02 Feb Are you ready for 2017? ~ Sophie Warren Equestrian
The team here at Sophie Warren Equestrian had a huge year in 2016. Dance Hall Diva stepped up at the beginning of the season to CNC* starting out with a bang by winning her first ever start at this level. Eminence also stepped up a level to CNC/CIC***, the highest level we have in this state, and Let’s Impress had his first run back at this level since 2013. Having two horses running at the top level was a huge thrill, and something only done a handful of times in the past by riders in WA. We have been delighted to have Let’s Impress finish his final season of eventing sound and happy and with some incredible results. He now heads into retirement and will be missed.
We have once again been inundated with horses for foundation training (breaking in) and re-training from some of WA’s best breeding establishments and top level riders. It is an honour and a privilege to be acknowledged in this way for our training expertise, professionalism, and proven results. It makes for busy days managing the eventing team, lessons and a full yard of trainers too – all while trying to publish a book, write articles and blogs, maintain and improve the property and manage the admin side of things!
2016 saw the expansion of another side of our business…Sustainable Equitation. S.E. is about small footprint horse training. It’s a place where we share ideas and discoveries about ethical training, the rider as an athlete and the wider community. It’s about training the less than perfect horse, travelling, connecting with others and staying healthy.
We’ve run countless clinics and presentations throughout the year, plus our ever popular Boot Camp which was our biggest one yet. We can’t wait for the next one in May 2017.
One of the most exciting moments of 2016 was the launch of our horse training book: Horses Hate Surprise Parties. This is the first book for young riders about the science behind horse training. It offers simple explanations of the principles of Equitation Science and offers an evidence-based insight into how the horse thinks, learns and behaves. It is full of useful training exercises and fun facts and we like to think it will be highly recommended for all young (and not so young) horse lovers! Sales are going so well we’re going to have to re-print it fairly soon!
If we thought 2016 was a big year, it looks like 2017 is going to be even bigger! We start off the year by presenting at the PCAWA State Coaching School in February, and the following weekend we host Lucinda Green MBE for a clinic. We have also launched the Sustainable Equitation Adult Riding Club in 2017 for social adult riders who want to learn about Equitation Science in a friendly environment and progress the training of themselves and their horses.
Competition wise, we’re lucky to have a great team of horses for the season. Following 8 years at the top of the sport, the end of 2016 saw the end of Let’s Impress’s competition career. Let’s Impress has been an incredible competitor for me and in many ways he ‘put me on the map’ as far as eventing in Australia is concerned – they are big shoes to fill for the youngsters on our team but it’s an exciting journey to embark on with them.
We will continue to run Eminence at CNC/CIC*** this season and Diva will consolidate at One Star level with the aim of going two star late in the season or early 2018.
We are also still on the look-out for a suitable dressage horse to join the team which will be syndicated. We will have shares available in our new eventing prospects in due course too – once they prove themselves worthy of a spot on the team!
Stay tuned for progress reports on the youngsters and tips on training the retired racehorse.
The eventing team for 2017:
Sire: Bite The Bullet
Dance Hall Diva
Sire: Bel Denoro
Level: Just off the track