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Team triumph for dressage rider Mel

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By Fiona Reid
Sport
Team triumph for dressage rider Mel

A RIDER from Waterbeck is through to the finals of a national dressage competition.

Mel Stibbs and her horse, Indigo Judy, were part of the winning team at the Scottish regional finals of the British Dressage Team Quest in Strahaven last Sunday.
And in November they will chase the UK title in Buckinghamshire.
Mel, 39, said: “It’s a massive achievement for all involved and makes the hard work and hours put in, whatever the weather, all worthwhile.”
She is part of the Luce Ladies team, which also includes Joyce Lafferty and Jacqui Service along with her ten-year-old daughter Suzannah, all from Luce Bay.
Last Sunday was only the second time they had competed as a team and Mel said: “We have really gelled and are all very supportive of each other.”
However, she nearly missed out on the event after an allergic reaction to a wasp sting last Tuesday saw her admitted to hospital with cellulitis.
Luckily, it cleared up in time for the competition.
Mel has been riding since she was 11 and bought Indigo Judy from Janet George at Kidderminster five years ago.
She said: “I’ve always loved horses despite there being no one else remotely horsey in my family.
“I studied horses at university and have enjoyed competing a variety of horses at all levels.”
But she has not always been a fan of dressage: “I used to see it as the boring part of a one day event, jumping was much more fun, but then my horse at the time broke and whilst he was recovering and under vet care, I started to ride at a school of equitation in Gloucestershire once a week and started to quickly realise the technical side to this sport and being able to ride horse who could do all the fancy sideways moves etc fuelled a new passion.”
She also retrains ex racehorses and has two at home in Waterbeck who she hopes to get on the competition scene next year.
Meanwhile, all her efforts are going into securing sponsorship and fundraising for November.

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