Tales from Hartpury: the event horse making waves in her new career

Dressage videos 28 Videos Amy Woodhead: how to ride a canter half pass to wow the judges 02:58 Amy Woodhead: how working for Carl Hester has set her up for success 06:14 Watch Carl Hester at home: 'I can't wait to get out of bed and train horses towards grand prix' 02:31 Tales from Hartpury: the nine-year-old rising star with an Olympic dream 02:35 Winter Dressage Championships day four: one-two for Dujardin 03:43 Sophie Wells' rising star impresses on prix st georges gala night 01:22 Winter Dressage Championships day three: former runaway horse shows what she's made of for championship first-timer 03:30 Tales from Hartpury: the event horse making waves in her new career 01:56 Tales from Hartpury: Five horses and 13 tests — but did this rider remember where to go? 01:04 Tales from Hartpury: the horse with a rare skin condition that travelled in first gear for six miles 02:02 Winter Dressage Championships day two: Dujardin wants her rising star's foal for Easter 03:35 Tales from Hartpury: meet the family pony rubbing shoulders with dressage's big guns 01:08 Winter Dressage Championships day one: a shock victory and a horse defies the odds to do a double 04:43 H&H dressage editor’s Area Festival video diary: Disbelieving the results of my small and fairly average horse 05:03 Watch Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro's European freestyle dressage test 07:13 Watch Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro wow the crowds at Hartpury 09:37 What is 'breath energy' and could it help your riding? 03:48 Watch Charlotte Dujardin riding Valegro's freestyle on a catch ride 06:38 Ruth Edge: How to ride the perfect 10m circle 01:18 Exclusive: watch Valegro work out on a water treadmill 02:46 'Squat to exhaustion': meet Alice Oppenheimer 02:43 Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin: A bit of banter 03:15 Maria Eilberg: How to improve your horse's walk 02:03 Maria Eilberg: how to improve your horse’s trot 01:21 Michael Eilberg: How to ride a square halt 03:35 Michael Eilberg: introducing collection in canter 05:01 Michael Eilberg: teaching your horse to rein back 05:03 Watch Farouche's winning test at the BD nationals 05:44

Horse & Hound brings you stories with a difference from the British Dressage NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships at Hartpury (12-16 April)

Four-star event rider Sara Squires made a statement at the NAF Five Star British Dressage Winter Championships at Hartpury (13 April) with her beautiful black mare Carla Bruni when taking fifth place in the elementary gold championship.

But the six-year-old Contendros Bube x Sunlight mare began her competitive career on the eventing circuit.

“I bought ‘Carla’ as a just backed four-year-old from an auction at Verden,” explains Sara. “I was looking for event horses and she loose jumped very well. She is also nearly 50% thoroughbred so she fitted the bill nicely.”

Carla took to eventing well last season, clocking double clears in five-year-old and BE100 classes. On her debut she scored an impressive 18.8 (80.2%) in the dressage phase, and only once went below the 70% barrier in her six events.

“She was a fabulous cross-country horse and had great showjumping technique, but the showjumping warm-up scared the life out of her, which is why we’ve now switched her to dressage,” explains Sara. “She would just freeze if she didn’t have enough space in the warm-up, with horses jumping all around her.”

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Sara recently moved into a house on Matt Frost and Adam Kemp’s yard with her partner, where she also has her own stable of horses. She says that Carla, who is for sale, “isn’t established yet” but has “a very trainable brain.”

“Unfortunately I can’t afford to keep them all, but it would be nice to retain the ride on her,” says Sara. “We’re going to do some medium tests on her and see what happens — she’s a lovely horse.”

For a full report from the British Dressage winter championships and the Area Festival final — as well as news, views and expert comment — pick up a copy of Horse & Hound magazine next Thursday (20 April).

Dressage Horses for Sale