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Dressage riders from West Norfolk make their mark at home and overseas

The trio of West Norfolk dressage riders who have been competing at international competitions overseas and on home ground did their teams proud.

Lewis Carrier, from Denver, represented GB at the European Under 25s championships in Hagen, Germany, and then came home to ride at the British Dressage National Championships in Cheshire.

Meanwhile Emma Openshaw, a dressage trainer based at Marshland St James, flew the England flag for the south and east regions at British Dressage’s senior home international in Leicestershire and made the top ten.

All smiles in Hagen: Lewis Carrier and Diego
All smiles in Hagen: Lewis Carrier and Diego

Back from Hagen, Lewis said: Championships in Hagen,turned out to be a great success for Diego and me.

After a personal best in the team test, we put Team GB in bronze medal position overnight, but a few costly mistakes from the Team’s final combination left us in fifth position, close behind the bronze medal score.

“Diego and I continued our consistent form in all three tests: the team test, the individual test and the freestyle, each time finishing 12th, close on the heels of the best of the German and Dutch riders.

Emma Openshaw receives her rosette. Kevin Sparrow Photography
Emma Openshaw receives her rosette. Kevin Sparrow Photography

“Diego rode the freestyle with his characteristic energy and excitement, lifted by the music and atmosphere, and, even with a few mistakes, we still finished on a fantastic score.

“Hagen hosted the first Europeans in history where both the senior and U25 competitions were held at the same event, so it was an incredible experience to compete alongside some of the world’s best riders and horses, including Olympic gold medallists Charlotte Dujardin, Jessica Von Bredow-Werndl and Isabel Werth.

Lewis said: “Diego was still very fresh after Hagen when we competed at the British National Championships at Somerford Park in the Inter II, two days after returning to the UK.

“We led the competition almost to the finish, ending up in a very close third place in a very competitive, large, senior class – as good a result as I could have hoped for.”

At the home international, Emma was riding Penbretti Diamond Dancer (Daisy), a coloured mare owned by Judy Bates, from Terrington St Clement, and was delighted to finish seventh overall in the elementary section.

Emma said: “It was a very strong class of nearly 40 with some incredible horses but Daisy was as consistent as ever over the two days and loved the atmosphere and crowds.

“She was placed fifth on day one and still in the top ten on day two – well happy with that!”

Sandra Joyes, from Downham, was also in the south and east team with Ferguson (Fudge) in the advanced medium section and came home equally pleased with their performance.

“We were eighth in class on day one but Fudge is new to this level and rather ran out of puff on the second day so we dropped just outside the top ten. Nevertheless I was very proud of him and the way he performed.”

But there was exciting news for Sandra when she arrived home to hear that she had got a wild card to compete in the advanced medium freestyle to music class at the Pet Plan Area Festival at Arena UK, Lincolnshire, in October.

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