Step Aside (Belmoredean), West Sussex, 22 February
Featuring riders Jenine Jones, Rachael Hawkins, Joanne Curling, Suzanne Lavandera, Joanna Henbrey, Rebecca Gibbs and Heidi Reed
JENINE JONES’s competitive career has been re-energised by new ride Keystone Rock Chick. Jenine, who was making her debut on the 16.1hh black version of sire Rhondeo, won the silver Elementary 57 qualifier on 72.14%.
Jenine bred the Rhondeo x Depardieu eight-year-old mare but sold her to her friend Tracy Cooper as a youngster. Until recently Rock Chick was being produced by Luke Baber-Davies with a view to being sold. Jenine said: “I have been riding her since around Christmas and I think Tracy has decided that she loves her too much to sell!
“Tracy and I are able to give her more time than Luke now that he is so tied up with Tracy’s Drummer Boy and other Premier League horses. I train mainly with Suzanne Lavandera but Luke gave me some tips how to ride her more up and forward in her neck. She can be quite buzzy so I need to focus on keeping her relaxed and working through her back. It was a shame this show that we got stuck in traffic so only had a 15-minute warm-up for our first test. Rock Chick needs half an hour to relax through properly so there were a few mistakes. With the additional warm-up her second test was much better. She got eights for canter work and her leg yields. She also scored an eight for medium trot. Suzanne says she has about 12 different gears but she still has to learn which ones she should be in.
“The aim is elementary and medium regionals this year. We don’t want to rush her. She can do a lot of the tricks but she needs to be more established in her basic work. She is so willing it would be easy to keep pushing and pushing.”
Stepping up to PSG
Rhondeos these days are getting a bigger share of the attention that comes with the success enjoyed by his Keystone ‘brother’ Dimaggio’s offspring. Rhondeos, however, are reputed to be easier for amateurs to produce. Joanne Curling, who won the advanced medium 92 qualifier on 67.84%, will be competing Keystone Renaissance in both the medium and advanced medium Petplan Finals in April. Joanne combines an 8am to 5pm day job with keeping 'Mika' on DIY livery at The Dover Stables, near Arundel.
Joanne commented: “I was really happy with how Mika went today. He’s getting the hang of the flying changes. They were good in his test. We also had good half-passes and a lovely rein-back. He was very off-the-aids so I was able to be accurate.”
Joanne describes Mika as “a sturdy little chap who works very
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