Guests at a fundraising dressage gala evening were no doubt slightly surprised by one display – a pas de deux demonstration featuring a pony and a motorbike.
Austyn Perry, 11, on Chyvounder Night Fever was accompanied by Phil Stocker, the partner of Austyn’s mother Verity Perry, on his bike, at an evening in aid of riding club Cornwall Trek on 23 November.
Verity told H&H she has run the fundraiser every year since 2012.
“I’m a motorbike rider too, and my son’s desperate to be, and I said: ‘Wouldn’t it be brilliant to do a display with a bike and a pony?’” Verity explained.
“The pony’s 17 and a bit of a superstar. Austyn came fifth on him at the riding club national championships in the dressage to music, so we used that test, and the motorbike mirrored it.”
Verity said both Austyn and Phil took the challenge seriously, the former getting up at 6am to muck out his pony at the livery yard Verity owns, allowing her time to train the pair.
“The pony was happy from the start really, but we wanted to make sure he was 100% with the bike,” Verity said.
“My partner rides a bit but he’s never done a dressage test on a horse, let alone a motorbike!”
The demonstration was not announced beforehand so it came as a surprise to the audience, some 250 people strong.
“The commentator is a British Riding Clubs one, and our area rep, so she was all clued up to say ‘this is very un-BHS [British Horse Society] and you shouldn’t do it at home!’” Verity said.
“But a lot of people said afterwards it was the highlight of the evening, and how fantastic it was.
BD has released a statement this morning saying Wallace The Great and ‘his fellow mules’ may enter affiliated competitions
Take advantage of our sale on Horse & Hound magazine subscriptions today
Freestyle dressage to music is fun, but does require preparation, so here are some useful pointers to help get you
“Austyn’s like any normal boy, using rock music was the way to persuade him to do dressage to music as he prefers showjumping, but they did me proud.
“Now my partner keeps saying he’s disappointed they haven’t been asked to take the display on the road!”
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.