Deb Criddle writes on her experiences with Akilles.
I have been lucky enough to have now had the ride on L J T Akilles for 5 months and we seem to have packed an awful lot in during that time.
In April we travelled to Deauville in France to get a taste of international competition and were members of the winning GB team.
Once home we set out to achieve qualification for the British Para-Dressage National Championships which was also the first stage in the European Championship selection process.
Akilles seems to revel in the bigger events and just wants to get on with the job at hand.
At a competition he gives the rider a lovely feel but I’ve found I have to keep his mind occupied or he starts to take charge. At the Nationals, held over 2 days, we entered the warm-up class (the ‘Team Test’) and the Individual Championship class; Akilles performed well and took the honours in both classes with scores in excess of 70%.
The win in the Individual class took us forward to the Freestyle to Music where the winners from each classification grade rode off for the Supreme Champion title. Akilles rose to the challenge and put in another great performance to win on a score of 76% to become British Para-Dressage Supreme Champion.
July saw us competing at the Hartpury Festival of Dressage in the 3* CPDEIO, also the final Selection Trial. Consistent performances saw Akilles make a clean sweep of the three Grade III classes which has led to our selection for the European Championships to be held in Belgium 1st-5th September 2011.
The really exciting thing is that our partnership is still in its infancy and I have only just tapped the surface of the quality of work that he is capable of producing.