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West Norfolk dressage riders go international

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Three dressage riders based within a few miles of each other in West Norfolk will be flying the GB and England flags in international competitions next month.

Lewis Carrier, from Denver, has been picked for the GB squad to compete in the under-25 European championships in Hagen, Germany.

And Sandra Joyes, from Downham, and Emma Openshaw, based at Marshland St James, have been selected to represent the combined south and east region in the England team at the British Dressage home international in Leicestershire next weekend.

Lewis Carrier and Diego (50552048)
Lewis Carrier and Diego (50552048)

Lewis will be riding Diego, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood he has taken from a four-year-old through all of the dressage levels to Grand Prix.

Lewis has worked in the equine industry since he was 16. He was with Eilberg Dressage, in Redditch, and Elite Dressage, in Devon, before returning to Norfolk in 2019 to concentrate on his Team GB commitments and to start his own business as a trainer and rider.

The pair represented Great Britain at the 2018 Young Rider European Championships in France and the 2020 U25 European Championships in Hungary.

sandra joyes and Fudgie (50551895)
sandra joyes and Fudgie (50551895)

Lewis is a World Class Podium Potential Pathway athlete and has been selected for the Olympic Ambition Programme for Paris 2024, which identifies athletes with the potential to represent GB at the Paris Olympics.

He says that Diego has a cheeky disposition and performs at his best on the biggest stages.

Sandra will be heading for the three-day home international with Ferguson – known to friends as Fudgie – who is an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood currently working at advanced medium level.

“He is a cheeky boy with lots of personality and known for being a little naughty when younger but maturing into a fantastic trainable horse,” said Sandra who is a certified equine sports massage therapist alongside a full-time role in learing and development.

Emma Openshaw and Daisy
Emma Openshaw and Daisy

She said: “I am so excited to have again been selected, the last time being 2018. And so proud of Fudgie. It is an excellent opportunity for amateur riders to experience an international competition.”

Joining her at Vale View and competing at elementary level will be dressage trainer Emma riding Penbretti Diamond Dancer (Daisy), a 14-year-old tri-coloured Trakehner-cross mare owned by Judy Bates, from Terrington St Clement.

This is a first time at the home international for Emma although she has represented the eastern region on her own horse and with Daisy at BD inter-regional teams championships in the past.

Daisy had a successful career as a show horse before turning to dressage and is described by Emma as a “pocket rocket with the sweetest temperament who always tries her hardest to please.”

Emma said: “It is very exciting to be picked for the team and to have the chance to ride against competitors who will be coming from all over England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.”

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