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All in a day’s work: International dressage judge Stephen Clarke *H&H Plus*

Stephen Clarke on being talent-spotted by Harvey Smith, judging record-breaking tests and being proud to be British, as told to Leslie Bliss.

When I was a child, all I could think about was riding. I grew up in Wales next to a farm that had great but wild ponies. If I could stay on board, I was allowed to train and show them. I set up my own stables before the age of 20 and had showjumpers, hunters and event horses.

Harvey Smith spotted me at a local show with my Connemara/thoroughbred Daybreak and told me I should compete at Hickstead. I had no idea how to go about it. Harvey arranged everything. I had no money for a hotel, so slept in my mare’s stable with a bale of straw separating us.

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