rhinestone-style

Island junior rider impressing dressage judges

Theresa McCaffrey

Island junior rider impressing dressage judges

Island junior rider impressing dressage judges

A ten-year-old dressage rider is backing making a big splash on the equestrian circuit in Scotland.

Abby Jo Morrison from Back, Isle of Lewis, only took up the sport five years ago but she has been excelling ever since and is impressing judges on the mainland. The solid performances have taken her to championships across the UK and the future is looking even brighter as she was recently bestowed with the fledgling award for highest dressage points at the British yearly dressage awards.

Stornoway Gazette reports that Abby Jo is being trained by qualified instructor Kathleen Connor who has been impressed with the youngster's progression. She hailed Abby Jo's "mature attitude" and explained that dressage could just be the starting point for her riding career. Ms Connor believes that Abby Jo has the potential to develop into an equestrian rider and not just stick to dressage.

"The first time I ever saw Abby Jo was at a horse show, and I saw a complete natural horse-person. She was only five years old and was cantering round on a Highland pony, her legs didn’t even reach the bottom of the saddle but that pony knew exactly what she wanted him to do! I was very impressed with what I saw," Ms Connor told the news provider.

Despite her young age, Abby Jo has already competed at Glasgow's Ingelston equestrian centre while also moving south of the border to take part in a series of championships in the Midlands and Buckinghamshire. Living on the Isle of Lewis can make travelling to these competitions difficult but both Abby Jo and her family have been quick to praise the work of the Western Isles Sports Council which helps to facilitate the travel.

Abby Jo will no doubt have been inspired by Team GB's performance in the dressage events at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Gold medalist, CharlotteDujardin recently claimed her third world record by smashing the freestyle score at The London International Horse Show at Olympia.