Top dressage breeding stallion Lord Leatherdale has joined the string of British teenager Isobel Lickley.
Isobel, 16, has represented Britain at three pony European Championships on three different ponies.
She made the step up to juniors this year, riding under the British flag at her first junior CDI, aboard the nine-year-old mare Gracia, at Keysoe in October, and has now boosted her horsepower with the addition of Lord Leatherdale.
The 17-year-old (Lord Loxley x Ferragamo) is the sire of grand prix stallions Glamourdale, who was crowned seven-year-old World Champion in 2018, Everdale, Chippendale and Lord Europe.
He was campaigned up to inter II level by fellow British rider Lottie Fry, who is based at the Van Olsts’ yard in the Netherlands, and has enjoyed much success and won numerous youth and young horse medals aboard their horses. Lottie also made her senior championship team debut at the 2019 Europeans aboard Dark Legend, whom she co-owns with the Van Olsts.
Isobel said she has been “pinching myself” every day that she has been given this chance.
“The news I have been bursting to tell everyone is that thanks to the amazing generosity of Anne and Gert-Jan Van Olst this superstar horse has joined my team,” said Isobel.
“I’ve been pinching myself every day and today [Sunday] we got a chance to ride at a show. He’s only been with me for four weeks but we had a great time. I’m still finding the buttons and we had lots of unnecessary one-time changes, but he was fantastic.”
She added 2020 is “certainly ending better than I could ever have hoped”.
Watch the Horse & Hound Awards 2020 virtual ceremony
The Van Olsts explained their connection with the Lickley family and the life Lord Leatherdale will have with them were the reasons behind their decision to send him to Isobel.
“Lord Leatherdale is of great value to us. Lottie has ridden him successfully in recent years, but she needs to focus more on the younger generation who are coming up,” they said.
“Lord Leatherdale will turn 18 next year, and he deserves the best and most beautiful place where he can proceed his sporting career. The Lickley family have been good customers and good friends of ours for many years, they have a great accommodation where Lord Leatherdale will lack nothing. That is why we have decided to make Lord Leatherdale available to Isobel Lickley.
“We hope that Isobel and Lord Leatherdale will enjoy each other for a long time to come. After this sporting adventure Lord Leatherdale will return to [us at] Den Hout.”
Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade to access our H&H Plus online service which brings you breaking news as it happens as well as other benefits.