Dressage:Olympic hopes doubled

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Horse owner Jenny Green has had two dressage horses, both ridden by daughter Gemma, recognised as potential Olympic medal winners by the British Equestrian Federation.

Only 15 horses made it on to the BEF’s World Class Dressage Equine Pathway programme and Green’s Legamento and Showtime have both made the grade.

The two horses have been owned by Jenny since the end of 2005 and are ridden by 23-year-old Gemma who guided Showtime, an eight-year-old stallion, to a British national champion win at both elementary and medium levels in 2006.

Legamento, a five-year-old gelding, was top price at the 2005 PSI Auction in Germany and Shearwater four-year-old reserve champion last year, more recently finishing third in the south-west regional championship.

After her success at the nationals, Gemma was invited to try out for the programme and had to ride both horses in front of a judging panel which included Olympic dressage rider Carl Hester, who grew up in Sark, and Olympic team selector David Trott.

‘I then got a letter through confirming that both my horses had been picked,’ explained Gemma.

‘I was really pleased to hear about getting on to the programme.

It was great to get one horse on but the fact that both made it was really nice and it’s nice as well to be recognised.’ ‘They both have so much potential and everyone is saying Legamento has very good elasticity but both are really natural athletes and they do find the work quite easy.

They’re very smart horses and are also impressive horses to look at.’ Gemma, a former St Michael’s and JCG student, will now attend various training and clinics, including sessions on psychology and nutrition, throughout the year in a bid to remain on course for the 2012 Olympics.

‘It is a lottery funded programme which is trying to create top horses and riders,’ Gemma said.

‘It will support and promote you to go and compete and although the Beijing Olympics next year was my original aim, my other horse isn’t quite right, so now I’ve set my sights on London.’ Gemma will this week compete on both horses in the winter dressage championships in Solihull.

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