Continuing with memories from the British National Championships in this Centenary year for the Arab Horse Society, we feature our next British National Champion. Another ridden champion – this time a superb Anglo, who left this world far too soon.
He’s A Diamond – by Frankie Waring
Whenever I think of the British National Championships I always think of He’s a Diamond, our Anglo homebred gelding who has won both in-hand and under saddle at this prestigious show. He was bred by mum, Melanie, and we all bonded with him from the moment he was born on 26 May 1994.
“Dime”, as he is affectionately known, was backed as a four year old. I was only 10 years old at the time and still riding a 12.2hh show pony, so Dime was left in the field to mature. Then, two years later when Dime was six years old, he was shown by Claire Fitch to British National Ridden Anglo Arab Champion as well as British National In-hand Anglo Arab Champion, handled by Dominic Fitch. We were thrilled that our homebred had done so well and to have won in both disciplines was something we were so proud of.
I took over the Dime’s reins when I was 13 years old and won countless championships with him as an intermediate riding horse and Anglo Arab. In 2003, when I was 15 years old, he took the British National Ridden Champion title with me, something we repeated in 2005. In 2006 we also took the Reserve Champion Ridden title.
It is not just his success as a show horse that has made Dime so special to us. He is the biggest personality on the yard and also the quirkiest. He will “bow” for a carrot, kicks his door constantly while waiting to be fed and for every 10 times he will walk straight on to the horse lorry, one day he will decide that he would rather not. He is also an escape artist and at the British Nationals in 2006 we found him wandering around the stable blocks!
Dime epitomises the British National Championships for us. For mum, to have watched a horse she bred and her daughter to have such success, makes her feel very proud. And for me, there is nothing like galloping around the main ring – generally in the pouring rain! – on a Saturday afternoon during the Supreme Ridden Championship. Those are moments that stay with you forever.
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This post comes from a series we first ran in The Arabian Magazine in 2005. Called Malvern Calling, the series celebrated British National Champions from Malvern, Ascot and even Kempton Park, and different readers shared their favourite memory from the British Nationals. There is always something special about watching the moment a horse is crowned British National Champion, so please enjoy the memories that will be shared here over the coming month.