Skip to content

It is an incredible turn of events…

It is an incredible turn of events…
Emily Redall & Cartown Wallabe

My name is Emily Redall, I am 23 (will be 24 at the time of LIHS) and am about to start at Warwick Medical School as a graduate medical student. I was originally training to be a vet (hence why I am a graduate entry med student; this is my 3rd degree, or 4th start if you count a short stint at Law school… that’s for another day!) and so despite having ridden and owned horses my whole life, academic commitments meant I never did Pony Club and into my adult years have only competed unaffiliated. Saying that, I always had a desire to compete in affiliated events, and was always daydreaming about the coveted spot at an International show. It was not something I acted upon however, as I was content doing a bit of Amateur affiliated show jumping into my adult years. That was until, I tragically lost the horse with whom I was doing all of these events.

Despondent and really quite ready to give up, I saw an advert for an Advanced event horse, with whom I thought I might be able to get back doing some allrounder activities. Little did I know the journey on which I was about to embark…. That horse was Wally (Cartown Wallabe). Wally had just stepped down from 4* (now 5*) eventing, and still very much in his prime! Having spent 8 years with Bella Innes Ker, owned by the Duchess of Roxburghe and kept at the Roxburghe’s Floor’s Castle in Scotland, it was pure luck that he was closer to me in Wiltshire when I came to view him. When I saw his advert pop up, something just felt right, and that feeling carried onto when I met him in person. Funnily enough, I actually fell off him over a fence when I tried him out, but nonetheless was totally besotted and felt a deep connection with him. He flew his vetting and the next day was home with me! Since then, we have had nothing but fun and amazing times together.

In the first month of having him, I felt a real sparked interest in doing some dressage with him. I quite honestly shocked myself in this as my interest was always mostly jumping. Consequently, having had horses who, shall we say, were not fond of dressage(!) prior to Wally, it is a discipline I had always steered away from. Wally was, and is, different from any horse I have ever ridden. He is often called a ‘Ferrari’ by people who know him and knew him when he was in his peak eventing career. Wally gives me the most amazing feeling under saddle, and within a few rides we were playing with Advanced Medium movements! We made our British Dressage debut at Advanced Medium and have not looked back. We are currently working towards PSG and our trainer has hopes for us to reach Inter I. Wally loves learning, and we have very much had to re-learn a lot of movements in his new ‘dressage frame’, but he puts 100% into everything and has shown to be a real star in the white boards.

Our qualifying story:

It was by chance that our local dressage venue were holding a show one weekend in March, that happened to feature a BSHA Rising Star Associate class. I had absolutely no idea what I was signing up for, but I studied the rule book, bought the tack and clothing, and after a few lessons with my jump trainer -who also happens to be a whizz in the show ring- we entered the class! It was the first ever ridden class Wally had ever done, and our first as a combination. I am an absolute showing novice, having not shown under saddle (unless you can count two ridden unaffiliated classes on my horse prior years’ ago!), I hadn’t an idea what we were in for. Wally was a complete star and we won the class! We were pulled in first and waited for a long time whilst the judges were deliberating 2nd/3rd/4th and so on, so I would like to think that we were a stand out win (I tell Wally this anyway because he is always a champion in my eyes!).

Fast forward to July and I decided to book Wally and I into the LIHS direct qualifier of the same class at a local County show (Hanbury Countryside Show). I had confidence in how we performed at my local show and thought “Why not?”. I was absolutely terrified but it was playing at the back of my mind for months, as I enjoyed that experience so much with him, and just had to see how we faired at County level. We had done the odd show class in between times and I felt that I had a little more ring craft behind me as to not embarrass Wally in the ring; this was still just our 4th ever show together! Classic for July, it was raining (!) when we got the show. I was SO nervous. The atmosphere was absolutely huge and it was a ‘real’ county show with farrier competitions, displays, animals, etc. Needless to say, I did not need to be worried. Wally was a complete superstar. Wally was just Wally: perfect. Took it all in his stride and I was just astounded by how he handled himself. I am well aware that he is my number one and in my eyes, he can do no wrong (I am often the subject of laughter from friends because of it!) but honestly, he was perfect. Wally is just one of those horses that is just a dream in every way; and I really mean it. Aside from the halo I place above his head, everyone I meet agrees that he is just a complete gem. He has the most wonderful personality and nature, and he would jump to the moon and back for me. On the LIHS qualifier day, it felt like I was on the moon with him! He is a LOT of horse; so much power, strength, and ability, but also so much compassion for me on board. He was strong and excited but he stayed with me the whole time. The judge remarked at how well we behaved and was so forthcoming in her positive comments about his conformation and soundness. It was so lovely to have a judge of that level say such kind comments and to also provide me with positive feedback about my individual show (I am still proud of that to this day!) When we were placed first he was quite honestly smiling with me! We stayed in the ring for the championship, the sun came out, and Wally strutted his stuff! I was so pleased to regain so control after his eventer-style lap of honour, and it is testament to how good he is to listen to me. We were placed champion and I honestly was nearly crying at this point. I had such a vivid feeling of gratitude for all of the opportunities that Wally has given to me, and so much love for the wonderful person he is. The judge and the stewards were so supportive and the whole day was just a dream. Wally and I celebrated by buying £20 worth of Likits (Wally’s favourites are Banana and Molasses) with the prize money (I was so excited in the tack shop being my first time ever time winning prize money!) and going on a fun ride the following weekend to blow away a few cobwebs!

I still cannot believe that in a few month’s time, we will be at the London International Horse Show, ExCel London. The opportunity of a lifetime, and one I will always be thankful for. I have never been to the London International Horse Show, not as a competitor or spectator; though have always wanted to go. It is an incredible turn of events that the year in which I am finally able to attend, it’s with my best friend Wally; and thanks to him that I am attending, too.

Merchandise at the London International Horse Show





Show Map