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Rescue horse becomes dressage champ

Theresa McCaffrey

Rescue horse becomes dressage champ

When it comes to dressage many may have a preconceived notion that all the horses in the field have been trained for the sport since they were a foal.

Watching the London 2012 Olympic Games and seeing Team GB triumph in both the individual and team events it would be hard to imagine those horses anything else but prim and proper, ready for competition. However, this is not the case across the rest of the country and a former rescue horse is now making waves on the dressage circuit.

Bungle was one of three Gelderlanders which were rescued from a dealer inBuckinghamshire in 2008. Due to the nature of the breed it was not an easy taskrehoming the trio. Staff at Redwings Horse Sanctuary managed to nurse Bungle, George and Zippy back to health with the latter joining the charity's Adoption Club while George has to stay with Redwings due to his cataracts.

Despite Bungle's separation anxiety he found the perfect match in vet Eve France who saw potential in the horse when he was rescued at the tender age of two. The pair have never looked back since and have been performing successfully in the unaffiliated dressage league in Norfolk at Preliminary level.

Bungle has taken to the sport effortlessly finishing first and second at every discipline at the event and also went on to claim fifth place at the RSPCA Ridden Rescue Horse class at Equifest. It recently qualified for the second round of Trailblazers and Ms France is hoping he can carry on his impressive form.

“There's the Trailblazers championship at Stoneleigh next year, which I am trying to qualify for. Maybe we’ll attempt the dressage to music too if time allows! If he goes well enough through the winter I will step him up to novice classes and maybe qualify him for that too," Ms France added.