Rachel Smyth - Dressage Rider
Based at the prestigious Bedgebury Park Equestrian Centre near Tonbridge in Kent, Rachel has managed to be centrally located to some of the best dressage show ground in the south east. With British Dressage competitions, team challenges and training days taking place, it provides the perfect opportunity to compete and produce Westcote Delicia to achieve the best of her ability.
It is a running joke in my family that I learnt to rise to the trot before I learnt to walk. But in my opinion walking was only ever really important for the in-between riding bits of life. I have been blessed with having access to some of the best trainers in the country, all of which have helped to mould me into the rider I am today. From a young age I have been very competitive,. As a child I competed in a number of large jumping shows on a pony called Frazer. He was a legend of a pony and would jump anything; no one could beat us against the clock.
At 14, my parent’s purchases an Arab x palomino horse called Calypso Rhapsody. Imported from Ireland as a 5 year old he was my first proper horse. We had great fun competing in local competitions and it was at this point that the dressage bug bit me. On Calypso I had great success at prelim and novice level, qualifying for the Hicksted finals. However, I knew by now I wanted to progress and Calypso was starting to not enjoy the heavy competing I wanted to do , and so was sold on to a wonderful home where he is currently retired to being a happy hacker.
I currently own and compete one horse, Westcote Delicia. A 10 year old British-bred Hannovarian graded mare by Donnerschwee (son of the famous Donnerhall) out of a state premium mare Santina whose sire Sao Paulo has sired some of the best sports horses around. Delicia (also known as Dee) is a highly sensitive mare who has great presence and definitely posses’ that WOW factor. We are currently competing at Medium level dressage and gaining good scores at this level. Together with my trainers Damian Hallam and Emma McGurk, we are aiming for the top by providing a solid basis to build upon. She is a truly exciting mare and definitely one to watch for the future.
Delicia was purchased as a three year old from Westcote Stud, stabled at a professional riders yard we trained her to compete in the Badminton Young Horse classes where she received some fabulous marks from listed judges.
To date, Delicia and I have won numerous dressage championships from Intro right up until Medium. We compete two to three times a month and are always in the frillies. Having focused on pure dressage for a number of years I have built up the courage to start jumping once more.
Six years ago I suffered a horse-related injury which left me with a disability in my right leg. My surgeon was horrified to learn I expected to be riding again within 6 weeks. Unfortunately, it took a little longer then this and I lost a little confidence. Lucky for me I have the privilege of owning a horse that continues to inspire me to this very day, and so I did it right this time, learning to walk again before riding. It has been a battle to regain my fitness, strength and confidence to get to where I am today. During this time I have learnt that riding and training isn’t just about winning, it is about building a bond with your horse and working as a partnership to achieve the best.
I feel honoured that Inter Equine has placed their confidence in my ability by sponsoring me on my journey and look forward to sharing this new chapter in my life with you.
For the latest of Rachel's photos and to follow Rachel please use this link to our Facebook page and 'Like' our page:
Basket is empty