Ep­worth Eques­trian Cen­tre, Lincs | York­shire Rid­ing Cen­tre, North Yorks

Horse & Hound - - Dressage - By ME­LANIE SCOTT

Ni­cola Nis­bet upped her game this week, mov­ing up to level she never thought she’d reach.

A year ago, Ni­cola was strug­gling to get her mare Raincheck to de­liver a con­fi­dent test with­out stress.

But this week she moved up a level and won her first medium test at Ep­worth.

“I’ve spent ages tak­ing her to com­pete at new venues, and go­ing to clin­ics to get her used to go­ing out, but it was al­ways in the back of my mind that she was go­ing to mis­be­have,” said Ni­cola, who trains with Peter De Cosemo, and has been hav­ing ex­tra les­sons with Jess Roisin Dunn.

“I think the turn­ing point was do­ing the in­ter-re­gion­als in May, where she be­haved like an an­gel. I took a long look at my­self and change my mind­set and ride her as I do at home,” she added

“I think both Peter and Jess were sur­prised when I said I wanted to try a medium, but they were sup­port­ive and we did it!”

Pip Par­sons also set her­self a tar­get — ex­ceed­ing the 70% bar­rier with her Ac­condy mare Ruby Tues­day IX. She achieved a per­sonal best of 70.77% to win a pre­lim sec­tion at York­shire Rid­ing Cen­tre, and she also won the other pre­lim class over­all.

“What I love about dres­sage is that the af­fil­i­ated struc­ture pushes you to do your best, and the re­sults are very vis­i­ble,” said Pip, a mar­ket­ing man­ager. “I’ve worked re­ally hard in train­ing with Cathy Bur­rell this month, and it has paid off. My next goal is to move up to novice as I think we’ve qual­i­fied for the win­ter re­gion­als.”

Pip took up rid­ing again af­ter a break for univer­sity and work, and bought Ruby Tues­day four years ago. At first, she con­cen­trated on rid­ing club com­pe­ti­tions but af­fil­i­ated last year.

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