YH Finals – Thoughts from Rebecca Hughes & Natalie Banks

We catch up with both Rebecca Hughes and Natalie Banks who are competing in the six-year-old Young Horse class at the Nationals this coming weekend.

 

Rebecca Hughes is riding Classic Goldstrike.

 

Can you tell me a little about the horse you have competing?

 

We have owned Classic Goldstrike together with Julia Hornig since he was three-years-old when we purchased him through an auction in Holland. 

 

Do you have a particular aim for this class/how are you hoping it will go?

 

I would like him to go as well as possible and show himself off to his best, then what will be, will be!

 

How have you been preparing your young horse for this final?

 

I don’t prepare with a Young Horse final in mind, I just progress them at whatever pace they develop physically and mentally.

 

What do you look for when trying to find a future young dressage horse?

 

I take into account my first impression of the horse, then if I like what I see on a closer look and the feel when I ride it.

 

Do you enjoy the Young Horse classes – is there something about them you particularly like?

 

Yes, I love the Young Horse classes. They allow you to focus on the way of going rather than the accuracy of a test. It also gives them a great opportunity to gain experience and confidence at larger and more busy shows. I really enjoy young horses – seeing them progress and develop. I feel responsible for giving them a positive start in life! 

 

Natalie Banks is riding Giloma

 

(photo credit Karen Chaplin)

 

Can you tell me a little about the horse you have competing?

 

She’s a Dutch bred mare by Lord Leatherdale. I imported her from Holland as a four-year-old and this is her third year at the Nationals in the Young Horse classes. She was recently the National Young Horse champion at Hickstead in July on 91.2%. Her canter is usually her highlight!

 

Do you have a particular aim for this class/how are you hoping it will go?

It’s a hot class but I would love to get a top four placing!

 

How have you been preparing your young horse for this final?

We’ve been preparing at home in our training with Lisa Hopkins who has a fantastic eye for detail. We have been working on mainly her balance so she can maintain her exquisite movement throughout the test. I also hack her to keep her stimulated and strengthen her up along with polework.

 

What do you look for when trying to find a future young dressage horse?

When I buy young horses I look for a good temperament above anything else. They must be keen to learn and want to go. I then look for body movers rather than leg movers. They have to be supple and swinging through their backs, flashiness isn’t important but looseness is. I like a pushing active hindleg. To be honest my mare is my ideal dream horse.

 

Do you enjoy the Young Horse classes – is there something about them you particularly like?

The Young Horse classes are ideal for getting your horses used to the big shows and atmosphere. I like the tests too as they give you clear aims of your training. It’s also really nice to compete against horses the same age so it’s a level playing field.

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