Festival Forges New Career
The 2019 winner of the Top Spec Challenge for The Corinthian Cup, Saskia Davies is to compete her ride Singing Usk in the Dodson & Horrell British Novice Championship class having turned professional following her win in 2019.
Saskia tells us about the day that changed her life!
“It is a bit of a fairy tale really as my horse Singing Usk (Ash) had had about 4 years off with injury before I was able to bring him back into work slowly. He qualified for the TopSpec Challenge for The Corinthian Cup in 2018 as well and we came 6th which was such a great experience, I just loved it! I loved the concept of the amateur rider getting to compete at such a prestigious venue. I found it really competitive but in a friendly way. I became really determined to come back and win it the following year – which we did!
“He led after the dressage which I don’t normally like to do as it piles the pressure on. I had a pole in the show jumping which dropped me to third, it was the best thing that could have happened as it made me so hungry for the time cross country. The time was so tight and he is no thoroughbred, so I thought I have just got to ride this, I had to take some difficult angles at fences to take out every meter that I could – we ended up 10 seconds inside the time – which was amazing! While I was washing him off I heard over the tannoy that we had won – he had made my dreams come true!
“At the time I was working part time in an events job which I lost once the pandemic hit, the win at The Festival inspired me to pursue my dream of a career in horses. I now run a private event yard, with eight horses which I compete, and I also coach other riders as well. Ash is 17 now and we will be competing again this year but this time in the Dodson & Horrell British Novice Championship – we can’t get enough of Gatcombe. Ash just lights up at the bigger events with the crowds, oh my goodness, he thrives off of it! He is really cool calm and collected horse and I love him so much.
“The win has really helped me to pursue my career in horses, I am now always looking for events that I can qualify for. The championship feeling is incredible, from the rider’s party, the Land Rover shuttle service to get the riders around, to the professional way the event is run, everyone is so friendly and helpful, it is beyond doubt the most memorable and favourite cross country course to be at – just to be part of it is really exciting, I can’t wait to compete again this year!”
- Singing Usk, stable name, Ash is a 16.1hh black, gelding Trakehner, bred by the Singing Stud in Wales. He was Saskia’s first horse that she ever bought and has had him for 10 years.
- Saskia completed her dressage test yesterday and is lying provisionally in 17th with a score 31.4, she show jumps today at 10.41am and will go cross country this afternoon (Saturday 6th August)