Rider has sights set on GB place

Dressage rider Sarah Fitton is hoping to win a place in the GB team
Dressage rider Sarah Fitton is hoping to win a place in the GB team

A TALENTED Peak District dressage rider has her sights set on representing Great Britain after being put through her paces at a top training camp.

Sarah Fitton, whose long-term aim is to represent GB at senior championship level, laid the foundations for a successful 2012 by taking part in a recent British Equestrian Federation (BEF) England Excel Talent Programme performance camp.

Sarah Fitton. Photo contributed.

Sarah Fitton. Photo contributed.

The 16-year-old, from Monyash, benefited from help and support from top trainer and multiple national title winner Gareth Hughes, at Vale View Equestrian Centre in Leicestershire.

“I really enjoyed my lessons with Gareth,” commented Sarah, who is studying her A Levels at Lady Manners School in Bakewell.

“My horse is only seven, so it is still early days for us, but Gareth picked up on my weaknesses and gave me some very useful exercises to work on.”

Sarah is one of 11 talented young dressage riders nationwide benefiting from inclusion on the BEF England Excel Talent Programme – a new Sport England initiative that aims to identify and nurture potential Olympic riders. The training camp covered all aspects of riding and competing, plus veterinary care, farriery, rider fitness and nutrition, and sports psychology.

Leader of the Excel Programme, David Hamer, said: “We have had very positive feedback from the riders and our two trainers, Emile Faurie and Gareth Hughes, both commented on the exceptionally high standard of riding and the quality of horse power on display over the two days.”

The two-day course was the first in a series of BEF England Excel Talent performance camps across the Olympic and Paralympic disciplines.

During the next two months event riders, showjumpers and para-equestrian dressage athletes will benefit from the same intensive tuition, while a second dressage training camp is planned for February 2012.