The first 2012 Martin Wilkinson Master Saddler rider of the month is seventeen-year-old Isabella Bruce from Ongar in Essex, who has not only had a successful month but a very good year placing consistently well in dressage competitions across the county.
Last month Isabella was announced as Brook Farm Training Centre’s winter dressage points league winner, with her welsh cross cob pony Alfie (Nobel Surprise) at the championship show on the 27th November, with Louise Beard and Danny’s April Pride placing second.
Although it hasn’t always been plain sailing with six-year-old Alfie as he was quite a handful in his early years, but now he has grasped the concept of work, his spark simply adds to his presence now!
“He had just been backed when we brought him and he turned out to be quite rebellious!” said Gina, Isabella’s mum. “Eventually when the biting and temper tantrums became too much we had some tests done and discovered that he was a rigg, and so in October 2009 he ended up at the Royal Veterinary College to be properly castrated. Since then we haven’t looked back!”
Isabella fits her equestrian ambitions around attending catering college, and is trained by Claire Knowles.
The pair started doing prelims in June 2010 and a lovely pony emerged, since then they have moved up the ranks and in 2011 competed at novice level, with aims to affiliate in 2012.
Just before the championships at Brook Farm, Alfie was stung around his jaw area, and had to have a steroid injection as his throat became swollen; luckily he was fine to compete at Brook Farm as the swelling lessened, but the sting became infected shorty after and it took two courses of antibiotics to get rid of the infection! Sadly he has also been out of action more recently with a sore back, but we are thrilled to hear he is well on the road to recovery, and will be back out on the circuit soon.
Isabella placed third in our prelim league last year, riding Nobel Surprise, and looks to better that this year with a second placing in our novice league! Congratulations Isabella!