Where #SeriousHorsePeople come to better understand digestive health in horses and its impact and management.

End of Season Update – Rosanna Walters-Symons

Rosanna Walters-Symons with Hurricain wearing a Succeed Equine Blanket

Photo credit: RWS Carriage Driving

2017 was a challenging year for Rosanna Walters-Symons as she dedicated time to completing her PhD in Sport Psychology at the same time as fighting for her place on the British team for the World Driving Championships for Ponies.

Any spare time and effort in the early season was focused solely on the three TeamGBR selection events with her German Sports Pony, Hurricain. The selection campaign didn’t get off to the best of starts at Catton Park in May, when the lack of competition practice contributed to a poor dressage and marathon so that Rosanna could only manage a fifth place.

Later that month, Rosanna reversed her fortunes to dominate every phase at CAI2* Hopetoun and win convincingly. A solid second place performance at the final selection event at CAI2* Sandringham in June qualified Rosanna for the British team as the top ranked driver for the second World Championships in succession.

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Rosanna Walters-Symons Driving

Photo credit: RWS Carriage Driving
The World Driving Championships for Ponies 2017 was held at the popular showground at Minden, Germany. Hurricain travelled well and arrived at the competition relaxed and in the condition of his life, thanks in no small part to Succeed.

The dressage phase proved difficult when Hurricain, who was previously unexposed at that level, tensed up in the buzzy atmosphere and the pair were penalised accordingly in the judge’s scorings, eventually ending up in 32nd place. The electric atmosphere of marathon day again affected Hurricain, this time in the obstacles, but Rosanna and her backstepper battled round the testing course for 7th place in the phase.

On the final day, Rosanna drove clear in the cones, just a second over the time allowed, to place again in the final phase and climb up to a respectable 10th in the overall standings and finish as the top placed British driver. Rosanna has never finished outside the top 10 at a championship after 2nd and 4th placings at the two previous renewals.

Back on home soil in September, Rosanna finished a close runner up at the British National Championships where she was made to rue having a costly ball down in the cones, her first in over 3 years, which prevented her from retaining her national title.

On the face of it, 2017 proved a slightly frustrating year for Rosanna and her team. That said, in a year interrupted by Rosanna completing and being awarded her doctorate, the results represent a great achievement. Moreover, Hurricain will have benefited hugely from the experiences gained in Minden. Rosanna is thrilled with how he has continued to progress since joining the yard 3 years ago, particularly with the condition he has maintained all year with the help of Succeed!

Over the winter months, Rosanna will be undertaking an internship in Germany with former four-in-hand World Champion, Michael Freund, with the hope of bringing home new knowledge and skills to fuel greater successes next season!

Rosanna Walters-Symons with Hurricain and Friend

Photo credit: RWS Carriage Driving

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