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Future looks Sonny for Collingwood dressage pair

18 May 2017
An officer from HMS Collingwood and her horse triumphed at the second annual UK Armed Forces Equine Championships at Addington Manor, Buckingham recently.

Over 150 riders of all ranks and rates from the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and Police competed over two full days for rosettes and prizes in events challenging competitors’ skills in dressage, show jumping and tent-pegging – a sport evolved from historic cavalry training exercises that involves riders using a sword or lance to pick up objects at speed.

Lieutenant Commander Jill Monnox and her horse Floris-son (Sonny) competed in the dressage events but Sonny, being a young horse and a little inexperienced, took a day to truly settle down.

Considering he had experienced both a long journey and the novelty of being stabled with over fifty other horses this was only to be expected.

However, Sunday saw Sonny more settled and Jill guided him through a tremendous dressage prelim test, the pair ending up being placed 1st with over 72%.

The more demanding test of Novice followed and, despite the pair still learning the advanced moves required for this level, they stormed to an impressive second place with a hugely rewarding 74%!

Jill is keen to expose Sonny to as many similar events as possible and thanks to their hard work and talent, the pair are now through to the next round of the British Dressage Regional Finals where, if successful, they could compete at the National Championships later this year.

Jill is keen to promote riding within the Navy and said, “If anyone is interested in riding please contact me on extension 3538 or come along to the NAVYfit festival on 28 June at HMS Temeraire or 5 July at Devonport and meet members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Equestrian Association.

“If you fancy having a go to see what your equestrian skills are like then Trigger, a mechanical horse, will be available at this event for you to practise your riding trot or even have a go at Polo!  

“Members of both the Dressage, Showjumping and Eventing Team and Royal Navy Polo Team will be available to answer any questions you have.”

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