December 10 2013 Latest news:
Safira Ali, Senior reporter
Saturday, September 28, 2013
A 10-year-old girl wants to follow in the footsteps of Team GB double gold medallist Charlotte Dujardin and has her sights set on the Olympics.
n Dressage means training in French.
n The horse and trainer are expected to perform a series of movements during a dressage competition.
n It is used to develop a horse’s natural athletic ability and willingness to perform.
n Judges score each movement from one to 10.
Ellie Warner started riding horses when she was only four years old. Now she is winning regional competitions and competing in national competitions at senior level.
Mum Laura says Ellie’s passion started after she got her pony, Pickles, three years ago, and she became more dedicated and responsible.
She said: “She really enjoys riding and looking after him.”
“She’s just really dedicated and passionate about horses and the competitions. She doesn’t just compete, she loves to muck out and look after her horse too. She does take responsibility for him.”
The Whybridge Junior School pupil has a first place at dressage competitions in Brook Farm, and in the latest senior category in Stoneleigh in August, she was fourth.
Laura said: “She has competed in junior and senior competition and has done well in both. Ellie really has got a passion for this and talks about being in the Olympics.
“Seeing her idol Charlotte Dujardin has made her want to aim for it more.”
Ellie, of Abberton Walk, Rainham, said: “I love horse riding because it keeps me busy and I have a good friendship with my pony, who I love so much and he makes my life whole.”
Ellie is up at 5.30am every day to clean out Pickles’ stable and returns after school to ride him and clean him.
She added: “Some children don’t like getting up early, but I get happy because I get to go to the stables and see my horse. I am very grateful for what I have.”
The youngster has no qualms discussing her Olympic ambitions, despite having eight years until she can compete.
“I would like to become an Olympic dressage rider.
“I have been to see Charlotte [Dujardin] and I would like to be like her.
“I got to speak to her at a competition and she gave me some advice afterwards to focus on my dressage and to ride the arena like you own it. And she said it is really great that I am doing it at my age. She was really nice.”
The schoolgirl hopes to join the Dressage Under-21s UK group for young riders and is training for her next competition at Finchingfield, Essex, this weekend before a show at Brook Farm.
Laura added: “Dressage is something she wants to aim for and has wanted to do for a long time.
“She is training every two weeks and has improved so much, so I have no doubt she will do well.
“She’s just really dedicated and passionate about horses.”
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