Congratulations to Kingswood School Year 11 pupil, Phoebe, who represented Somerset for the British Dressage Youth Team in the The Inter Country Championships that took place in mid-October at the Bicton Arena, in Budleigh Salterton, Devon.

Taking her place in a much-depleted Somerset Team, Phoebe was riding her youngster Maybeg Og, who has been in dressage training for a year or so, obtaining some fantastic scores around the 80% mark along the way.

“I was really excited that the event was taking place as it had already been postponed from May,” said Phoebe. “I was quite nervous because it was Og’s first stay away show. But once I started warming up at the competition, I had to be so focused that nerves get pushed aside.

“It requires a lot of preparation leading up to an event, training week upon week, and a lot of effort and commitment goes into the whole process. Working with horses can be unpredictable and as the rider, you have to pay attention to fitness, health and their ability to perform, so a lot of fine tuning is necessary for a top performance on the day.  

“I really enjoyed the whole competition and process – our team was really supportive of each other and the atmosphere of the event was very encouraging. Og was super chilled out and not fazed at all, which was super.

“I first sat on a horse when I was six years old and have had lessons since. However, I started dressage about three years ago and went on to first represent Somerset in May 2019. I was riding a different pony then and she found the atmosphere a bit overwhelming and distracting. So whilst our team didn’t do as well, we were able to enjoy team activities and socialise more, which was a bonus.

“Unfortunately, due to the extraordinary and challenging past year that we’ve had, a lot of competitions have been cancelled so we have not been able to ride as a team as much. Hopefully this coming year will provide a more straightforward environment to do so!”