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Saturday, April 1, 2023

‘Value his weight in gold’: supercob hunts, team-chases and excels at PSG dressage

  • The proprietor of a cob who was bred “by mistake” and is now excelling at prix st georges (PSG) dressage, on the searching subject and team-chasing has paid tribute to his final all-round capacity.

    Sarah Vousden is succeeding with two “exceptionally versatile” horses; 12-year-old Harley, a cob with no recorded breeding, and 15-year-old pure Connemara George, who additionally competes at PSG and inter I degree dressage.

    Sarah instructed H&H she misplaced her cob Medwyn this week aged 29.

    “It began with him,” she stated. “I’ve had horses most of my life, tried eventing in my early 20s and ended up over-horsed, and I acquired Meddie on load to get my confidence again. I purchased him 18 months later and owned him for 21 years.”

    Sarah showjumped Meddie to 1.10m, however as he was “14.3hh on an excellent day”, the distances proved a difficulty, so she turned to dressage.

    “Having been an eventer, dressage wasn’t my factor!” she stated. “However we began doing fairly nicely at unaffiliated, and that began my love of dressage. He hunted too and was a correct all-rounder, and I realised I cherished natives, and the variability. However he acquired me into dressage.”

    Sarah and Meddie competed as much as elementary, then she purchased Harley as a five-year-old.

    “His breeding’s unknown; the woman I purchased him from, who’s a buddy, acquired him at six months outdated, he was a mistake within the subject,” she stated. “She acquired him to maintain her kids firm however later backed him, and he or she stated ‘I’ve acquired a cob who can be good for you’. He was going to be my searching cob however due to Meddie, I began education him and we’ve simply stored going.”

    Sarah had already purchased George, as a just-backed four-year-old who had his very difficult moments, however he has additionally turned out to be versatile, she stated, and what she discovered from him and Meddie has helped Harley’s progress.

    Sarah and Harley did their first workforce chase final spring – “I used to be going to sit down at three or 4 however the others have been a bit sticky so we ended up main for half the course!” – and he or she is a Bicester subscriber. “He loves a hedge,” she stated.

    In addition they do seaside rides, in addition to lately coming fourth at superior medium degree dressage, and tenth within the PSG Addington Space Pageant qualifier.

    “He adores his searching and I’m very happy we do dressage as I feel that provides me the management I won’t have in any other case!” she stated. “I feel he enjoys dressage too; he simply loves life and no matter he’s doing, he’s acquired his ears pricked. He at all times needs to do his finest for you and he loves a crowd.

    “I really like nation music so my PSG freestyle music with him is a rustic combine together with Take me House, Nation Roads, and after we did a demo to that, the group was clapping and laughing, and he cherished it.”

    Sarah stated Harley is an advocate for “being the underdog and doing it anyway”.

    “We don’t have a medium trot, and I feel some folks get caught at novice for that motive however I’ve acquired to PSG with out it, it’s just one motion,” she stated. “I simply go to get a qualifying rating and some extent or two, and if I do, I’m thrilled.”

    Sarah believes the phrase is spreading about how a lot cobs are able to and the way versatile they’re.

    “However at PSG you don’t see many cobs within the courses,” she stated. “I feel individuals are involved about competing towards warmbloods, however don’t fear about what they’re doing, simply attempt to higher your final rating, or enhance that motion. I needed to change my mindset, or I used to be continuously evaluating myself to the big-moving warmbloods, which you’ll’t do. To me, he’s price his weight in gold.”

    George was the primary horse Sarah competed at PSG; she stated she turned despondent having scored 63% on him at novice however coach Tom Graham inspired her to strive the upper strikes, so she moved up, and is now scoring the identical at PSG degree.

    “We discovered he may do the actions, and 63% at PSG is one thing to be happy with!” she stated. “I’m so happy with producing these kind of horses to this degree; they’re my life.”

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