After a year-long journey, a local equine expert and her young protégé are competing in one of the country’s premier equestrian events.
Beth Patterson from Newstead arrived at Kate Paskins’ Earlston yard as a green 15-year-old, with a new young horse called Dylan, in April last year. Having wanted to try her hand at jumping, Beth took some persuading by Kate to steer a rather flighty Dylan towards a career in dressage.
Under Kate’s guidance, the pair entered, and came second, in their first dressage test last June. It was the beginning of a great team and since then teacher, student and horse have gone from strength to strength.
Beth went on to work hard under the guidance and watchful eye of her mentor. There were tears and hard times along the way.
Over the winter both Beth and Kate (on Wilbur and North by Northwest) worked hard on getting their horses to various qualifiers, often driving Kate’s 18-tonne Scania through horrendous weather conditions.
And, having achieved good results on all the three horses, the pair became the only Scottish qualifiers for the prestigious Hickstead Dressage Masters last month.
Beth and Dylan finished 14th in the Preliminary and 17th in the Novice Championships on North by Northwest, while Kate, on Rondo Capriole, was 16th in the Medium.
Competing alongside the likes of Olympic dressage gold medallist Laura Bechtolsheimer brought home just how far the girls had come.