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Success stories Dragons Heart's Story

24th September 2021

By Laura Gold

In September 2020, I purchased Dragons Heart, now known as Ripley to her friends, to do a bit of everything with and to let her decide what discipline she prefers. She was in training but never made it to the racecourse so had clearly decided racing wasn’t for her.

Having previously owned a number of former racehorses and Ripley being 5 years old, I decided to take her retraining journey slowly. In her early days she was very spooky and a little nappy especially around bins and birds however, brilliant in all sorts of traffic.

Due to having no schooling facilities on the yard we have mainly hacked out this year with the occasional lesson, Ripley isn’t the flashiest of movers but she tries her hardest and is a really honest mare.

In June we popped out for some Introductory Dressage to get her out and about and to my amazement we gained three qualifying scores for the British Dressage Championships. Since then we’ve competed at the Forces Equine Games for Suffolk Police and was placed 2nd in the BD Associated Championship and 5th in the Blue Chip Championship, which was a very busy and exciting environment.

Ripley still has a few little quirks, for example, when she sees or hears my car pulling into the yard she stands at the gate and starts digging and squealing until you get to the gate and give her a fuss. She also has a huge aversion towards decorative garden rock features but has a fantastic temperament that is so gentle anyone can handle her. My 4 year old often helps bring her in from the field and grooms her climbing up on the mounting steps to reach.

Ripley’s well known for her sleeping, she’s often found flat out on her side in the field or stable, snoring and takes a bit of persuading to get up.

I think once you have previously owned a former racehorses you're hooked. They are the most rewarding horses and it's really lovely to take them on a journey from racing to a new career or just an all-round family horse. It takes time, patience, hard work and you have to be realistic about the horse’s and your capabilities.

Over the winter, I will introduce a bit of jumping and next spring see what she makes of cross country jumps. We have qualified for the RoR and Thoroughbred classes at Vale View in October, so we will most probably go if I can get the time off work. It will be nice to work towards prelim dressage over the next few months but for now she has already exceeded all of my expectations and I cannot wait for what the future holds!

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