May 29, 2016

Bradley Champagne

Bradley Champagne - Equipe Central USA Sponsored Rider - Riding Wally

Bradley Champagne – Equipe Central USA Sponsored Rider – Riding Wally

Bradley Champagne

DOB: May 12 1994

Country Representing: Canada

Horse: Wallaroo W

 

My mom had been involved with horses long before I was born so I was immediately put into the “horse world.” Over the next few years I took lessons at a local farm near Orangeville, Ontario, Canada. When I was six I got a little, black New Forest/Welsh pony named Ace. Although he was your typical little pony who I got bucked off more times than I could count, he gave me the passion for riding.

When I heard about a three-day eventing clinic at the Caledon Hunt Club in Caledon, Ontario, Ace and I ventured out not knowing what to expect. I can remember the dressage not really being qualified as dressage, but when we got out on that cross-country course we both fell in love with eventing.

Just over two years ago I began the search for a horse that could have the potential to at least go Training, having competed through Novice previously. After spending a summer looking for this horse my mom and I purchased a 9-year- old Thoroughbred/Westphalian gelding named Taz. For a horse who had hacked until age 5 it was sort of a shot in the dark, but after I jumped him over an oxer during the first trial I got that “knowing” feeling.

He was purchased a few days later on August 31 2012. In late September we did a small local Beginner Novice event and a Novice event a few weeks later. We upgraded to Training part way through the next season and finished our season with our first win. After going down to Florida with Karl Slezak Eventing that winter we gained a lot of confidence at the Training level. Once we returned back to Canada, we won a Training level event and upgraded to Preliminary.

After the move up to Preliminary I began riding with Boyd Martin in 2014. Once Taz and I had done a handful of Preliminary events, Boyd and I decided that he would be happier allowing another lower level rider to gain as much confidence as I did.

Just over a year ago I managed to purchase Wallaroo W, one of Boyds homebreds from Australia. “Wally” is absolutely a top class horse, and over the past year we have built a great relationship and have now completed a couple Intermediate horse trials with a top 10 finish in our last event.

What I love about Equipe saddles, is that they’re not just crafted beautifully, but the difference in how the horse goes in them is astonishing. The freedom that they allow in the shoulder and back really completes that “winning look”.

A first hand example of this is a 5 point dressage score increase between riding in my older saddle, and my Equipe.

The willingness that I feel from Wally going toward the jumps with the Equipe Special One jump saddle was absolutely night and day compared to my previous saddle.

I’m very honoured to be a part of such an amazing team, and to be able to represent a company I truly believe in.