Ruth’s confident of keeping her cool to book a European place

RIDING HIGH: Ruth Hole, pictured on Woody, is looking to book a double spot in the European Dressage Championships
RIDING HIGH: Ruth Hole, pictured on Woody, is looking to book a double spot in the European Dressage Championships
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Ruth Hole is confident nerves will not be a factor in her bid to compete at both the Pony and Junior European Dressage Championships this summer.

The Bury St Edmunds-based equestrian star made the trip to France ahead of three days competing in a junior competition, with Hole’s performance this weekend set to determine whether she qualifies for the two major events.

“I’m lucky that I never get nervous,” the 15-year-old said. “I don’t feel the pressure.

“I just enjoy it. It’s a weekend in the sun.”

Hole will be competing in both the under-16s and under-18s sections this weekend, before returning to the country to finish her remaining GCSE exams, which she is currently undertaking at Ipswich High School for Girls.

“I’ll be riding Winnie in the under-18s section,” she added.

“We’ve had him since he was two years old and he’s now 11.

“And I’ll be riding Woody in the under-16s, who I partnered with in the European Championships in 2013.”

Hole — who was recently selected as one of three West Suffolk athletes to receive a SportsAid Grant — represented Great Britain last month as they finished third in the Junior Nations Cup team event.

Ranked second in her age group, the teenager is hoping to continue the form that saw her clinch high-placed finishes at the Dressage Internationals earlier this year.

“The preparations have gone really, really good,” she said. “I’m able to train at home, so I’m lucky to have that comfort. Especially while I’m trying to revise for exams.

“I’ve missed quite a few events this year for exams, but fingers crossed I’m ready.”

The Junior European Dressage Championships is set to take place in Vidauban, France on July 1-5, with the Pony European Championships scheduled for August 5-9 in Malmo, Sweden.