International Trainer & Grand Prix Rider
Sarah has trained extensively in Europe and previously competed her Danish gelding
Sarah's dressage career originally began as a working student to Kate Hamilton FBHS. During this time Sarah was given her first taste of Grand Prix school masters and also gained her BHS II. It was through Kate that she was given the opportunity to train in Vienna with Chief Rider and now Head Trainer of the Spanish Riding School Johann Riegler, "I was extremely lucky to have been given the opportunity to learn on so many different Grand Prix horses at such a young age and with such an eminent teacher". Sarah spent 18 months in Vienna and this was followed by two years training in Germany working for Dr. W. Bechtolsheimer. This appointment led to a prestigious invitation to ride for the Westfalen Auction. This is one of the most renowned auctions in Germany, through which Ahlerich was purchased for the late Dr. Reiner Klimke. Sarah rode three times for the Auction, preparing the young horses for 8 weeks prior to Auction, demonstrating their potential during Gala Abend's and viewing days and riding in the Auction itself. During this time Sarah was under the guidance of Johann Hinnemann. She is to date the only British rider ever to have been invited to ride, and regretably business commitments in Britain prevented her from continuing.
In 1996, British Dressage selected Sarah from over 80 applicants to form part of the British Young Trainers Scheme. Seven trainers in all were selected, including Lizzie Murray and Daniel Sherriff. The scheme has given the trainers the opportunity to spend time studying in some of the top training establishments in Europe. It also provided funds to finance regular clinics in Britain for 3 years with the Olympic rider and Dutch team trainer Bert Rutten. During this time Sarah also financed her our own training with Bert Rutten in Holland taking her competition horses with her.
British Dressage have also invited her to take Regional Training Courses for senior members, and she now runs clinics on a regular basis throughout the UK and the Channel Islands and has been invited to train in Norway and the USA and travels regularly to South Africa to give clinics.
Although a law graduate, Sarah has decided to stay professionally with horses.
Astaire III was Sarah’s advanced horse, purchased by her as a 3 year old in Denmark, and he quickly became a very successful small tour horse. For his last six years, until his sad and unexpected death, Sarah competed him successfully at Grand Prix.
In more recent years Sarah has received coaching from Carl Hester and former Dutch and British team trainer Conrad Schumacher. He afforded her a great compliment by stating that in his opinion she rides at International Team standard.
Kate Hamilton awarded Sarah the ride of her young Friesian stallion "Herbie"and Conrad, who has extensive experience of Friesians both in Europe and in the USA, considers him to be one of the best examples in the world today.
Sarah has been invited to officially train for the British Under 21's Training Scheme and specialises in under 25's training. Before the outbreak of Foot and Mouth in 2001, she headed the entire British Dressage under 21's training in the South West. She was a member of the Under 21's Training Committee and 5 of her pupils have represented Great Britain from Ponies to Young Riders.
In 2002, Sarah secured a sponsorship deal with Provender International and is now successfully competing the twelve year old Holstein gelding Provender Galant for them. Winner of the W.W.E.C. Novice Championships in 2002, and a Novice Winter Championship finalist earlier that year, he took 4th place in the Winter Novice Music Championships. He was 6th in a hotly contested open Elementary Regional Final, narrowly missing qualification for the Nationals. In 2005, having missed a year due to injury, he gained 3rd place in the Winter Elementary Music Championships. In 2006, he qualified for the Winter National Championships at Medium level but due to rider injury was unable to compete. At the end of 2006, he won his first advanced class and is currently competing at F.E.I. Intermediare II and Grand Prix. He placed 10th in the National Winter Championships PSG Freestyle 2009 and twice placed 3rd in major Premier Leagues last year.
Sarah is based at a private yard in Wiltshire, which has excellent facilities.
As a judge, Sarah was upgraded by British Dressage in July 2008 to List 4.
Sarah was invited by Equifeast, the makers of Winning Edge Gold, to join their Elite Riders' Programme, in order to promote and further develop its application in top sport horses. Prior to this invitation, Sarah had been using and recommending Winning Edge Gold quite independently for over a year.
She was also, by invitation, the resident trainer and a regular contributor to Just Dressage Magazine, a highly focussed publication for dressage riders in the UK.