Introducing Shearwater Search for a Star runner up Daniel Bates
I think ive started to get over the shock at being named as runner up in the Shearwater Search for a Star competition so would like to tell you abit about myself.
My name is Daniel, I'm 18 years old and live in Staffordshire. I have been registered blind all of my life but didnt find Dressage until the London 2012 Olympics and received my Grade V classification until February 2017.
During the week when I am not training I am studying a Level 2 Equine Diploma at Rodbaston College in Staffordshire. When I am not studying I train in Ellesmere in Shropshire with my beautiful horse Wilson.
Captain Wilson is a 17.2hh thoroughbred ex racehorse who spent a brief spell as a National hunt horse, before being retrained by my trainers daughter over 18 months to compete at BE90 level before deciding he was better suited to Dressage.
I was lucky enough to meet him and brought him in August 2016 as my very first horse and loved him straight away.
He is the kindest and safest horse I've ever met. He seems to understand me and always looks after me from if I ride at home or out. We entered our first competition in July 2017 where we were placed 1st, he is just a true gentleman.
I am not going to lie, it has not always been easy and I've struggled at times with my confidence but I have a fantastic support network around me who have encouraged me and earlier this year I was very lucky and privileged to receive a gift containing some kind words of encouragement and wisdom from a very well known male Olympic Dressage rider from Great Britain, that spurred me on and then I got the news that I had been named runner up which really boosted my confidence for my season ahead.
Im working alot on polework, confidence building and test riding clinics to prepare myself and Wilson for our upcoming competitions.
The main thing I've learnt from being named runner up is that being myself is good enough and I am honoured and extremely grateful that Shearwater saw something in me.
Happy March to you all and I'll keep you updated on my progress.
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