A young Huggate horsewoman is celebrating after her successful debut for GB at the International Dressage Competition in Le Mans recently.
Despite only having competed at the top level PSG Young Riders dressage standard since May this year, 20 year old Laura Milner and her 17 year old gelding, Wild Storm (whose stable name is Bouncer) impressed GB selectors with their partnership and was invited to represent GB in the Young Riders event.
Laura competed in the Team Test on day one and finished eighth in the Individual Test on day two to earn a place in the final music test on the last day. Laura came sixth out of 11 in the music test and was the highest placed GB rider.
Talking about representing her country for the first time, Laura, who runs her own business, Merlin Equestrian equine rug washing and repairs, said: “I have dreamt about representing my country since I started competing on the dressage circuit aged 11 and I’m so proud that we did so well at our first attempt.”
Whilst International Dressage Trainer and Rider, Becky Moody is responsible for equestrian training for Laura and Bouncer, Laura’s hard work with Market Weighton gym owner and personal trainer, Tony Oades, has paid dividends as her improved core strength has resulted in higher competition scores. Regular sports massages from Pocklington physio Lisa Wiles also help to keep Laura in peak fitness. Laura also receives valuable support from Equiform Nutrition, Baileys Horse Feed and Merlin Equestrian.
Dressage is a French term meaning training and was developed by the Ancient Greeks to give their troops an advantage in combat. In the 17th and 18th centuries, dressage became fashionable and nobility used to stage grand displays like those still seen at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna.
In the 20th century, dressage became the competitive sport it is today and according to its governing body, British Dressage Limited, its 14,000 members, 10,000 registered horses and 2,000 days of competition per year make dressage the fastest growing Olympic equestrian discipline.