‘I’m just so proud of him’: British senior team debutante thrills to go into eventing World Championships dressage lead

  • Young British rider Yasmin Ingham has stormed into the lead after her eventing World Championships dressage performance in Pratoni del Vivaro in Italy today (15 September).

    Riding Janette Chinn and Sue Davies’ stunning 11-year-old Banzai Du Loir, Yasmin, who is making her senior championship debut riding as an individual, posted an impressive score of 22.

    “That’s the first time we’ve gone in the boards at an event and he’s felt completely listening and with me. Even with the crowds and cameras and everything atmosphere-wise, he didn’t really seem to flinch or bother so I’m just so proud of him,” said 25-year-old Yasmin. “He’s really special horse and I still think there’s plenty more in there, which is even more exciting.

    “He just maybe felt slightly tired and he probably could have been a little bit more sprightly, but I’d rather him do a test like that, than have a little break somewhere or something like that. I just couldn’t really fault him today at all.”

    Yasmin explained that she has been experimenting with a different warm-up routine to get the best out of Banzai in the first phase.

    “We’ve had more experience now in the bigger, atmospheric arenas, for example, Kentucky earlier this year [where they finished second] and Blenheim last year [where they won the CCI4*-L],” said Yasmin. “We also had Burghley just before we came here where we got to practise this test, so we’ve been trying different techniques with the warm-up and how long we work in for and what we do with him in those work-ins. Chris Bartle has been amazing in helping us too.”

    Highlights of Yasmin’s eventing World Championship dressage test included getting a nine from Christina Klingspor, who is judge at C, for the trot half-pass left. Christina also awarded a nine for Yasmin’s final halt and salute and Peter Grey, the judge at H, gave Yasmin a nine for the harmony of horse and athlete.

    “Banzai has come here really settled and I think he’s getting more used to travelling and coming to the bigger events now, so it is becoming a little bit more normal for him,“ said Yasmin. “So we did half an hour of work with him at 8am, doing long and low work and lots of simple changes and easy things, just to not stress him out and keep him quite happy and confident.

    “We then worked him for half an hour at 9.45am, and we started to do a couple of changes and some half-passes to make it a bit more difficult, and to get him ready for his test. Then his final work-in was only 20 minutes before we came into the test – he is quite a fit and sharp character usually so we have to make sure we give him enough working in so that he doesn’t go in there and just go, ‘Wahh’. But I couldn’t fault him today.”

    Speaking of how she feels making her senior championship debut, Yasmin said: “It’s so special. I’ve worked towards this since I started riding. It’s always something that I’ve wanted to do and it’s always been one of my goals. So to achieve that has just been a dream come true. Obviously, the team behind the scenes is what helped me get here and my owners, Sue Davies and Janette Chinn, and my family, all my trainers, the World Class team – there’s an army behind every rider and they’ve all helped me get here. It’s a big moment.”

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