Name: Daniel Bladon
Place of Birth: Derby
Sport: Eventing (Dressage, Showjumping, Cross Country)
Born and bred in Derby, Daniel Bladon began horse riding at just the tender age of six. According to the man himself, ever since then he’s been “hooked” on horses: “I asked my parents if I could ride a horse for my birthday and I loved it,” Daniel explains. “I rode for fun up until I was 14 and then moved up to competing with other people’s horses as I didn’t have my own.”
He quickly found that his favourite competition was Eventing, which is made up of three stages. These are Dressage, Showjumping and Cross Country. Each event is marked separately and then totalled to a final score at the end of the competition, similar to a decathlon in athletics. “I like Eventing because I feel it takes the pressure off slightly,” said Daniel. “Because if you do badly in one event, then you’ve always got another one to fall back on.”
His current five year old horse Dino, has just completed his first season after Daniel bought him from Ireland 18 months ago. “He came to England in quite a bad way, he was covered in scars and all sorts. It took me a while to build his fitness up and the relationship we have now is good. There’s definitely an amount of trust there.” He’s currently kept at the Riseholme stables in Lincoln where he’s looked after by staff during the week, then at weekends Daniel drives up to see him.
“He seems to like it there and he gets well looked after,” said Daniel. “He’s now hitting that age though where he’s getting harder to control – it’s equivalent to a teenager in human years. He’s starting to push the boundaries so I’m having to try harder to keep him focused and concentrated.”
Daniel has enjoyed an amount of success in his relatively short career so far, participating in a qualifier event back in 2011 for the Olympia Horse Show, one of the UK’s biggest Equestrian competitions. During this year’s summer season he also competed in the Burghley Horse Trials, which is recognised by the FEI (International Federation of Equestrian Sports), as being one of the six leading three-day events in the world.
In addition, he finished 3rd out of 45 at a British Eventing competition at Frickley Park. “Overall, I’m happy with how the summer went. Dino is still a young horse and in each competition I saw him progress a little bit more which bodes well for the future.”
With the summer season running from March till October, Daniel is now planning for the winter months, albeit without his specialist event. Only Dressage and Showjumping are continued through to next March as these competitions can be held indoors. “It’s a good chance for me and Dino to go out there, build some confidence and keep him active. However it’s still important we try and do well in the events as we’re always looking to improve.”
For all his achievements so far though, Daniel believes Dino is his biggest so far: “He’s surprised me so much, the level he’s reached now is incredible. I bought him at a good price and I reckon he’s worth probably about three times the amount I paid for him. Hopefully we can have a successful future together.”