‘We didn’t think we had a hope in hell’ - Fenland ladies’ shock at national dressage titles

TWO Fenland ladies felt honoured just to compete at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships... but BOTH returned with national titles.

Evelyn Little, who runs Knights End Equestrian Centre, in March, and Kelly Simpson, from Manea, cantered to success at Hartpury Arena, in Gloucestershire.

Little pipped a host of competitors to win the Petplan Equine Novice Restricted Area Festival title on her six-year-old gelding ‘Dino’.

The 29-year-old said: “I was hoping to get to the second round, and I knew if I made the top 10 I’d be ecstatic. I didn’t even entertain the thought that I might win it.

“We were just two Fenland girls going down to Gloucester and we didn’t think we had a hope in hell.

“It was absolutely brilliant and it’s just about sinking in now.”

Simpson won the Petplan Equine Preliminary Restricted Area Festival title on her nine-year-old gelding ‘Watch Me’.

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The Fenland duo had aced their regional events to qualify for the championships, which saw them battle it out against more than 60 riders from across the country.

Little, who claimed victory with a percentage score of 71.77, took up dressage a year ago.

“I didn’t have anything to lose because it was my first championships,” she said.

“I’ve only been doing dressage for a year. It brings out the control freak in me because it’s such a disciplined sport!”

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