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Pam Clingan:
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Me and my boys in the press...

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Horse & Hound, 21 April 2022

NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships

"I tried to copy Charlotte Dujardin"

Q.T NAF Five Star Winter Championships
Photo: Kevin Sparrow

Tracey Lawson hardly expected to win one title, let alone two. She kicked off her week by winning the Equi-Trek elementary title with the nine-year-old Quotenkonig son QT (pictured) and then added the Prestige Italia novice silver to their haul, with a super score of 77.16%.

"I watched Charlotte Dujardin doing the same novice test and tried to copy everything she did — obviously it paid off, although I haven't quite caught her up," said Tracey, referring to Charlotte's Prestige Italia novice gold win on Times Mon Amour, with a score just 0.5% higher than her own.

"I was pleased with the elementary test, but I was trying to go for more looseness and flamboyance in the novice," she added, having described QT as "like a kite" when he first arrived at Hartpury. "This was QT's first time at a championships and I didn't know how he was going to react, so I was somewhat holding him together in the elementary. Today, I set him a bit more free and said, 'Go and show your moves, babe.'"

The double win has come at the end of two very tough and emotionally challenging years for Tracey. "It has been a difficult couple of years for everybody with Covid, but it has been an extra-difficult time for me as I have been going through a very nasty, bitter divorce," said Tracey. "I am climbing back out of it now and it's onwards and upwards for me, with my lovely horse and lovely dog, who have helped me heal mentally and physically."

British Dressage News, 16 April 2022

NAF Five Star Winter Championships
Prestige Italia Novice Silver
Winner: Tracey Lawson with Q.T., 77.16%

Hampshire duo Tracey Lawson and Q.T. has had a NAF Five Star Winter Championship debut to remember – three days…not one but two championship titles claimed! Today, with a stunning score of 77.16% they simply stole the show in the Prestige Italia Novice Silver Championship under judges Fiona Wilson, Felicity Scott and Helen Clark to add to their Equi-Trek Elementary Silver title.

Q.T NAF Five Star Winter Championships

“I was just trying to copy Charlotte who also won this class, it appears to have paid off!” exclaimed a delighted Tracey.

She went on to explain; “I didn’t expect it at all, it’s been a very very difficult couple of years for everybody with Covid and it’s been an extra difficult time for me as I’ve been through a very nasty divorce so I’m climbing back out of it now and it just shows that if you get rid of the things that hold you back in life you can release your dreams. I’m getting on in life with a lovely horse and a lovely dog and they’re helping me recover physically and mentally. QT is the best partner, a faithful partner! I’m sticking to geldings and dogs now!”

Tracey was clearly delighted with her equine partner of 12 months, “The test felt really good, I’m looking forward to seeing my test sheets and seeing how I can improve further. Today I tried to go for more looseness and flamboyance today and just it’s his first time ever at a championship so you don’t know until you’re here until they react. I think I held him a bit more together in the Elementary and then today I set him a bit more free and said ‘go and show your moves babe’.”

“His trot work has been correct but I felt I lacked the extra expression that I see other riders have so I was really pleased with that today. I felt like he could have a little extra expression but still stay calm and balanced so that he didn’t boil over!” she continued.

The emotion and adrenaline of a championship show was clearly catching up on Tracey; “I’m exhausted! I’ve been sleeping with a nine-month-old puppy in an ice cream van for four nights! I’m looking forward to going home and getting some sleep now, it’s been wonderful but I’m 53 and it’s really hard work when you’re by yourself and you’re looking after your horse and dog by yourself but gosh this makes it worth every single second!”

Second spot went to Jessica Griffiths riding RS Fürst Love on a score of 73.70%, which would have won many a championship titles, while in third was Anna Burns, partnered by Lancelot BS on 72.90%.

Horse & Hound Online News, 16 April 2022

Tales from Hartpury: Double champion on how animals ‘helped me heal mentally and physically’ after divorce

by Polly Bryan

Tracey Lawson hardly expected to win one title at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships, let alone two. She kicked off her week by winning the Equitrek elementary silver title with the nine-year-old QT, and added the Prestige Italia novice silver title to their haul today, with a super score of 77.16%.

Q.T NAF Five Star Winter Championships
Photo: Kevin Sparrow

“I watched Charlotte [Dujardin] doing the same test and tried to copy everything she did – obviously it paid off, although I havent caught her up,” said Tracey, referring to Charlotte’s Prestige Italia novice gold win on Times Mon Amour. She came very close to matching Charlotte’s score for the novice 37A test, being less than 0.5% behind.

“I was pleased with the elementary test but I was trying to go for more looseness and flamboyancy today. This was QT’s first time at a championships and I didn’t know how I got here how he was going to react, so I was somewhat holding him together in the elementary. Today I set him a bit more free and said, ‘Go and show your moves babe’.”

The double win has come at the end of two very tough and emotionally challenging years for Tracey.

“It has been a difficult couple of years for everybody with Covid, but it has been an extra difficult time for me as I have been going through a very nasty, bitter divorce,” said Tracey. “I am climbing back out of it now and it just shows that if you get rid of the things holding you back in life you can go on to release your dreams. It’s onwards and upwards for me, with my lovely horse and lovely dog, who have helped me heal mentally and physically. The animals really have kept me sane – I’ll be avoiding men for a long time, but geldings and dogs are allowed!”

Horse & Hound Online News, 13 April 2022

Winter Dressage Championships
An emotional win

Equi-Trek elementary silver winner Tracey Lawson’s ride QT ‘was like a kite’ when he first arrived at the Winter Dressage Championships on Tuesday evening, but the pair put their excitement behind them to pull off a 73.39% performance when it mattered.

“I woke up at 4am and wondered whether I should start riding him then to calm him down, but my puppy encouraged me to stay in bed a bit longer,” says dressage coach Tracey. “I was over the moon that he got used to the atmosphere overnight and did such a calm test. I just wanted to build his confidence in that sort of atmosphere.”

Tracey travels to shows on her own and admits she enjoys the solitude.

“I love going away to shows just with the animals,” she said. “Usually, I’ve always got my ‘Tracy Lawson Dressage’ head on so it’s nice to only worry about myself for a change.”

Tracey previously competed Gelderlander Alfero successfully and wanted to prove that she could also train a different type of horse.

“I’m so proud of what Alfero could do, but I didn’t want people to think that he was a one hit wonder, so when I saw QT, I knew he was perfect for me,” she said. “He’s little and he’s got a very naturally hollow back which is my speciality, to train horses to come truly up through the back using my leg and seat. I love turning an inexpensive horse into something special.”

The win was an emotional one for Tracey who lost her best friend Cathy Ling nine years ago.

“It would have been her birthday today, and I wore her bracelet in my test,” she said. “She wasn’t in heaven today, she was in that arena with me.”

British Dressage News, 13 April 2022

NAF Five Star Winter Championships
Equi-Trek Elementary Silver
Winner: Tracey Lawson with Q.T, 73.39%

Flying onto the top of podium in the Equi-Trek Elementary Silver was Tracey Lawson riding the nine year old gelding Q.T with an impressive 73.39%. Making this their first Championship appearance after only coming together as a pair in 2019, Tracey was pleased with her test, “He was super and really relaxed which is what I was hoping for, to have a relaxed correct accurate test.”

Q.T NAF Five Star Winter Championships

Coming into the Championships with a determination to do well, Tracey talks about her journey to get here, “I was a bit disappointed with how I rode the regionals, so when I watched the regionals test, I thought he was calm and relaxed but lacking a bit of true power and engagement. So, today I just put a bit more in, but still try to keep him calm and relaxed and build his confidence for sort of his first year at regionals and now first year at the NAF Five Star Winter Championships.”

Q.T is very new to dressage only starting his career as a seven year old Tracey says, “I’ve had him for six years but I was waiting for my older horse, my Gelderlander to retire, but he decided he didn’t want to retire and just kept going so Q.T although he’s nine he’s only been in work now for two years.”

Based in Hampshire, Tracey has the experience to give him the best start in his career being a freelance dressage coach. “His training is coming along beautifully but he’s still green in experience. He’s not been out and about a lot, but he’s catching up. I would have liked to have been working at a higher level than what he’s doing now, he’s Medium going Advanced Medium, hopefully he will get to Prix St Georges soon as he’s strong enough,” Tracey goes on to say.

The pair will be back later in the week to compete in the Prestige Italia Novice Silver, “Fingers crossed it goes well, he’s (Q.T) been obsessed with looking at the shops all the time he was warming up in the arena, so fingers crossed he won't be worried by the shops and he will be confident, and point his toes again.”

Horse & Hound, 24 March 2022

Merrist Wood College Winter Regionals

My Gelderlander taught me to train a naturally hollow horse

"He's developing that middle bascule," said Tracey Lawson of her novice silver winner, QT.

Tracey bought QT as a three-year-old stallion, falling for him from videos she saw that reminded her of her Gelderlander competition horse.

"My Gelderlander was naturally hollow and taught me all about bringing a horse up through the back," she said. "QT looked perfect: little, with lovely legs and temperament, but he was also hollow. Getting that middle bascule is my speciality.

"He's now nine and although a high-maintenance horse, he's super to train because he loves dancing," added Tracey. "It's taken me years to get him to trust me and believe I'm his partner in crime. There's now plenty of time before Hartpury for my trainer Damian Hallam to work on introducing those 'wow factor' moments."

Horse & Hound Highlights, 23 December 2021

Inspiring Lessons

Tracey Lawson's eight-year-old gelding QT followed a 74% win in a competitive novice class at Fairoak Grange EC, Berkshire, with a 71.5% elementary victory, giving her hope after an "annus horribilis".

"I've gone from being in the biggest mess to trying to find a new way forward," said Tracey, who suffered a year of personal problems. "QT is honest and faithful. My trainer Damian Hallam has kept me going and puts a smile on my face by the end of every lesson."

Tracey bought the Quotenkonig son five years ago, when she was keen not to be known as a "one-hit wonder" with a Gelderlander she was competing.

"QT has been on the back-burner, waiting for his time, as I couldn't campaign two," she explained, crediting a late lesson with Sue McMahon for the nine she scored for a medium trot.

"He's a poppet. He already has his changes and we hope to be out at medium and advanced medium early next year."

Horse & Hound, 5 October 2017

Dressage South-East
Step Aside, West Sussex

Tracey May rode her own 11 year old Gelderlander, Alfero, to a 67.5% debut advanced medium victory

by Celia Cadwallader

"He made me feel like a dressage rider, even though he's not designed for the job," said Tracey. She added: "I enjoyed sitting on 'Alfie's' back because it felt like a lovely trampoline. If I wasn't able to lift his back, he would just go up and down like a cart horse, which isn't dressage. "Training horses to lift their backs has become my speciality. I've learnt so much with Alfie about lifting the core and hindleg engagement. "I've had fantastic lessons with Stephen Clarke at Training the Teachers of Tomorrow, where he might say, 'Do one shoulder-in, then stretch him down', 'one haunches-in and then stretch him down'."

Horse & Hound, 27 February 2014

Regional Highlights South

by Helen Triggs

Tracey Lawson & AlferoTRACEY LAWSON set herself a goal of achieving a score of 70% at medium level by the spring. But at Snowball Farm, Bucks (10 February), she and Alfero exceeded expectations to score 75% in the medium qualifier. Alfero is by the Dutch driving horse Sander and Tracey has been training with Lindsay Jenkins, who has helped the pair up their game. "Alfero is very energetic but does not have natural engagement and he can become very hectic," said Tracey. "Lindsay's helped me to get more harmony and to be more fluid going into the movements."



Stretch & Flex Elementary Restricted

Top Ten

1Daisy Coakley with Cleopatra II73.23%
2Daisy Coakley with Bing69.79%
3Rebecca Kingswood with Aramis I68.54%
4Rebecca Haryett with Bjornsun66.88%
5=Tracey Lawson with Alfero66.67%
5=Charlotte Gilder with Strathmore Apollo66.67%
7=Marsh Webb with Sattins Rosario Royale65.73%
7=Anna Lawson with Carentino Z65.73%
9Regula Stricker with Pimmento65.63%
10Cheli Lear with Zenith IV65.63%

Horse & Hound, 15 August 2013

Central Regional Championships

by Emma Sewell

Addington Manor EC, Bucks (9-10 August)

Also reaping rewards of hard work was Tracey Lawson, who posted the top score of 71.56% in section B of the elementary restricted championship. "Alfero was very spooky, nervous and cheeky as a youngster", said Tracey, who bought the eight year old Gelderlander when he was four. "I didn't think he'd be brave enough to go large round an arena, let alone win at the regionals!". Good training and a product called Cool, Calm & Collected from Equifeast has helped Alfero. "I was busy smiling and enjoying myself in the first third of my test, then suddenly I remembered I was at the regionals and thought, 'Sh*t, I'd better start riding!'" admitted Tracey.

Horse & Hound, 21 February 2013

Regional Highlights South

by Celia Cadwallader

At East Soley, Berks (10 February), Tracey Lawson and the seven year old Gelderlander Alfero earned 72.9% and 70.88% wins from novice and elementary qualifier judge Linda Waller. "Its all thanks to Ali Cookson at the TTT (Training the Teachers of Tomorrow)", said Tracey. "Last May Linda pointed out that Alfie was crooked and gave us 66%. "Ali got us working on travers on a 20m circle, then changing to renvers to make it a figure of eight. This makes him step under and across with the hindleg that used to step out. Gradually he's become straighter and more supple."

Horse & Hound, 31 January 2013

Regional Highlights South

by Helen Triggs

Tracey Lawson & AlferoDespite snow and wind, Tracey Lawson and Alfero scored plus 68% to win both elementary classes at Snowball Farm, Bucks (14 January). The snow came down after they arrived, but Tracey decided that, as she was there, she might as well carry on. "He's had four rosettes in 48 hours" said Tracey, who won 2 classes at East Soley the previous day. "I had to hop off the second I'd done the tests today, as despite harrowing the arena, snow balled up in his feet and he was on stilts". The pair have had a break from competing for a few months. Tracey has been working on increasing the suppleness in his back and therefore gaining more straightness. It is obviously working as he achieved his first eights at this level. Judge Jo Black commented: "They are clearly a well established partnership and he's a lovely forward-thinking horse. The movements and transitions were well balanced".

Horse & Hound, 26 July 2012

Regional Highlights South

by Helen Triggs

Snowball Farm, Berks (16 July)

Tracey Lawson's Gelderlander Alfero may not have been built for dressage, but is turning into a rosette machine with many recent wins. They topped the elementary 44 on 69.2% and came second to Rose in the qualifier. "He was the softest he's ever been," enthused Tracey. "I still baby him a bit at home as he's weak, but I pushed him harder today and he was really elastic."

Horse & Hound, 3 May 2012

Regional Highlights South

by Helen Triggs

Snowball Farm, Berks (16 April)

Buying a lorry has made all the difference to Tracey Lawson and A New Day, who won both Novices on plus-70% scores. The six-year old Gelderlander was plagued by injury he inflicted on himself when travelling in a trailer. "The lorry has made a huge difference - he's able to relax at a competition now," explained Tracey. "Today was the first time he has produced what I know he is capable of in front of the judges. I train with Robert Pickles and he keeps up my confidence in myself and my Gelderlanders"

Horse & Hound, 9 February 2012

Regional Highlights South

by Helen Triggs

Snowball Farm, Berks (23 January)

Alfero, ridden by Tracey Lawson was also a double winner at his first show since recovering from a series of splints. Despite his troubles, the pair notched up plus 73% scores (see box, below). Tracey, a freelance instructor, trains with the Training the Teachers of Tomorrow Trust and Robert Pickles. "I've been waiting three years for him to go down the centre line," she said.

Horse & Hound, 9 February 2012

Back from the brink

'He had the longest healing splints ever'

Double novice winner Alfero [see Regional Highlights South report], was at his first affiliated show, after spending the past three years "off the road".

"He must have had the longest-healing splints ever", said owner-rider Tracey Lawson. "I bought him as a just backed three-year old. After having the summer off, he got his first splint so was turned away for a year. Then as soon as he started work, he got one on the other leg. He was only in light work last year and fortunately the splints are reabsorbing."

Tracey started working Alfero more seriously in the Autumn, as the ground got softer, and the competition was his first time without boots. "My vet wanted him worked so that he can take more weight behind and off his front legs. He's not really bred to sit but he's learning".

Tracey, who bought the Gelderlander hoping he will be the next Mr President, added "I couldn't afford a conventionally bred dressage horse, but he has lots of natural suspension".

Horse & Hound, 5 May 2011

Regional Highlights South

by Helen Triggs

Tracey Lawson’s five year old Gelderlander gelding ‘A New Day’ scored 68.46% to win the Novice 36 at Snowball Farm, Bucks (18 April).

“He’s got a lovely big trot and canter and is just starting to balance”, said Tracey, who trains with the Training the Teachers of Tomorrow Trust (TTT).

Horse & Hound, 26 February 2009

Dressage reports: Oldencraig, Surrey – 12 February

by Celia Cadwallader

Annabel [Swain] on Weydmann Frej, won the elementary qualifier with 71.42%, earning praise from judge Mark Ruddock.

“The horse was supple and loose and produced a nine walk on a day when many were affected by the cold,” he said.

Annabel, who trains with Tracey Lawson, has been successfully competing the 11-year-old, 17hh dark bay Danish warmblood for two years.

“I’ve been having treatment for my back, so I’ve not competed recently and needed to ride an elementary 57 in preparation for next week,” explained Annabel. “‘Frej’ was a fruitcake in the outside warm-up, but relaxed indoors and focused on me.”

Horse & Hound, 24 April 2008

Dressage reports: Oldencraig, Surrey – 14 April

by Celia Cadwallader

Two Southern British Young Riders Dressage Scheme (BYRDS) riders scored double advanced medium wins, with open rider Laura Swain on 70.88% and Mary Liversedge on 68.23% in the qualifier. Laura rode Persimmons’ non-qualifier test in a thunderstorm that carpeted the arena with hailstones.

“I could hardly see the markers. At the end, the judge clapped us because we’d kept going,” she said.

The 13-year-old dark bay by Prince Thatch has been with Laura since the beginning of June.

“His temperament is amazing but 17.1hh is quite a lot to ride and at first I found him hard to sit to,” she said. “My trainer Tracey Lawson took us back to basics to get him to bring his hindlegs under and work through.”

Horse & Hound, 3 January 2008

Dressage reports: Frensham Manor

by Celia Cadwallader

Annabel Swain, who won the novice qualifier with 69.66% on her nine-year-old 17hh Weydmann Frej, is more used to being in a supporting role to her daughter Laura, a former junior squad rider.

“We were in Denmark looking for a team horse for Laura and I saw Frej at Blue Hors Stud. They called him the yard donkey, because he was used as a nanny to the young horses, but I fell in love with him. He’s a perfect mum’s horse and a perfect gent,” said Annabel.

“He’s quite a powerful animal and I haven’t got the strongest back, so I can’t hold him with my seat as much as I would like. My trainer Tracey Lawson is trying to get me to ride him with a longer frame but still keep him engaged, which isn’t easy for me.”

Horse & Hound, 31 July 2003

Dressage reports: Merrist Wood Arena

By Sarah Mylne.

Freelance trainer Tracey Lawson and her Equilibria auction purchase, Napoly, continued their good form with a win in the elementary qualifier on 71%. In their four years together, Tracey and “Oly”, a seven-year-old by Contango, have qualified for four national championships.

“Today, he produced his best test ever. I got off and burst into tears,” says Tracey, who trains with Training the Teachers of Tomorrow Trust.

TTT Annual Newsletter 2002

National Championships

The Trust had a huge number of people who qualified for the Regional Championships at all levels up to Advanced Medium. However too many thirds and fourths at the Regionals resulted in very few members achieving the Nationals. We must congratulate Fiona Travers who qualified Icarus for the Prix St George and by all accounts performed a smashing test. Tracey Lawson was doing a beautiful Novice test at Stoneleigh when sadly an outburst of clapping for the disabled rider in the next door arena caused Ollie to get a little lit-up! Sadly Andrew Murphy was unable to travel to Stoneleigh as his lorry had been stolen.

Horse & Hound, 23 August 2001

Southern Regional Prelim Championship Report

The KBIS Insurance/Sheepgate Prelim saw Tracey Lawson retain her unbeaten record at this level with her Dutch Warmblood, Napoly.

Horse & Hound, 21 June 2001

National Winter Championship – Horsesense Saddlery Prelim Championship

JULIE Drumgoole and Hillside Royal Star headed this class with another score of more than 70%, making it a week to remember. Julie is trained by Brook Staples, who started Royal Star in her eventing career.

Second-placed Jane Sanders bought her ride Forima Masterclass last September after he came to her livery yard to be sold.

“I rode him for a week and that was it, I was hooked.”

The six-year-old is by Medoc, who was also competing at the championships.

Tracey Lawson’s Napoly, who finished third, was very much a chance buy at the 1999 Equilibria Sale.

“He was the last horse in and everyone was getting up to leave,” explained Tracey. “I had seen him and liked him and the auctioneer was struggling to get a bid, so I ended up buying him. I didn’t even have my cheque book with me and the auctioneer had to pay for him!”

Horse & Rider, November 1999

“Trainer of the Month”

Trainer of the MonthGood trainers are worth their weight in gold. They give sound advice when everything seems to be going wrong and can help you and your horse achieve goals you never thought possible. Every month we feature some of the excellent trainers working in and around Britain.

Tracey Lawson“When I first met Tracey Lawson, I had a rather stuffy Welsh Cob, and although I loved him to bits, we were not a match made in heaven. However, under Tracey’s guidance we learnt to live with each other, although she was completely supportive when I decided it was time for him to find a more suitable home. “I now have a Trakehner mare who shows great promise, and Tracey is now helping us to become established, but taking it gently – as she says, the mare is my investment for the future and we want to get it right.

“My daughters also have lessons with Tracey. My eldest one is 16 years old and takes her riding very seriously. She always finds Tracey’s lessons inspirational, plus there has been a dramatic improvement in her young horse, My youngest daughter, who is 10 years old, loves Tracey so much that she wants to be a riding instructor herself! She was recently a testament to Tracey’s great teaching when she won a Best Rider class at a local show.

“Tracey always greets you with a cheery smile and a hello that make you feel there’s nowhere else she’d rather be and no-one else she’d rather see. Not only is she a very skilled rider and very knowledgeable, she is also a great communicator, giving graphic descriptions to simplify otherwise difficult concepts.

“She is always sympathetic to the horse and quick to spot if things aren’t quite right with the horse and will point you in the right direction for further investigation, if she feels it’s necessary.

“She really makes lessons fun and interesting and will tailor her lessons to suit the rider – quite a task considering the range of ages and abilities that she has to teach. She gives you great confidence and her enthusiasm and bubbly personality are infectious, so you learn without really noticing it.

“Tracey always has lots of ideas so that lessons never become monotonous and she draws on her own experiences with top trainers (she continues her own training with teachers such as Charles de Kunffy at the TTT), generously passing their wisdom on to us. In fact, Tracey thinks she has the best job in the world – and it shows.”