Lancashire student Ellie Jolleys is savouring success after a record year of wins in national and regional dressage competitions.
The 16 year old, from Dressage Ponies UK, New Hall Farm, Barnace, enjoyed her latest victory at the weekend at Myerscough College, when she secured a place in the March 2014 finals of the Pet Plan dressage contest.
Ellie, who attends Kirkham GrammarSchool and is studying for A-levels, is combining her studies with extensive training and preparing for British Horse Society examinations to qualify as an instructor.
The passion for riding is perhaps inevitable, as mum Gill, who is also her trainer, explained: “She is the youngest of four Jolleys children, all of whom ride. She rides for Dressage Ponies UK, our family stud farm where we breed and train dressage ponies.”
Ellie currently trains two homebred young stallions, as well as three other horses including her competition horse, DPUK Boo2U2.
The teenager has her sights set on a career as a professional dressage rider and is already riding horses for other people. But now she needs more sponsorship to achieve her dream.
Ellie said: “It’s been a really good year, we’ve just done loads of new competitions..It takes dedication and you’ve obviously got to love the sport.”
Apart from the Myerscough success Ellie also won the A squad rider test at the British Young Riders’ Dressage Scheme (BYRDS)North West Regional Championship show in Cheshire in April.
She then represented the North West at the BYRDS Inter Regional Competition in June, held at Keysoe in Bedfordshire, where she came third and was
Among the top ten riders invited to the prestigious Hartpury Festival Of Dressage.
Gill said: “Ellie was the youngest person ever to make it through to the final with two professional riders and came third, a tremendous achievement and a really positive affirming experience.”
After this came the Home International - a team and individual competition in which Ellie represented England and the North West. Ellie and Boo were Team and Individual Winners.
The last National Competition of the year was the Sheepgate Under 25s Championships held near Boston in Lincolnshire where Ellie’s team came second and she won the Sheepgate Derby.
The year’s successes are all the more remarkable because Ellie coped with the loss of a much loved pony in 2011.
Gill said: “After the tragic loss of her beloved pony stallion, Top Yellow at Christmas time 2011, 2012 was a tough year for Ellie and her family, but 2013 has given Ellie her mojo back. Owning and training horses is a rollercoaster of ups and downs.”
Ellie now has her sights set on the forthcoming winter season and hopes to compete her two four year stallions DPUK Top Gold and DPUK Rhapsody In Blue as well as preparing Boo for next year’s Junior Test
Gill said she is now looking for sponsorship.