Area Festivals: Patricia Haskins

A fluke field accident, they were told they would never compete again, Z proved them wrong to come 6th at the Petplan Equine Summer Advanced Medium Championships!

Patricia who has only owned Z for a year, after she was kindly gifted him by his owner after being a riding pair for over 8 years, have quite the story to tell, "Z will be 16 years old in January. He is a thoroughbred who was useless at racing. She brought him off the back of a slaughterhouse lorry when he proceeded to break a hindleg."

They also haven't had the smoothest of dressage journeys either, "Z and I started at Novice BD originally and have worked our way up the levels to PSG with a 3year break as he wrecked both hind suspensories and we were told he would never be sound to compete again. Before his little field accident we had attempted Novice and Elementary Regionals without much success and Medium Petplan which I believe we came last. After his little break with tried Elementary and Medium regionals where we were there just to boost numbers. Still we tried Advanced Medium this summer, won our Area Festival which was a shock and then came 6th at the Championships. Which was a giggle as he had been lame for weeks with a shoulder injury, he came sound but wasn't on form so we went for experience as we had never been to a Petplan Championship!"

"My highlight has to be Advanced Medium, he suddenly came into himself at this level and we both thoroughly enjoy it." They want to keep on competing together, "Work out how to actually ride a PSG without both of us making mistakes and perhaps wing it round an Inter1 just for giggles."

Z is quite the character and likes the attention, "He is a complete plank at home so we need to hire other arenas if we want a lesson where we learn something. He mainly hacks thankfully, we both love a good gallop once a week. He loves BBQ sauce pringles or a donut on occasion. He demands a mint after every ride/dressage test, he is impossible till he has his mint."

Training with two trainers back home, they work hard to come out and do their best, "Rebecca Trower - has a very unique view and will look outside of the box, sometimes it seems like she's trying to kill me with her suggestions but they all work really well. Casy Stickland - she's not afraid to push us but does understand Z has his physical limitations."

Patricia thanks Z, despite his quirks, "He's very impatient about life but when your in a rush he's Mr cool and will lie down to take a nap. Without him I don't think I would have gotten through the recent years, he's pulled all the broken pieces and held them together. I owe him my love of horses, riding and dressage."

Three times are definitely a charm for Patricia as she finally made it to the Championships and encourages everyone to give it a go, "Petplan Area Festivals is such a fabulous competition for everyone with unconventional dance partners. I was lucky enough to qualify my big mare to Area Championship but she was due to foal and then we lost her. Then lucky enough to qualify my highly quirky homebred for the Area Finals but he was telling me he had done enough for the year, so we gave him a holiday where he had a field accident leading to his very early sleep.

I thank Petplan so much for the opportunities they gave me with both and now with my gorgeous old man Z. It's always great fun to receive that plaque to prove I was there that year (especially before I was lucky enough to ribbon). I look forwards to bringing my other homebred out to party with you once he's old enough."

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