British Dressage North & East Region sponsorship – D Squad Winner Darci Ward

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British Horse Feeds are sponsors of the North & East BD Region and provide feed advice as well as support at camp and events.

D Squad Winner Darci Ward

Here we catch up with Darci and her mum to find out all about her pony Emular Dare to Dream and their D Squad win along with plans for 2024 and beyond.

What is Squadding?

When a young rider starts on their BD Youth training journey, they can attend assessment and training days in their region which could lead to being allocated to a BD Youth Regional Squad. Being part of a squad opens a whole bunch of opportunities for team competition, including the Home Nations and Inter Regionals.

BD Youth squad competitions are not just about riding dressage tests. Rider skills are also tested which focus on position, riding proficiency and influence on the pony’s way of going. Points are awarded and progress is monitored so that young riders can advance through the squads as their skill grows.

The BD Horse Care programme is also a key part of the squadding journey and all young riders need to be participating in the course at the relevant level to be eligible for regional teams.

Meet Darci Ward and Emular Dare to Dream

2023 was Darci’s first year squadding with the North & East BD region. Dream as she is known at home is a Welsh Section B pony which Darci’s family bought almost three years ago as a three-year-old. They had gone to see another pony to buy for Darci but she saw Dream in the field and fell in love with her. With help from her mum on the ground Darci trained the young pony to be ridden and then go out and take part in their first competition.

In her first year with BD, Darci and Dream worked hard on their squadding and slowly built their scores as the year went on. Gaining a high scoring win in the Inter Regional competition representing North & East BD region took them to the top of the table resulting in a ‘dream’ win for the pair.

Stacey Ward, Darci’s mum, was with her all the way saying, “Darci and Dream have done every ‘first’ together from initially sitting on her for the first time right through to this first win. She has worked so hard – this was our first year with BD too and we didn’t know anything! We have all learnt so much and I couldn’t be prouder of them both.”

Looking forward to 2024 and beyond

Dream has now been sold to another family as Darci was outgrowing her and a new pony Lucky has joined the family. New Forest pony OakFarm Lucky Lad is already a very lucky pony – his mum was hit by a car on the New Forest when she was in foal with him but survived it and went on to give birth to this very handsome pony

Now in C Squad, Darci has quite a lot to work on with him and as her mum put it, “He has very big shoes to fill.”


Well done Darci and Dream and good luck for 2024 from us all at British Horse Feeds!