Amicella | EDS Auction Sale


Amicella is a beautiful Westphalian state premium mare by the outstanding breeding stallion Ampère. Amicella’s dam Athene Nike is a familiar name from the selection trials for the FEI World Breeding Championships for Young Dressage Horses in Verden. This dam-line produced Richard Davison’s Grand Prix horse Hiscox Antemis, who competed in the 2012 Olympics in London. Amicella is a mare with international bloodlines and talent for dressage.


Excellent Dressage Sales |  *New Auction*

Are you looking for a dressage horse with excellence? Carefully bred and selected? A talent with a solid education? A horse with an honest story? With advice from an Excellent team’ of internationally acknowledged experts? And all this in the unique environment of Academy Bartels in Hooge Mierde, Holland?

Then you should not miss Excellent Dressage Sales, the auction organised by the top horse scouts of Holland: Joop van Uytert, Nico Witte, Tim Coomans, Gertjan van Olst and Joep Schellekens. This Excellent team has proven that it can breed, manage and train horses to international shiners.

During the EDS auction, Richard Davison is our speaker and host. Richard is a four-time Olympian (including the 2012 London Olympic Games) and has been at the fore front of the international dressage world for three decades.

For more information on the auction, horses and how to attend, please use see the EDS website.

Dressage Dreams & a Goalkeeper'™s Regime

Follow Richard’s pupil Nicolle Begovic on her journey through dressage and football. Working to rise up the dressage ranks as she aims to be the first Bosnian dressage rider at the Olympics, she is also actively involved in her husband Asmir’s career as a professional goalkeeper for Stoke City & Bosnia and Herzegovina.
First edition below!


Dressage Dreams and a Goalkeeper’s Regime
By: Nicolle Begovic

As I sit at the hairdressers now writing my very first article whilst having my hair extensions put in, I can’t help but to laugh at the irony of this situation. Here I am, hoping to write a column over the next season to try and break the cliché of the modern WAG and who we really are, and so far this sort of start may not be helping that but here goes anyway…………

A new term at Stoke City

And so it begins, the start of another new and exciting year for Stoke, freshly seasoned with the anticipation of a new manager, new faces and new style of play at the club and of course, my very first column! So let me kick off by welcoming you to my new home game feature, which I hope you all will enjoy reading this season.

This exciting opportunity allows my husband Asmir and I to share with you a little extra insight into the mechanics that enables our personal life, my Olympic dreams to compete in dressage and his football career to intertwine and coincide. Here is a backstage pass as to what really goes on behind the scenes of a footballer’s life and you may be surprised and disappointed to learn, for example, that Asmir does many ‘normal’ day-to-day chores. You will often see him frequenting a local supermarket, shop or walking our dog when he isn’t busy travelling or training.

So a little bit about me……….

You’ll have to patient with me, as this is uncommon territory. Over the last 7 years I have been with Asmir, it has become second nature to roll his biography off the tip of my tongue without hesitation with well-rehearsed facts about him and his career. But me? I have never really had to answer that question so publicly as Asmir is so familiar with.

I was born and raised in the United States splitting my time between the rolling Appalachian Mountains in Tennessee and the hot and happening beaches of Miami and West Palm Beach, Florida. Western riding and Rodeo’s were prolific in my Tennessee hometown of Mountain City and that was the start of a life long love affair with horses. Relocating to the UK when I was 10 wasn’t the easiest of transitions for a child so it was the horses that I turned to for assurance and familiarity, and that’s when I was introduced to Dressage and was instantly hooked.
                                                                                          Click Read More for the rest of the article 

It was in my second year at University studying to be an accountant that I met Asmir who was then just trying to break into the first team at Portsmouth from the reserve ranks. What got us talking that fateful night was that it was interesting to hear someone else with a North American accent in Portsmouth-and since then I don’t think we’ve stopped talking yet!

The ‘Dancing Horses’

The London 2012 Olympics produced ‘our greatest team’ many will say and what a year it was. It is London 2012 and our double gold in Dressage for Team GB in the individual and team event that I have to thank for catapulting my much adored and loved sport of dressage into publicity on a global scale. Where many had never heard of Dressage before, here it was suddenly being recognised everywhere as the sport of the ‘Dancing Horses’. It is often a miss-understood sport with little knowledge as to what it entails such as how anyone could possibly make the horse ‘dance’ and do movements such as the piaffe, passage and pirouette. I could go into some detail of that now but there probably wouldn’t be any print space left in this programme. Perhaps I will try another time?

So why am I talking about the ‘Dancing Horses’ or dressage? Well over the course of my column, I am looking forward to sharing how Asmir and I are working together to become top athletes in our respective sports. Sharing day-to-day events and training updates and letting you know what we are up to. Dressage is a way of life for me everyday. I eat, sleep, drink, and obsess over my sport in the same way Asmir does with goalkeeping and football. That has certainly been a true blessing for me that Asmir can fully understand the commitment I must make to get to the ultimate goal in my sport, as I do for his. I am in training at the moment with the hope of going to the Rio 2016 Olympics (horsepower allowing) to be the first individual to represent Bosnia and Herzegovina in Dressage. It’s become my full-time career but I couldn’t think of a better job for me!

So are footballers and horses related as sportsmen? Well really it all boils down to one massive comparison-here goes- competition horses are like footballers and footballers like competition horses. Incredible athletes in their own right born and developed to be the best in their respective sports. Attributes not exclusively learned but inherited and instinctive as though it were their destiny.

Like footballers, competition horses require the upmost care from daily dietary management, training, physical maintenance and support. Just the same as footballers require an indeterminable amount of care and support from so many vast areas of sports management. What sets the top dressage horse apart from the sports-horse crowd is that it is an elite equine athlete comparable to the strength and flexibility of an Olympic gymnast along with traits such power, prowess, refinement and intelligence.

On that note, I am signing off from my first column and I am looking forward to the first game after a much-anticipated start to the season. After a lovely summer break with the family we are all raring to go. It is getting to see Asmir and team play together every week that validates the separation from their families, daily sacrifices and the time they commit to their careers. Here’s to a great 2013/2014 season for Stoke City and I look forward to sharing the journey with you at each home game this year.

Nicolle x

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How to Ride & Train Shoulder In for your horse

What is Shoulder In?

As the name suggests, your horse’s shoulders will be on an inner track whilst his quarters are on an outer track. Add a touch of inside neck bend and you essentially have shoulder in! This is a collected movement but the judges will be looking for impulsion and forward going too as well as the usual rhythm, balance and flow. The angle of shoulder in is something people often get carried away with, we suggest it is better to have a little less angle but maintain all the other aspects. Too much angle will make it hard for your horse to carry out he movement correctly anyway.  When viewing shoulder in from the front, the maximum angle should not exceed four equal tracks. You will be looking for the space between the outside fore leg and the inside hind leg being no bigger than between the other legs.

How do you ride Shoulder In?

We suggest you start in walk, it’s the best pace for you and your horse to learn such exercises in before moving on to trot and canter. 

Walk through the corner and onto the long side, as you do so, turn your upper body into the angle you are looking to achieve. Imagine you are lifting a box to the inside. It is important that it is just your upper body, don’t let you hips turn as this can cause you to end up with your weight to the outside.

Add in a little extra rein aid to help encourage and guide your horse’s forehand to step in off the track and you will then need to time your inside leg aid to ask him to step forwards down the track. 

Your inside leg is kept close to the girth to help control the bend and guide your horse forward. Your outside leg can be slightly further back behind the girth so as to help regulate your horse’s hind quarter positioning. 

Your outside rein is used to determine how much neck bend is present and using a little action from your inside wrist, you can encourage inside flexion if needed.

What to look out for!

Like humans, horses have stronger and weaker sides. He is likely to be more supple on one side than the other and naturally bends his neck more one way than the other. If you find that on one rein you have a lot of neck bend to start with but without being able to get his shoulders off the track, this suggests more practise with varying types of leg-yielding is needed. Try leg-yielding straight or a small amount of flexion to the outside but only for a couple of strides.

Author: Tom Davison
Email: info@davisonequestrian.com

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Dodson & Horrell Article: Sponsored Rider Richard Davison Shares His Top Tips…

We recently caught up with one of our sponsored riders, Dressage star Richard Davison to hear about his top tips for success. Whether you’re simply schooling at home, or out regularly competing, his advice should be useful to most riders…

1.    When warming up at competitions do not get too fixated on the movements in the test but instead allow enough time for suppling your horses muscles and getting your horse to respond to your leg and rein aids. Many people do too many repetitions of the actual test movements whilst warming up and this can lead either to the horse losing confidence in that particular exercise or simply that all the good stuff is left behind in the warm-up arena instead of the competition arena where it matters.

2.    At home practice riding different sized corners. A corner is a quarter of a circle. In a highly collected gait that should be a quarter of a 6m circle which means leaving the short side 3m before the corner and arriving at the long side 3m after the corner. At the other end of the training spectrum, with a novice horse in working gaits it should be a quarter of a 10m circle – so that 5ms from the corner. The point corners are a strategic exercise which need planning and practising.

3.    When you come out of the competition arena its tempting to have the post test discussion immediately. But instead spend a few minutes cooling down your horse. Its really important to avoid stiff tight muscles which result from a neglected cool down. Normally we trot slowly for a few minutes in a stretched frame and then walk for another 5 minutes or so. Its difficult to be precise as it depends on many factors such as the length and demands of the test, fitness and temperature of the horse etc but don’t underestimate the importance of this phase. You can chat over your test later in the coffee bar!!

For a link to the article and Dodson & Horrell website, please click here.