Dressage Ireland and Youth Dressage member Ellen McDonald competed at her first international show on May 14 to 16. It was held at the wonderful facilities of Wellington Riding near Bastingstoke, Hampshire.
Pony, Junior and Young Rider classes were kept smaller than usual, but this gave all competitors Team, Individual and Freestyle tests to ride. Ellen produced calm work for 66.095% in the team test for seventh place, improving to 66.892% in the Individual test and equal eighth place. Alongside many competitors, the very loud music from one or two speakers produced tension in the Freestyle. A lower score of 64.192% was achieved, but still had Ellen placed seventh.
The show was given FEI approval after the cancellation of other internationals due to Covid. The British had its Olympic hopefuls out in force, so it was a wonderful chance to observe the best in action.
Ireland was very well represented with Kate Dwyer, Heike Holstein, Carolyn Mellor, Alex Baker, Belinda Brereton and Katie Williamson in the CDI; Vicky Campbell (placed second in the YR Prix St. Georges); Martha Joblin Purser in the Junior classes and Ellen McDonald in the Pony sections.
Average May weather with rain at night kept everyone cool on the outside, but warm and happy with some great results inside.