‘This makes everything worthwhile’: 18.2hh Clydesdale wins freestyle at Area Festival

  • A young 18.2hh Clydesdale horse who has been competing in dressage for less than a year came seventh at the British Dressage summer regionals — and won his class at the Area Festivals.

    H&H reported in June that Jessica Martin-Legg and Marie Jenkins’ seven-year-old Springside Shiver Me Timber had won their first BD classes, but they have since excelled even more.

    Timber finished seventh in the prelim gold at the summer regionals at Port Royal on 25 July, following this up with 11th place in the novice silver class at Sheepgate Equestrian on 11 August, and a win in the novice silver freestyle.

    “I was really pleased with him; it was a little bit unexpected!” Jessica told H&H.

    “He went a bit green on me at the regionals; he’d never been to Port Royal, and we didn’t like the flower pots, didn’t want to leave the warm up and we were spooky; we had a big spook near the beginning, but he got just under 69%.”

    At Sheepgate, things did not go entirely to plan either, Jessica added.

    “He kicked out in the medium canter and got four for that, so he made it a bit close for comfort with second place!” she said.

    “I’d wanted to come in the top 10 in the normal novice class and we were just outside. He was good, but I’d said all along we had a chance in the freestyle if everything went ok, as that suits him; we can [tailor] the test to his strengths.”

    Timber and his Pirates of the Caribbean theme music, shown at a previous competition, proved unbeatable in the novice freestyle, and the pair have qualified for the Area Festival finals in October.

    “I was so chuffed with him, and it was really nice because some of my family came too; it was so special,” Jessica said. “I was a bit naughty and told his owner we’d come second to start with, but she’s always chuffed with him anyway as she never thought he’d do anything like this.”

    Jessica now plans to make some trips to Arena UK before the championships, to try to avoid any spookiness, adding: “I don’t have much say when a horse that size spooks!”

    The plan is then to try to qualify Timber for preliminary gold and novice silver for the next regionals, and maybe move him up to elementary at the end of this year.

    “This makes it all worthwhile, all the time you spend on them, and my own horse has been out injured for three years so it’s nice to be out competing, especially doing well!” Jessica said. “He’s amazing.”

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