Harpenden woman wins national dressage title

Lizzie Bulmer and her horse Duke of Light

Lizzie Bulmer and her horse Duke of Light. - Credit: Petplan Equine Area Festival

A Harpenden dressage rider has won at a national championship.

Lizzie Bulmer and her horse Duke of Light were the winners of the Petplan Equine Area Festival Medium Silver Championship at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire.

The field of talented horse and rider combinations needed to demonstrate their skills when competing for the title and it was a serious achievement to finish on top of the leader board.

Nine-year-old Duke of Light impressed the judges with a powerful performance achieving the winning score of 69.75 per cent.

Lizzie said: “I’m absolutely over the moon and very surprised by the result! It’s the first time he’s done a championship, he’s been a very difficult horse and I haven’t felt like he’s been ready for this sort of atmosphere before now. The lockdown has done him good, he’s grown up a bit and he’s now nine – I felt it was time to try to get him out somewhere and get him to a championship, I’m amazed by the result!” 

She added: “He was a nightmare in the stables whilst I was trying to get plaits in him neighing to all his friends going backwards and forwards and so I was amazed that he came out and concentrated as well as he did!

"I spent a lot of time walking and suppling him this morning, I didn’t do a huge amount before I went in. When I went in, he was on my aids and relaxed, if I had to be critical he was slightly running out of energy as the test went on but I’m absolutely delighted with him, it’s so much more than I could have expected.” 

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The Petplan Equine Area Festival series gives amateur riders the opportunity to experience the thrill of competing in top competition style conditions in classes from Preliminary to Intermediate II level.

Petplan marketing executive Sara Oram added: “We definitely appreciate the effort that grassroots dressage riders put into making the Petplan Equine Area Festivals such a success and would especially like to congratulate Lizzie and Duke of Light on their triumph. We wish them the very best of luck for the future,."

Further information about the Petplan Equine Area Festivals and how to qualify for next year’s Championship are available from the Petplan Equine website at: www.petplanequine.co.uk/area-festivals/