A West Norfolk dressage rider and horse did their team proud at the British Dressage Inter-regional Championships.
Emma Openshaw, of Terrington St Clement, and Pendretti Diamond Dancer, had been picked to represent the eastern region in a two-day event in Bedfordshire that attracted nearly 150 competitors and more than 30 teams from all over the UK.
They justified their selection by playing a key role in the success of their team and the region as a whole.
Competing in the elementary section, they finished ninth in a class of 32 riders on the first day and, after a pep talk from the team trainer, pulled out all the stops to finish fourth on day two with one of the two judges awarding them 70 per cent and giving them near perfect nines for two of the test movements.
The combined scores put Emma fifth overall in individual placings and pulled the team up from 13th at the close of day one to finish seventh overall
Judy Bates, also from Terrington St Clement, owns and also competes with the part-Trakehner mare who is known as Daisy at home.
She said: “Emma was unable to take her own horse this year so we put Daisy forward. It was a big ask because she has only been working at this level for a few months and she is not bred specifically for dressage but she and Emma had some impressive scores in the run-up to the competition and it was enough to get them on the team.”
Emma, who trains clients from a base at Walsoken, said: “We always said she would be a good team horse because she is consistent, takes everything in her stride and really knows her job. It was a big occasion for her but she loved the atmosphere. The Saturday score was a bit disappointing because we knew she could do better but she tried her heart out next day.”
The pairing have another big competition looming having qualified for the British Dressage summer regional finals in August.