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Tough going for Philippa

Paralympian rider Philippa Johnson had a tough time of it when she competed in her first CDN Herentals event in Belgium at the weekend, writes Mark Etheridge.

Johnson, who is based in Belgium for the majority of the year, was breaking new ground in dressage terms as her and her mount, Verdi moved up to the Prix St George level.

And she was brutally honest: “I fluffed my first Prix St George with Verdi. There were far too many mistakes, my two biggest coming in my two half canter pirouettes which are both double marks.

“And these, in practice, are our strongest moves,” she bemoaned.

But there was also good to come out of with coach Chris Haazen pointing out that their display wasn’t necessarily too much to complain about. “Chris calculated that with these two blunders alone it cost me 18 points and those 18 points alone would have put me in second position! The first time is always the worst so at least we have that behind us and we get another shot at it next Sunday.”

Johnson and Verdi went on to place seventh in the class with a score of 61.44%.


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