Donovan’s return to competition

Having rejoined Donovan to British Dressage, I was excited to be taking him out for his first competition in over a year at Abbey Dressage near Tewkesbury.  I decided to enter a Novice and Elementary both in the long arena outside, then if all going well he will hopefully move back up to Medium level soon.

So after getting him all smart last night, we set off with only a slight hitch after my watch helpfully stopping on 8:30am and having a rather rushed boot and load up!


There is plenty of space to warm up at Abbey and Donovan was as chilled as ever (I had a feeling he wouldn’t be too excited at his first outing once he realised it was just “boring dressage!”)  He warmed up ok for our first Novice 39 but was hanging on my right rein at times (I think this was the extent of his excitedment!)  I managed to ride him forward for a few laps once over in the competition arena before the bell to get rid of any spookiness, as he can be a very spooky boy and he did a reasonable test to score 65.52%.  Quick pit stop for a drink, a polo (for Donovan) and glance at the rather complicated Elementary 59.  We practiced some of the movements that were in the elementary and he was performing them well, managing to stay quite energised – he is a lazy boy!   He did an lovely accurate test to score 68.13% and win the class!


My aim with him now is to qualify for the winter elementary regionals, for which he needs 15 points gained from tests that he scores 64% or more in – he gained 5 points for his elementary test today so we’re a third of the way there!

This afternoon I schooled Ali and went through movements from the 1 star B test, as this is the test we’ll have to do if we enter the CIC* at Somerford Park, which we will probably do in August.  Next week I am looking forward to a show jumping training session with Nick Gauntlett at his yard in Chipping Sodbury, let hope we get there this time…..


One thought on “Donovan’s return to competition

  1. Love the photo!! Glad you had a successful outing, he’s a lovely boy.

    And you asked a while ago what Novice was over in US and I meant to reply but got distracted! In the US the levels are beginner novice (max height 2’7″), novice (2’9″), training (3’3″), prelim (3’7″ I believe?), intermediate (can’t remember) and advanced (4’1″). And of course all of those heights are in feet and inches so it’s different than the meters. I’m not sure all of the technicalities for dressage in the levels. I wish us Americans didn’t have to do everything SO differently…. It’s rather annoying, actually! 😐

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