Virtual dressage league kicks off

Virtual Dressage League BR Farm
IN THE RIBBONS: Everyone gets a rosette for taking part in the Dressage at Home and International virtual dressage league. (FW21-532NN)

IT was a busy weekend with the first event at Dressage at Home and International. Organisers were overwhelmed at the support and large number of entries for the inaugural show of the league.

Dressage at Home and International is a Northern Ireland based virtual dressage company. Competitors pick their class, practice, ride their test at home and get someone to film it. Videos are sent in and judged by listed judges. Feedback, rosettes and results are then issued back to riders via post.

WELL DONE: Victoria McCandless on ‘Koolstyle’ won the First Dressage Introductory class. (FW21-531NN)

Martina McKinley was the first judge in the hot seat this week. Martina was impressed with the standard of riding and dedication of the riders. She also thought the tests written by the company rode really well!

Company owner, Emma Hobson, feels this is the way forward for some competitors in the sport. It has given riders a purpose to ride and a goal to work towards during the Covid 19 crisis. It’s also such a stress-free way to compete for nervous horses and riders. The drama of going to a show is eliminated and massive costs are saved too. The riders get feedback from listed judges, so they can always improve as well.

Dressage at Home and International are currently running a four-week league, sponsored by local feed company, Bluegrass. The first leg of the league has passed, but, as riders need only compete in three out of the four shows, they can still qualify for league prizes if they enter the show this coming Friday, May 22.

Emma Hobson states: “I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive feedback we have had after our first show! Riders from all over, both young and old, have really enjoyed the experience. We are a really inclusive company. It’s all about getting out and enjoying your hobby, something I feel is vital, especially in Mental Health Week.

“Every test has been written by us and trialled by riders, so they flow nicely and are easy to learn. Also, every rider gets a rosette – this is something we refuse to skimp on! We recognise the hard work the riders and their horses put in and this is something we feel deserves to be recognised! If anyone fancies having a go, please see our Facebook page. All of the information and tests are there. Good luck to all our competitors for this week!”

To enter, riders need to look up the company Facebook page, Dressage @ Home & International. They simply find the appropriate class(es) and tests, send payment via PayPal and then send in their video when they are ready. Entries close at 6pm on Friday.

The Facebook page includes videos with details on how to enter, as well as demos of some of the tests. Any queries can be messaged via Facebook or Emma Hobson on 07805 901744.


Friday, May 15

RING ONE – LEAD REIN: 1) Amelie Hobson Brown, Mini the Minx 67.42%.

RING TWO – FIRST DRESSAGE INTRODUCTORY: 1) Victoria McCandless, Koolstyle 64.8%; 2) Tanya Kemp, Jack 64.00%.

RING THREE – JUNIORS INTRODUCTORY: 1) Abbie Harkness, Trinnie 63.80%; 2) Claudia Mainwaring, Bella 63.4%; 3) Holly Webber, Bluebell 61.4%; 4) Lilly McKenzie, Toffee N/A.

RING FOUR – NEWCOMERS PRELIMINARY: 1) Freya Kennedy, Kirktown Bob’s Song MIH 67.93%; 2) Molly O’Connor, Rossfad Runaway 66.90%; 3) Mary McAleer, Caoranbeg Hanna 65.69%; 4) Emily Lovegrove, Rhencullen Flash Harry 63.97%; 5) Sasha Woods, Ludovik K 63.45%; 6) Leigh Sloan, Mollie 61.55%; 7) Conor Kennedy, Willow Wisp 61.38%; 8) Sarah Hewitt, Buttons 60.69%.

RING FIVE – PRELIMINARY: 1) Freya Rottenbury, Harry XXVI 70.89%; 2) Shannon Magee, Malinky 70.18%; 3) Louise Magill, Camiros Danny 69.46%; 4) Tina O’Connor, Rockrimmon Willow 69.11%; 5) Ciara Mainwaring, Spot of Color Romeo 68.57%; 6) Georgia Rea, Jasper 64.46%; 7) Mary Maslen, Juno 63.57%; 8) Louise Beggs, Nanky Brooker Spain 62.68%; 9) Sasha Woods, Phoenix 61.96%; 10) Sam O’Sullivan, Clover 59.29%.

RING SIX – SENIOR PRELIMINARY: 1) Catherine Higgins, Mr Finnigan 62.14%.

RING SEVEN – VETERAN: 1) Chloe Hoyle, Meg 62.78%; 2) Judith Porter, Basil 58.70%.

RING EIGHT – NOVICE: 1) Abbie Wylie, Colour Confusion 61.35%; 2) Julie Dauncey, Summer 58.85%.

RING NINE – ELEMENTARY: 1) Jill Hobson, Furisto Seven for a Secret 65.54%; 2) Jill Hobson, The Alchemist 63.75%; 3) Louise Spence, Twiggy 62.68%; 4) Julie Dauncey, Molly 58.04%.

RUNNER UP: Claudia Mainwaring came second in the Junior Introductory class. (FW21-530NN)

RING TEN – MEDIUM: 1) Jill Hobson, Furisto Seven for a Secret 64.84%; 2) Louise Spence, Maverick 61.97%.


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