Black Country Saddles sponsored Paralympian, Sophie Wells, was in fantastic form at this year’s British Dressage Winter Championships.
On back-to-back nights, she rose to success, firstly winning the Magic Prix St Georges (PSG) with C Fatal Attraction, then winning the Superflex Inter I with her Rio gold medallist, Valerius. Not surprisingly, the crowd went wild.
Sophie herself said she couldn’t be more proud of C Fatal Attraction. She really didn’t think they were going to crack his changes for a while, so to deliver this performance was amazing.
In the Inter I, Sophie rode to the Tom Hunt programme that won her the grade IV Paralympic medal in Rio. However, she increased the difficulty to Inter I level and this was the first time she had ridden the floorplan in competition. Emotions were running high as Sophie wanted the audience to recognise that para work is no different to able-bodied dressage.
However, Sophie herself admits that on the night, Valerius felt on edge, and having already made the floorplan more difficult, she did have a last-minute wobble, wondering if she should have done a warm-up test beforehand. But when the time came, Sophie may have been out of her own comfort zone, but ultimately she was able to rely on the horse she knows so well, and has worked with for 10 years.
Sophie and Valerius were magnificent. Their fantastic extended trot out of halt, and canter piroutettes straight out of her tempi changes were spectacular. Quite unbelievably, after the competition, Sophie said she couldn’t remember the test when she began as she was completely focused on keeping Valerius’s energy levels in tune.
Valerius was beautifully in time with his music, ending with a fresh and cheerful, quiet, soft walk section.
For further information on Black Country Saddles please telpehone 01543 578 243 or visit www.blackcountrysaddles.com