Palomino event horse tackles her first four-star: ‘She absolutely adores the jumping’ *H&H Plus*

  • Find out more about this palomino advanced event horse and the story behind her rise through the grades

    Palomino event horses are pretty rare – and even rarer at four-star level. But there’s one stepping up to the level this weekend as The Dumb Blonde, known at home as Dee, takes on the CCI4*-S at Bicton Horse Trials, supported by Chedington.

    Her rider, Louise Harwood, told H&H: “Her owner Anna Mason originally got her as her riding club horse and to do low level stuff. They did that for ages, then she came for a lesson with me one day and she looked amazing jumping. Anna asked if I’d like to have a sit on her and after that it was like, ‘Maybe you’d like to take her eventing?’

    “She’s a little bit strongly built, so I just thought maybe we’ll do BE90s and BE100s and that would be lots of fun, it’s nice to have a new owner and it’ll be fun to ride a palomino – I haven’t ridden a palomino since I rode a 13.2hh show pony back in the day.

    “It went from there and Dee was just so amazing at jumping, she moved up through the grades really great.”

    Covid-19 put paid to the now 13-year-old mare doing much last year so Louise says she is lacking some training in the advanced dressage movements.

    “It’s been quite hard for her taking it on later in life, but she absolutely adores the jumping and I love jumping her. She gives them loads of air. We’re just seeing what we can do with her. She’s a couple of points off advanced and she’s just done an embryo transfer, so fingers crossed, she’s going to have a foal next year but still be able to keep competing.”

    Dee scored 38.9 today in her dressage at Bicton.

    “I’m really pleased with her test,” said Louise. “She gets a little bit tense and a bit worried. She’s not an excitable horse, but I think she’s just trying her hardest and these movements are also new to her, so she finds some really tricky.

    “I’ve been for a couple of dressage lessons with Adam Kemp just before this in the past few weeks, and he’s given me some great advice. We’ve just gone for a steady test, kept her calm, don’t try and make her something she isn’t. I’m really pleased we got two flying changes – they might not have been perfect ones but they came off roughly in the right place and calm and then she carried on doing the rest of the test calmly so I’m just over the moon with her. She’s amazing.”

    Louise confirmed that Dee attracts curious glances when she’s out eventing: “You really get noticed when you’re riding her, not just because she’s palomino, but also because she’s a little bit strongly built. She doesn’t look like your ideal advanced eventer, but she’s done quite a few advanced now and this will be her first four-star so fingers crossed.”


    Read the full report from Bicton in the 17 June issue of Horse & Hound magazine and keep checking back to horseandhound.co.uk for further updates and insight

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