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Dressage with a difference: hobby horses at the ready to help NHS

Top dressage riders have dusted off their tailcoats to take part in a grand prix with a twist.

Dressage Anywhere is running online hobby horse classes, with 80% of the entry fee going to NHS Charities Together’s Covid-19 fund.

Classes are being held at novice and grand prix, along with Pony Club and Riding for the Disabled Association tests.

The test will be judged by Stephen Clarke, Jennie Loriston-Clarke and Sara-Jane Lanning, with Alice Oppenheimer giving helpful hints to children.

Alice also kicked-off the grand prix competition as the first rider into the arena aboard Legless. Although Legless showed a little head tilt in the early trot-work, the pair performed a smart test, with the flying changes a particular highlight.

Hayley Watson-Greaves was next into her lockdown arena aboard Pinkie Pie. A musical mix-up meant the combination found themselves performing to Rubins Nite’s magical soundtrack. Luckily the music fitted perfectly to the pair’s freestyle and although Pinkie Pie had a couple of little spooks, these did not take away from the expressive performance.

Both have provided a critical commentary of their own tests, to help others looking to boost their marks in these classes.

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Competition is open to all and horses can be bought ready made — there are no pre-qualification rules to worry about and the Olympic nationality transfer deadline does not apply — or can be created at home. Tests can be carried out in arenas of any size and any surface, including gardens, living rooms and kitchens.

Competition dress is not compulsory, but extra marks will be awarded for turnout.

Entry costs £10 per test, with £8 of that going to the charity. All entries will also be entered into a prize draw.

For more information and to enter, visit: https://www.dressageanywhere.com/Competitor/EnterCompetition/557

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