Bright Young Thing: Dressage rider Alicia Patrick

PUBLISHED: 16:14 20 September 2011 | UPDATED: 20:01 20 February 2013

Bright Young Thing: Dressage rider Alicia Patrick

Bright Young Thing: Dressage rider Alicia Patrick

Alicia Patrick, 13, is an up and coming dressage rider who lives at Ubbeston near Halesworth

Alicia Patrick, 13, is an up and coming dressage rider who lives at Ubbeston near Halesworth

How did you start riding?

I first started riding at the age of four at Manor Farm Equestrian Centre. Mum asked me if I wanted to have a riding lesson and of course I did, so she booked me up a lesson once a week just riding the riding school ponies.

How did you get into dressage?

When I was six years old I got my first pony Happy Harry, who was a grey section A pony (Welsh Mountain).

With him I did all the pony club rallies and local shows. I also started to compete in show hunter classses at county level and did a little bit of eventing. But to do this my flatwork needed to be better so I started dressage training with experts Tammy Ruffles and Rachel Hillier.

From then I enjoyed dressage more and more, competing at the local riding club competitions.

As Happy Harry could be a bit of a handful and couldnt really progress any more, I got my second pony Radway Harlequin when I was nine.

Then I started competing affiliated (governed by British Dressage) and training with Eastern BYRDS (British Young Riders Dressage). I got into their teams after a year.

I did two to three years of BYRDS on Harley. In the last year he was at his strongest and managed to get to the Stoneleigh Summer Nationals in 2009. At that stage I wanted to aim for the premier leagues doing FEI (Federation Equestre Internationale) pony tests and the pony squad. When I was 12 I got my current pony, Schermeers hof Arendsoog or Ari for short. He is going great!

I have been doing the premier leagues with him this year and last year.

I also have a 14.2 seven-year-old gelding who Im bringing on slowly as he has no experience at dressage.

I currently train with Elizabeth Mills, the British pony team chief dequip.

What does it take to be successful?

I suppose my major successes are competing at county level with Happy Harry. When I was 10 and 11 I competed with Radway Harlequin at two Home Internationals for England, which were held at Myerscough and David Brooms yard in Wales.

In my last year with him I came second at the Regionals in Prelim level and then soon after competed at the Summer Nationals at Stonleigh Park coming seventh.

Last year I competed with my current pony at several Premier Leagues. I was also picked for pony national training with Daryl Thickitt, who is one of the countrys best dressage riders. In the summer I have three lessons a week with Elizabeth Mills at her yard in Fersfield and in the winter one lesson a week either at Lizs or at Earlsway Farm, Bramfield.

How does your family support you?

I am lucky enough to be driven every where by my dad, David. He, my mum, Sheryl, and my brother, Oliver, are very supportive and come to all my competitions.

Dad drives me everywhere. He also funds it all and will be out there doing whatever is needed. Mum is a general help, helping at home and at shows. My brother, who isnt horsey at all, comes to all my competitions and adds to the competitiveness of team Patrick. When Im not riding in the winter Im watching him play rugby.

What is your ambition now?

I liking bringing on our yearling and in the future I hope to breed some more foals. My current aim is to get on the pony squad and compete for team GB. My long term aim is to run a training yard and compete at the Olympics.

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