Wednesday, 29 November 2017
Year 8 pupil Beth McGuinness has qualified to compete in the British National Dressage Championships next April.
Beth started riding at the age of two and began competing in local pony club shows when she was four. Initially she took part in various classes, including jumping, but at the age of six she discovered dressage and was an immediate success. She became a member of British Dressage (BD) and from there progressed to compete in affiliated classes.
2016 was her first year at BD level. Beth was ten years old, and competed while riding a pony she had trained herself over the course of the past four years with help from her mum. She qualified for the regional finals and finished in the top ten. Following this success, she went up a level and finished second in the area festival regionals, narrowly missing out on a national place.
However, in 2017 she outgrew her pony Merlin Vi, who had introduced her to the world of dressage and had many wins under his belt.
In April, Beth started to train new pony: Gwallwy Elfed Sion, a 14.2 Welsh Section D. Within a month, they were out competing at affiliated level and qualified for the regionals, where Beth came in third place.
She then progressed a level again and qualified once more for the area festival regional Under 18’s first round. She was successful at this competition and qualified for the final round, where she finally got her national ticket!
Beth was in disbelief when she learned she had qualified and said, “I never expected to do it in our first year.”
Beth was also selected this year to ride in front of the Under 21s GB squad selectors, which was an amazing experience for her and she hopes to be asked again next year. In 2018, Beth will be moving up more levels and hopes one day to compete at Grand Prix.
The National Dressage Championships will be held in April 2018 at Hartbury in Gloucestershire.
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