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Five-star eventer loving life in new schoolmistress role

The popular five-star mare Silvia is thriving in her new role as an elite schoolmistress.

The 19-year-old won many fans in her partnership with Berkshire-based Australian eventer Warren Lamperd and is being campaigned this season by Hong Kong rider Annie Ho.

Annie, who won individual gold at the 2013 Asian Championships and has represented Hong Kong team at three Asian Games, jumped double clear with Silvia on the pair’s first international start at Wellington CCI2*-S (28 August – 1 September).

Silvia (“Flossie”) jumped clear across country at three Burghleys (2015, 2017 and 2018) and numerous three-stars (now CCI4*s), with her top international placing eighth in the now CCI4*-L at Le Pin au Haras in 2016.

“Very much from our point of view it’s about having the right rider for her and giving someone the opportunity to learn from her to make it good fun all round,” said Warren, adding the decision is about making the right choice for the horse.

“She’s the sort of horse who will bust her backside for you, even if she didn’t feel 100%, she would still give you everything. That’s one of the things when thinking about competing her at CCI5*s, is she is extraordinary in everything she does, my job is to stay out of her way and let her jump fences, but I don’t want to rely on her being extraordinary all the time.”

The mare will stay with Warren, who produced her from an unbroken six-year-old and will also continue to ride her, and the hope is she will give Annie experience at three- and four-star level.

Warren, who is a British Showjumping UKCC level IV and British Eventing master coach BE Master Coach and UKCC level IV through BS, said riding at the top level is a step up and he hopes the partnership will give Annie the chance to feel that.

“She is 19 this year and she feels great, but if she stands still that isn’t going to do her any good either,” said Warren, adding that he liked the way Annie rode and thought this could work well for the horse and everyone involved.

“I like the idea of being able to coach on a horse I know and who knows her job, and to keep her having fun and enjoying life as Flossie loves what she does.

“We took her showjumping at Cherwell ahead of Wellington and she was jumping the roof off, which is so nice to see, and she knocked me over when I went to turn her out in the paddock the other day, so we know she is feeling really good!”

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Annie and Flossie now head to Cornbury (11-13 September) for the CCI3*-S.

“She is really cool,” said Annie. “It’s so beneficial [having Warren’s help] as he has been the only one who produced the mare. I’m just trying to ride her the way he has and find the right buttons!

“She’s been amazing so far and she’s so straightforward — in the past I’ve had young or tricky horses and so it’s really nice for me to ride something that is.

“We are taking things one step at a time and I don’t want to do anything we wouldn’t be comfortable doing — it’s all about the partnership.”

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