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Team HorseHage Riders Are Looking Ahead To Success

Bert Sheffield

Lincolnshire-based para-dressage rider, Bert Sheffield, who is on the Canadian para squad, is working hard towards her aim of selection for Rio next year and was recently one of twenty Canadian active, national senior team athletes awarded the ‘AthletesCAN’ bursary which provides funds for valuable training.

She is currently number one on the Canadian Short List rankings and has recently been competing successfully on the Canadian European Tour but is now back in the UK for the Hartpury Festival of Dressage this week, followed by Bishop Burton CPEDI*** and Bury Farm CPEDI***.  The scores attained in these CPEDI*** events will go to help selectors decide who will represent Canada in both team and individual events for Rio 2016 and so are hugely important for Bert.


Bert is fairly unique amongst para riders as she prefers to produce her horses herself. Buying a ‘ready-made’ horse at the quality needed to reach the requirements for top level competition was out of the question for Bert. Her current horse, Double Agent (or Darcy as she is known at home) was bred in Wales and Bert has recently purchased a two-year-old by Sir Caprimond and out of Seven Percent (Darcy’s grand-mother). The youngster is called St Sheri and already stands at 16.2hh and possessing a kind and friendly temperament, Bert has high hopes for the future with her.


Bert is also responsible for the day to day management of her horses, including the mucking out!  When she isn’t competing, she is works hard as a trainer and is building up a client list of pupils locally.

She has qualified for the British Dressage National Championships in September and is the reigning Grade III Champion. As well as the para competitions, she will be campaigning Darcy at able-bodied Advanced Medium level. The pair have only been out once at this level and won with a score of over 69% so the aim is to go Advanced and Prix St Georges in the near future.


Having dual nationality and making the decision to ride for Canada over Great Britain has worked out very well and has given Bert the opportunity to compete at the highest level in para-dressage competitions.


Mary King

Following the retirement from competition of her top mare, Kings Temptress (Tess), owned by Derek Baden, Mary has made the exciting decision to breed from her. Tess has already had five successful embryo transfers in the past but this time the baby will be her own!


Credit – Liz Knowler

Mary will continue to compete Lottie and further her education this season. Her home-bred five-year-olds competed in their second BE100 at a lovely new event at Millfield School in Somerset and Mary will continue her work with them this autumn.


Althea and Janou Bleekman

Like Bert Sheffield, the Bleekman sisters have dual nationality.  They have made the decision to ride for Holland but are based in the UK.


Elder sister, Althea, will be competing on Meepswood Conquestor and Ziomf in the CIC*** at Jardy in France in mid-July, and the following week, younger sister, Janou, will be competing in Renswoude in Holland in the Dutch National Young Riders Championships with Dasj in the CCI**.


It will be Dasj’s first CCI** (three-day-event) and Janou is hoping for a good result as the pair won the Junior National Championships last year. She will also be aiming her at the FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships for Young Horses in the seven-year-old class. She was placed 19th in the six-year-old class last year. Janou will also ride Granntevka Prince in the CIC** and Caliari Kiko in her first CIC***.


Both Dasj and Caliari Kiko are home-bred horses and with the girls based at their parents’ Whorridge Farm Stud in Devon, breeding horses and the importance of bloodlines is a huge part of their lives, along with top level competition, as both parents, Edward and Clarissa Bleekman, were also very successful international event riders. The family are a close-knit team and use their extensive knowledge to work well together, combining breaking, schooling and selling on youngsters with stud work and the girls’ international eventing careers.


Beverley Brightman

Beverley’s latest addition to her team of horses, Walkman (Bugsy) has been placed at every Premier League show this season and she has qualified him for the British Dressage National Championships. She is hoping to do her first international with him this autumn,


Her other ride, Hexagons Platina (Magic), has gone from being an all-rounder with a young girl to a Grand Prix dressage horse in three years and is now aged 18! She has been 1st, 2nd and 4th in the three Grand Prix music tests she has done at the Premier League shows this season. Beverley is also hoping to be competing Magic at the Nationals later this year.



Jeni Gilbert

Jeni continues to campaign with her pair of Connemara endurance horses. Campaign veteran, Flurrie, on whom Jeni has had major national successes, is still competitive and is ranked 10th in the Distance League Table having clocked an amazing 7929 km over 119 rides during his years of competing from 2002 up to the present date, and shows no signs of slowing down.



Credit – West-End-Photography

The ‘new kid on the block’, Alfie, has now competed in his first 80k in one day and passed with flying colours, being placed second and is now eligible to progress to advanced level.

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Credit – Kerry Dawson


Helen West

Devon-based event rider, Helen West, continues to combine her eventing career with managing  the south-west’s leading equestrian venue at Bicton.

Her next big event is at Hartpury in August where she will compete her top horse, Foxdon Sunny Jim, in his first 3* event along with Eebay who will be doing his first 1*.



Spencer Roe

Lincolnshire-based show-jumper, Spencer Roe, has represented Team GB for the last four years, from Junior and Young Riders Nations Cup Teams to winning his first 5* Nations Cup Team in May 2014. He earned his second 5* Nations Cup win in La Baule earlier this year, in May. He has now represented his country on six 5* Nations Cup Teams as well as the World Equestrian Games and is the youngest rider to be selected for a British Championship Team in twenty years.

He was placed 4th in the 1.60m 4* Bunn Leisure Derby Trial at Hickstead last month on his top horse, Wonder Why, and will be competing there again at the end of this month at the Royal Interntational Horse Show.


He has a great team of horses, including the stallion, Chaccomo Agostini, owned by Darren Hardy, Hill Valley Stud, plus six other rides owned by Spencer and the Roe family.