We are so excited to follow the journey of local rider Isabel Benbow who is competing for the first time at the Badminton grassroots 2017. We caught up with her to see how she is preparing for the big event,
Hi I’m Isabel, an 18 year old, equine Student at Hartpury College, I have ridden since I was a baby as my parents own Tipton Hall Riding School. As well as growing up with the riding school I am also a member of Wyre Forest pony club which is where I have worked through my pony club test as well as representing the club on many occasions, one of the highlights was coming second at the pony club championships in the novice eventing as well as fourth in the novice dressage in 2015.
I have qualified for the Badminton Grassroots on my horse Bryn who I have been riding since I was 10yrs old and he was just broken 4yr old, so we have learnt everything together. Working through the levels and gaining a fantastic partnership, we are hoping this will shine through when we compete at the grassroots. He really is one in million pony! To achieve what we have, I am so proud of my wonder pony. In fact we nearly didn’t get to the regional final for Badminton grassroots as we were still on the waiting list until the day of the event, we were not aware that we had a place until 10am on the day of the regional final, fortunately they were being held at Broadway Horse Trials which is not that far from where we are based, so a quick wash, plait and tack clean we raced there just in time to pull out a fantastic double clear to finish on our dressage score of 31, which was enough for us to qualify! All my hard work paid off, we got there.
Trying to juggle eventing around my studies has been quite hard work, luckily my super mum has been keeping Bryn going for me, as well as earning his keep at the riding school he takes out a couple of privileged riding school customers for hacks. I am very lucky where we live as the hilly countryside has been a great help to get Bryn fit for galloping around the Badminton estate, along with a lot of road work he is at peak performance. This winter I have been competing a lot to keep him going and competing at the Intermediate Dengie dressage championship was a fantastic experience, at Addington Manor which we came 8th
The eventing season started off with a bang with a win at easter at Sapey Horse Trials, then going onto getting a 5th place at Solihull Horse Trials. Bryn is feeling on good form so a quick lesson with my amazing tutor Tot Wall to polish off my dressage test, then we are ready. Time to enjoy all the hard work we have put in and experience the best couple of days of my life.
We are wishing Isabel and Bryn the best of luck for the next couple of days, we will be with you each step of the way, you can do this! Performance In Partnership