Girl aged 9 competes for Side Saddle Team GB at Nationals

With 3 wins and the team win, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th placing it was certainly a very successful weekend for Lily.

The weekend was a winning success for both the team and all the UK riders. 

As the youngest rider to have competed for the team this was a huge achievement for Lily.

Lily aged-9, has been riding Side Saddle for 3 years and attends Stonar School who kindly gave Lily time off to attend. 

This year she took both her ponies Woodroyd GB and Merrytown Paddy Joe - known as DAVE (owned by Mark & Alison Jewell) to experience France and be part of the Side Saddle Team GB for the European Side Saddle event.

Lily competed in a total of 7 classes over the 2 days, all the classes are Freestyle Dressage set to music, apart from the Dressage compulsory tests.

Dressage was held in 60x20 sand arena and Concours classes were held in 40x20 sand arena.

All the warmup and arenas were wet sand, which runs slower (much slower) than grass and other UK surfaces, which meant next year that the team will learn for next year for sure, practice on sand). 

The idea of the libre and concours classes is to perform all the compulsory movements and make it interesting for the judges with music to match the horses stride and the movements, all performed Side Saddle and all in Costume, to match the theme. 

You are marked on everything including, set movements, way of going, impulsion, choreography, music choice, originality, the list goes on.

First day was spent with the 2 Freestyle Dressage at Libre Club 3 level (French lowest level which is Preliminary Dressage level) and a Concours class ‘Fantasy’ in the evening (again Freestyle Preliminary Dressage level).

The Team GB and our other 2 UK Riders Karen Dallyn and Julia Izzard all competed brilliantly over the weekend in blistering heat and had all achieved a podium 1st place in various classes.