Eurovision star scores dressage PB with Arab ‘fairy’ horse

  • For retired pop singer Kit Rolfe, finding the pure-bred Arab gelding Kavanaghs Imperial Assal during the long 2020 lockdown opened the door to a new chapter.

    This autumn Kit and her “fairy pony”, known as Freddie, won the Arab novice and elementary silver titles at the Elite Equine Associated Championships at Bury Farm, and followed it up with a personal best winning score of 75.83% at novice at Martley Hall Stud.

    “Every achievement inspires me to aim higher and gives me such motivation,” says Kit, who enjoyed a varied and successful career as a singer, representing the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1984, touring with Gary Numan and releasing several records.

    Kit describes herself as a “keen amateur of a mature age” and already has experience of competing up to medium level with Arabs, but at the start of 2020 decided she wanted to find a horse capable of taking her to higher levels.

    “During the first long lockdown of 2020, I searched the country, eagerly perusing all the latest adverts of Arab horses for sale,” said Kit. “I knew I’d recognise this special unicorn when I saw it and I did. One day a picture sprung out of a charismatic 10-year-old Arab with an aristocratic name, standing 16hh – unusual for such a “typey” Arab.”

    But with Freddie in Aberdeen, and Kit in Essex, the lockdown and travel limitations presented a challenge. Kit ended up agreeing to take Freddie on loan unseen, having convinced his owner that Freddie’s talents could lie beyond showing or endurance.

    “I eagerly awaited the arrival of this paragon…it was nerve-wracking. What if we didn’t suit? What if he was too ‘charismatic’ for me? I’m an OAP with three teenage grandkids towering above me,” she said.

    “Freddie and I gingerly got to know each other over the next month and I knew I would be heartbroken if we ever had to part,” said Kit, adding that Freddie’s owner agreed to sell Freddie to her following their success.

    “We’re now establishing ourselves at elementary level and working at medium at home. I’ve always believed that Arab horses are capable of so much and they are indeed so very versatile.”

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