An island junior has caught the eye of many riding instructors throughout Scotland in her short time on the equestrian circuit, for her impressive skills in dressage.
Although ten year old Abby Jo Morrison, from Back, has only been riding since the age of five, her equestrian efforts have so far taken her to various venues UK wide.
Abby Jo also entered the Scottish regional British yearly dressage awards and received the fledglings award for highest dressage points at the SNEC in Edinburgh and was presented with her trophy by Cecilia Gladwyne RDO.
Kathleen Connor, a qualified instructor, has been helping Abby Jo with her with her dressage for just under two years, although she has beenaware of her as a rider for around six.
She said: “The first time I ever saw Abby Jo was at a horse show, and I saw a complete natural horse-person. She was only five years old and was cantering round on a Highland pony, her legs didn’t even reach the bottom of the saddle but that pony knew exactly what she wanted him to do! I was very impressed with what I saw.”
Abby Jo first began competing on the mainland in Glasgow at Ingelston equestrian centre, where she started to win all the classes she entered. By winning these classes she qualified for the championships to be held in the Midlands and in Buckinghamshire.
Although she could only attend the qualifying championships in Addington manor, she partook in her first proper dressage test and qualified for the NPS championships for the f ollowing year.
Kathleen said: “Abby Jo has an incredibly mature attitude to her riding and training, and is great to work with; she is doing very well in dressage at the moment, but has the potential to do well in any equestrian discipline.”
Over the last few summers Abby Jo has competed all over Scotland, collecting a whole host of trophies and rosettes in her classes, even gaining reserve champion at a show in Glasgow. She has also recently become a member of the British Dressage and undertakes various training days that see her getting trained by top instructors at countless venues across Scotland for the BD Byrds scheme where she has so far achieved her Fledglings, C+ badge and certificate.
Abby Jo and her family would like to extend a big thank you to Stephen Munro and the committee of the Western Isles Sports Council for all the help and support they have received with the awarding of the excellence grant, which has enabled her to travel back and forth to competitions on the mainland and help with training she has received, without which she would not have be able to compete on the mainland.
They would also like to thank her personal instructor Kathleen Connor.