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Eventer David Doel on his proficient mare Ferro Level

  • British event rider David Doel has two rides in the five-star at Pau Horse Trials in 2022, but the first of these two rides, Ferro Point, is a special mare.

    The 12-year-old, who is by Match Point and owned by Christine and Hannah Lees and Molly Nunn, has several four-star completions to her name, and jumped a cross-country clear around Luhmühlen five-star earlier this year. But she takes some managing as she has kissing spine – something that hasn’t got in her way during her successful eventing career.

    “She’s very cute but has kissing spine, which we manage with great care and ultimately, she loves her job,” explains David, who has ridden her since she was four. “We spend a lot of time working on her top line and don’t do anything too intense with her.”

    David says that the mare’s enthusiasm for her job is inspiring.

    “She’s always had a big jump and she has a lot of enthusiasm for it. Half the difficulty is getting them to want to do the job in the first place, and even with her back limitations, she wants to do it, which makes life easier.”

    David and Ferro Point scored 39.1, putting them in 14th place after the first day of dressage at Pau today (27 October).

    “It’s taken us a long time to get her to do some civilised flying-changes and we came here hoping for a score between 35 and 40, so it’s great to have achieved that,” explained the 29-year-old from Wiltshire, who also runs an ice cream business alongside his full-time eventing career. “She stayed really level headed in the test and did everything in the right place.”

    David says that Ferro Point is a different character once she gets out of her stable and onto the serious business of tackling cross-country courses.

    “In the stable she’s really reserved, but as soon as she gets out onto the cross-country, she’ll be pulling my arms out and she loves to gallop – she’s a cool little pocket rocket and quite a feisty little blood-type mare”.

    David explains that Ferro Point has a brilliant team behind her to keep her happy and healthy.

    “We have a really good vet and physio, and the girls and boy I have working for me at home are great about working with her – she has lots of different exercises and we do a lot of riding and leading with her so that she doesn’t always have someone on her back to get her fit,” he explains.

    “Peter ‘Spike’ Milligan is her vet, then she has three different physios, plus one of the girls who works for me is qualified as an equine massage therapist, so it’s a real team effort.”

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