Island Rider qualifies for national competition

Island rider Gemma Maddocks qualifies for national dressage competition after winning the Bicton Regional Championships in Devon. 

Miss Maddocks came first the Inter 1 gold class riding her own horse El Paso Van Overis (stable name Mars), in the late July regional championships.

She’ll head to the nationals held at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire for September 20-23.

Miss Maddocks said: “We’ve been to regionals before but have always just missed out on qualifying for the nationals because we’ve been second or third. So to finally qualify is an amazing feeling and I’m so pleased as Mars is more than capable of being at the big competitions.

“As long as he goes well and tries his hardest that’s all I can ask for, anything else will just be a bonus. I’m still riding for gold though, it doesn’t matter who your against you’ve got to be positive.

“He’s a bit quirky at times but has a heart of gold and is so much fun to ride, his ears are always pricked and he always seems to enjoy working and will try hard for you.

“In the build up to the competition we’ll continue our normal routine with training, we’re going over to my trainer Nicola Buchanan who lives in Ringwood, New Forest, next weekend for a couple of days.

“She has also qualified for the nationals at this level so we will be competing against each other.

“We’re both booked in to see our chiropractor Nikki Collinson-Phenix who sponsors us to make sure we’re both feeling the best we can and give us the best possible chance.”