Remember these guys? The infamous Dan and Danijel!
I had these guys for the RRD Training Challenge which unfortunately ended, so lately they've been floating. But don't worry! They're back!
Dan and Danijel have been freelancing around the country, moving from America to join the european circuit, doing some odd jobs here and there.
This is for the H-I-E-F
Horse: Dance with the Devil
Rider: Danijel Kaliic
Class: 3* Show jumping
Start number: 405 (visable partially on back and on saddle pad)
Reference: My own from the Pony Club Championships 2014
Constantly moving from stables to stables was tiring for Danijel but it was a must, as most temporary work didn't last more than a few weeks. They were always running into money issues and couldn't seem to find a fulltime job where he got on with the people he worked with. The last job he had he couldn't stand the owner's thirteen year old daughter who thought she was such a good rider and decided to take Dan out on a ride when Danijel was out teaching a lesson, without his knowledge. She got bucked off almost as soon as she got on, not knowing the kind of bond you needed to even get on that horse. That was the final straw there, as the owner now hated him so he left.
He heard about the HIEF event a few days prior to the incident so sent in an application, knowing that there would be a lot of top riders there, and know whos - a job opportunity? Money was scarce and board was not cheap. When he was working though he hardly had time to ride Dan at all, normally only managing to ride at about 10pm, after all the chores were done for the day. He also yearned for a dressage horse. He'd been classically trained from a teen, but all of the horses with potential were way out of his non-existant budget.
At the show he knew he had to do well, a lot of people had been knocking poles as they were so light and the horses were not used to being ridden at night, but that was one thing that the pair had going for them. They knew they had to pull a clean round out of the bag, to make people notice them. It wasn't so much about the winning, but a high placing would be great as there was a good prizefund, but he really needed a job and a place to stay in Sweden once the event was over.
"Oh come on!" He shouted at the stallion who was fighting for his head in excitment coming up to the jumps. He needed to be more careful and calm. He threw in a buck, the stride before the practice jump, which led to a few 'choice words' coming out of Danijel's mouth. He decided the best thing for the excited stallion was to get the excitement out by going for a gallop, so he walked around the arena, looking for a steward who took him to an area that was suitable. They had a quick blast as he didn't want to make Dan too tired, and then took him back to the ring. He then brought Dan around to the practice jump again, where he approached steadily, just speeding up the last few strides, and then he popped over it quite the thing.
"Bloody stallions," Danijel muttered.
"Can we have Dan and Danijel to the tunnel please, that's entrant 405 to the tunnel, thank you," one of the stweards shouted.
Danijel, brought Dan down to a trot and entered the arena, not wanting to lose the focus they just had.
There wasn't much in the way of applause for Danijel, a practically unknown Croatian, but that didn't bother him. They'd know his name soon, he was sure of it.