What an extended trot! Rider’s fabulous on-foot lap of honour

  • Have you ever seen such a fabulous extended trot in a lap of honour?

    Verity Perry did not have her horse as she circled the arena at the Bicton Area Festival last weekend, but she showed tremendous elevation and engagement as she completed her lap of honour on her own two feet.

    Verity and her second-generation home-bred Bianchi had come third in the elementary silver, behind Ben James on Clapton Banks Primadonna and Ella Glennon on Ghabar Doncorleoni, but as the seven-year-old gelding still had his medium test to contend, and is fairly new to that level, Verity thought it was better not to excite him unduly with his first lap of honour.

    “I’m never going to live it down!” Verity told H&H. “I set the horse in front off a few times, but the rider, Ella, thought it was hilarious.”

    Verity had competed Bianchi’s dam Armani, whom she also bred, to inter I level, and her son has made a good start to his own career, including finishing sixth in novice silver at the 2022 NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships.

    A “tough 12 months” followed for Verity, during which she lost her father, so she said she was just happy to be at Bicton.

    “We’d gone to the inter-regionals at Onley and on day one, Ben beat me by 6%, which I thought was just a bit rude!” she said. “Day two, he only beat me by 2%. Whenever he’s in my class, I estimate how much he’s going to beat me by; at Bicton, I guessed 4% and it was three, so I was quite pleased.

    “Ben was egging me on – I said I’d go in on foot for the presentation and he said ‘I want to see your best medium trot’! So I had a bit of a laugh.

    “People were wetting themselves – you can hear it on the video – then I came out and realised it had probably all been live on Horse & Country TV. My friend Cathy Craddock [who took the video] has been my rock through a depressing time – but she’s stitched me right up now!”

    Bianchi and Verity went on to come second in the medium, to Paula Lee and Deseado Santo, so Bianchi did get his own moment in the spotlight too.

    “He’s only just stepped up to that level so I’m delighted,” Verity said. “His mum got me to inter I, which was a dream – but I’m hoping he might go further.”

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