As we continue the Bluegrass Horse Feeds "Behind the Success" series we caught up with Bluegrass Horse Feeds customer and Para Dressage Rider Angela Lyons from Co.Cork. Angela has competed and won 11 national titles and in 2018 represented Ireland at Bishop Burton CPEDI 3 Star where Team Ireland took home Bronze.
“I’m a dressage rider and due to a progressive auto immune condition, I also ride Para Dressage. Dressage is the sport I love, and I see it as a stepping stone to improve all equestrian disciplines. I have trained and competed to Prix St George level and have won 11 national titles from preliminary to advances medium level. I currently compete at elementary/medium level and my favourite classes are the freestyle to music events. In Para Dressage I ride at Grade 4 level and hope to compete internationally this year. There are big events coming up with European Championships later this year and Tokyo Paralympics in 2020. I am also a level 2 coach and list 5 Dressage judge. I love to encourage riders to get the best out of themselves and their horses”
1) What’s your favourite horse you’ve ridden?
My old horse Latino J was a great partner. We went all the way from just broken to Prix St George level. He is now actively retired at 27yrs.
My current horse Woodcroft Santa Cruz (aka Tommy) is super talented but has reminded me that horses have their own mind!
2) What horse would you like to have in your stables?
It would have to be Valergro.
3) If you weren’t a Dressage rider, what would you like to be?
If I didn’t do Dressage, I’m not sure what I would do probably something with art.
4) Favourite horseshow?
My favourite Dressage show in Ireland would be the National Championships in Cavan. Bishop Burton CPEDI in the UK was my favourite show of 2018. My first International in a long time.
5) Do you prefer the Greatest Showman or Les Mis soundtrack?
It would have to be The Greatest Showman due to the Dressage diva in me but anything with Hugh Jackman is very acceptable!
6) What’s the one thing in your tack room you can’t be without?
My Equipe Dressage saddle
7) Have you any routines or habits before you go in the ring?
Visualise my test so I don’t forget where to go.
8) Do you have any other hobbies or sport interests?
I love the cinema and a bit randomly I love face painting at children’s parties and events
9) Name one competition that you really want to win?
A Paralympic medal would be a dream to win or a Freestyle to Music Class at the National Championships.I love riding our musical routines.
10) What’s your favourite Bluegrass Horse Feed Product?
I use lots of Bluegrass Horse Feed products.Tommy is on Bluegrass Re-leve and I use the Cool and Condition cubes to give him a great topline.The older horse 27yrs, is on Turmash and Re-Solve cubes which keeps great condition on him.
11) When did you start riding?
I started riding at 6 on a donkey called Sally.We never moved very far!
12) First pony’s name?
I upgraded from my donkey to my sisters Shetland pony Beauty. As is usual with Shetlands I spent a lot of time on the ground, but she did improve my seat and determination!
13) What’s your proudest achievement so far?
With my old horse I won 11 National titles but my proudest moment to date is being selected to ride for Team Ireland Para Equestrian at Bishop Burton last summer and placing in the top 5 in every class.
14) What’s your favourite training exercise?
My favourite training exercises must be transitions either within the pace or from pace to pace.
15) One piece of advice you’d give to young riders?
My advice to younger riders is in horses’ things are rarely perfect. Things go wrong, we fall but get up brush yourself off, take a deep breath and try again.Give yourself a push and you never know what you could achieve.