Young British Dressage rider Hayley Watson-Greaves has snapped up the last spot at the FEI World Cup Finals in Paris, this weekend (13-14 April).
Hayley had a great World Cup season with the British-bred Rubins Nite, but just missed out on qualifying for the finals, finishing 13th in the Western European league.
She was offered a last-minute place in Paris when Aussie Mary Hanna had to withdraw due to an injury to her horse, Calanta.
Luckily, Hayley had kept Rubins Nite in training “just in case” she made it to the finals.
“Squeaks (her nickname for the horse) had a break after the qualifiers, but then I kept him ticking over as there is always a chance of getting called up,” Hayley told H&C. “I’m used to being a last-minute stand in; it happened at the Europeans and the Olympics, so I had him fit and ready in case.
“Last week I thought I probably wasn’t going, and the next day I got the call. It’s amazing. It’s such an achievement to get there – it was one of the things of my bucket list, so I’m going to have a good time.”
“I’ve never been to be Paris before and I’m really looking forward to going, although I’m a bit daunted about driving into the city centre!”
British National Champions
This is the pair’s first international championship, although they have been on Nations Cup teams together. They were also crowned British National Champions at the LeMieux National Dressage Championships in 2017.
You can find out how Hayley trains her horses for success – from novice to grand prix – in our Masterclass Xtra.