Louise Bell is well known for her achievements in the show ring, competing in the working hunter classes. With a hugely successful career in these classes - taking Reserve Supreme Show Champion of the Year at HOYS (Horse of the Year Show) with her home bred Rock Star.
Another Showing champion of Louise is “Out of Sight” who took her to win the Supreme Working Hunter of the Year at Horse of the Year Show. Louise has had numerous wins with no fewer than 15 titles of the Supreme Working Hunter Champion at the Royal International Horse Show and 12 titles at Royal Windsor Horse Show, including on her beloved “Into The Blue” or Dynamo Bell as he is known at home. It can be said that showing gave Louise the foundations to have great ring craft, showmanship and an elegant position in the saddle.
Dynamo was bred by John Whitaker in 2006 by the Stallion Ublesco. He is named after a film, like many of Louise’s horses are, Into the Blue has been National Working Hunter Supreme Champion eight times. Dynamo by name, Dynamo by nature – a powerhouse, full of energy, dynamic – sired by a showjumper, an icon in the show ring and now a much loved international dressage horse with a huge personality!
In 2011 Louise went to Michael Eilberg for a series of three dressage lessons as part of the “disciple switch” feature hosted by Horse & Hound. This came at a very difficult time for Louise as she devastatingly lost three of her top horses in quick succession. Before these lessons with Michael, Louise had never ridden a dressage test – it was very different to what she was used to in the show ring.
Louise caught the dressage bug and said “one day I will be riding at Olympia, The London International Horse Show”.. In a few short years, Dynamo would compete internationally at Grand Prix and be on a Nations Cup team, representing Great Britain. And of course, making dreams come true and riding under the spotlights at Olympia In the FEI Dressage World Cup Series.
2011 saw their debut with Louise and Into The Blue competing in the Elementary at Addington Manor EC. From there on, they went to High Profile Shows, Premier Leagues and Regionals, including the CDI at Hickstead. Conveniently, the classes ran alongside the RIHS meeting where Louise also competed in the showing classes.
Whilst still contesting the Working Hunter classes at HOYS, Dynamo also made his advanced dressage debut. They progressed through the levels together as a partnership before their first international at the CDI3* in Barcelona at small tour level.
In 2016 they finished on the podium at the CDI3* Valencia and again in Samur, followed by a win at the Hickstead Premier League. The following season they stepped up to Grand Prix level again placing at Premier Leagues across the UK. It was at Hartpury that they earned their first points internationally in the Grand Prix. It was fitting that their best international placing in their first season at the top level would be at Hickstead CDI with a third place in the Grand Prix Freestyle class.
Hickstead has continued to be lucky for the combination as they took more podium places in 2018 and 2019 – as well as in Samur and Le Mans.
Under the rainy English skies, Louise and Dynamo danced away at the 2019 Royal Windsor Horse Show, another venue that is synonymous with Louise’s’ showing career to finish fourth on both nights. A highlight has to be Dynamo’s piaffe-passage - He was never taught piaffe the traditional way, Louise by her own admission says: “I swear he saw others being trained and said yes, I can do that, as the first time he was asked to piaffe with a trainer by his side, he just did it”.
Louise and Dynamo’s freestyle music is always a huge hit with the crowd – Sweet Home Alabama, The Greatest Showman songs and the ever popular summer song, Despacito which took the pair to third place at the British Dressage National Championships in 2019.
It was a proud moment for Louise in her career, when she received her Union Jack flag representing Britain on a team. She was the best-placed member of the British Nations Cup team in the grand prix at the Hickstead CDI in July, tipping 70% just like they’d done at Aachen and Windsor, where she was also judging in the show ring, “on the dark side” as many riders call it, at the Royal International Horse Show.
One of their proudest moments came when riding on the Nations Cup team in Aachen alongside Charlotte Dujardin on Erlentanz and Lottie Fry on Dark Legend.
For equestrians across the globe, especially dressage riders, CHIO Aachen in Germany, a nation that has dominated the dressage world for so many years, is one of the most prestigious arenas to compete in. This also happens to be Louise’s favourite show so far in her prosperous dressage career, and is looking forward to hopefully returning for more shows over the coming seasons.
For Dynamo, the roan gelding, and Louise, their 2019 season would conclude at the London International Horse Show at Olympia. Olympia is always a special show, in the heart of the capital, a tightly packed crowd with that huge atmosphere and of course the Christmas spirit. Once again they scored over 70% in the (shortened) Grand Prix World Cup qualifier class before dazzling the crowd with their lively freestyle to score 76.06% for ninth place. Louise gave a massive thumbs up to the audience as she left the grand hall, furiously patting away at Dynamo’s neck.
There is so much more to come from this pair - an exciting combination to keep your eyes on.