Over the summer of 2021, a selection of CVRC members entered into the dressage foray under the cheerful leadership of Roz Mather with her fabulous boy Jimmy (posh name Kolorado M). Nicola Stephens on Bounce, Cassy Gadsby on Loui, Julie Page on Bel, Gillian Molesworth on Duke, Jill Landeryou on Rory, and Tracy Wilson on Prince all took part. The goal was to do some team events under British Dressage’s Quest programme.

Team name? The Bouncing Birds, after a joke that that some of us don’t bounce as well as we used to after an “involuntary dismount”!

Made up of a different combination of members each time, the team’s scores were counted towards a running total, and we placed either as individual riders or as the team. We had varying levels of success in our tests (special mention to Nicola who took home the big frilly for supreme dressage diva of the day at one Tall Trees event), but it was all good experience to push ourselves, build confidence, and hopefully improve over time.

Even dressage has a fair share of drama: at one event a broken down lorry meant one competitor only arrived in the nick of time, and thanks to a heroic teammate. We also fell foul of British Dressage’s very exacting paperwork, which had the frustrating result that not all of our results counted when we thought they would.

To our general surprise, The Bouncing Birds were invited to the BD championships in Chard at the beginning of October. Sadly, after a busy competition season and various life events, we couldn’t manage to get a full team together to travel up to it.

But, we all benefitted from the experience, and look forward to having another go next year! If you’re interested, contact Roz Mather about joining the team – you don’t have to do all the events, just the ones you are able to.