HORSE rider Cara Shardlow will represent the northern region and England at the British Dressage Home International at the David Broome Event Centre in Wales this weekend.
Cara, of Sneatonthorpe, is competing in the northern engagement team with Carolyn Brown, Sue Grimes and Jessica McDougall.
Riding Detonator II in the novice section, Cara - who Beckside Livery stables - has been focusing on dressage for the past two years so this is a departure from her first love of eventing.
Dressage is a competitive equestrian sport and the highest expression of horse training.
Often referred to as horse ballet, the purpose of dressage is to develop a horse’s natural athletic ability and willingness to perform.
In each team, the members have different levels.
Four teams from the northern region - which covers the Scottish borders and down to Leicestershire - consist of riders and horses of different levels.
The selection process chooses riders who have gone out competing and achieved high scores consistently.
In eventing, Cara competed at intermediate and CCI* level.
“I was always interested in dressage and saved up for years to buy a just broken three-year-old,” she said.
“The three-year-old was called Detonator and immediately lived up to his name.
“He bucked me and the saddle off onto the floor the result of which was I sustained a hip injury.”
Cara’s dedication and horse skills trained Detonator into a talented and strong enough horse to contend with in dressage circles.
They qualified in the novice regional finals this year.
For a five-year-old horse, this is no mean feat and a testament to Cara’s natural ability and experience in her field.
She also is the reserve with her horse Rhythmic Times for the medium level entry.
Cara qualified as a BHS AI riding instructor and gained her HND in equine and business studies.
She has also run the livery yard in Sneatonthorpe since 1999.
As well as teaching all levels, going to affiliated eventing and dressage events and being the local chief instructor for Goathland Pony Club, she also trained in Equine Sports Massage.
“I studied under Mary Bromley who was the New Zealand Olympic team physio and world-renowned in her reputation,” she said.
“I got my diploma but have been too busy to actually practise and develop that side of my business.”