses to do.”

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    Then Charlotte will swap with AP and she’ll put him through his paces.

    “The first thing he’ll need to do is learn to slow down and shift his weight in a different way,” said Carl.

    “It will be interesting to see how he gets on as he’s such a talented rider. It will be fun and I’m pretty sure he’ll be one of those incredibly irritating people that takes to it straight way, and if he doesn’t I’m sure he’ll be booking some lessons!”

    Carl added that they will be taking a “forgiving” grand prix horse, but haven’t decided which one will carry the most famous jockey in the world yet.

    It won’t be Valegro,” he added.

    AP is not so sure about his skills though.

    “Dressage takes a lot of patience and I’m not overly patient,” he said. “I like things to happen quickly. I don’t think I have the talent, patience or skills for this. I just hope I will not embarrass myself too much. I can’t dance myself so I’m not rating my chances of making a horse dance.”

    The day is in aid of the Countryside Alliance and the British Olympic Team. There will be other demos and hunt parades, which will be confirmed nearer the time.

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