Wallace The Great took part in his first British Dressage (BD) show yesterday (22 July) – and won.
The first BD-registered mule took the intro section in his Team Quest competition at Summerhouse with 67.4%, helping his team to second place overall.
And despite the fact the national media was out in force, as well as a “huge fan club” there to cheer him on, the 11-year-old mule was not fazed by anything.
“I didn’t expect it at all,” rider Christie Mclean told H&H.
“He won an unaffiliated class a couple of weeks ago and this was slightly smaller but the others were still intro-level horses working at the same level as him, and I just wanted him to be happy with everything and come away confident.
“I do have a competitive streak that makes me want to be the best I can be so I can’t say I didn’t try my hardest; I’m so pleased.”
Christie said her marks were “probably exactly what I thought when I watched the video back”, and her test was “honestly marked”, which made her even happier.
And she said Wallace took all the attention in his stride.
“He had a pretty huge fan club there; I didn’t expect that many people!” she said. “And it was all eyes on Wallace, which was really nerve-racking.
“Also, he’s really flexible; if there’s a fly on his chest, he can literally swipe it off with his chin as he’s got such a long face and I was thinking, please don’t do that in the warm-up as it would look like rollkur!”
All the other horses there were unfazed by Wallace, Christie said, adding that “none of them looked twice”.
Wallace’s team now has two more outings before the end of August, and the riders are hoping to qualify for the regional Team Quest finals, which take place in September and October, with a national final in November.
BD has released a statement this morning saying Wallace The Great and ‘his fellow mules’ may enter affiliated competitions
‘I started riding on a donkey so I’m glad BD has taken this great opportunity’
The rider had hoped to take part in team quest affiliated competition with Wallace The Great
“So we could be going to the Team Quest regionals,” Christie said.
“People from all round the world have been trying to get in touch; from Sweden, New Zealand, the US – I hadn’t realised how few mules there are doing things.
“But he’s super-cool; not fazed by any of it.”