SIXTEEN-year-old Kelly Jones, from Petworth, was thrilled to win a lesson with professional dressage rider Alice Oppenheimer, thanks to an exciting prize draw organised by Dengie Horse Feeds as part of its annual sponsorship of the Pony Club Winter League Championships.
Kelly, a member of the Cowdray Hunt branch, was invited along to Headmore Stud, in Hampshire – owned and managed by Alice and her mother, Sarah – for an intensive dressage tutorial on Jack, her handsome thoroughbred.
Although Kelly competes in all Pony Club activities, she was keen to improve her average dressage scores and concentrated hard while Alice put the pair through their paces on both reins as they worked on walk, trot, canter, leg yields and shoulder-ins.
“Kelly and Jack are a really nice combination,” said Alice. “Kelly needs to discipline herself a bit more to have a clear plan when schooling on the flat, but the exercises we did will help her focus and get Jack to step under himself more and working through his back. Kelly needs to maintain her contact so that Jack doesn’t poke his nose and I am sure their overall marks will improve.”
The day was a wonderful opportunity for Kelly, who has her sights firmly on the BE100 at Iping later this month. “I am very grateful to Dengie,” she said. “I could really feel the difference in Jack and I will definitely work at home on the exercises Alice has taught me – and I will try to be more organised with my schooling. I’m sure Jack’s improvement on the flat will also help with our jumping.”