First time success for Andrew and Laradello at Usk Show

Written by Andrew Ttophi

I have been riding for around 12 years now and have never stopped learning, in this time I have enjoyed a bit of everything from Hunting right through to competing at the RDA National Dressage championships at Hartpury three years running. As I am registered visually impaired, not being able to drive was always going to be a challenge, but with a great network of kind and caring friends I’ve managed. Walking to the yard in the winter is not fun but it saves on a trip to the gym I guess!

Laradello, a 12 year old, French bred thoroughbred by Lavernon, had a short racing career with just the one run in Ireland in a National Hunt Flat race in which he was unplaced, after which he was retired.

I have had Laradello (Mac) for two years now, I had him from a friend and the initial plan was for him to take me up to do some BE90 and maybe some show jumping. He came over from Ireland and my good friend Lisa had him soon after that. Lisa did some eventing on him but as he is such a small and compact horse he was just a bit small for her at 6 foot 2.

Since having Mac from Lisa, we have worked on our flatwork and taken part in many unaffiliated events such as show jumping, dressage and riding club activities. Cross country is his thing, he is a machine. We have not yet got to grips with keeping him settled for the dressage though as the white boards are just thrilling!

I have had many people tell me that I should give the showing a try, so this year we thought we would and with borrowed bridles, many different trial and error attempts at bits, we went ahead and gave it a go.

As always Mac loves the fuss and enjoys the atmosphere of the show and took it all in his stride and before we knew it, we were picking up Rosettes at local shows.

I came across the RoR page on Facebook and registered him and made it my goal to qualify for Aintree.

I never imagined it to be in our first RoR Qualifier at Usk Show that we would do this, but yes the boy went and did me proud. The lessons, the tack cleaning, the 5.30am wake up, was all worth it!!

It feels like it has taken a long time to click with Mac, but things are starting to come into place and we are looking forward to getting out over the winter and improving our dressage and jumping ready for the 2018 season.