‘You’re never too old to hang rosettes up!’ Rider’s plea to show centers

  • “Inside every 40-something is a little girl living out her pony dreams”.

    A rider who has recently returned to the saddle, and is enjoying “the things I never thought I could” on her former “opinionated” Welsh pony, has made a plea to show centers on rosettes.

    Carrie Naish has ridden since childhood, but did not compete her pony as much as she would have liked.

    “Then I spent four years as groom to my little boy, and thought I’d quite like to have something I could stay on in a competition!” she told H&H. “So I bought Hope two years ago – the dream dapple gray Highland I’d always wanted – and she’s a saint.”

    Carrie said that “in fairly typical middle-aged return to riding fashion”, she and Hope have been enjoying unaffiliated dressage. But one thing she has noticed is that “some venues seem to be rather tight on their rosettes”.

    Picture by Sandra Berry

    “My sharer and I competed recently at a big local venue in horrendous sideways rain, it was torrential,” she said. “I came fifth and she was sixth but despite decent-sized classes; I think there were 12 in my section and 16 in hers, they both only gave rosettes to second place.”

    Carrie added that the placings were not written on the sheets, so she did not know where either rider had finished until she checked online later.

    “Rosettes are, of course, not everything, but actually they do really mean something at our lowly level,” she said. “You’re never too old to hang rosettes up! Even at my age [40] there’s still that moment of glee to get one.

    “So many people I see at unaffiliated dressage are like me; they’ve come back after having children and got a horse to compete on. It can be nerve-racking when you’re not used to it, so going out and doing a prelim test is still a big achievement.”

    Carrie said she put a post on her own Facebook page and comments were along the lines of “I can’t believe they didn’t give you a rosette!”

    “The classes were £24 each to enter and they must buy thousands of rosettes,” she added. “So a plea to venues, please spend the extra few pounds to give rosettes to the sixth. Inside every 40-something is a little girl living out her pony dreams! To venues who still give out rosettes to fourth in a class of four, I thank you.”

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