Regionals: Charlie Trevor
Percy the Pig is flying his way to the NAF Five Star Winter Championships - with a 15 year year riding gap Charlie will be piloting their way around the arena.
"His name was my wife’s doing! We love Blackadder and she loves the M&S Percy Pigs, and he used to make pig noises when he was a foal," Charlie Trevor tells us about their home bred gelding bred from his wife's, Dawn event mare and Irish Draught stallion Avanti Amorous Archie. Born on Dawn's birthday six years ago Percy was originally hers Charlie says, "he was bred for her, but it turned out he was more my type than hers, so I pinched him. He was backed in the back end of 2020 and wasn’t even cantering reliably on both reins this time a year ago so he has come on tremendously quickly."
Only starting their dressage journey last June Percy has exceeded Charlies expectations - he tells us all about him, "Percy does like his food, so he went away to be backed a very round looking baby Irish Draught, but I knew as soon as I sat on him that he could be something special, and after much fitness and dieting an athlete has emerged! He's extremely sociable, his best friend is my dog Matilda, who he adores but more than anything else he loves food. He very much enjoys that all the hard work he does and his new svelte physique means he now gets lots to eat!"
A previous event rider Charlie is very new to the world of dressage so the pair are learning together, "many many moons ago I was a not very good event rider, based with Chris Mcgrann, who went to University and got a proper job but I've now founded a leather goods company with Dawn. Work meant I didn't really have time or a horse to ride and being an all or nothing sort of person I had more or less fifteen years off riding. I did a little bit before we had Percy backed, but I've had to try to get myself back in to form as I've brought him on which is very much a work in progress."
"I've always loved working horses and as I'm not sure I have the bottle for big cross courses any longer so I thought that we should dressage. This is my first proper foray in to competitive dressage and I've loved it. I've learned a huge amount - Eventing dressage from 20 years ago was nothing this complicated! Its been great to see old horsey friends as well as meet new people and the dressage community has been a friendly and welcoming one, which is lovely. We started off pretty nervously, but as both Percy and I have gained confidence we’re more able to show what we can do," Carlie goes on to say.
Percy has definitely flown into the right hands as it has given Charlie a new challenge, "as a forty-seven year old who has always felt he didn't fulfil his potential first time around, Percy feels like a gift from the horsey Gods (and from Dawn of course) and my mantra is that I’d like to run out of talent before I run out of time. Percy will happily offer passage if you ride past a field of cows and I hope one day we might be able to do it in competition in an arena. I think he has the potential to go a long way, and I'd love to see how far we can get together."
Training with Gwyneth Lewis and Paul Hayler the pair have no facilities at home says Charlie, "we have to trailer to our local outdoor school to have lessons or school so its quite a challenge, especially at this time of year. Percy has repaid the hard work and my faith in him ten fold so its absolutely worth it."
They are now getting ready for the NAF Five Star Winter Championships after gaining their qualification a few weeks ago at Bishop Burton in Preliminary Silver, Charlie said "we didn't think beyond Regionals - it was just supposed to be a trip for experience - so its all a bit of a rush that involves cancelling holidays, hiring lorries and endless lists and debating as to what we should take, but its a great fun family effort and we’re really looking forward to it." Charlie is determined to do Percy proud, he continued, "just like Regionals my only job will be to work about how I'm riding and how Percy is going, so I'm keeping well away from looking at who else will be there, though I know there will be some amazing horses! Our slightly aged discovery broke down in the entrance way to Bishop Burton so Percy and I were marooned down there till the next day, so I hope Nationals are less nerve wracking."
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