Ben Maher & Emily Moffitt Defeat Empire in Olympic Stadium Showdown

Tuesday, July 16

Get ready for this year's Forces Equine Championships!

Get ready for this year's Forces Equine Championships!

Breeding British news
Tuesday, July 16

Bright awarded 2019 British Dressage YPP Bursary

Joseph Bright (25), owner of Bright Dressage in Kent, has been awarded the 2019 British Dressage YPP bursary of £3,500. This is an additional opportunity offered to the dressage participants in the cross-discipline Sport England-funded Young Professionals Programme (YPP) and candidates were required to submit a career plan and attend an interview to apply for the bursary. To be in with a chance of winning, the dressage candidates were required to create a personal statement, a five year plan and a business plan. Followed by a 10 – 15 minute presentation on the future of BD Youth in the next five years, to Stephen Arnett, Penny Pollard and BD Youth Director Clair Moir. Joe (pictured) impressed the panel with his interview and presentation skills on the day and clearly communicated his vision for Youth within the sport of British Dressage. Joe’s enthusiasm and professionalism earned him the bursary, just ahead of the other talented candidates Megan Roberts (20), Laura Woodcock (25), Victoria Maw (25) and Lucy Amy (21). Having sat on the panel, Penny Pollard was delighted to announce Joseph Bright as the recipient of the British Dressage bursary. “We were impressed with Joe’s enthusiasm, professional manner, creative suggestions, and thorough approach. He has a confident manner and is motivated to help others in the equestrian industry. He is an asset to our sport. Joe is a delight to be and work with – we wish him all the very best for the rest of his career.” The BEF Young Professionals Programme is run in collaboration with fellow Olympic disciplines, British Eventing and British Showjumping and supports athletes looking to make a career in the equestrian industry. Specifically tailored for individuals aged 19 – 26, the programme is designed to help support personal development, career planning and enhancement, leaving a wider and well-adapted skill-set that builds the confidence needed to grow a business and make it a success. The structure of the programme features up to eight core sessions delivered cross-discipline, with topics covered ranging from business management and business operations to media awareness, personal development and communication skills. YPP aims to promote young people into equine business rather than riding. They are taught skills such as accounting, tax, HGV law, marketing etc. to expand their knowledge on what happens behind the scenes to make a business run successfully. Reflecting on the 2018-19 programme, Penny Pollard commented: “It has been a pleasure to support and offer the Young Professional Programme again this year. The enhanced programme design offers a great opportunity for our young members (age range 19-26). All the YPP participants from this year’s cohort, are already making a valuable contribution to the dressage world.” Applications for the 2019/20 Young Professionals Programme are now open.  Read more here . Photo © Kevin Sparrow
Monday, July 15

Freestyle festival at Hartpury's CDI

It was billed to be the battle of Britain’s dressage heavyweight and the action didn’t disappoint. With places in Team GBR’s senior team for the Rotterdam Euros at stake and the long awaited debut of Charlotte Dujardin’s new music with Mount St John Freestyle it was a treat for spectators, judges and riders alike. In the Big Tour ranks Charlotte Dujardin continued her 2019 form with Emma and Jill Blundell’s 10 year old Mount St John Freestyle with a new personal best in Friday’s Hazelwoods Grand Prix for 81.89% for the win. There was just a blip with the flying change at the end of the extended canter but the rest of the test showed increased maturity in just a month since their last outing at Bolesworth. Charlotte said afterwards; “I’m getting there! My aim was to do a clear round and I was just so close! I was a bit bolder than normal in the extended canter and just didn’t get her back in time which hurried the transition – it just didn’t happen in time. A case of ‘slap the rider, pat the horse’! It was annoying but I couldn’t dwell as the zig zag comes up next. The piaffe passage work felt good – she’s getting so much stronger and confident in the arena. Sometimes she sits so much [in the piaffe] she gets stuck coming out.” In her post performance chat it came out that she still hadn’t received her final music from composer Tom Hunt to debut the next evening… So a frantic download session in the lorry followed for the sound check! Second spot in the Grand Prix went to Charlotte’s mentor Carl Hester with his own, Lady Anne Evans and Ann Cory’s Hawtins Delicato. With a place on the team all but assured, Carl was searching for that big score as proof of the 11 year old British bred’s talent and quality. Largely it was there but a missed first change in the line of ones and some uncertainty in the piaffe to just pin some marks back but 76.54% is still astounding and bodes well for Rotterdam. “They were probably the best pirouettes he’s done – we really nailed them today. But those ones will be the death of me! I think I’m not going to get them in and then I over ride,” Carl said. “Normally my second piaffe is the good one but today he just got a bit funny in the contact but then then he picks it up again. That’s the nice thing, the maturity I’ve got in him this year. I just need to get the one big test in the bag – I should be getting about two percent more and I will be by the time the Euros come. I’ve got to be happy with today.” Third spot went to Gareth Hughes and the Trento B mare Classic Briolinca, whom he jointly owns with wife Rebecca and Julia Hornig. The duo again showed their class and that they’re ready for their first senior team appearance together with some impressive work to score 75.92%. Saturday’s Superflex Grand Prix Freestyle was a grand occasion as a packed International Arena at Hartpury was treated to a great display of music and dressage alongside the Elite Stallions Young Horse Prix St Georges (see the Premier League report) plus a hugely entertaining masterclass from Anna Ross. It was the chance many had been waiting for to see Charlotte’s newest freestyle creation when Hurricane Florence intervened in proceedings at the World Equestrian Games. There has been some tweaking since and it was the first time Charlotte and ‘Freebie’ had actually ridden to the music together. It also had an air of expectation back to 2012 when Charlotte used Hartpury to debut her music with Valegro which went on to be one of the sport’s most iconic freestyle routines. The music was inspired by Disney’s global hit Frozen but with that unique Tom Hunt take and Charlotte didn’t hold back on the difficulty of the floorplan – it was technical, it was tricky, it was full on and together it combined to bring a performance which for seven minutes, captivated the audience with everyone holding their breath as they sailed down the final centre line in the mare’s characteristic and breath taking extended trot but there was a moment when it looked like they might just join judge Eddie de Wolff van Westerode at his table at C but they came to an abrupt halt, saluted and the crowd erupted. They knew they’d seen something remarkable, momentous and truly special. The final score came through as 87.6% with two judges giving 89%. Not quite yet at the dizzy heights of Valegro who scored 92% that same night in 2012 but nonetheless it’s clear there’s much more to come with fine tuning and a bit more practice! “I’m just thrilled!” she said afterwards. “That test has an immense degree of difficulty and there’s no room for error. She’s done around seven Grands Prix and to pull off a test like that just makes me want to cry. The music is magical and tells such a story – it gave me goosebumps after my first extended trot!” It was an extra special occasion for Charlotte who proudly declared she had “ridden for Roy” in the arena as earlier in the day it was the memorial service for long term supporter Roy Burek of Charles Owen hats who died suddenly in April. Second place went to 2017 British National Champions Hayley Watson-Greaves and Rubins Nite who were back out competing after an enforced break when ‘Squeaks’ slipped over and fell on concrete at Doha CDI in April. This duo know each other inside and out and rode with great harmony to their dramatic music set to a high degree of difficulty floorplan and returned a new personal best of 77.96%. It was third again for Gareth Hughes, this time with his newest GP star, KK Woodstock, owned by the Kroll family whose string and piano music earned 75.92%, just a fraction behind Hayley. Sunday’s Baileys Horse Feeds Grand Prix Special stuck to the script with a win for Carl and Hawtins Delicato but some variation in the judges marks left some scratching their head. There was again some amazing work from the Diamond Hit gelding – moments of brilliance even – only some trepidation in the piaffe appeared to be the sole negative. Three judges awarded 77% plus scores but there was surprisingly a 71% which brought the overall percentage down to 75.89%. Carl told Horse & Hound; “I’m not one to complain about judging, but I am disappointed. There were a couple of errors but it felt like a 77% or 78% test. He felt nice in the hand and was in lovely self-carriage. I just can’t wait for that breakthrough day but I’ve got to be patient. It’s so lovely to still be getting scores like that when it’s not perfect.” We have to remember this horse is just 11 and has never scored less than 75% in his international career to date. Gareth and Classic Briolinca went second with 73.55%. They weren’t quite on song with some tension in the piaffe but this mare’s positive outlook and willingness to please always shine through and Gareth was far from disappointed. Portugal’s newest star duo João Miguel Torrao and 10 year old Lusitano stallion Equador finished third with 70.72% and won many new fans over the week. They’re spending the summer based with Carl which João says ‘is a dream come true’ in a bid to secure a place on the Portuguese squad for Rotterdam. In the small tour ranks, it was Gareth Hughes who set the competition alight in the first class, the Freeflex Prix St Georges with his own and Judy Firmston-William’s Sintano van hof Olympia, the nine year old’s first international start. The Sandro Hit gelding is full of promise with impressive elastic qualities, abundant candence and a great outlook and has Grand Prix written all over him; 72.32% was the winning score. Hot on his heals was British based Portugese rider Luis Principe riding Vanessa Worthington’s RS Raphael with 72.23% and Katie Bailey completed the podium with Leslie Forlee’s Boccelli 6 on 70.14. In the Classic Dressage Inter I, the honours were reversed as Luis finished on top, the only rider to break the 73% barrier in the class. R.S. Raphael is by the renowned stallion Blue Hors Romanov and at 18.2hh is a big horse to navigate around the arena but at 6’2”, Luis looks right at home. They had a costly mistake in their two time changes and then missed their final transition into trot but were pleased with 73.64% and the win. “He doesn’t tend to make mistakes so it’s frustrating and very uncharacteristic for him – they were two stupid mistakes to lose points on but I’m happy. I owe it to the owners who also bred him; they’ve been my clients for 18 years and this was their daughter’s horse. I took the ride over in December when I came back from breaking my ankle and we’ve just cracked on. He’s a super horse with a great character and is getting better and better. We have high hopes for him and he’s already doing the majority of the Grand Prix work,” explained Luis. The duo will probably do one more show at Small Tour before tackling Grand Prix. “I’d like to do Olympia with him in December which I think is achievable as he’s quite quick to learn,” he added. Gareth and ‘Piglet’ scored just less than in the PSG at 72.2% for second and third went to Jess Dunn with Jennifer Whittaker’s Alicante Valley with 71.73% to add a further top placing to their impressive international tally so far this season. In the Equikro Inter I on Sunday, Luis made the class his own again with a stunning score of 77.25% while Jess was third on 73.15% and it was a new name on the podium in the form of Hong Kong rider Jacquline Wing Ying Sui riding Jockey Club Fuerst on Tour who scored 72.05%. Full results – click here CDI3* results Where combination's name is linked - click to see the video of the winning test Small Tour Freeflex Prix St Georges 1st Gareth Hughes with Sintano van hof Olympia , 72.32% (GBR) 2nd Luis Principe with R.S. Raphael, 72.23% (POR) 3rd Katie Bailey with Boccelli 6, 70.14% (GBR) Classic Dressage Inter I 1st Luis Principe with R.S. Raphael, 73.64% (POR) 2nd Gareth Hughes with Sintano van hof Olympia, 72.2% (GBR) 3rd Jess Dunn with Alicante Valley, 71.73% (GBR) Equikro Inter I Freestyle 1st Luis Principe with R.S. Raphael , 77.25% (POR) 2nd Jess Dunn with Alicante Valley, 73.15% (GBR) 3rd Jacqueline Wing Ying Siu with Jockey Club Fuerst on Tour, 72.05% (HKG) Big Tour Hazelwoods Grand Prix 1st Charlotte Dujardin with Mount St John Freestyle , 81.89% (GBR) 2nd Carl Hester with Hawtins Delicato, 76.54% (GBR) 3rd Gareth Hughes with Classic Briolinca, 75.69% (GBR) Superflex Grand Prix Freestyle 1st Charlotte Dujardin with Mount St John Freestyle , 87.6% (GBR) 2nd Hayley Watson-Greaves with Rubins Nite, 75.96% (GBR) 3rd Gareth Hughes with KK Woodstock, 75.92% Baileys Horse Feeds Grand Prix Special 1st Carl Hester with Hawtins Delicato , 75.89% (GBR) 2nd Gareth Hughes with Classic Briolinca, 73.55% (GBR) 3rd João Miguel Torrao with Equador, 70.72% (POR)
Monday, July 15

Dujardin wins Small Tour double at Hartpury

The Hartpury Festival of Dressage staged five days of top class Premier League competition alongside its annual CDI3* (3 - 7 July 2019). Spectators were treated to a high quality entry of British dressage talent as Hartpury brought the curtain down on the 2019 Premier League season. Local girl Charlotte Dujardin and new ride Mount St Valencia (pictured) created much excitement with two fabulous winning rides over the week, first of all taking their section of Wednesday’s Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges and later, the Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I on Thursday. Emma Blundell’s sporty chestnut mare and her multi-gold medal rider produced a 76.01% performance on Wednesday in section B of the Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges section A to take the class by a wide margin from second placed Dannie Morgan and Knoxx’s Figaro (71.62%). The following day, Charlotte and the Vivaldi x Ferragamo nine year old again delivered to take the Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I with a plus-76% score. An energetic, balanced test was a joy to watch, the horse uphill and expressive from the first centre line to the final halt. There was a little greenness in the changes, but the quality is exciting, the horse so happy to work and with much more to come. Charlotte also won Wednesday’s Cavalor Intermediate II aboard pocket rocket eight year old Gio (Apache x Tango), on his first attempt at the level scoring 76.93%. “It’s been an amazing start at Hartpury Festival of Dressage as mine and Renai Hart’s Pumpkin (Gio) won the Inter II with 76.9% and Mount St John Valencia won the PSG with 76.1% and then the Inter I with 76.8%; only her third PSG test and her second Inter I test to date!” said Charlotte on Facebook . “I cannot even tell you how happy I was with both these horses who really tried hard for me in the tests.” Michael Eilberg enjoyed a good show winning Sunday’s Cavalor Intermediate II with Farah Al Khojai’s Sarotti 57 who he plans to step up to Grand Prix soon. They scored 73.33% on only Michael’s third appearance with the 12 year old Sir Donnerhall gelding. New dad Michael, whose wife Maya recently gave birth to their first child, Joshua Ferdinand, also won Thursday’s qualifying round for the Elite Stallions Young Horse PSG for horses aged seven to nine. His winning ride Daltrey (nine), who he co-owns with Ferdi Eilberg, earned 71.62% securing a place in Saturday night’s Elite Stallions Championship Final. In front of a knowledgeable gala evening crown in the Hartpury Arena, eight top young Small Tour horses were presented. Giving their best test to date, Jayne Turney and Pengaligon’s Jupiter (by Starnberg), owned by Shirley Rixon, earned 72.94% for victory, with Dannie Morgan (Knoxx’s Figaro) and Sam Duckworth (MSJ Top Secret) completing the top three. Jayne, whose friend and mentor Charlotte Dujardin was on hand to help, put an emotional message on Facebook, “For every little girl that goes to bed on Christmas Eve wishing for a pony, and every person wondering why we are doing what we do! Don’t ever stop wishing and dreaming! With hard work, perseverance and having the right people cheering you on, it’s amazing what you can achieve.” British Dressage thanks all the class sponsors and the team at Hartpury for putting on a fantastic event. Congratulations to all the winners listed below and to all those who took part. The winners: Wednesday Class 1a: Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Dylan Deutrom with San Marco, 72.28% Class 1b: Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Charlotte Dujardin with Mount St John Valencia, 76.01% Class 2: Cavalor Intermediate II Charlotte Dujardin with Gio, 76.93% Class 3: NAF M Power Advanced Medium Dean Skeates with Rossana, 72.43% Class 4: Baileys Horse Feeds Advanced Medium Bronte Watson with Guess Van De Moerhoek, 70.66% Thursday Class 5a: Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I Charlotte Dujardin with Mount St John Valencia, 76.05% Class 5b: Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I Rebecca Hughes with Ibisco, 69.47% Class 6: LeMieux Grand Prix Carl Hester with Nip Tuck, 73.98% Class 7: JS Team Wear Advanced 105 Eilidh Grant with Mount St John Doornroos, 68.33% Class 8: Elite Stallions Young Horse PSG Michael Eilberg with Daltrey, 71.62% Friday Class 9: Hickstead British Young Horse National 5YO Qualifier Abigail Lyle with Jefferson P, 8.1 Class 10:Hickstead British Young Horse National 6YO Qualifier Michael Eilberg with MSJ Dante VX, 8.82 Class 11: Hickstead British Young Horse FEI 5YO Qualifier Martina Ott with Just Jet, 7.46 Class 12: Hickstead British Young Horse FEI 6YO Qualifier Mia Mordecai-Smith with Innocent, 7.6 Saturday Class 16: Equine Construction Advanced Medium Charlotte Dujardin with Hawtins San Floriana, 75.79% Class 17: Elite Stallions Championship Final Jayne Turney with Penhaligon’s Jupiter, 72.94% Sunday Class 18: Andrews Bowen Junior, Young Rider and Pony Team Test Soraya Rogers with Evita I, 69.64% Class 19: Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Calum Whitworth with Fernando, 70.92% Class 20: Cavalor Intermediate II Michael Eilberg with Sarotti 57, 73.33% For full results follow this link   Photo © Kevin Sparrow
Friday, July 12

Shearwater Young Horses shine at Hartpury

A competitive line up of future stars made the journey to the Hartpury Festival of Dressage last week to do battle for the prestigious direct qualifier tickets to one of the summer’s highlights, the Shearwater Young Dressage Horse Finals taking place once again at the LeMieux National Championships in September. 2017 winning four year old champion jockey Greg Sims produced a smooth ride on board his own and Stena Hoerner’s Furstenball gelding Waverley Fellini to top the first class of the day in the Hartpury arena. The four year old bred by Sara Longworth of Waverley Stud scored a whopping 8.86. Speaking on Facebook about Fellini Greg commented, “So excited for the Nationals with this unbelievably talented horse.” With seven horses earning top marks over the magic 8.0 barrier, the remaining two qualification tickets were hotly contested. Second spot belonged to Jamie Reynolds, Cherry Elvin and Cat Wood’s Kensington II (Sezuan x Fabriano), the tall KWPN scored 8.30 with Ashley Jenkins doing a stellar job in the saddle. In form rider Jess Dunn picked up her Championship ticket on board Charlotte Lutener’s MSJ Furstin Florida, another Furstenball offspring bred by Emma Blundell at Mount St John Stud. The light-footed Lemony’s Nicket mare Hawtins Lirica continued her outstanding record with yet another Shearwater victory as she claimed the five year old semi-final title in fine fashion. Owned by breeder Judith Davis and ridden by stable jockey Lucinda Elliot, ‘Lyra’ excelled to score 8.64, with the general impression and potential mark an impressive 9. Samantha Gualtieri placed second with Femme Fatale 2, a powerful daughter from Paul Schockemohle’s popular Grand Prix stallion Foundation, whilst Sadie Smith claimed the final ticket in this age group with Charlotte Dujardin’s All at Once mare, Alive and Kicking. In the six year old category Mount St John showed strength in numbers as MSJ Dante VX and MSJ For Rome each claimed their qualification ticket. Michael Eilberg expertly piloted class winner MSJ Dante VX to a superb score of 8.16, the Dante Weltino gelding was a dual winner throughout the week as he also picked up the first place accolades in the Hickstead Young Horse National Qualifier a day prior to his Shearwater win. A second place tie saw Zoe Sleigh with MSJ For Rome (For Romance x Donnerhall) and Olivia Oakeley with Rock Diva (Rock Forever) each earn their Nationals spot with 8.0. Congratulations to all winners and qualified combinations and their associated breeders, riders and connections. The second Shearwater Young Horse Semi Final takes place at Port Royal Equestrian next week, 17 – 18 July 2019. Thanks go to BD Official Insurance Partner Shearwater Insurance for their valued support of this exciting championship series. Results Four year old 1st Greg Sims with Waverley Fellini, 8.86 2nd Ashley Jenkinson with Kensington II, 8.30 3rd Jessica Dunn with MSJ Furstin Florida, 8.24 4th Dylan Deutrom with King Boy, 8.10 5th Bryony Goodwin with Hawtins Floresta, 8.08 Five year old 1st Lucinda Elliot with Hawtins Lirica, 8.64 2nd Samantha Gualiteri with Femme Fatale 2, 8.14 3rd Sadie Smith with Alive and Kicking, 7.94 4th Ashley Jenkins with Jenny Wren, 7.90 5th Charlie Hutton with Active Scalini, 7.86 Six year old 1st Michael Eilberg with MSJ Dante VX, 8.16 2nd Olivia Oakeley with Rock Diva, 8.00 2nd Zoe Sleigh with For Rome, 8.00 4th Judy Harvey with SP Bento, 7.98 5th Hannah Biggs with Freeman, 7.989 Full results Hawtins Lirica in action at last year's Shearwater Young Horse Championships | Photo by Kevin Sparrow.   
Friday, July 12

Nationals qualification from 2019 Regionals

With the Summer Regionals getting underway today, please find below the information about qualification for the LeMieux National Championships from the Regionals: 1) Combinations scoring below 65% will not be eligible for qualification for the LeMieux National Dressage Championships as stated in the British Dressage Members' Handbook, unless it's by a wild card. 2) The number qualifying from each Summer Regional class will depend on the number of starters in that particular class according to the conversion charts. The number of qualifications per level varies according to the total number of horses qualified for the Regionals and the number of spaces available at the LeMieux National Dressage Championships. 3) A ‘starter’ is a horse that actually enters the competition arena and goes down the centre line, even if it withdraws before finishing. 4) The number of starters will not be known until the class is finished after which the organiser will calculate how many have qualified and mark them on the scoreboard. The number of direct qualifications will be announced at the prize giving. Everyone who has qualified MUST collect a qualification pack from the secretary before leaving the showground. NB: Entries for the LeMieux National Dressage Championships close on Tuesday 20 August 2019. No late entries will be accepted. 5) The last Summer Regional finishes on Sunday 11 August and on this week the BD Office will calculate how many unfilled spaces there are in each class at the LeMieux National Dressage Championships. THESE SPACES WILL BE FILLED BY THE HIGHEST SCORING UNQUALIFIED COMBINATIONS FROM ALL THE REGIONALS, WHO WILL BE NOTIFIED BY THE OFFICE THAT THEY HAVE BEEN GIVEN A WILD CARD. 6) The names of the combinations awarded wild cards will be put on the BD website on Thursday 15 August 2019. Please do not telephone the BD Office regarding wild card allocation before 2pm on this day.         Numbers to qualify All scores must be over 65% BACKINACTION PRELIMINARY SILVER: 1 in 12 to qualify 1 – 12 = 1 qualifies 13 –24 = 2 qualify 25- 36 = 3 qualify DODSON & HORRELL NOVICE SILVER: 1 in 16 qualify 1 – 16 = 1 qualifies 17 –32 = 2 qualify 33 + = 3 qualify DODSON 7 HORRELL NOVICE GOLD: 1 in 7 qualify 1 – 7 = 1 qualifies 8 – 14 = 2 qualify 15 – 21 = 3 qualify 22 – 28 = 4 qualify CHILDERIC ELEMENTARY SILVER: 1 in 24 qualify 1 – 24 = 1 qualifies 25 –48 = 2 qualify CHILDERIC ELEMENTARY GOLD: 1 in 7 qualify 1 – 7 = 1 qualifies 8 – 14 = 2 qualify 15 – 21 = 3 qualify 22 – 28 = 4 qualify TOPSPEC MEDIUM SILVER: 1 in 17 qualify 1 – 17 = 1 qualifies 18 –34 = 2 qualify 35 + = 3 qualify TOPSPEC MEDIUM GOLD: 1 in 6 qualify 1 – 6 = 1 qualifies 7 – 12 = 2 qualify 13 – 18 = 3 qualify 19 – 24 = 4 qualify EQUINE CONSTRUCTION ADVANCED MEDIUM SILVER: 1 in 16 qualify 1 – 16 = 1 qualifies 17 –32 = 2 qualify 33 + = 3 qualify EQUINE CONSTRUCTION ADVANCED MEDIUM GOLD: 1 in 6 qualify 1 – 6 = 1 qualifies 7 – 12 = 2 qualify 13 – 18 = 3 qualify 19 – 24 = 4 qualify FAIRFAX PRIX ST GEORGES – Winner qualifies providing score over 65% SARACEN HORSE FEEDS INTERMEDIATE I – Winner qualifies providing score over 65% Good luck everyone!
Thursday, July 11

Orford, Wells and Wilson unbeatable at Hartpury

British riders Erin Orford, Sophie Wells and Georgia Wilson were in dominant form, each winning a hat-trick in their respective grades, at Hartpury CPEDI (3 – 7 July 2019). Sophie Wells MBE won the Grade V Team, Individual and Freestyle tests with scores of 75.30%, 76.81% and 80.14% aboard star ride C Fatal Attraction, owned by Charlotte Hogg. “In the team test yesterday Jorge was good but slightly inattentive to win on 75%, with Dime in third with just under 70%,” said Sophie on Facebook , referring to C Fatal Attraction and up-and-coming ride, Diadeem, a mare who made her Grand Prix debut at Somerford Premier League in May. “Both were good but with room for improvement. Today were the individual classes… Jorge was mega and today Ange [trainer Angela Weiss] was pleased with us!” On the concluding day of the CPEDI classes, she added, “[We] Finished the week on a high at Hartpury Festival of Dressage to win the freestyle on 80%. I love my Tom Hunt music he composed for us last year.” Sophie is the reigning Individual and Freestyle World Champion with the Fidertanz 12 year old and will have a spot at next month’s European Championships in Rotterdam well within her sights. One of the the UK's top Small Tour combinations too, they’ve won PSG classes at Somerford and Wellington Premier Leagues this year. The Newark-based Paralympian is equally adept in the role of trainer, with her students achieving great success. One such rider is Georgia Wilson (23) who last year was selected as reserve for the FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon. Continuing along her uphill path, at Hartpury she posted three personal best scores to dominate the Grade II with 74.27%, 73.29% and a super 76.54% in the Freestyle. Her winning partner Midnight (Hilkens Black Delight x Cassander) - pictured - is a 10 year old British bred mare who Georgia has been competing since April last year. “I have had an amazing week with Midnight at Hartpury,” she said. “Three PBs and three wins with 74.23, 73.29% and 76.54% which I never thought I would ever get but Sophie Wells’ training has definitely paid off and I can’t thank her enough.” In the close-fought Grade III classes, Erin Orford impressed by winning on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with Annabel Whittet’s Dimaggio-sired mare, Dior UKH. The pair, who are reigning European team gold and World team silver medallists, earned scores of 69.32%, 69.44% in the Team and Individual tests before a plus-74% Freestyle. Throughout the week, the USA’s Rebecca Hart and Great Britain’s Amanda Shirtcliffe jostled for second and third. Riders from South America made an impression at Hartpury, with Europe-based Brazilian competitors Sergio Oliva (Grade II) and Rodolpho Riskalla (Grade IV) both tasting victory. Sergio and the Dutch mare Coco Chanel M (Tuschinski x Rousseau) took the Grade I Team and Individual tests ahead of Mari Durward-Akhurst, though the tables turned in the Freestyle with the Brit showing her mettle with a winning score just shy of 73%. Rodolpho won all three Grade IV divisions culminating in a 76.86% Freestyle with the gorgeous Don Henrico (Don Frederico x Lauries Crusador xx), owned by Germany’s Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff. Belgium’s Michèle George (Grade V), who won Individual and Freestyle Gold at London 2012 plus Freestyle Gold in Rio, took the runner-up spot to Sophie Wells on all three days with new ride Best of 8, a nine year old German mare by Bonifatius. Top-three results: Wednesday Grade V Team Test 1st Sophie Wells with C Fatal Attraction, 75.302% (GBR) 2nd Michele George with Best Of 8, 72.512% (BEL) 3rd Sophie Wells with Diadeem, 69.721% (GBR) Grade IV Team Test 1st Rodolpho Riskalla T with Don Henrico, 72.400% (BRA) 2nd Kate Shomaker with Solitaer 40, 70.300% (USA) 3rd Nicky Greenhill with Betty Boo, 69.825% (GBR) Grade III Team Test 1st Erin Orford with Dior, 69.324% (GBR) 2nd Rebecca Hart with El Corona Texel, 68.735% (USA) 3rd Amanda Shirtcliffe with New-Princess, 68.294% (GBR) Grade II Team Test 1st Georgia Wilson with Midnight, 74.273% (GBR) 2nd Suzanna Hext with Abira, 72.121% (GBR) 3rd Lee Pearson with Styletta, 69.939% (GBR) Grade I Team Test 1st Sergio Oliva with Coco Chanel M, 72.786% (BRA) 2nd Mari Durward-Akhurst with Sky O’Hara, 70.429% (GBR) 3rd Michael Murphy with Skjoldsgaard Hippo-Vo, 70.107% (IRL) Full results:  Team Test Thursday Grade V Individual Test 1st Sophie Wells with C Fatal Attraction, 76.810% (GBR) 2nd Michele George with Best Of 8, 71.190% (BEL) 3rd Sophie Wells with Diadeem, 69.905% (GBR) Grade IV Individual Test 1st Rodolpho Riskalla with Don Henrico, 72.878% (BRA) 2nd Nicky Greenhill with Betty Boo, 71.268% (GBR) 3rd Kate Shoemaker with Solitaer 40, 71.220% (USA) Grade III Individual Test 1st Erin Orford with Dior, 69.441% (GBR) 2nd Amanda Shirtcliffe with New-Princess, 69.235% (GBR) 3rd Rebecca Hart with Fortune 500, 68.971% (USA) Grade II Individual Test 1st Georgia Wilson with Midnight, 73.294& (GBR) 2nd Lee Pearson with Breezer, 70.941% (GBR) 3rd Lee Pearson with Styletta, 70.824% (GBR) Grade I Individual Test 1st Sergio Oliva with Coco Chanel M, 72.143% (BRA) 2nd Mari Durward-Akhurst with Sky O’Hara, 69.821% (GBR) 3rd Michael Murphy with Skjoldsgaard Hippo-Vo, 68.857% (IRL) Full results: Individual Test Friday Grade V Freestyle 1st Sophie Wells with C Fatal Attraction, 80.140% (GBR) 2nd Michele George with Best Of 8, 74.560% (BEL) 3rd Tamsin Addison with Donna Siesta, 71.475% (IRL) Grade IV Team Test 1st Rodolpho Riskalla with Don Henrico, 76.860% (BRA) 2nd Kate Shoemaker with Solitaer 40, 74.080% (USA) 3rd Nicky Greenhill with Betty Boo, 73.345% (GBR) Grade III Freestyle 1st Erin Orford with Dior, 74.867% (GBR) 2nd Rebecca Hart with Fortune 500, 73.113% (USA) 3rd Amanda Shirtcliffe with New-Princess, 71.333% (GBR) Grade II Freestyle 1st Georgia Wilson with Midnight, 76.540% (GBR) 2nd Suzanna Hext with Abira, 74.340% (GBR) 3rd Julie Payne with Pandora, 71.193% (GBR) Grade I Freestyle 1st Mari Durward-Akhurst with Sky O’Hara, 72.960% (GBR) 2nd Michael Murphy with Skjoldsgaard Hippo-Vo, 70.973% (IRL) 3rd Sergio Oliva with Coco Chanel M, 70.933% (BRA) Full results: Freestyle Photo © Kevin Sparrow
Wednesday, July 10

Team NAF Pony riders selected for Poland Euros

The British Dressage u21 Selectors Judy Harvey, Leanne Wall and Nikki Herbert have today confirmed their Team NAF foursome for the upcoming Pony European Championships in Strzegom, Poland on 14-18 August 2019. Team (in alphabetical order): Bonnie Bourne (16) from Kent with her own Fin C We (liver chestnut, gelding 16yrs, 14.2hh, Famos x Eiger III) Holly Kerslake (15) from Devon riding Carl Trock and her own Valhallas Zorro (black, stallion, 10yrs, 14.1hh, Valhallas Lord Matrafal x Fjordglimts Sir Johnson) Isobel Lickley (14) from Staffordshire riding Robert & Nicola Lickley’s Mister Snowman (liver chestnut gelding, 13yrs, 14.1hh, The Braes My Mobility x Llanarth Most Triton) Annabella Pidgley (14) from Berkshire with Sarah Pidgley’s Cognac IX (palomino, gelding, 11yrs, 14.1hh, FS Chamertin x Waldemar) with a direct reserve of Sarah Pidgely’s Ine (chestnut, mare, 12yrs, 14.1hh, Constantin x Handryk) First reserve: Hermione Tottman (15) from Hertfordshire with Nicola Tottman’s Brasil (dark bay, gelding, 12yrs, 14.2hh, Sandokkans Leonardo x Orchard Davranches). The squad of five will travel to Kent for a final Pony Pre-European Team Camp on Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 7 August at the yard of John Parker International Horse Transport, who are travelling the ponies to Poland. The competition at Stzegom gets underway on Wednesday 14 August with two days of Team test, where the first medals will be decided. The riders then battle it out for Individual medals over the following two days before the Freestyle honours are decided on Sunday 18 August. British Dressage would like to take this opportunity to thank our generous team sponsors NAF for their ongoing support of our Under 21 International teams, as well as our official equipment suppliers LeMieux. We are very grateful for their support.  
Wednesday, July 10

BD CEO Quarter 2 update

It’s hard to believe that we’re six months into the year already. The time has flown by as we’ve been busy working on various different initiatives at BDHQ and in the regions. It’s been challenging at times keeping so many plates spinning, but also very rewarding with a number of projects progressing well, so I’d like to take this opportunity to update you all on what we’ve achieved in the year to date. Member Survey 2019 The Membership Survey was a major initiative for the team at HQ this spring and I’d like to say thank you to all who took the time to complete the questionnaire. We received a total of 3,715 responses overall – that’s a 23% participation rate – which surpassed our expectations. A strong mix of riders, officials and owners, with a good cross section of members from Full to Club and Youth to Para, across the various different levels and sections, has given us a huge amount of data and feedback to digest. We focused on two main areas; membership and competitions. It perhaps won’t surprise you to learn that 97% of members say that access to affiliated competitions is their primary motivator with 68% saying it’s extremely important. So this highlights why it’s absolutely vital that we get things right in this key area. Access to competitions scored a satisfaction rating of 4.2 out of 5, which shows that members are largely happy with what’s currently on offer. But there’s no room for complacency and you gave us plenty of valuable feedback on areas that you feel could be improved, which we have fed into the strategic planning process, so rest assured that we have taken all of your comments on board. In particular, there is still some concern that our rules, eligibility and qualification processes are difficult to understand, with 70% saying that the competition structure is too complex and 51% wanting more straightforward rules. So the clear message is to simplify, streamline and consolidate the existing system, so that our sport is easier to navigate, while still providing a good choice and range of competition opportunities for riders at all levels. Measuring the development of your horse, progressing up the competition ladder, qualifying for championships, and having fun while competing were the prime motivations for all member groups, so we need to ensure the structure facilitates these priorities. Other headline results revealed that:   97% enjoy competing with us, with 83% indicating that they have good access to competitions within reach of where they live and 82% happy that there was a clear distinction between the grass roots and professionals. 84% agreed that qualifying was an achievable goal and 71% stated that the championship offer currently suits their needs However, 60% want to see the calendar more evenly spread over the course of the year, while 60% also think that there are currently too many different championship options. While many of you felt that the competition structure and rules were too complex, 58% still said that eligibility and qualification was easy to understand. There is some disparity in the results, perhaps reflecting the polarised views among members, so this is something we clearly still need to address in order to ensure that the sport is seen as accessible to all. Above all else, we’re a membership organisation so we wanted to gauge just how satisfied you are with us and the results are very encouraging:   81% of you say that we are a professional and successful organisation, with over 70% also agreeing that we are passionate about our sport and respectful to members. Overall, you gave us a satisfaction rating of 7.0 out of 10, with 43% awarding an 8 or more. Those who’ve had contact with the team at BDHQ rated us as 7.8 out of 10, with 62% going 8 or higher. The regional teams, staff and volunteers, also got a big thumbs up, with an average of 8.0 and 68% scoring between 8 and 10. In dressage, we certainly don’t give marks of 7 or higher lightly so this has to be a very positive reflection of how British Dressage is perceived as an organisation and National Governing Body. We are incredibly proud of our hard-working staff and volunteers – and clearly when you have direct contact with us, you have had a good experience, which is great to hear. A massive 96% of respondents said they’re likely, highly likely or will definitely renew their membership, which is another big positive – and we are extremely grateful for your ongoing support. This is just a snapshot of what we’ve learned so far - we’re still working through the data and comments and will do some more detailed analysis. We’ve already been given an invaluable steer on some of our projects already in motion, so it was a well-timed exercise, as well as providing input to our short, medium and long-term goals. More detail on our member survey results will follow in the coming weeks, while we will also be making some exciting announcements about changes planned for 2020. Watch this space… Membership & Sport Operations Overall numbers are generally looking healthy at around the 16,900 mark. Club membership is up by almost 4% on the same time last year, while full members are marginally down by 0.8%. The number of horses registered to compete continues to grow, with full horse registrations up by 3%, while Club horses have grown by 13%. With the weather being mostly favourable this year, you’ve been out competing more with starters up by 4.6% on forecast. With only a few results left to process for June, it looks like the trend is going to continue, meaning that we’ve exceeded our budget targets for five of the six months of the year to date. In total there have been 1,615 competition days run in the first half of the year, 72% full BD shows and 28% for Quest, which is again up 4% on the same period last year. All of the Petplan Equine Area Festival and Summer Regional notifications have now been sent and we’re on to processing notifications for the two championships that currently utilise leaderboards for qualification, the Summer Music and the Bronze Championships. We’re expecting to get emails out next week to those qualified, ahead of entering the two championships at Sheepgate in August. IT update Further to my last update, we’ve made great progress with Phase III of our IT transformation project, which is our new CRM system that provides our membership database and horse registrations. The user acceptance testing phase has gone well and the system is virtually ready for launch. However, as I have emphasised from the outset, the outputs are only going to ever be as good as the inputs and as we have gone through this testing process it’s clear that there are some issues with the existing data that needs to be imported from the current system. It’s vitally important that we get this right: the quality and integrity of the information we hold on our members has to be our paramount consideration. Transferring over one million records from one system to another was never going to be straightforward or easy, so we are going to take some extra time to cleanse the data and ensure that the new system will be as robust and reliable as possible. Some of you will have already received communication from us about data that may be missing from your records, such as an email address or contact telephone numbers. We also have some duplicate email addresses, multiple accounts and under 16s without a registered parent, guardian or carer. So we will continue with the process of cleansing the database over the course of the summer and look to release Phase III in the autumn now instead. This won’t have any impact on you as a member competing, we would just ask for your help in updating your membership records and ensuring that you have a registered current email address, as you will need this for logging on to the new system when we do go live. This will also enable us to continue developing the new website in parallel with our CRM system and ideally launch them simultaneously later this year. This will mark a significant milestone for BD, which has been a long time coming, and we have to thank you all again for your patience. However, in taking time to get this right I am confident that members will have a greatly enhanced experience once the IT project is complete. We will of course keep you updated in your monthly Engage newsletter, as well as additional communication as we countdown to launch. HQ news You’ll have seen the update on directors that we posted last week in the latest BD newsletter. Linda Whetstone and Judy Harvey were the sole nominations for the Chair and International Director roles, so they will be put forward for members to ratify at the AGM in September. The Nominations Committee also approved the applications from four candidates for the position of Sport Operations Director, who will now go forward for election by members, so please look out for your voting email coming out on Monday 8 July. The announcement of our first Extra Director was another significant milestone in BD’s history and illustrates that having a mix of elected and appointed directors is key to getting the right balance of skills, knowledge and expertise on the Board. I’m delighted to welcome Suzanne Homewood as our first Business Development Director and the professional credentials she brings, alongside her enthusiasm and passion for dressage, make her a fantastic addition to BD. We have a new Membership Assistant who has joined the office team – so a warm welcome to Katie Benn – and we’re also about to appoint a new Training and Education Officer to start in a month’s time. This will leave just one more vacancy in marketing, as we look to recruit someone who has specific experience in digital content and design. They will join our new Marketing Manager, Becca Tuttle, who has already made a positive impact in her first three months, and bring the team in Meriden up to full strength. At the six month stage the indications currently are that we should generate another six figure surplus come the end of the year. The newly established Finance and Business Development Committee will be looking at an investment strategy as part of their remit, now we’ve hit our reserves target of £2 million, and the Board will be considering how we can best invest any additional surplus generated for the future development of our sport. Special projects In my last CEO Update , I highlighted two specific projects we’re working on, reviewing our Championship structure and the Judges’ examination system. Both are progressing well, with further information, feedback and comments from the member survey now incorporated into this process. The recommendations from the Championship Structure Review have been further developed by the Sport Operations Committee and will now be put forward for final approval by the Board at their meeting later this month. These plans will then be communicated to members in August before the changes are implemented from next season onwards, effective from 1 December and included in our next Members’ Handbook. The work has focused primarily on the ever popular Area Festivals series and I think members will be pleased with the changes that have been proposed. The Judges Examination Working Group has had two productive meetings and shared their concepts with the Board, Judges Committee, Regional Chairs and Judges Representatives. Initial feedback has been very supportive of the changes in principle, so we are now working on a more detailed development plan in advance of the next Judges Committee meeting in mid-July. Again, this will go to the Board at the end of the month and we’ll look to update judges and members more fully on the new system in August. It has been a busy and productive first six months for the organisation; the office teams are settling in to their new structure, we’re driving projects in key areas which will have a major impact on all stakeholders, and overall the numbers that impact the bottom line are generally on an upward trajectory. But this doesn’t give us any excuse to take our foot off the pedal! Next year is an Olympic year which brings another huge opportunity for British Dressage. We will have a new five year strategy to launch, all the work done in our special projects will start to come to fruition and course we’ll also be looking to address and develop the areas for improvement that were identified in the Members’ Survey – so we constantly move forward and evolve into a modern, progressive and professional National Governing Body. In the meantime, I hope you are having a successful 2019 so far and your season is on track in terms of your personal goals and ambitions. Enjoy the summer! Best wishes, Jason Brautigam CEO, British Dressage
Monday, July 8

Notice of AGM 2019

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of British Dressage will be held at the The Oak Tree, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire on 12 September 2019 at 6.30 pm for the purpose of considering the matters set out below. AGENDA Ordinary Business The following will be proposed as Ordinary Resolutions: 1. To elect the Chairman. 2. To elect the International Director. 3. To elect the Sports Operations Director. 4. To receive the Financial Statements of British Dressage for the year ended 31 December 2018 and the Directors’ and Auditors’ Reports thereon. 5. To appoint, pending the outcome of the tender process, the chosen auditors of British Dressage and to authorise the Board to fix their remuneration.   By order of the Board Jason Brautigam Chief Executive Meriden Business Park Copse Drive Meriden West Midlands, CV5 9RG Company number: 3443026 Dated: 11 June 2019     Notice is hereby given that the following documents will be available on British Dressage’s website on or before 8 July 2019 (Documents): British Dressage's Annual Report and Financial Statements for the Year Ended 31 December 2018 The website address to access the Documents is www.britishdressage.co.uk. The Documents may be accessed on the website by typing the link provided above. If you do not have internet access and would like a hard copy of the Documents, please contact Angela Green, HR & Office Manager at British Dressage on +44 (0) 24 7669 8844. Note: Any member of British Dressage entitled to attend and vote at the meeting convened by this Notice is entitled to appoint a proxy to attend and vote in his or her place. A proxy need not be a member of British Dressage. The completed proxy form must be received at the registered office not later than 48 hours before the date and time that the meeting is due to commence. Proxy forms can be obtained by writing to the Chief Executive with a stamped addressed envelope. Voting opens today (8 July) and all eligible members that we have a valid email address for will receive an email with their personal link to vote on-line. If you haven't had an email, or are having trouble voting, please contact Mi-Voice - phone: 0845 241 4148 or email: support@mi-voice.com. Alternatively, you can vote using a paper ballot by downloading a form and posting to Mi-Voice. Important downloads: To download this notice of AGM - click here To downoad the Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2017 - click here To view the candidate profiles - click here To download a ballot form - Word (.doc) or PDF (.pdf) If you require a form by post, please send a self-addressed stamped envelope to request one to: Angela Green, British Dressage, Building 2020, Copse Drive, Meriden Business Park, Meriden, West Midlands CV5 9RG. If you would like a hard copy of the documents, please contact Angela Green, HR & Office Manager at British Dressage on +44 (0) 24 7669 8844. Board election update The only nominations received for Chairman and International Director were from those currently covering the roles on an interim basis. Linda Whetstone (Chair) and Judy Harvey (International) both submitted nomination papers including their CV, completed Conflict of Interest form and a statement of suitability and motivations for the role. Both applications have now been reviewed by the Nominations Committee and both candidates will be put forward for ratification to the posts at the AGM on 12 September.
Wednesday, July 3

New and established combinations shine at Sheepgate

Sheepgate Premier League (28 - 29 June) offered two days of inspiring dressage. While the classes were not as large as at some southerly Premier Leagues, both spectators and riders enjoyed this very competitive and well-run event. Each day’s Grand Prix was won by Steph Croxford and her reliable Mr Hyde. Enjoying a rare child-free weekend, Steph took the opportunity to take both ‘Mr H’ and her up-and-coming ride, Mr Benn II, to their first show together. “Mr H is never going to be Valegro but he shows consistency and does his best within his natural ability,” said Steph. “Both horses went out and tried.” Mr Hyde scored over 69% in Saturday’s qualifying LeMieux grand prix, beating Joanna Thurman-Baker and Highcliffe Apollo into second place. Ten-year-old Mr Benn came third and fifth in his Cavalor Inter II classes. “He looks like he should be the drum horse at the Trooping of the Colour,” said Steph who had to find an emergency farrier on Friday after he pulled off a shoe the day before. “He’s not called Thug at home for nothing!” Double winner Becky Moody is one of our most successful riders and her performances at Sheepgate didn’t disappoint with wins on both days. She began her red rosette haul on Friday with a narrow win on Odwigs Echo in the Fairfax Prix St Georges (PSG), just nudging out Lara Dyson and Jazzed Up by one mark. In the Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I she took the lead from Jessica Thompson and Ibi Kanobi. The 11-year-old coloured gelding is owned by his breeder Lucy Swindon and normally she and Becky share the ride. However, at the moment Lucy is pregnant so it’s been down to Becky to introduce him to small tour. 2019 is his first full season at the level and it got off to a good start with a third place in the Magic PSG freestyle at the NAF Five Star Winter Championships. “He’s really cool,” commented Becky. “He’s got a very good walk but his other paces aren’t particularly special. But he’s very rideable and gets consistent sevens and sometimes we can squeeze a bit more.” Eureko improved from ninth in Friday’s Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I to win the class on Saturday by almost four per cent ahead of Amy Woodhead and Branduardi. Eureko (by Uphill) has been owned by Jo Cooper since he was five and as Jo works abroad, she shares the ride with Becky. “He started at Inter II at Myerscough and [the higher level] is helping me get him into shape and he’s feeling stronger. “On Friday he felt a bit fragile when we went into the arena and I rode it a bit fragile too so we had a catalogue of mistakes. I rode much more positively the next day.” Amy Woodhead improved Branduardi’s scores of 68% in Friday’s PSG and Inter I to over 70% in the same classes on Saturday. She won the Fairfax PSG on the exuberant Breitling W x Weltmeyer stallion and only lost out to Becky Moody and Eureko by 1.5 marks in the Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I class. “Bran has been standing at stud and I only picked him up two days before the show,” explained Amy. “On the first day I was trying to find the buttons again and by Saturday I’d got it! He’s a fantastic horse and was great to ride in the competition.” Branduardi stands at Caunton Manor Stud and is owned by Victoria Wright. Mares rule The prestigious Mount St John Stud showed the depth and quality of their breeding programme with a trio of mares all scoring successes. Aimee Gascoigne was recruited as a rider three months ago and, as well as focusing on riding the four-year-olds, she has been given the ride on WEG para dressage silver medalist, Mount St John Diva Dannebrog. For both rider and horse it was their first Premier League. Diva (by Don Schufro) competed at grade III para dressage for a year with Natasha Baker – a level which does not require cantering. She resumed her able-bodied dressage career with Aimee in May and has quickly adapted to her new regime. Aimee started the show with a second place in Medium 73 to Amy Woodhead and Fhillipo, improving to first place in Medium 27 on the second day. Good results for a new partnership. “We clicked straight away,” said Aimee. “She went to big shows with Natasha so nerves don’t affect her, she’s a true professional.” Sam Duckworth was successful with another stunning Mount St John mare, MSJ Top Secret (Totilas x Dacaprio), who at eight years old is the oldest of Emma Blundell’s homebreds. The pair were a close second in Saturday’s Fairfax Prix St George and won the Advanced Medium 98. “She’s been a bit more quiet on the competing front as she has been in the breeding programme and has five foals due next season [by embryo transfer],” explained Emma Blundell. “I’m so pleased with how she’s done here. She’s got a lot of talent for the collected work for her age and is training a lot of the Grand Prix movements at home. She gets very excited at shows so we need to get her out more.” The horse that Emma calls “the prettiest mare we’ve got”, Mount St John Kom Fairy Tale, won Saturday’s Cavalor Inter II with Sam Duckworth at her first attempt at the level. Third in the Inter I at the LeMieux National Championships 2017 with Charlotte Dujardin, Fairy Tale (known at home as Princess) has had some time out and is now back and raring to go. By Furst Heinrich, she is part of the Stud’s breeding programme and her embryo transfer foal will be the last one to arrive this year. “Her forte is the Grand Prix work,” commented Emma. “She’s very talented for all the collected work. She hasn’t done so much competing so still gets very excited at shows. It’s a new partnership with Sam and they showed some really good work.” Close call Friday’s Cavalor Inter II was a close contest between Lara Edwards’ stallion Bodyguard Moorland and Lisa Marriott’s Valucio, with Bodyguard clinching first place. “He’s not a big, flashy mover but he has a natural ability to sit and collect,” said Lara who has trained for seven years with Rhett Bird. “He feels very established at Inter II now. He struggled a bit with the first medium trot but otherwise he gave me a great ride.” For the first time ever, Bodyguard (Gribaldi x Negro) got his tongue over the bit towards the end of his second Inter II test and had to retire - a shame as he was scoring seven point fives and eights before that point. Friday’s Advanced Medium classes were both won by Natasha Leak and Belissimo with 71%+ scores. In one test, Natasha scored a nine for her riding and a perfect 10 for the final halt. On Saturday, it was Darcas Lever’s turn to take the prize in Advanced Medium 85 with Flying Dream II (by Feedback), who she has been riding since the beginning of the year. Mollie Whitham and DZL Royal Sunrise were the best of Saturday’s pony combinations and won both team and individual tests, each with personal best scores. Mollie, who trains with Becky Moody, said on Facebook that she was pleased with how ‘Pads’ really tried hard in the heat and felt really good. The pair’s next appearance is at Hickstead CDI where they will represent Great Britain. Class winners Friday Class 6 Fairfax PSG – Becky Moody with Odwigs Echo 71.23% Class 7 Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I – Becky Moody with Odwigs Echo, 70.46% Class 8 Cavalor Inter II – Lara Edwards with Bodyguard Moorland, 68.29% Class 9 Grand Prix – Steph Croxford with Mr Hyde, 68.1% Class 10 FEI Pony Team – Meghan Anderson with Berlioz, 64.27% Class 11 FEI Pony Individual - Meghan Anderson with Berlioz, 64.84% Class 12 FEI Children on Horses Team – Annabel Coller with My Delilah, 62.5% Class 13 FEI Children on Horses Individual - Annabel Coller with My Delilah, 58.1% Class 18 Equine Construction Advanced Medium – Sam Duckworth with Mount St John Top Secret, 72.68% Saturday Class 20 FEI Pony Team -  Mollie Witham with DZL Royal Sunrise, 68.97% Class 21 FEI Pony Individual - Mollie Witham with DZL Royal Sunrise, 70.08% Class 22 FEI Children on Horses Team – Annabel Coller with My Delilah, 66.73% Class 23 FEI Children on Horses Individual - Annabel Coller with My Delilah, 64.58% Class 25 Fairfax Prix St Georges – Amy Woodhead with Branduardi, 70.57% Class 26 – Saracen Horse Feeds InterI – Becky Moody with Eureko, 72.32% Class 27 – Inter II – Sam Duckworth with Mount St John Kom Fairytale, 67.89% Class 28 – LeMieux Grand Prix – Steph Croxford with Mr Hyde, 69.13% Full results - click here    
Wednesday, July 3

South West defend their title at Youth Inter Regionals

Over 160 riders descended on Keysoe Equestrian for the 2019 Youth Inter Regional on the weekend of 28 – 30 June, with more than forty teams of riders aged between eight and 25 contesting the team championship. Defending their 2018 Inter Regional title, it was South West who took home the trophy for the top performances by the quartet of riders in their Donald Ducks team. With riders across four different Squads; Hannah Clack (C+), Alexa Palmer (B), Florence Human (B+) and Chloe Dawes (A), the team posted a combined winning total of 531 – seven marks clear of the Southern Titanium team in second place on 524. South West also took the final place on the team podium with the Daffy Ducks (scoring 523.5), closely followed by North West Salinero in fourth, Scotland Rhythm and Suppleness in fifth and Northern Revolution in sixth. Every region demonstrated great teamwork and dedication over the weekend and despite the sudden heatwave all of the young riders showed great support for one another and presented some top performances in the Rider Skills Tests. Despite having travelled all of the way from Scotland to Keysoe, young rider Abigail Gray (Rascal) dominated the D Squad individual competition all weekend scoring 95.8 on Saturday and 94.4 on Sunday to top the podium on Sunday evening. The C squad individual title was taken by Southern rider Kate Hewson on her own Laithehill Flute and the C+ title went to Central rider Alexzandra Houldcroft. Member of the third placed team South West Daffy Ducks, Daisy Davies and Armarda Dyffryncothi Bridget also took the individual title in B squad, with fellow South West rider Florence Human (member of the winning South West team Donald Ducks) also topping the podium in the B+ individual competition scoring over 90 on both days. Lying seventh after Saturday’s test in the sweltering heat, Tom O’Bryan (also from South West) had a runaway victory on Sunday scoring 93.5 to take the title for A Squad. In the new squad for 2019, Northern region’s Charlotte Clark on her 6 year old OFS Ferrari pulled off two great performances in the A Young Horse Rider Skills Tests to score consistently in the mid-eighties on both Saturday and Sunday. BD Youth Development Co-ordinator Hannah James said; “Throughout the weekend at Keysoe every region demonstrated great teamwork and the importance of the great support teams behind every rider was highlighted in the sweltering heat! Thank you to all of the enthusiastic riders who showcased the values of BD Youth over the weekend, and thanks also to the parents and families, Youth Reps, coaches and Ambassadors who provided behind the scenes support to each and every horse and rider in the competition. We’re grateful as ever to Simon Bates and the team at Keysoe for putting on another fantastic competition.” Congratulations to all of the winning teams and individuals, and to everyone who took part. Team Standings: 1. South West Donald Ducks – H Clack, A Palmer, F Human, C Dawes – 531 2. Southern Titanium – D Marcus, N McDonald, K Hewson, J Garrett – 524 3. South West Daffy Ducks – O Luscombe, K Palmer, D Davies, O R Robertson – 523.5 4. North West Salinero – C Chan, J Finney, D Marshall, S Marston – 521.9 5. Scotland Rhythm & Suppleness – A Gray, S Donaldson, E Sutherland, Z Florence – 521.2 6. Northern Revolution – A Hurst, Z L Monks, P Corner, B Edginton - 517.9 Individual winners:  A Squad champion – Tom O’Bryan with DHI du Rouet (SW Daisy Ducks) B+ Squad champion – Florence Human with Fulgencio (SW Donald Ducks) B Squad champion – Daisy Davies with Armarda Dyffryncothi Bridget (SW Daffy Ducks) C+ Squad champion – Alexzandra Houldcroft with Cavallia Herself (Central Calipo) C Squad champion – Kate Hewson with Laithehill Flute (Southern Titanium) D Squad champion – Abigail Gray with Rascal (Scotland Rhythm & Suppleness) Full results – click here  
Tuesday, July 2

Stars on show at Hartpury Festival

It's just a matter of hours before the 2019 running of the Hartpury Festival of Dressage. The show hails the start of a summer of equestrian sport at Hartpury, followed just weeks later by the Showjumping Spectacular and NAF International Horse Trials. The show will once again attract dressage superstars from around the world to compete in over 40 dressage and para-dressage including CDI3*, CEPDI3* and Premier League classes from 3-7 July. With competition for squad places for both the senior and para teams reaching fever pitch, the action promises to be as epic! Charlotte Dujardin, Carl Hester, Emile Faurie, Gareth Hughes, Hayley Watson Greaves, Richard Davison, Lara Butler and Laura Tomlison all feature alongside some of Britain's best International riders. In the Para International, Sir Lee Pearson, Julie Payne, Suzanna Hext, Erin Orford, Amanda Shirtcliffe, Izzy Palmer, Nicky Greenhill, Nicola Naylor, Charlotte Cundall and Sophie Wells lead the British charge. As well as the CDI3* with Big and Small Tour classes, there's the finale of the Premier League and the Shearwater Insurance Young Horse Championship semi-finals for four, five and six year olds - making for five of the busiest - and best - in the dressage calendar! A strong contingent of Hartpury students and graduates is also expected to take part once again, with Sarah Rao, Jessica Hickey, Tesla Whittaker, Lucy Pincus, Olivia Oakley and Hope Hayward already confirming their attendance. This year, Saturday’s popular gala evening will be headlined by international dressage rider and former Dressage Personality of the Year, Anna Ross-Davies, who made her British team debut in Saumur back in 2007. The demonstration will form part of an entertaining evening that also includes the Grand Prix Freestyle and Elite Stallions Young Horse Prix St. George Final. The festival continues to grow year on year, regularly attracting Olympic and European champions. In 2016, the event was used as Team GBR’s preparation for the Rio Olympic Games and the 2019 running takes place just a year from the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. “Hartpury delivered a spectacular show for Great Britain team members to practice their Rio preparations in 2016. The footing is perfect, the stabling is fantastic, and the organisation and friendly atmosphere continue to make it one of the premier events in the country” says Carl Hester MBE, Olympic Champion. Want to attend this year’s festival? Entry to the festival on Wednesday 3 and Thursday 4 July is free for spectators. Entry on Friday 5, Saturday 6 (daytime) and Sunday 7 July costs £6 per person. Tickets for the Saturday Gala Evening cost £17 including admission to the festival for the entire day. A combined ticket is available for Friday – Sunday at a cost of £15. Tickets can be purchased here. For those not able to attend this year’s festival, a livestream will broadcast the action from both arenas and live Twitter commentary will provide instant results and rider reaction on all five days. Don’t miss a brand-new daily podcast rounding up the day’s action and providing another chance to listen to rider interviews and views throughout the competition. Sponsors of this year’s event include NAF, Baileys Horse Feeds, Hazlewoods, Freeflex, Kempley Catering, JS Teamwear, Sporting Hares, Classic Dressage and Equikro. Stay up to date with all the latest news by following the Hartpury Festival of Dressage on Instagram , Facebook and Twitter . Event website for entries, start times, results and live stream - click here  
Tuesday, July 2

BD abroad: Fritzens and Exloo

The British riders competing at  CDI4* Fritzens-Schindlhof and CDI3*/CDIJ/CDIP Exloo acheived some excellent scores and placings:    CDI4* Fritzens-Schindlhof Grand Prix 1. Isabell Werth with Bella Rose GER, 82.95% 10. Louise Bell from Oxfordshire, with her own and Tonya Wood’s Into the Blue, 69.6% Grand Prix Special 1. Isabell Werth with Bella Rose GER 81.51% 9. Louise Bell from Oxfordshire, with her own and Tonya Wood’s Into the Blue, 69.4% Full resutls - click here Exloo CDI3* Grand Prix 1. Jil-Marielle Becks with Damon’s Satelite GER, 72.78% 3. Emma Hindle with her own Diesel 8, 70.43% Grand Prix Special 1. Helen Langehanenberg with Hollywood 48 GER, 70.46% 3 Emma Hindle with her own Diesel 8, 70.43% CDIJ – Juniors Team test 1. Marten Luiten with Fyona NED, 75.05% 17. Maddy Frewin with Christine Kirk’s Woodlander Rhythm n Blues, 66.91% Individual test 1. Marten Luiten with Fyona NED, 76.37% 5. Maddy Frewin with Christine Kirk’s Woodlander Rhythm n Blues, 70.14% CDIP – Ponies Team test 1. Micky Schelstraete with Elin’s Noncisdador NED, 73.61% 10. Annabella Pidgley with Sarah Pidgley’s Ine, 70.9% 12. Isobel Lickley with Robert and Nicola Lickley's Mister Snowman, 70.14% 14. Bonnie Bourne with her own Fin C WE, 69.61% 24. Olivia Whitelaw with her own Brouwershaven’s Viceroy, 66.95% Individual test 1. Micky Schelstraete with Elin’s Noncisdador NED, 74.18% 7. Isobel Lickley with Robert and Nicola Lickley's Mister Snowman, 70.94% 11. Annabella Pidgley with Sarah Pidgley’s Ine, 69.86% 12. Bonnie Bourne with her own Fin C WE, 69.5% 23. Olivia Whitelaw with her own Brouwershaven’s Viceroy, 66.93% Freestyle test 1. Micky Schelstraete with Elin’s Noncisdador NED, 79.26% 4. Isobel Lickley with Robert and Nicola Lickley's Mister Snowman, 74.95% 12. Annabella Pidgley with Sarah Pidgley’s Ine, 71.16% 15. Bonnie Bourne with her own Fin C WE, 68.95% Full results - click here   
Friday, June 28

BD Director Elections – June 2019

The nomination process for this year’s election for the Board Director positions of Chairman, International Director and Sport Operations Director is now complete. For the roles of Chair and International Director, the current post-holders of both positions on an interim basis were the only individuals to be nominated, while four candidates came forward for the Sport Operations Director position. • Chair – Linda Whetstone (proposed by Stephen Clarke and seconded by Peter Storr) • International Director – Judy Harvey (proposed by Stephen Clarke and seconded by Carl Hester) • Sport Operations Director – Simon Bates (proposed by Karen Gray and seconded by Emma Woolley), Ros Ingledew (proposed by Wendy Wood and seconded by Gill Collinson), Sandy Phillips (proposed by Alicia Anderson and seconded by Susan Cumine) and Kelly Thompson (proposed by Clive Halsall and seconded by Sir Lee Pearson). The applications of all six candidates were considered by the Nominations Committee, in accordance with Article 23.3, and were approved to proceed to election. Linda Whetstone and Judy Harvey will now go forward for ratification by the membership at the Annual General Meeting on 12 September, while there will be a formal election for the position of Sport Operations Director. The election opens on Monday 8 July, when candidate profiles and voting information will be published on the BD website and in the members’ magazine. Voting will be by electronic ballot, conducted by independent company Mi-Voice. Postal voting papers will be available on request. We’re also excited to announce our first ever appointed Extra Director to the Board covering the area of Business Development. Changes to our Memorandum and Articles of Association last year enabled us to further enhance the skillset of the Board by appointing independent non-executive directors where they could provide specific skillsets or areas of expertise. After an interview process and subsequent approval by the Nominations Committee, Suzanne Homewood was ratified by the Board and attended her first meeting earlier in June. A keen dressage rider, having ridden to Intermediate I level, Suzanne has forged a successful career in the mobile telecommunications industry with brands like Orange, T-Mobile, EE and Samsung, her current company, where she holds the position of Enterprise Sales Director. With key skills in customer and employee engagement, business transformation and change, leadership and strategy, Suzanne will provide an invaluable contribution to the Board as we prepare our next five year strategic plan. Alongside Finance Director Caroline Godfrey, Suzanne will be part of the new Finance and Business Development technical committee, which is currently recruiting additional members with specialist knowledge in HR and fundraising. Further updates will follow on this key leadership area as the roles are filled. British Dressage CEO Jason Brautigam commented; “The new processes that were implemented, as approved by members at last year’s AGM, have worked extremely well to provide us with a robust process to ensure that candidates at Board level have the necessary credentials and experience. Linda and Judy have already demonstrated that they are ideal candidates for their respective roles in the last nine months, so I’m confident the members will back their formal appointment in September, while I wish Simon, Ros, Sandy and Kelly the best of luck in their election campaigns. In all four candidates we have someone who can bring a great deal of vision and direction to the Sport Operations Director vacancy. Tamsyn Cowie has done a sterling job over her two terms and she will undoubtedly be a hard act to follow. We wish her all the best as she can now take the time to enjoy dressage as a judge and supporter, rather than at the sharp end of the sport! “We’re exceptionally fortunate to have someone of Suzanne’s calibre join the Board and she impressed everyone already at her first meeting earlier this month. Suzanne’s commercial acumen alongside a good knowledge of dressage will make her a real asset to the organisation. The British Dressage team is excited to work with Suzanne to continue to drive the sport forward for increased growth, member satisfaction and success, while we are also looking forward to welcoming the new Sport Operations Director on board in the autumn.”
Thursday, June 27

Team NAF Junior and YR Euro riders announced

The British Dressage Under 21 Selectors Judy Harvey, Leanne Wall and Nikki Herbert have today unveiled their final selected riders for the Team NAF Junior and Young Rider squads at the upcoming FEI European Championships in St Giovanni, Italy, 24 – 28 July 2019. Juniors Two riders will travel to Italy and compete as individuals at the Championships: Jessica McConke y (17) from Oxfordshire with her own Lady Gaga (dark bay, mare, 10yrs, 16.2hh, Quarterback x Solos Landwind). Charlotte McDowall (17) from Gloucestershire with her own Alivia (black, mare, 14yrs, 16hh, Olivi x Roemer). Young Riders The Selectors have chosen three riders who will compete as a team and individuals: Rebecca Bell (19) from Oxfordshire with Caroline Bell’s Nibeley Union Hit (dark bay, mare, 12yrs, 16.1hh, Nibley Union Jack x Sandro Hit). Alex Hellings (19) from Derbyshire with her own Uvender V (bay, gelding, 18yrs, 16hh, Krack C x Juventus). Rebecca Swain (19) from Surrey with her own Bon Jovi (chestnut, gelding, 13yrs, 16.2hh, s. Krack C). The Pre-European Team Camp will be held on Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 July at Kilbees Farm in Berkshire, which is compulsory for all selected riders/horses. International Director Judy Harvey also confirmed that Britain will not be sending any riders to the FEI U25 European Championships at the same venue. She commented; “As selectors our role is to monitor performance against the Selection Policy and then select combinations who can be competitive in a Championship environment, where the standards are exceptionally high and the pressure intense.” She added; “We have to make sure that every place awarded has the potential to win a medal, which makes securing a place very tough. This does mean that we need sufficient combinations performing at the required level to form a competitive team, otherwise we will look to send those who can still compete as individuals instead. “The selected riders and the teams behind them have put in a great deal of hard work and dedication to achieve this opportunity,” she continued. “Our Junior representatives both performed well at the weekend at Hickstead, while the Young Rider trio also has proved themselves admirably this spring. We’re in a period of transition with the Under 25 squad but have high hopes for developing this area further in the next few years. I wish the five selected riders ‘buona fortuna’ and look forward to following their performances in Italy.”
Thursday, June 27

BD statement: Oldencraig EC

It is with much sadness and regret that we announce Oldencraig Equestrian Centre will no longer be able to host British Dressage affiliated shows from the end of August this year, although any scheduled shows up to that date will still go ahead as planned. The Petplan Equine Area Festival Final scheduled for 4 – 6 October will be reallocated to an alternative Southern venue, with a formal announcement to follow in the very near future. Sport Operations Manager Lou Jones and Southern Regional Development Officer Sharon Walker are currently working to secure a replacement Area Festival Final and they will also review if any other fixtures gaps have been created with Oldencraig’s departure. As soon as arrangements for a replacement venue have been finalised, it will be announced on the BD website and via social media. Sharon Walker commented; “It’s always sad to lose venues from the BD community, but an equestrian centre with the standing, reputation and longevity of Oldencraig closing is undoubtedly a big blow for our sport. It’s been an honour and a pleasure working with Ian Winfield, Vicky Thompson Winfield and all of the team at OEC, we have enjoyed many years of amazing fun and memorable events.” Jason Brautigam, British Dressage CEO, continued; “Oldencraig will be very much missed from the BD calendar and I am sure all members will join me in thanking them for all of their support for British Dressage over the years. I understand Vicky will continue to ride, train and compete, while Ian will also carry on with OEC brand worldwide. We wish them all the best in their future competition endeavours and business ventures.”
Wednesday, June 26

Team NAF Junior and YR Euros Cham riders announced

The British Dressage Under 21 Selectors Judy Harvey, Leanne Wall and Nikki Herbert have today unveiled their final selected riders for the Team NAF Junior and Young Rider squads at the upcoming FEI European Championships in St Giovanni, Italy, 24 – 28 July 2019. Juniors Two riders will travel to Italy and compete as individuals at the Championships: Jessica McConke y (17) from Oxfordshire with her own Lady Gaga (dark bay, mare, 10yrs, 16.2hh, Quarterback x Solos Landwind). Charlotte McDowall (17) from Gloucestershire with her own Alivia (black, mare, 14yrs, 16hh, Olivi x Roemer). Young Riders The Selectors have chosen three riders who will compete as a team and individuals: Rebecca Bell (19) from Oxfordshire with Caroline Bell’s Nibeley Union Hit (dark bay, mare, 12yrs, 16.1hh, Nibley Union Jack x Sandro Hit). Alex Hellings (19) from Derbyshire with her own Uvender V (bay, gelding, 18yrs, 16hh, Krack C x Juventus). Rebecca Swain (19) from Surrey with her own Bon Jovi (chestnut, gelding, 13yrs, 16.2hh, s. Krack C). The Pre-European Team Camp will be held on Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 July at Kilbees Farm in Berkshire, which is compulsory for all selected riders/horses. International Director Judy Harvey also confirmed that Britain will not be sending any riders to the FEI U25 European Championships at the same venue. She commented; “As selectors our role is to monitor performance against the Selection Policy and then select combinations who can be competitive in a Championship environment, where the standards are exceptionally high and the pressure intense.” She added; “We have to make sure that every place awarded has the potential to win a medal, which makes securing a place very tough. This does mean that we need sufficient combinations performing at the required level to form a competitive team, otherwise we will look to send those who can still compete as individuals instead. “The selected riders and the teams behind them have put in a great deal of hard work and dedication to achieve this opportunity,” she continued. “Our Junior representatives both performed well at the weekend at Hickstead, while the Young Rider trio also has proved themselves admirably this spring. We’re in a period of transition with the Under 25 squad but have high hopes for developing this area further in the next few years. I wish the five selected riders ‘buona fortuna’ and look forward to following their performances in Italy.”
Tuesday, June 25

Applications open for Talent Spotting Career Pathway

For the first time the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) talent spotting pathway will be opened up to young athletes across British Eventing, British Dressage, British Showjumping and Para Dressage, who would like the opportunity to excel in their sport. The prestigious talent pathway, run by leading apprenticeship provider Haddon Training, has a limited number of spaces available to aspiring athletes who wish to develop their professional careers, both in and out of the saddle. Chris Hewlett, Founder and Managing Director of Haddon Training says, “I am thrilled that all four disciplines have joined together to promote and develop their talent base through our AASE programme. “Over the last six years it’s had far reaching results to people’s careers, not only in their equine skills, but also their personal growth. The programme has produced outstanding performances from individuals, many of whom have gone on to be hugely successful both as riders and the development of their own businesses.” International Showjumper and World Class Trainer Andrew Saywell coaches on the AASE programme and said, “AASE is a springboard to riders who aspire to perform at top level by providing access to a range of vocational experts and training from internationally acclaimed coaches.” The 2019 programme will begin in October and as part of the pathway applicants will have access to a number of training camps throughout the year, as well working towards a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence which includes learning a range of additional skills comprises of career planning, physical health, performance psychology, communication and managing the media. Up and coming equine athletes who are successfully competing in British Eventing, British Dressage, British Showjumping and Para-Dressage are now invited to apply. To find out more about the criteria and how to apply, visit the Haddon Training website .
Tuesday, June 25

Team GBR grab podium place in Geesteren

Team GBR’s all-female team excelled last week at the five day equestrian festival CHIO Twente in Gesteeren, Netherlands (19 – 23 June). Whilst the riders in orange claimed the top accolades at their home Nations Cup event, Louise Bell, Lara Butler, Charlotte Fry and Sara Gallop impressed amongst tough company to achieve third place on the team podium. 23 year old Charlotte Fry enjoyed a monumental week on board her own and Anne van Olst’s Dark Legend. Building on their senior team debut in Compiegne last month, Charlotte produced two top results for Team GBR earning two new personal best scores for her effort. In the Grand Prix an inspired performance was rewarded with 74.40% from the judges panel; Jacques van Daele (BEL), Mariette Sanders-van-Gansewinkel (NED), Maria Colliander (FIN), Clive Halsall (GBR) and Francis Verbeek (NED). In Saturday’s Special a couple of spooks at a rogue camera man amongst some otherwise solid work resulted in 72.48% with the placings both days a fantastic fifth. Lara Butler made a welcome return from her baby break to add her positive contribution to the team total. With Wilfried Bechtolsheimer’s Rubin Al Asad, Lara rode to ninth in the Grand Prix and seventh in the Grand Prix Special with two superb scores of 72.41% and 71.40%. Lara also gave her rising star Kristjan two great rides in the CDI3* Big Tour classes, gaining some valuable mileage and results for the Polarion sired gelding in just his sixth start at Grand Prix level. Speaking about her Geesteren experience on Facebook Lara said, “Wow what a show we have had CSI Twente…It was definitely a little different at this show for me as not only was I busy with the two horses but also trying to look after my ten week old son, who actually made my life very easy by sleeping and eating really well throughout the show!” After promising starts in Uggerhalne at the end of May, Louise Bell and Sara Gallop returned to the team line up and achieved further great results for their country. Both ladies achieved a top ten placing in Sunday’s hot CDIO3* Freestyle with stellar +70% scores. Sara summarized a exciting week on social media , “What a week! CHIO Twente Geesteren - you know how to put on a show! It was incredible. To top it off, I got to stand on my first podium for an Equestrian Team GBR Nations Cup Team with these incredible ladies – Louise Bell, Lara Butler and Lottie Fry – against some of the world’s best, including the Dutch A Team including my idol Emmelie Scholtens. Thank you British Dressage for this amazing opportunity!” Congratulations to all four riders and their support teams, and Chef d’Equipe Caroline Griffiths. Results of the British riders CDI3* Grand Prix 1ST Adelinde Cornelissen with Zephyr, 73.60% (NED) 8th Lara Butler with Kristjan, 69.13% (GBR) CDIO3* Grand Prix 1st Edward Gal with Glock’s Zonik NOP, 78.30% (NED) 5th Charlotte Fry with Dark Legend, 74.41% (GBR) 9th Lara Butler with Rubin Al Asad, 72.41% (GBR) 16th Sara Gallop with Bandreo, 68.60% (GBR) 20th Louise Bell with Into the Blue, 67.67% (GBR) CDI3* Grand Prix Special 1st Emmelie Scholtens with Apache, 74.08% (NED) 6th Lara Butler with Kristjan, 65.66% (GBR) CDIO3* Grand Prix Special 1st Juliette Ramel with Buriel KH, 79.91% (SWE) 5th Charlotte Fry with Dark Legend, 72.48% (GBR) 7th Lara Butler with Rubin Al Asad, 71.40% (GBR) CDIO3* Grand Prix Freestyle 1st Edward Gal with Glock’s Zonik NOP, 82.25% (NED) 6th Louise Bell with Into the Blue, 73.62% (GBR) 8th Sara Gallop with Bandreo, 70.74% (GBR) CDIO3* Nations Cup standings 1st Netherlands, 17 points 2nd Sweden, 19 points 3rd Great Britain, 48 points 4th USA, 61 points 5th France, 65 points 6th Belgium, 85 points Full results Photo c. Sara Gallop
Monday, June 24

Thompson Winfield tops Hickstead highlights

Vicky Thompson Winfield couldn’t stay away from the podium at Hickstead Premier League last week (18 – 22 June) as she led the vast charge of riders vying for qualification tickets to the LeMieux National Championships. Vicky started the week in winning fashion riding Angela and David Jones’ Valeron sired stallion Esquire III to a Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges victory scoring 70.18%. The future looks full of promise for this relatively new combination as their debut Premier League win comes in just their fourth test together. Continuing a successful week on board Samantha Francis’s eye catching palomino Artist, the Horsham based rider painted just the picture the judges wanted to see in both the Cavalor Intermediate II and the LeMieux Grand Prix direct qualifier classes to win with convincing scores of 70.26% and 70.16%. She then went on to complete a quartet of wins in Saturday’s Grand Prix Special, this time with Samantha Francis’s PRE stallion Mango Jacaro, scoring 68.92% from a unanimous judging panel of Anita Darken, Maryanne Horn and Fiona Wilson. Across five busy days of competition at the premier Sussex venue, on the site of Douglas Bunn’s All England Jumping Course, no less than nine National Championship spots were up for grabs. Tom Goode with Emile Faurie’s Langley and Dannie Morgan with Lisa Morgan’s Knoxx’s Figaro each claimed a Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges win whilst three competitive Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I classes were won by Sara-Jane Lanning with Mi Amigo, Nathalie Kayal with DHI Cleverboy and Dean Skeates with Super Blue. The Equine Construction Advanced Medium 98 direct qualifier was won by an in-form Alice Oppenheimer with Sarah Oppenheimer’s Headmore Bella Ruby. The elegant mare has stepped up a level since her success at the NAF Five Star Winter Championships and has taken to Advanced Medium with talent and ease much to the delight of rider Alice, “Princess Bella (Headmore Bella Ruby) was a superstar at Hickstead Premier League today. She won the [Equine Construction] Advanced Medium 98 with 72.2% to qualify straight through to the Nationals. She gave me such a great ride in only her fourth Advanced Medium at seven years old, she’s such a star. I’m so lucky to train these amazing horses.” Alice also enjoyed a win in Tuesday’s Inter A with Caroline Dibden’s Headmore Diffinity gaining valuable mileage at Medium tour, their winning score was 69.63%. In the under 21 ranks, the FEI Young Rider, Junior and Pony team classes were each won by a combination shortlisted for this year’s youth European Championships. Following a hat trick of wins at Keysoe CDI and a successful trip to Compiegne CDI in May, Rebecca Swain and Bon Jovi (s. Krack C) showed their class in the Young Rider section to win with 71.23%. Gloucestershire based Charlotte McDowall made the journey well worthwhile with her own 14 year old mare Alivia, 70.41% was the reward for a polished test; whilst Bonnie Bourne and Fin C WE delivered the goods in the Pony Team competition to top the Hickstead podium. British Dressage thanks the team at Hickstead for a successful Premier League as well as all BD national sponsors for their invaluable support. Congratulations to all competitors. Results Tuesday 18 June Class 5: Intermediate A Alice Oppenheimer with Headmore Diffinity, 69.63% Wednesday 19 June Class 7: Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Tom Goode with Langley, 72.85% Class 7A: Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Vicky Thompson Winfield with Esquire, 70.18% Class 8: Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I Sara-Jane Lanning with Mi Amigo, 71.27% Class 9: Intermediate B Kirsty Mepham with Minain, 67.74% Class 10: Hickstead National Young Horse 5 Years Q Lucy Jane Amy with Jaliva, 78.40% Class 11: Hickstead International Young Horse 5 Years Q Dannie Morgan with Breit Fantastic, 72.60% Thursday 20 June Class 12: Hickstead National Young Horse 6 Years Q Sarah Millis with Impressive, 84.00% Class 13: Hickstead International Young Horse 6 Years Q Sarah Millis with Impressive, 86.20% Class 14: Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Dannie Morgan with Knoxx’s Figaro, 71.01% Class 15: Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I Nathalie Kayal with DHI Cleverboy, 72.15% Class 16: Cavalor Intermediate II Vicky Thompson Winfield with Artist, 70.26% Friday 21 June Class 17A: FEI Young Rider Team Test Rebecca Swain with Bon Jovi, 71.23% Class 18: LeMieux Grand Prix Vicky Thompson Winfield with Artist, 70.16% Class 19: FEI U25 Grand Prix Amy Schiessl with Mr Mercury, 65.81% Class 20: FEI Junior Team Test Charlotte McDowall with Alivia, 70.41% Class 21: FEI Pony Team Test Bonnie Bourne with Fin C WE, 68.76% Saturday 22 June Class 22: Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I Dean Skeates with Super Blue, 70.92% Class 23: Equine Construction Advanced Medium 98 Alice Oppenheimer with Headmore Bella Ruby, 72.24% Class 24: FEI Young Rider Individual Test Millie Gover with Kamil T, 69.54% Class 25: FEI Junior Individual Test Samantha Wilson with Delhurens Sunshine, 70.13% Class 26: FEI Pony Individual Test Scarlett John with BKS Grand Design, 65.30% Class 27: Prix St Georges Freestyle Rachael Hawkins with Don Antello, 72% Class 28: Grand Prix Freestyle Isobel Wessels with Chagall, 72.88% Class 29: Grand Prix Special Vicky Thompson Winfield with Mango Jacaro, 68.92% Full results
Saturday, June 22

NDPCE 2019/20 applications open

The National Development Programme for Coaching Excellence is aimed at coaches working with adults and young people who participate in equestrian sport for competitive recreation motives. Coaches looking to join this programme will be ambitious in improving their own performance and will already have success in getting more people participating in equestrian sports and retaining them by creating enjoyable coaching environments. This is a cross discipline programme involving; British Showjumping, British Dressage, British Eventing, The Pony Club, British Horse Society, British Endurance. The National Development Programme for Coaching Excellence programme is now accepting applications for 2019/2020. The programme will have four aims; to recognise the importance of high performing coaches working with riders at a recreational level, use research and case studies from within and outside of equestrian sport to inform coaching practice, support coaches to reflect and review their own performance and set personal development plans and develop coaches with expertise that can influence coaching programmes that improve rider experiences. Who should apply? • Coaches wanting to improve their own performance and be interested in supporting recreational competitions • Coaches with UKCC level 3 qualification or equivalent • Coaches demonstrating a degree of high performing criteria Interview Dates Weeks commencing 26 August and 2 September 2019. Workshop Days • 21 - 22 October 2019 • 10 - 11 December 2019 • 11 - 12 February 2019 • 21 - 22 April 2020 Full details on the programme and how to apply can be found HERE . If you have further questions, please call Laura Rolph on 02476 6988288 or email laura.rolph@britishshowjumping.co.uk . Complete and return to Laura Rolph, either via email or to Meriden Business Park, Copse Drive, Meriden, West Midlands, CV5 9RG. Applications close: Friday 2 August 2019
Wednesday, June 19

Hickstead PL underway

The sixth British Dressage Premier League at the iconic southern venue of Hickstead got underway yesterday with three futher days of action planned. Alice Oppenheimer who brings a number of horses from the Headmore Stud opened her account early with a win in the Intermediate A on Tuesday. Dannie Morgan is also already a winner with Lisa Morgan and David Knox’s Knoxx’s Figaro in one of three Fairfax Prix St Georges sections which gives them a spot at the LeMieux National Championships in September. Alongside the Premier League action, there’s the Championship finals of The Hickstead Masters, qualifiers for the MCI (Iberian Dressage Masters) Championships and qualifiers for the Hickstead Young Horse Championships. The action continues throughout today with Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I and Inter B classes. Tomorrow, there’s a Cavalor Inter II section which qualifies the winner for the Nationals while on Friday the Grand Prix action starts with a 21-stong entry for the LeMieux qualifier plus a dedicated u25 Grand Prix class alongside Team Tests for our FEI Pony, Junior and Young Rider competitors which are crucial as we’re nearing final selection for the three Team NAF squads. Saturday is the finale with Grand Prix Special and Freestyle classes plus the Individual tests for the under 21 riders for one final chance to impress the Selectors. Plus, an all-important direct qualifier for the Equine Construction Advanced Medium Championships at Stoneleigh. See below for a full timetable. There’s an amazing entry with some of dressage’s top competitors all vying for ribbons but names to watch out for include; Tom Goode, Andrew Gould, Daniel Watson, Henry Boswell, Hannah Biggs, Pammy & Pippa Hutton, Matt Hicks, Isobel Wessels, Vicky Thompson Winfiled, Emile Faurie, Liz Deigutis, Natalie Kayal, Rebecca Hughes, Sadie Smith, Nichola Buchanan and Lizzie Murray – but there’s plenty of other riders who could earn a spot on the podium over the coming days. Entry today is free and then on Thursday it’s £10, Friday is £20 and Saturday £25. For the full details including a link to times and results, visit www.dressageathickstead.com Good luck to everyone competing! Full Schedule 2019 18 June • Dressage Masters Preliminary Championship P17A • Dressage Masters Novice Championship N37A • Dressage Masters Elementary Championship E53 • Dressage Masters Medium Championship M73 • Intermediate A 19 June • Fairfax Prix St Georges SQ Fairfax • Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I SQ • 5YR Old National (yhe5 2016)and International (YHP5 2009) Young Horses Q • Dressage Masters Advanced Medium Championship AM91 • Intermediate B 20 June • Fairfax Prix St Georges SQ • Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I SQ • 6yr Old National (YHM6 2016) and International (YHP6 2009)Young Horse Q • Cavalor Intermediate II SQ 21 June • Farifax Prix St George (1st round of the Dressage Masters Small Tour Championship AND Young Riders Team Test) • Under 25 Grand Prix • Pony Team Test • Junior Team Test • LeMieux Grand Prix SQ (includes 1st round of the Dressage Masters Large Tour Championship) 22 June • Pony Individual Test • Young Rider Individual Test • Junior Individual Test • Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I SQ • Equine Construction Advanced Medium 96 SQ • MCI Music Qualifiers • PSG Music (2nd Round of the Dressage Masters Small Tour Championship) • Grand Prix Music (2nd round of the Dressage Masters Large Tour Championship) • Grand Prix Special
Wednesday, June 19

Team NAF Pony short list

The British Dressage u21 Selectors Judy Harvey, Leanne Wall and Nikki Herbert have today released a short list of combinations for a place on the Team NAF squad at the upcoming Pony European Championships in Strzegom, Poland on 14-18 August 2019. This list indicates pony and rider combinations from which a team and reserves will be selected, subject to combinations meeting the criteria as per the 2019 Pony Rider Selection Policy. This shortlist can be added to if riders produce outstanding results. Riders in alphabetical order are: Bonnie Bourne (16) from Kent with her own Fin C We (liver chestnut, gelding 16yrs, 14.2hh, Famos x Eiger III) Holly Kerslake (15) from Devon riding Carl Trock and her own Valhallas Zorro (black, stallion, 10yrs, 14.1hh, Valhallas Lord Matrafal x Fjordglimts Sir Johnson) Isobel Lickley (14) from Staffordshire riding Robert & Nicola Lickley’s Mister Snowman (liver chestnut, 13yrs, 14.1hh, The Braes My Mobility x Llanarth Most Triton) Annabella Pidgley (14) from Berkshire with Sarah Pidgley’s Cognac (palomino, gelding, 11yrs, 14.1hh, FS Chamertin x Waldemar) or Sarah Pidgely’s Ine (chestnut, mare, 12yrs, 14.1hh, s. Constantin) or Sarah Pidgely’s Farbenfroh (brown, gelding, 16yrs, 14.2hh, Farewell I x Rakt’s Rocky) Steffi Tomlinson (15) from Cheshire with Tracy Tomlinson’s Vivassa (liver chestnut, mare, 12yrs, 14.1hh, s. Vivaldi) Hermione Tottman (15) from Hertfordshire with Nicola Tottman’s Brasil (dark bay, gelding, 12yrs, 14.2hh, Sandokkans Leonardo x Orchard Davranches). The Team NAF Pony quartet and reserves will be announced in the week commencing Monday 8 July. Pre-European Team Camp – Tuesday 6 & Wednesday 7 August The Pony Pre-European Team Camp will be held on Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 7 August at Parkers yard, Kent. This camp is compulsory for all selected riders/ponies. Thanks to NAF for their loyal support of our BD Youth teams and to team suppliers LeMieux.
Tuesday, June 18

BD Abroad: Hagen CDIOP and Stockholm CDIU25 results

Results of the British riders who competed last week at Hagen CDIOYJPCh/CDIYJPCh in Germany (11 – 16 June), and Stockholm CDI3*/CDIU25 in Sweden (13 – 16 June 2019). Hagen CDIOYJPCh/CDIYJPCh CDIOP – Pony Team Test 1st Nathalie Thomassen with Lykkehoejs Dream of Dornik, 74.714% (DEN) 10th Hermione Tottman with Brasil, 70.524% (GBR) 15th Steffi Tomlinson with Vivassa, 69.00% (GBR) 21st Lily Laughton with Steendieks Cadillac, 66.381% (GBR) CDIOP – Team Standings 1st Denmark, 149.190 2nd Germany, 146.572 3rd The Netherlands, 142.524 4th Sweden, 141.143 5th Team NAF for Great Britain, 139.524 -pictured 6th Poland, 137.477 7th Belgium, 136.952 8th Russia, 135.190 9th Switzerland, 132.143 10th France, 131.143 11th Ireland 129.048 CDIOP – Pony Individual Test 1st Rose Oatley with Daddy Moon, 75.766% (GER) 14th Steffi Tomlinson with Vivassa, 68.108% (GBR) 21st Hermione Tottman with Brasil, 66.622% (GBR) 25th Lily Laughton with Steendieks Cadillac, 65.450% (GBR) CDIOP – Pony Freestyle 1st Antonia Busch-Kuffner with Daily Pleasure WE, 79.334% (GER) 11th Steffi Tomlinson with Vivassa, 71.459% (GBR) CDIOP – Consolation Pony Freestyle 1st Tatiana Bierieznow with Gluckspilz, 71.292% (POL) 3rd Hermione Tottman with Brasil, 70.750% (GBR) 9th Lily Laughton with Steendieks Cadillac, 67.667% (GBR) For full results follow this link Stockholm CDI3*/CDIU25 CDIU25 - Grand Prix 16 – 25 1st Emma Jönsson with Donizetti, 66.949% (SWE) 4th Ellen McCarthy with Belafonte, 66.154% (GBR) CDIU25 – Grand Prix Freestyle 1st Marina Mattsson with Quartermain, 74.900% (SWE) 5th Ellen McCarthy with Belafonte, 70.325% (GBR) For full results follow this link
Monday, June 17

Team NAF Junior and Young Rider short list

The British Dressage Junior and Young Rider Judy Harvey, Leanne Wall and Nikki Herbert have today released a short list of combinations for a place on the Team NAF squad at the upcoming Junior and Young Rider European Championships in St Giovanni, Italy, 24 – 28 July 2019. Juniors Clare Hole (17) from Suffolk with Dr Rachel Murray’s Winnetou G.E.P. (black, gelding, 16yrs, 17hh, Gribaldi x Donnerhall). Jessica McConkey (17) from Oxfordshire with her own Lady Gaga (dark bay, mare, 10yrs, 16.2hh, Quarterback x Solos Landwind). Charlotte McDowall (17) from Gloucestershire with her own Alivia (black, mare, 14yrs, 16hh, Olivi x Roemer). Young Riders Rebecca Bell (19) from Oxfordshire with Caroline Bell’s Nibeley Union Hit (dark bay, mare, 12yrs, 16.1hh, Nibley Union Jack x Sandro Hit). Alex Hellings (19) from Derbyshire with Sonia Baines’s Uvender V (bay, gelding, 18yrs, 16hh, Krack C x Juventus). Rebecca Swain (19) from Surrey with her own Bon Jovi (chestnut, gelding, 13yrs, 16.2hh, s. Krack C). The horse and rider combinations listed are those from which team/individuals are likely to be selected, but others may be considered for selection if they reach the requirements set out in the Selection Policy. The selected Juniors and Young Riders will be announced week commencing Monday 24 June. The Pre-European Team Camp will be held on Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 July which is compulsory for all selected riders/horses and reserves. Thanks to NAF for their loyal support of our BD Youth teams and to team suppliers LeMieux.
Thursday, June 13

Dujardin completes Bolesworth hattrick in a day of new PBs

It was a perfect day at the office for Charlotte Dujardin despite the continued wet and grey conditions at the Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show as she took both the Theraplate UK Grand Prix Special and the Equitop Myoplast Grand Prix Freestyle to complete a Boleswoth hattrick. The morning’s Special was a perfect chance to put some of the potential team members for this year’s FEI European Championships in Rotterdam head to head and measure where they are in their training. Gareth Hughes upset the equilibrium for some with his second place yesterday riding his wife Rebecca’s Classic Briolinca and today’s test looked like it could do the same. There were no major mistakes for a clear round with some very strong piaffe/passage work despite the Trento B mare not having much experience of the test. The judges rewarded it with 76.78%, just shy of their PB they scored when winning the Special in Compiegne in May but it did give them the lead. Emile Faurie was next to go with Hof Kasselmann’s newest star, Café’s Caletta, in only the mare’s fourth international and her first ever Special. Originally bred and produced to show jump, she posted 70.65% in the GP yesteday and was sixth in hot company and today she looked more at home in the expansive Bolesworth International arena. A few green mistakes in the technically demanding test lead to 69.31% but there’s so much more to come as this partnership develops and she becomes more established. Next was the turn of Charlotte and yesterday’s Grand Prix victor, Emma and Jill Blundell’s Mount St John Freestyle and again it was breathtaking to watch. The ‘ring’ rustiness’ of yesterday put behind them and Charlotte said she ‘had a word with herself’ after overriding yesterday. Just a late transition from walk to passage was the only blip – and it was minor. The canter pirouettes were captivating, half passes with extreme reach and trademark Dujardin transitions…just a privilege to watch. Judge at E Peter Storr awarded three four tens – both halts, the right canter pirouette and for her riding. A massive 82.97% was the score – a new PB and over 1.5% more than her previous best. Henriette Andersen followed with her own Florencio I sired Flavio with a pleasing test which the judges hovered around the 6.5 to 7.0 mark throughout to score 69.8%, enough to go ahead of Emile. The final rider was Carl Hester with Lady Anne Evans, Ann Cory and his own Hawtins Delicato and they upped their game more today with Carl riding with more ‘joie de vivre’. An agitated first halt, a missed change at the start of the line of two times and a flat change at the end of the extended canter diagonal were the only errors. The test was just more naturally forward with a bit more attack which the judges rewarded well with 78.93% - a new PB in a day of new records – to go second behind Charlotte and Freestyle. After the prizegiving, Charlotte said; “I’ve not put that test [the Special] together at home but I watched the video of WEG so I knew what I wanted to recreate. Yesterday I was disappointed with myself as I overrode but today I was more relaxed and realized I needed to do less. She felt fantastic but I didn’t ride on full power and to say she can score like that is incredible. For her to extend like that and then come back to the extreme of passage feels incredible. And she does it through her body not tension and she’s so elastic, like a rubber ball. “I have to be careful as a rider not to overdo it as she tries to give me more than I need. In the walk to piaffe movement I just tried to sit quietly but it didn’t happen but that was our only mistake really. When you have a ride like that and feel they’ve given everything gives you such a buzz and it quite emotional.” Carl was clearly pleased with today’s performance; “Today everything came together and the score was where I wanted it to be; he felt so much better than yesterday. His piaffe and passage were so much better and I’m pleased my plan [of four shows in four weeks] has paid off. Sadly our mistakes were in the easy stuff but I got three good piaffes from him and the easy things can be fixed. Doing four competitions in a row has really changed the horses, and me! I’m really in to it and it’s paid off…as painful as it’s been!” Always with an eye on the Championships, Carl added; “Results like yesterday and today are so important for the team. I’ve always said that it’s not good enough to have one rider to rely on. Now were here with three new horses that can score 75% plus and Gareth beating me yesterday is only a plus for the team going forward.” Third placed Gareth was also in buoyant mood after a good performance; “I’m very happy. She was so consistent and actually took me by surprise by feeling a bit lazy in there. It’s so exciting; she doesn’t have the biggest paces naturally but this test, which she’s not done much, really opens her up and improves the extended paces. It’s a difficult test but in a different way to the Grand Prix which is technically difficult but this [the Special] is physically demanding. But she’s so strong in the piaffe and passage it really suits her.” The Equitop Mypolast Freestyle followed after a slightly delayed start as result of the arena PA system giving up but the ever efficient Bolesworth team quickly had us up and running. Danish rider Ulrik Moelgaard set the early benchmark with his loyal partner now 18 year old Michigan, owned by Claus Munkedal, who danced to their upbeat Jackson Five medley to score 73.83%. He was followed by Charlotte Dujardin, this time riding Sonnar Murray-Brown’s Erlentanz, riding to her favourite ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ music. Although it was mixed for Valegro, it’s perfect for the spritely ‘Erly’. It was a pleasure to watch with Charlotte clearly enjoying being able to ride without pressure and her equine partner so eager to please. No mistakes, every change on the beat and the perfect mix of difficulty set to an artistic floorplan. The judges scored a massive 84.1%...huge. The highest score she’s received since the days of Valegro and it was well deserved. Richard Davison elected for the Freestyle with Gwendolyn Meyer’s Bubblingh, giving us the chance to watch his unique routine set to a variety of music including Robbie Williams and Gangsta’s Paradise. ‘Bubbles’ improves with each outing and 78.78% was just reward for a job well done to go second, their best score together and Richard’s highest ever mark internationally in all his years of competing. Charlotte was beaming after prizegiving with Erly – it could have been that she finally had chance to do a lap of honour as all the ceremonies up until then had been unmounted in hospitality – or maybe it was the magical performance. “I just love riding this little horse!” she said. “He’s so much fun and just tries so hard. It was one of those tests where everything went to plan and I just didn’t want it to end. I’m not looking forward to the day when Sonnar is ready to have him back as, there may be tears!” Sadly, the remainder of the show which now focuses on show jumping will take place behind closed doors as the already saturated ground won’t drain to safely park the public – but you can watch via www.britishequestriansport.tv . Full results – click here
Thursday, June 13

Princess Anne opens National RDA Centre

Yesterday, the Princess Royal officially opened the first National Training Centre for Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) in Warwickshire. Her Royal Highness Princess Anne is President of the RDA and a patron of the centre which will bring together, train and inspire the charity’s volunteers and coaches from almost 500 RDA centres across the UK. The opening event, sponsored by Childs Farm, coincided with the 50th anniversary of the charity, which is dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities through horse riding and carriage driving. The RDA’s new home is based at Lowlands Equestrian Centre, in Shrewley, and the charity is aiming to deliver an important service across Warwickshire. The centre already provides horse riding opportunities to 100 disabled children and adults in the county – a number the charity hopes to double in the coming months – while Lowlands also offers group and private riding lessons to the public, while proving a popular venue to hire. Princess Anne, who spoke to riders and presented rosettes during her visit, said: “RDA has built a world-class reputation on the strength of its expertise, coaching and horsemanship. These are strengths that must remain at the heart of everything we do in the coming years. “The Lowlands project will ensure we can maintain our high standards and develop our training programmes to ensure the best possible experience for RDA’s riders and carriage drivers long into the future. “As RDA looks forward to the next 50 years, this national training centre will draw on all the experience and strength of community in RDA to create a vital and inspirational focal point for learning of which we can all be proud.” Over recent years, the charity, which helps 25,000 disabled children and adults, has further developed the range of activities it offers as well as the areas of training provided to volunteers – including equine welfare, safeguarding, disability awareness and volunteer management. In addition, the RDA’s 18,000 qualified coaches and volunteers are supporting ever more complex forms of disability, especially in the areas of multi-disability, learning disabilities and mental health problems. Paralympian superstar Sophie Christiansen CBE, who boasts eight Paralympic gold medals, is also a patron of the new centre – a commitment made in recognition of her local RDA centre in Berkshire, which helped her rise to stardom. “As someone whose life was transformed by learning to ride with RDA, I am delighted to be able to support this national training centre,” she said. “I was lucky enough to be taught by a series of inspirational coaches, without whom I would never have discovered a talent for riding. “RDA could see my potential as a young athlete and supported me every step of the way to the Paralympics. However, ‘achievement’ does not have to mean a gold medal. It could be teaching a rider to sit up straight so they can go on to live independently or to be able to communicate to others to help on the journey to employment. Coaches can change lives.” The centre is home to the four existing RDA groups which currently operate there, plus stables and grazing for 20 horses, indoor and outdoor arenas and training and conference facilities. The charity’s staff team will also relocate to the site. It also boasts a working yard with indoor and outdoor arenas and classrooms to provide the ideal environment for hosting practical training sessions, workshops and demonstrations as well as events and competitions. The focus of training will be putting riders’ and drivers’ needs first, and the RDA insists that this message will be at the heart of everything that happens at Lowlands. For more information on RDA, please visit: www.rda.org.uk .
Wednesday, June 12

She’s back…and with a new 80% PB

Charlotte Dujardin made a welcome return to the competition arena with Emma and Jill Blundell’s Mount St John Freestyle in the Theraplate UK Grand Prix as part of the CDI3* at The Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show in challenging wet conditions. The ten year old Fiedermark sired mare looked delighted to be back and despite the heavy rain and dull conditions, their performance lit up the Castle Arena. There was a slight miscommunication at the start of the first passage/piaffe tour but apart from that, it was clear that the time off has benefited the combination to mature and develop. The judges panel were unanimous in declaring them the winners with an aggregate score of 80.34% - a new international personal best for the duo as it’s the first time they’ve broken the 80% barrier in the Grand Prix. A delighted Charlotte said; “I have to admit I was a bit nervous going in. It all felt a bit ring rusty but she was really good. She’s been great at home so it’s good to be back out. Considering she’s not been in the ring for such a long time it was amazing; she was so enthusiastic. She just tries so hard and I over-rode the first passage so he was really reactive. “She just feels now like she needs a few more tests; she’s still so inexperienced. Alan and I had a little tear on the way out as it just felt special to be out again. It’s been a bit testing with the weather but I’m over the moon with her. I felt I wanted to do so well but big or small, she does it all!” Behind Charlotte and Freestyle, it was the battle of the 75% scorers but the best was Gareth Hughes with wife Rebecca’s Classic Briolinca. The duo was still flying high from their performance at Compiengne CDIO a matter of weeks ago and today’s Grand Prix was even better. There was just a blip at the start of the one time changes but the rest was fairly fault free. Halts nailed, stunning piaffe and great reach in the half passes all contributed towards 75.76%. Gareth was overheard to say ‘that wasn’t on the script, I was supposed to be fourth!’. Nothing is ever a given in dressage and rarely is there a script! Charlotte finished in third with her ‘borrowed’ ride, Sonnar Murray-Brown’s Erlentanz. The pairing really wowed at Windsor in May and that form showed again today. Charlotte is deputizing for Sonnar while he mends from a broken leg but each time she competes with ‘Erly’, the likelihood of him being returned diminishes! It was a worrying time in the warm up when Erly knocked himself but a quick check by Team GBR vet Andre and lots of walking and they were good to go. The test was packed full of energy – almost a little too much at times where the aids for flying changes were misinterpreted but everything was a pleasure to watch and the score was 75.71%, just 0.05 behind Gareth. Charlotte told us; “We had an issue in the warm up when he kicked himself so I did a lot of walking but I’m really happy with him. He’s more confident and braver in the arena. I clipped him thinking it was going to be warm here and he’s been really sensitive since, particularly in the changes so that’s where our mistakes were. I don’t feel the pressure with him and he’s so much fun to ride.” Fourth spot went to Carl Hester and Hawtins Delicato, owned by Carl with Lady Anne Evans and Ann Cory and today ‘Del’ was a bit on his toes which lead to some tension and Carl to ride economically. A mistake in the one time changes kept the score in check but they finished on 75.6%, just 0.11 adrift. The morning got underway early with the Owens Horseboxes five year old trial which was won by Lucinda Elliot with Judith Davis’s Hawtins Lirica (Lemony’s Nicket x Dimaggio) on an outstanding 81.81 while in the six year old division, supported by The Brooke, victory went to Alex Harwick riding her own Izaloe (Jazz x Rhodium). The final combination in the Braabners seven year old trial took the honours – that was Elizabeth Allen with her own Heraldik (Uphill x Silvano N) on 71.94. There was also an invitational Advanced Medium class, supported by Rawson Digital and Sarah Higgins took the top two spots with her rides Elixer, owned by Ellie Barlow, and Penny Lindop’s Easter Bunny II on 70.52% and 68.94% respectively. The climax of the day was the CDI small tour Inter I Freestyle, sponsored by British Dressage. First to go, Jacqueline Wing Ying Siu set 69.6% with her first ride, Jockey Club Fuerst on Tour and it proved a difficult mark to beat. That was until Carl Hester had his turn. He claimed last night’s Prix St Georges with the British bred chestnut mare Brioso who he owns with Andrew Fletcher and Charlotte Dujardin and he was focused on a small tour double. A lively routine set to equally lively music with a clever, flowing floor plan was a winner, scoring 78.52%. Carl was clearly delighted with the nine year old who he found in a local point to point yard as a four year old. “She’s just sensational to ride. In three weeks we’ve gone from wild at Somerford, improving at Wellington and then amazing here – she’s gone up the ladder tenfold. She’s classy, supple, athletic and uphill – just so nice to sit on. I’d even say she’s the nicest horse in the mouth I’ve ever ridden. I just enjoy riding her; I don’t have to worry, she’s owned by friends and if I’m loving it, they love it too. I just adore her, she’s a proper diva!” Luis Principle, last to go with RS Raphael for Portugal, stole into second with 75.8% while Jessica Dunn and Alicante Valley, owned by Jennifer Whittaker, completed the podium on 74.2%. Sadly the hard-working organising team at Bolesworth have taken the extremely difficult decision to close the show to the public for the rest of the week due to the waterlogged land – it just isn’t safe to park cars. The competition will go on and specators can watch via www.britishequestriansport.tv . Full results and times for tomorrow’s GP Special and GP Freestyle – click here
Wednesday, June 12

Equissage Pulse Para Gold Semi Finals

The great and good of British para dressage took centre stage during the first two days of the Wellington Premier League show in Heckfield, Hampshire (5 – 10 June 2019). The Waterloo Arena was the setting for the semi finals of the Equissage Pulse Para Gold Championships which attracted many of the country’s top riders competing for a coveted place at the LeMieux National Championships at Stoneleigh in September. Grade V Three-star eventer turned para dressage rider Charlotte Cundall claimed the Grade V Team Test on day one with Henrietta Cheetham’s Danish 10 year old, LJT Simply Red. She scored 69.593%, enough to have the edge over her second-placed ride, BamBam (69.244%). Charlotte, from North Yorkshire, was one of our leading ladies at Randbøl CPEDI3* in Denmark earlier this year when the British won the Nations Cup. Charlotte’s Randbøl teammate, Sophie Wells, was untouchable in the following day’s Individual, scoring 75.774% with Charlotte Hoggs’s C Fatal Attraction aka Jorge. “[We had] A good day at Wellington Riding yesterday for the Para Semi Final. Jorge did a good test to win with 75.7%,” said Sophie on Facebook . “Big well done to Charlotte Cundall for her second place, well deserved, she works so hard in every area to improve performance and is a lovely friend.” Grade IV Katie Radzik and her Florencio x Balder 12 year old C’est La Vie were victorious in the Grade IV Team Test. The contenders from Kent earned a solid 67% ahead of second-placed Rachel Collins and Finetime (by Fifty Cent). The Grade IV Individual belonged to Nicky Greenhill with her husband Gary’s King Edward I, a black 11 year old she has partnered since 2015. Nicky who is visually impaired and relies on husband Gary calling the markers to navigate the arena, took to Facebook to say, “Super proud of Eddie today winning the Semi Finals at Wellington on +71%. So much love for this horse it’s ridiculous!” Grade III Erin Orford, who was celebrating a birthday during the show, added to the festivities with a double of wins aboard her two rides. She took the Team test with her 2017 FEI European Championships and 2018 WEG partner, Dior UKH, and won the Individual with new ride LJT Diamond Crusador (pictured) scoring 72.20% and 74.92% respectively. Diamond Crusador aka Loki is a handsome six year old Diamond Hit gelding owned by the Lady Joseph Trust. He joined Erin’s stable in March this year and she describes him as ‘an exciting addition to the team’. Grade II Georgia Wilson and her British-bred mare, Midnight II, showed all the quality that led to their selection as reserves for WEG 2018. The pair from Wales, who train with Sophie Wells, enjoyed a convincing win in the Grade II Team test with a mark of plus-71%. Julie Payne who famously won triple gold with Athene Lindebjerg at the 2017 Europeans was on top form with long-term ride Pandora. Pandora has been a faithful servant to Julie and at the age of 18 years young is looking as good as ever. The established pair won the Grade II Individual convincingly with 74.191%. Grade I Mari Durward-Akhurst and Sky O’Hara won the Team and Individual with 71.16% and 72.23% respectively. Sky O’Hara, a 20 year old Welt Hit II gelding owned by Glesni Owen has been Mari’s competition partner since 2012 and they're the reigning Equissage Pulse Para Gold Grade I Champions. Mari is looking forward to defending her title at Stoneleigh and what’s more, she has two rides qualified having secured the Individual test runner-up spot with her 10 year old Laudabilis gelding, Lebensfreude who's affectionately known as ‘Bear’. “I do not think the fact that I came first and second yesterday has sunk in yet” said Mari on Facebook . “Or the fact that I got over 70% with Bear and 72%+ with Sky! Or the fact that I have qualified both boys for the Gold Nationals! Hard work really does pay off and I cannot thank my team enough! British Dressage thanks Niagara Equissage for their sponsorship of the Equissage Pulse Para Dressage Championships and the team at Wellington Riding for putting on a fantastic event. Congratulations to all the winners listed below and to all those who took part. The winners: Wednesday 5 June Class 1: Equissage Pulse Grade V Team Test Charlotte Cundall with LJT Simply Red, 69.593% Class 2: Equissage Pulse Grade IV Team Test Katie Radzik with C’est La Vie, 67.000% Class 3: Equissage Pulse Grade III Team Test Erin Orford with Dior UKH, 72.206% Class 4: Equissage Pulse Grade II Team Test Georgia Wilson with Midnight II, 71.061% Class 5: Equissage Pulse Grade I Team Test Mari Durward-Akhurst with Sky O’Hara, 71.161% Thursday 6 June Class 10: Equissage Pulse Grade V Individual Test Sophie Wells with C Fatal Attraction. 75.774% Class 11: Equissage Pulse Grade IV Individual Test Nicky Greenhill with King Edward I, 71.159% Class 12: Equssage Pulse Grade III Individual Test Erin Orford with LJT Diamond Crusador, 74.926% Class 13: Equissage Pulse Grade II Individual Test Julie Payne with Pandora, 74.191% Class 14: Equissage Pulse Grade I Individual Test Mari Durward-Akhurst with Sky O’Hara, 72.232% For full results follow this link .
Wednesday, June 12

Principles of Judging Seminar: Timetable announced!

With FEI 5* judges Isobel Wessels and Clive Halsall, plus FEI 4* judge and BD Judges Director Peter Storr lined up to present this year’s Principles of Judging Seminar, the BD Training and Education team is delighted to release the complete timetable for the weekend. Visit Moulton College on Saturday 5 – Sunday 6 October 2019 to benefit from the wealth of expertise shared between our three hosts. All members are welcome, whether rider, coach, judge, owner, breeder or supporter, non-judge tickets allow access to the live arena demonstrations taking place in the Moulton College Indoor throughout the weekend.  The arena sessions will be test riding discussion and development focused, with the added opportunity for those in the audience to enjoy an interative element by scoring and commenting throughout demonstrations. Listed and trainee judges also have access to exclusive lecture theatre sessions where Isobel, Clive and Peter will further delve into discussion on the specific talking points detailed in the timetable.  Saturday 6th October 10.00 - 10.45  Indoor Arena  - Quality of Paces  All       10.45 Comfort break         11.00 - 12.00 Indoor Arena  - Elementary 59: Discuss and Develop  List 4 - 3a Sports Hall  - Understanding the Way of Going and Quality of Paces Trainee - List 5       12.00 Comfort break         12.15 - 13.15 Indoor Arena  - Intro C: Discuss and Develop Trainee - List 5 Sports Hall  - Lateral Work List 4 - 3a       13.15 - 14.15 Lunch         14.15 - 15.15 Indoor Arena  - Medium 75: Discuss and Develop List 4 - 3a Sports Hall  - Scale of Marks and Summing up Trainee - List 5       15.15 Comfort break         15.30 - 16.30 Indoor Arena  - Prelim 17: Discuss and Develop Trainee - List 5 Sports Hall  - Walk and Walk Pirouettes List 4 - 3a Sunday 7 October 2018 10.00 - 10.45  Indoor Arena  - Way of going All       10.45 Comfort break         11.00 - 12.00 Indoor Arena  - Adv Med 98: Discuss and Develop  List 4 - 3a Sports Hall  - Expectations of transitions and differences within the paces Trainee - List 5       12.00 Comfort break         12.15 - 13.15 Indoor Arena  - Novice 37a: Discuss and Develop Trainee - List 5 Sports Hall  - Simple changes and flying changes List 4 - 3a       13.15 - 14.15 Lunch         14.15 - 15.15 Indoor Arena  - PSG: Discuss and Develop List 4 - 3a Sports Hall  - Preparation for panel judging and practice judge P19, N37a and E59 Trainee - List 5       15.15 Comfort break         15.30 - 16.30 Indoor Arena  - Elementary 59: Discuss and Develop Trainee - List 5 Sports Hall  - Preparation for panel judging and practice judge M75, AM98 and PSG List 4 - 3a There’s only two days left to benefit from the early bird ticket discounts, buy your tickets online here or call the Training and Education team to book over the phone on 02476 698831.
Tuesday, June 11

Hindle and Romy Del Sol on song at Wiesbaden CDI4*

Emma Hindle and Romy Del Sol posted top results amongst strong company at Wiesbaden CDI4* in Germany (7 – 10 June 2019). Sunday’s Grand Prix for Special featured a high-powered field, with Katrina Wüst (GER), Peter Hansaghy (HUN), Isobel Wessels (GBR), Oliver Smeets (BEL) and Henning Lehrmann (GER) in the judges’ seats. The class was ultimately won by German maestro Isabell Werth and DSP Quantaz, with Matthias Alexander Rath and Foundation and Dorothee Schneider with Pathetique making a German one-two-three. A cracking score of 71.06% however placed Emma and her Blue Hors Romanov x Danny De Vito mare (pictured last year) within tantalisingly close reach of the home nation’s leading trio. In 2018, Emma made a plan to go ‘on tour’, taking Romy Del Sol out into the world and exposing her to new environments. It’s a plan that’s certainly paying off. The horse is more secure in her work, Emma can ride for the higher marks, and their trademark harmony is being recognised and rewarded by the judges. The CDI, which takes place in front of the magnificent baroque backdrop of the Biebrich Palace, continued into Monday. In yesterday’s Grand Prix Special, Emma went one better to take third behind Werth and Schneider on a solid mark of 71.53%. Her compatriot Laura Tomlinson with her own and Wilfried Bechtolsheimer’s fabulous Rhodium x San Remo stallion, Duval’s Capri Sonne Jr, also climbed the ranks. Some mistakes in the Grand Prix kept their score in check for seventh but a super Grand Prix Special for 70.63% earned fourth for this exciting combination. The Grand Prix for Freestyle and Grand Prix Freestyle were won by Germany’s Ingrid Klimke with the 11 year old Hanoverian stallion, Franziskus (Fidertanz x Alabaster) on scores of 74.26% and 80.68% respectively. Above: Laura Tomlinson and Duval's Capri Sonne Jr en route to seventh in the Grand Prix Results of the British riders: Grand Prix (qualification for Special) 1st Isabell Werth with DSP Quantaz, 75.087% (GER) 4th Emma Hindle with Romy Del Sol, 71.065% (GBR) 7th Laura Tomlinson with Duval’s Capri Sonne Jr, 67.543% (GBR) Grand Prix Special 1st Isabell Werth with DSP Quantaz, 76.255% (GER) 3rd Emma Hindle with Romy Del Sol, 71.532% (GBR) 4th Laura Tomlinson with Duval’s Capri Sonne Jr, 70.638% (GBR) For full results follow this link . Photo © Kevin Sparrow
Tuesday, June 11

Fry and Everdale on fire at Kronenberg CDI3*

On only their second big tour appearance, hot prospects Charlotte Fry and Van Olst Horses' Everdale once again showed much promise for Great Britain with two top-three placings at Kronenberg CDI3* in the Netherlands (7 – 10 June 2019). The rising partnership achieved third in Friday’s Grand Prix behind the Belgian combinations of Fanny Verliefden with Indoctro V/D Steenblok (Rubin Royal x Gribaldi) and Laurence Roos with Fil Rouge (Stedinger x Argentinus). The British pair earned a score of 70.565% from judges Frederico Pinteus (POR) at E, Mariette Sanders-Van Gansewinkel (NED) at H, Freddy Leyman (BEL) at C, Christoph Hess (GER) at M and Maarten Van Der Heijden (NED) at B. Charlotte, who is reigning FEI U25 European Champion with Dark Legend and famously piloted Glamourdale to victory in the seven-year-old title at the 2018 Longines FEI WBFSH World Breeding Championships, is a key player in the development of the Van Olsts’ world class competition horses. This is evidenced in the superb introduction she’s giving Everdale to the big stage. Just last month, in Compiègne, she and Everdale won the Freestyle on the stallion’s international Grand Prix debut, and at Kronenberg they stole the show yet again. On Sunday, for his first Grand Prix Special, the elegant black Everdale (Lord Leatherdale x Negro), now 10, was coolly ridden by Charlotte for 71.42% to take close second behind the winning Belgian challenger, Verliefden. The young Brit also shone in the small tour, winning the Prix St Georges with Fendi T, Anne Van Olst’s nine-year-old Negro x Lester gelding. They achieved a score of 71.20% before going on to claiming second in the Intermediate I (68.76%). Results of the British rider: CDI3* Grand Prix 1st Fanny Verliefden with Indoctro V/D Steenblok, 71.304% (BEL) 3rd Charlotte Fry with Everdale, 70.565% (GBR) CDI3* Grand Prix Special 1st Fanny Verliefden with Indoctro V/D Steenblok, 71.447% (BEL) 2nd Charlotte Fry with Everdale, 71.426% (GBR) CDI3* Prix St Georges 1st Charlotte Fry with Fendi T, 71.206% (GBR) CDI3* Intermediate I 1st Geert Jan Raateland with Painted, 68.882% (NED) 2nd Charlotte Fry with Fendi T, 68.765% (GBR) For full results follow this link .
Thursday, June 6

Farewell Escapado

Carl Hester’s former team ride Escapado has sadly passed away at the age of 26. Bought as five year old by Roly Luard, the Oldenburg son of Ex Libris went on to play a pivotal role in Carl’s international career. They accumulated domestic accolades including the 2004 National Champion title, they won international Grands Prix, were highest placed Brits with a 13th place at the Athens Olympic Games in 2004 and flew to Los Angeles for the 2005 FEI World Cup™ Final. Later that same year, they were on the British team at the FEI European Championships in Hagen, Germany, where they achieved a sensational third in the Grand Prix Special which, at the time, Carl said was “the best ride I have had on any horse”. Escapado later teamed up with the Netherlands’ Hans Peter Minderhoud as the first international Grand Prix horse for the now well-known Dutchman. In 2011, at the age of 18, Escapado returned to the UK to commence a long and happy retirement with his former groom, Caroline Dawson. Carl paid tribute to Escapado on Facebook ; “Sad day today as I said goodbye to a very special friend, Escapado aka Peanuts. He was 26yrs old and took me from last place in Aachen in 2003 to the highest placed Brit at Athens Olympics 2004, then finishing third in the Special at the 2005 European Champs. Peanuts then took Hans Peter Minderhoud to the start of his international career before we took him back to retire at 18 years old. "I want to thank his faithful groom and my friend Caroline [Dawson] for giving him a gorgeous retirement. Peanuts lived out his days with two Shetland ponies who he adored. I can’t thank Caroline enough for his last few years, he will be much missed.” The memory of Escapado will be firmly etched in the hearts of those who knew him, those who followed his career, and also in the history of the sport.
Wednesday, June 5

Leading lights hotfoot it to Bolesworth

Major British and continental dressage stars are heading to this year’s Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show (12 – 16 June 2019). The show is set to host a number of viewing trials for the FEI WBFSH Dressage World Breeding Championships for Young Horses as well as the prestigious Equitop Myoplast CDI3* Grand Prix and Freestyle. Following its huge success over the past two years, the Wednesday and Thursday will see top-level dressage return with the Bolesworth CDI3* attracting leading riders to the magnificent Cheshire estate. Big names to look out for on the dressage front are Carl Hester and Britain’s golden girl, Charlotte Dujardin MBE, who so enjoyed last year’s show. Carl and Charlotte will be riding their current top rides, Hawtins Delicato and Mount St John Freestyle (pictured). They’ll be joined by Richard Davison and Bubblingh, Gareth Hughes and Classic Briolinca and Emile Faurie with Café’s Caletta to name just a few. Wednesday afternoon will play host to the Equitop Myoplast CDI3* Grand Prix and the evening will include a demonstration with Carl Hester and Peter Storr. Following his hugely successful demonstrations over the past two years, Carl has teamed up with renowned dressage rider, trainer and FEI 4* Judge, Peter, for the 2019 event. This well-known duo will bring to spectators a fascinating showcase titled - ‘80% Is The New 70%’ – Through The Eyes Of The Judges’ – on Wednesday, 12 June at 6.40pm. Carl is simply legendary in the sport of dressage having ridden and produced so many horses to Grand Prix level over the years. A multi-garlanded gold medallist across so many championships teams, Carl is also held in high regard for training a plethora of leading dressage riders in the modern-day sport. Carl’s latest star is the 11 year old Diamond Hit son, Hawtins Delicato - an attractive dark bay gelding that he co-owns with Lady Anne Evans and Ann Cory. Together they formed part of the bronze medal winning team at last year’s World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Tryon, North Carolina. Charlotte returns with Mount St John Freestyle, the bay mare who was so successful at last year’s show. Bolesworth International is the mare’s first competition since WEG where the pair led the British team to win bronze and came away with individual bronze after the Grand Prix Special. Emile Faurie is one of the country’s leading international riders and trainers and has represented Great Britain at World, European and Olympic level. He was part of the bronze medal winning team at last year’s WEG, riding Dono Dimaggio. VIP Hospitality experiences are still available for all sessions throughout the event, and are the perfect way to enjoy the show up close with access to the luxury ringside marquee and fine dining. General admission tickets with 20% off gate prices can still be bought online at www.bolesworthinternational.com
Tuesday, June 4

RDA marks 50th anniversary with 50 Faces campaign

To celebrate its 50th anniversary year in 2019, Riding for the Disabled Association is marking the milestone through its 50 Faces campaign, telling the stories of some of the amazing people who make RDA the extraordinary organisation it is today. Para Dressage rider, Sophie Christiansen, adds her story to the 50 Faces explaining how without RDA she wouldn’t be where she is today, and her ambitions for continued success and her desire to help other riders achieve their dreams. Here we meet… Sophie Christiansen Eight time Paralympic gold medallist, Sophie Christiansen, would never have even sat on a horse if it wasn’t for RDA. Sophie was born two months prematurely with cerebral palsy and began riding at the age of six on the recommendation of a physiotherapist who believed in the benefit of horse riding for children with disabilities. Instead of doing PE at school, Sophie attended her local RDA Centre, South Bucks RDA. Said Sophie: “I guess riding gave me a sense of freedom, I couldn’t walk or run like the other children but when I sat on a horse I felt free and it kind of escalated from there. “I was always quite sporty and used to love playing football and hockey but I was rubbish at them and kept falling over. Dressage was the only sport I was good at, so I was determined to see how far I could go.” At 16, Sophie was the youngest athlete for Great Britain to compete at the 2004 Athens Paralympics, returning home with an unexpected bronze medal, having originally just travelled to the Games to gain valuable experience. Now a Paralympic veteran, Sophie says her most memorable moment came at London 2012 when the 10,000 capacity crowd erupted at the end of her Freestyle test. “I had specifically put the test together to be very British and I was coming out of the arena and the audience had been told not to clap because of health and safety. I could feel the anticipation in the air and my brother and two cousins whipped off their shirts to reveal ‘We love Sophie’ written on their chests. As they shouted ‘We love you, Sophie’, the whole crowd joined in. “There are no words to describe that feeling – I still get a bit emotional thinking about it now!” Sophie acknowledges that without riding and RDA she wouldn’t be the person she is today as it has given her the confidence to accept her disability. “I work as a software developer for investment bank, Goldman Sachs, and so many of the skills I use in day-to-day life are testament to how RDA and riding has helped me develop. Without getting on a horse I wouldn’t be where I am today. RDA has a lot to answer for!” added Sophie. Looking to the future, Sophie aims to compete at Tokyo 2020 but is also working towards leaving a legacy to help other riders make the transition from RDA therapy riding to Para Dressage. To achieve this Sophie has launched a membership club to raise money and get people closer to the action of Para Dressage as well as share her journey with members from RDA to winning gold. For more information about Sophie’s membership club visit www.sophiechristiansen.co.uk/goldclub You can read Sophie’s story, and meet the other 49 Faces of RDA at www.rda.org.uk  
Monday, June 3

Susan Pape and Harmony's Don Noblesse win in Hamburg

Great Britain’s Susan Pape and Harmony’s Don Noblesse were on winning form last week at Hamburg CDI4* in Germany (29 May – 2 June). Following their success at Hagen CDI4* in April, Susan and Don Noblesse’s Hamburg campaign began in superb style with second place in Thursday’s CDI4* Grand Prix. Frederic Wandres with his 2018 Olympia CDI-W winning partner Duke of Britain claimed the class for Germany, the British pairing scored 71.739% for second. On to Saturday, Susan and Don Noblesse (Dancier x Don Davidoff) - a 12-year-old black stallion owned by Colorado-based Harmony Sporthorses - delivered a well-executed, expressive, winning routine on their CDI Freestyle debut riding to a captivating Coldplay compilation produced by Ralf Roder. The unanimous winners in the eyes of the judging panel of E: Hans-Christian Matthieson (GER), H: Raphael Saleh (FRA), C: Isobel Wessels (GBR), M: Ulrike Nivelle (GER) and B: Elke Ebert (GER), the pair was awarded 75.850%, a clear five percent in front of their closest rivals, Sweden’s Charlotte Haid Bondergaard with Roberto Des Frettes (70.550%). Frederic Wandres and Duke of Britain won the Grand Prix Special. “So mega proud of Harmony's Don Noblesse in Hamburg,” said Susan on Facebook. “We were able to win the freestyle! My big thanks to Leslie and John Malone [of Harmony Sporthorses] who make this possible to me!” CDI4* Grand Prix 1st Frederic Wandres with Duke of Britain, 73.761% (GER) 2nd Susan Pape with Harmony’s Don Noblesse, 71.739% (GBR) 15th Susan Pape with Grafit, 66.630% (GBR) Full results CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle 1st Susan Pape with Harmony’s Don Noblesse, 75.850% (GBR) Full results
Wednesday, May 29

BD abroad: Uggerhalne

A development quartet was selected for the second European instalment of the FEI Nations CupTM at the Equitour Aalborg show in Uggerhalne, hosted by Danish entrepreneur Andreas Helgstrand. Louise Bell was the ‘veteran’ of the team having been in one previous Nations Cup team at Hickstead last year while Sara Gallop, Liz Diegutis and Georgia Stokes were all awarded their red pocket flag for the first time representing Great Britain on an international team. Rainy, blustery conditions met the riders on arrival which weren’t ideal but the quartet coped well in a high pressure situation. Extra nerves, wind, competing in a team for the first time and a huge international stage kept some scores in check but Sara Gallop and her own Bandreo put in a really strong performance in the first round to earn a top ten place with 69.17%, an International personal best in the Grand Prix. The team may have missed out on a podium finish but the experience gained will last a lifetime and only drive them forwards with their careers and training. Liz Diegutis took to Facebook on arrival home after two long days of travel to say; “What can I say? I achieved a dream this last week and it’s just made me hungry for more in a sport I adore and given more dreams I want to achieve!” What a great way to sum up an amazing experience. For full results – click here CDIO Grand Prix 1. Daniel Bachmann Andersen with Blue Hors Don Olymbrio (DEN), 77.65% 10. Sara Gallop with her own Bandreo, 69.17% 15. Louise Bell with her own Into the Blue, 66.56% 18. Georgia Stokes with her own Talented Mr Ripley, 64.45% 19. Liz Diegutis with her own Saskia Hit, 61.34% Grand Prix Special 1. Daniel Bachmann Andersen with Blue Hors Don Olymbrio (DEN), 78.8% 8. Sara Gallop with her own Bandreo, 66.76% 9. Georgia Stokes with her own Talented Mr Ripley, 65.85% Grand Prix Freestyle 1. Agnete Kirk Thinggaard with Jojo AZ (DEN), 77.48% 7. Louise Bell with her own Into the Blue, 71.66% 9. Liz Diegutis with her own Saskia Hit, 68.59% FEI Nations Cup 1. Denmark, 16 2. Sweden, 20 3. Germany, 43 4. Finland, 57 5. Great Britain, 67 CDI – Small Tour Prix St Georges 1. Nanna Skodborg Merrald with Blue Hors St Schufro (DEN), 77.23% 14. Rebecca Edwards with her own Fantasia, 65% Inter I 1. Nanna Skodborg Merrald with Blue Hors St Schufro (DEN), 77.23% Ret Rebecca Edwards with her own Fantasia, 65% CDIU25 Inter II 1. Victoria E. Vallentin with Ludwig der Sonnenkoenig 2 (DEN), 74.75% 8. Ellen Mccarthy with Bridget Maccarthy’s Belafonte, 66.07% U25 Grand Prix 1. Victoria E. Vallentin with Ludwig der Sonnenkoenig 2 (DEN), 72.26% 7. Ellen Mccarthy with Bridget Maccarthy’s Belafonte, 66.32%  
Wednesday, May 29

Somerford showcases premier talent

Four days of Premier League dressage at Somerford Park proved a resounding success with strong entries across all classes over the bank holiday weekend (24 -27 May 2019). Sophie Wells, both a leading light in para dressage and prolific competitor on the able bodied circuit, was unbeatable in the Small Tour classes she contested. Aboard C Fatal Attraction (pictured), with whom she’s reigning Grade V Individual and Freestyle World Champion, Sophie set the standard in Saturday’s 39-strong Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges. She scored 74.21% to take victory ahead of talented young rider Dylan Deutrom (21) with William Deans’ San Marco, though twenty four hours on it was Dylan’s turn to taste victory, winning Sunday’s PSG on 74.08%, with the new combination of Charlotte Dujardin and Mount St John Valencia on their coat tails with 73.03% On Saturday, Sophie said, “I’m thrilled with the win today, he’s not done a straight able bodied test since April last year. We were concentrating on WEG last year and this year wanted to get in the arena to do some changes as he gets quite excited. His general way of going is so much better and the quality is really coming.” Sophie and ‘Jorge’, as the 12 year old Fidertanz son is known, also won Sunday’s Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I with another cracking score of 73.33%, with Michael Eilberg and Sarotti 57 and Carl Hester with Brioso II completing the top three. Sophie also earned fourth in both the Cavalor Inter II and LeMieux Grand Prix with her up-and-coming Grand Prix mare, Diadeem. “Wow wow wow what a weekend at Somerford Premier League. I am bursting with pride for both of them…” is how Sophie began her concluding comment on Sophie Wells MBE Dressage Facebook . The combination of Katie Bailey and Eagle Nouvelle landed a win in Saturday’s Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I, continuing their run of good form with a score of 71.84% for owner Hannah Dovey. “He felt quite ‘go-ey’ today so I had to rein him in a little bit,” said Katie who trains with Charlotte Dujardin. “But it was a clean test and I was pleased with the changes and my left canter pirouette was very good. He was very consistent and I was really happy with him.” A seven and a half hour trip from the Devon and Cornwall border proved successful for Holly Kerslake with Carl Trock’s 10 year old Welsh Cob stallion Valhallas Zorro who clinched Saturday's Pony Team Test. The pair, who were double winners at Keysoe CDI earlier this year, were awarded a score of 71.54%. “I was really happy with the test. We’ve been working on some stuff at home which came off in the arena so he was a really good boy,” said Holly. “My major goal for this year is the Europeans.” English student Rebecca Bell took a short trip out from Oxford University to claim the Young Rider Team Test on a score of 69.74%. The 2015 Pony European team gold medallist said, “I’ve been campaigning for European selection, and I’ve got to prove consistency so I’m really pleased with today’s result.” Sunday’s LeMieux Grand Prix hosted a healthy field of twenty. An on-form Tom Goode and Dior III (Gribaldi x Goodtimes) registered a score of 70.34% to finish second, with Carl Hester and Hawtins Delicato (Diamond Hit x Regazzoni) repeating their 2018 victory to take the class by a plus three percent margin. Fresh from Compiègne CDIO where they were part of the winning British team in the FEI Nations Cup™, Carl and ‘Del’ delivered a high quality if not error-free performance to lead the class with a score 73.72% from the judging panel of Norway’s Trond Asmyr (E), Stephen Clarke (H), Clive Halsall (M), France’s Jean-Michel Roudier (B) and Peter Storr (C). “Hawtins Delicato wins the Grand Prix today at Somerford. Not perfect yet - you get some bits better, then compromise on others, but always fun to ride!” said Carl on Facebook . Megan Ingham, riding her mother Coral Ingham’s 18 years young Wanadoo (by Wolkenstein II), claimed the U25 Grand Prix with a promising score of 68.84%. Megan and Wanadoo have been together for two years and have only ridden two Inter IIs so Megan was thrilled with the win in their first U25 Grand Prix. “He’s an absolute superstar,” she said. “He’s always been a challenge but he’s a dream to ride and he is the best team mate in the world. “This is a new personal best and I’m absolutely amazed, it’s the hardest test I’ve ever done so I’m over the moon,” she added. Looking towards the rest of the season? “A couple more Inter IIs are on the cards this season and I’m hoping to go abroad with the U25s and possibly a couple more Grands Prix by the end of the year.” Sarah Higgins proved a prolific winner throughout the weekend taking Saturday's Cavalor Inter II and Monday’s Inter I, sponsored by Saracen Horse Feeds. “I’ve had a great weekend, I’ve had quite a few horses here and feel quite weary!” said Sarah. “My best result to date was my win in the Inter II on Saturday on Sarah Rao’s Alfranco. I was terrified as it’s a very new level to me and only my second time I’ve ridden at that level, although ‘Alfie’ is super experienced and just awesome. He held my hand the whole way through.” Another Monday winner was Cara Shardlow from North Yorkshire with Detonator II, her 13 year old son of Demonstrator. Cara was over the moon with her win particularly as they’ve only made a recent return to competition following injury. “It means so much to come here and win today and is just the motivation I need,” said Cara. “[I’m] looking forward to competing the rest of the season and hoping to do some more Premier Leagues.” Winner of Monday's Pony Team Test was Steffi Tomlinson with Tracy Tomlinson’s Vivassa, a 12 year old chestnut daughter of Vivaldi – a combination long listed for the Pony European Championships in August. “We had a few mistakes but [I’m] still really pleased,” said Steffi. “Her canter work is always her best work, but her trot work did improve in the test.” British Dressage thanks all the class sponsors and the team at Somerford Park for putting on a fantastic event. Congratulations to all the winners listed below and to all those who took part. The winners: Friday 24 May Class 1: Shearwater Young Horse 4YO Qualifier Tom Goode with Special Diva Class 2: Shearwater Young Horse 5YO Qualifier Darcas Lever with Sandrovski Class 3: Shearwater Young Horse 6YO Qualifier Melissa Chapman with Inocencio DHI Class 4: Medium 73 Ryan Todd with Mount St John Di Romantica, 71.03% Class 5: Equine Construction Advanced Medium 96 Tom Goode with Sakira, 70.39% Saturday 25 May Class 6: Hickstead British Young Horse National 5YO Qualifier Charlie Hutton with Active Scalini, 7.88 Class 7: Hickstead British Young Horse National 6YO Qualifier Michael Eilberg with MSJ Dante VX, 8.02 Class 8: Hickstead British Young Horse FEI 5YO Qualifier Lucinda Elliott with Hawtins Lirica, 8.22 Class 9: Hickstead British Young Horse FEI 6YO Qualifier Michael Eilberg with MSJ Dante VX, 8.14 Class 10: Cavalor Intermediate II Sarah Higgins with Alfranco, 68.55% Class 11: Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I Katie Bailey with Eagle Nouvelle, 71.84% Class 12: Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Sophie Wells with C Fatal Attraction, 74.21% Class 13: FEI 7 YO Preliminary Test Tom Goode with Feine Schufro, 72.08% Class 14: Prix St Georges Freestyle Eilidh Grant with Eranda Retto, 71.96% Class 15a: Pony Team Test Holly Kerslake with Valhallas Zorro, 71.54% Class 15b: Junior Team Test Clare Hole with Winnetou GEP, 67.64% Class 15c: Young Rider Team Test Rebecca Bell with Nibeley Union Hit, 69.74% Sunday 26 May Class 16: Equine Construction Advanced Medium Jessie Kirby with Bell Amie I, 68.60% Class 17: U25 Grand Prix Megan Ingham with Wanadoo, 68.84% Class 18: LeMieux Grand Prix Carl Hester with Hawtins Delicato, 73.72% Class 19: Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I Sophie Wells with C Fatal Attraction, 73.33% Class 20: Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Dylan Deutrom with San Marco, 74.08% Class 21: Pony Individual Test Emilia Nelson with WFS Top Red, 68.41% Monday 27 May Class 22: Pony Team Test Steffi Tomlinson with Vivassa, 68.97% Class 23: Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Cara Shardlow with Detonator II, 68.68% Class 24: Equine Construction Advanced Medium Charlotte Dujardin with Mount St John Valencia, 75.57% Class 25: Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I| Sarah Higgins with Waldessarini, 71.10% Class 26: Grand Prix Special Ryan Todd with Charlex Eskebjerg, 68.46% For full results click here
Thursday, May 23

BD abroad: Uggerhalne CDIO4* & CDIU25

The following riders have been selected to represent Great Britain this week at Uggerhalne CDIO4* & CDIU25 in Denmark (23 – 25 May 2019). The Equitour Aalborg show in Uggerhalne has evolved into one of Europe’s largest dressage and show jumping internationals, hosted by Danish equestrian mogul Andreas Helgstrand. BD International Teams Director Judy Harvey expressed her delight in fielding a British team at this event for the first time; "We’re thrilled to give the next level of British Grand Prix riders the opportunity to gain team experience at an exciting event. This week’s team are new to the level whilst last week we saw a team at almost full strength take the win in Compiegne’s 5* Nations Cup Competition. "Louise Bell is an experienced competitor in great form. She enjoyed super results at Windsor earlier this month and has already arrived in Uggerhalne with Into the Blue settling in well. She’s joined by former Junior team member Liz Diegutis who’ll enjoy a debut senior team experience and continue to build for the future, alongside Saskia Hit she has a lovely young horse waiting in the wings. Georgia Stokes was over the moon to receive her senior team call up and brings a super home produced horse to the competition, whilst Sara Gallop has the chance to give her talented stallion Bandreo some good exposure at Nations Cup level - we’re sure she’ll deliver the goods. "Overall, it’s an amazing opportunity to widen the base of the pyramid of potential team riders and improve our strength and depth.” CDIO4* Nations Cup Louise Bell from Oxfordshire with her own and Tonya Wood’s Into the Blue (roan, gelding, 13yrs, s. Ublesco ds. Calvaro Z). Elizabeth Diegutis from Hampshire with her own Saskia Hit (bay, mare, 14yrs, s. Sandro Hit). Sara Gallop from Gloucestershire with her own Summerhouse Bandreo (bay, stallion, 13yrs, s. Sandreo ds. Bruin). Georgia Stokes from Cornwall with her own Talented Mr Ripley (bay, gelding, 14yrs, s. Nekton). CDI3* Small Tour Rebecca Edwards from Berkshire with her own Fantasia I (liver chestnut, mare, 10yrs, s. Florencio I). CDIU25 Rebecca Edwards from Berkshire with Sarah Oppenheimer’s Headmore Delegate (chestnut, gelding, 16yrs, s. Dimaggio ds. Akut). Ellie Mccarthy from Hampshire with Bridget Mccarthy’s Belafonte (chestnut, gelding, 15yrs, s. Belissimo M ds. Wendekreis). For times and results click here .
Wednesday, May 22

Stellar line up at Somerford Park PL

Excitement is building as we head into this Bank Holiday’s Somerford Park Premier League in Cheshire, 24 - 27 May 2019. A stellar line up of British Dressage’s elite, will be on hand to produce a dazzling display of dressage including Carl Hester, Charlotte Dujardin, Michael and Maria Eilberg, Emile Faurie, Becky Moody, Charlie Hutton, Amy Woodhead, Anders Dahl and Isobel Wessels to name just a few. Spectators can expect to see a full range of talent throughout the weekend, Carl Hester and Hawtins Delicato will launch a bid to retain their Grand Prix title, with the a special prize from Firmdale Hotel Group presented to the winning owner. ‘The Premier League Dressage has always been well supported and we’re thrilled that this year has seen such high entries,’ said Event Organiser Millie King. ‘We’re very excited to have both Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin heading the line up of Britain’s dressage elite across the weekend, it’s always a wonderful opportunity for spectators in the North West to watch and be inspired by these world-class individuals.’ Don’t miss out on four action packed days of competition and fun for all the family at Somerford Park Premier League Dressage Show, Cheshire this bank holiday weekend. Somerford Park is situated half way between Congleton and Holmes Chapel, on the main A54 with easy access from the M6 at junction 18. Gates open from 8am. Entry is charged at £10 per car. If you show your BD membership card this will allow you free access. For further information go to www.somerfordparkpremierleage.com
Wednesday, May 22

Team GBR are champions of Compiegne

Britain’s riders across the international levels were in dominant form at the 2019 Compiegne CDI in northern France. The feature class was the first European leg of the FEI Nations Cup TM Series and we selected a very strong team in Carl Hester with Ann Cory, Lady Anne Evans and his own Hawtins Delicato, Gareth Hughes with Julia Hornig, Rebecca Hughes and his own Classic Briolinca, Richard Davison with Gwendolyn Meyer and his own Bubbling and senior team debutante Charlotte Fry with Dark Legend who she jointly owns with Van Olst Horses. Newbie Charlotte was first to go in the Grand Prix with her 2018 FEI U25 European Freestyle Champion Dark Legacy and they had a great warm up but the horse was unsettled by the entry gate just before the start of the test and the duo found it tough to recover enough to get the high marks. But ‘Lottie’ kept her cool and stuck to the task at hand to get the team underway with a solid score of 67.08%. From the expectation of youth to the experience of years, Richard Davison followed with his homebred Bubblingh who had a great show at Windsor just days ago. The Lingh gelding is becoming more and more relaxed on the international stage and a 72.67% was a useful addition to the team. Gareth Hughes and Classic Briolinca had a great show at Compiegne last year and the mare clearly loves the venue and showed a bit of unwanted piaffe in her first halt, just to show her delight at being in the arena but she soon settled well and showed her extraordinary talent in the piaffe and passage plus some lovely changes to score 74.96%, a new international PB for this test. Then it was the turn of Carl Hester and Hawtins Delicato in their first international outing together since the World Equestrian Games. As with Gareth and Briolinca it was a slightly edgy start with the Diamond Hit British-bred gelding clearly in a cheeky mood and not fully focused on his rider. The test still oozed brilliance and that bit of Hester magic to post 76.34%. Sweden’s Patrik Kittel was the GP winner with his star performer Well Done de la Roche CMF, the duo were part of the winning Nations Cup team here last year – could it be a repeat performance? Gareth and Carl were nominated to contest the Special while Richard and Lottie were in the Freestyle mix. Carl was drawn third last to go and again, ‘Del’ was on his toes and niggling mistakes kept the score to a more than respectable 75.31% but still huge mark towards the team total. Gareth followed immediately and Briolinca clearly had got her focused ears on and their test was a pleasure to watch. Focus, harmony, athleticism, expression, partnership; the test had it all and the judges agreed in awarding 77.17%, as second international PB of the weekend and eventual victory of the class. It was also a great score towards the team tally. Lottie and Dark Legend were back on song in the Freestyle and 72.01% all but sealed the Nations Cup victory even before Richard and ‘Bubbles’ set foot in the arena. Richard certainly raised the roof with his characteristic ‘gangsta’ routine to 75.67% to cement gold in the team competition and sixth spot for himself overall. Lottie was just two places behind in eighth. Team GBR finished on 24 points, three clear of Sweden and a development team from the USA were third on 51. In the CDI3* Big Tour, we had three riders in action. In a weekend of debuts, Lottie Fry rode Everdale (Lord Leatherdale x Negro) in their first senior CDI together. She jointly owns the black stallion with her employers, Van Olst Horses and the duo were impressive to score 70.41% Daniel Watson was the next Brit to go with Nicola Naylor’s faithful partner Amadeus VI and they scored 66.28%. Then it was the turn of the vastly experienced Emma Hindle with her Blue Horse Romanov mare Romy Del Sol. The ultra-sensitive mare has shown huge potential in her two years at GP level and has a mixed record of scores but in the sunshine of Compiegene she and her rider were on song to score 70.45% which left them second overall. Charlotte was fourth and Daniel 19th. In the Freestyle, which all three opted to do, our riders dominated with Lottie taking the win on a huge 76.07%, Emma second with 75.57% and Daniel in 10th with 69.45%. In the Small Tour division we also fielded three riders, a very busy Lottie being one of them. In another debut, it was her 2018 World Young Horse Champion Glamourdale (Lord Leatherdale x Negro) in his first full international competition and he didn’t disappoint any of his fans with two victories on 77%+ scores. Jess Dunn has been in great international form this spring with a brace of wins at Saumur and she’s carried her form on with Jennifer Whittaker’s Alicante Valley as they finished on the podium just behind Lottie in both tests. Katie Bailey had mixed fortunes with Leslie Forelee’s Boccelli 6 in her first senior CDI abroad. Nerves go the better of the Gloucestershire rider in the PSG and an error of course pegged the score back to 67.08% and 25th place but in the Inter I the duo were back to the form they’ve shown to score 71.91% to give a completely British podium. Rebecca Swaine and Bon Jovi, by Krack C, were our lone representatives in the Young Rider ranks and they had a strong show. In the opening Team test they finished third, followed by a fifth in the Individual test and then saved the best until last for the Freestyle where they won with 73.71%. Jessica McConkey and Lady Gaga flew the flag in a competitive junior division with this being their third international this year. They finished 11th in the Team test and 13th in both the Individual and Freestyle. Three riders featured in the Pony competition, Annabella Pidgley with Cognac IX, Lily Laughton with Steendieks Cadillac and Hermione Tottman riding Brasil. Over the three tests, Annabella rode fantastically with her smart palomino and occupied every position on the podium. Her campaign got off to the perfect start with a win in the Team test on 71.04% and on Individual day a strong score of 71.89% put them third while on Sunday she climbed on place to runner up spot in the Freestyle with a cracking 76.93% Hermione finished 11th, 14th and 9th while Lily was 11th and 18th, just missing out on a Freestyle spot. This trip to France was certainly a successful one with some great scores, amazing wins and selection-earning performances – a great start to the summer season. Full results – click here Photo - © PSV J. Morel www.psvphoto.com British placings CDIO5* - FEI Nations Cup Grand Prix 1. Patrik Kittel with Well Done De La Roche CMF (SWE), 77.28% 2. Carl Hester with Hawtins Delicato, 76.34% 5. Gareth Hughes with Classic Briolinca, 74.69% 7. Richard Davison with Bubblingh, 72.67% 27. Charlotte Fry with Dark Legend, 67.08% Team standings after GP 1. GBR 14 2. SWE 17 3. USA 36 Grand Prix Special 1. Gareth Hughes with Classic Briolinca, 77.17% 3. Carl Hester with Hawtins Delicato, 75.31% Grand Prix Freestyle 1. Emmelie Scholtens with Desperado (NED), 81.58% 6. Richard Davison with Bubblingh, 75.67% 8. Charlotte Fry with Dark Legend, 72.01% Final team standings 1. GBR 24 2. SWE 27 3. USA 51 4. NED 55 5. FRA 74 CDI3* Grand Prix 1. Malin Wahlkamp-Nilsson with Eddieni (SWE), 71.56% 2. Emma Hindle with Romy del Sol, 70.45% 4. Charlotte Fry with Everdale, 70.41% 19. Daniel Watson with Amadeus, 66.28% Grand Prix Freestyle 1. Charlotte Fry with Everdale, 76.07% 2. Emma Hindle with Romy del Sol, 75.57% 10. Daniel Watson with Amadeus, 69.45% Small Tour Prix St Georges 1. Charlotte Fry with Glamourdale, 77.35% 2. Jessica Dunn with Alicante Valley, 72.52% 25. Katie Bailey with Boccelli 6, 67.08% Inter I 1. Charlotte Fry with Glamourdale, 77.10% 2. Jessica Dunn with Alicante Valley, 72.84% 3. Katie Bailey with Boccelli 6, 74.91% CDIY Team 1. Kimberly Pap with Vloet Victory (NED), 72.69% 3. Rebecca Swaine with Bon Jovi, 71.47% 12. Rebecca Bell with Nibeley Union Hit, 68.72% Individual 1. Elizveta Lyban with Erantos (RUS), 70.14% 5. Rebecca Swaine with Bon Jovi, 69.55% 23. Rebecca Bell with Nibeley Union Hit, 65.58% Freestyle 1. Rebecca Swaine with Bon Jovi, 73.71% CDIJ Team 1. Natalia Bacariza Danguillecourt with Romantico Ymas (ESP), 71.81% 11.  Jessica McConkey with Lady Gaga, 68.13% Individual 1. Natalia Bacariza Danguillecourt with Dhannie Ymas (ESP), 72.35% 13. Jessica McConkey with Lady Gaga, 67.59% Freestyle 1. Natalia Bacariza Danguillecourt with Romantico Ymas (ESP), 75.07%% 13. Jessica McConkey with Lady Gaga, 68.29% CDIP Team 1. Annabella Pidgley with Cognac IX, 71.04% 11. Lily Laughton with Steendieks Cadillac, 67.33% 14. Hermione Tottman with Brasil, 66.9% Individual 1. Lara Van Nek with Brouwershaven’s Nairobi (NED), 74.18% 3. Annabella Pidgley with Cognac IX, 71.89% 14. Hermione Tottman with Brasil, 67.92% 18. Lily Laughton with Steendieks Cadillac, 67.33% Freestyle 1. Lara Van Nek with Brouwershaven’s Nairobi (NED), 74.18% 2. Annabella Pidgley with Cognac IX, 76.93% 9. Hermione Tottman with Brasil, 71.35%    
Friday, May 17

Eastern team takes title at Senior Inter Regionals

Thirty-four teams of riders representing seven BD regions congregated at Keysoe Equestrian in Bedfordshire for the 2019 Senior Inter Regional event (10 – 12 May 2019). After months of hard work and prep it was local squad Eastern Greatest Showman who took top team honours. The victorious Eastern team of Sian Sheridan (Ardie), Debra Stapleton (Fuego’s Funny Guy) and Samantha Williams (Jim Murphy) posted a cracking total score of 413.620, each riding two tests at their respective level to secure the coveted title. Filling the team podium was Wales Balerion (409.182) and Wales Faranth (407.755), with the remaining dragon inspired Welsh teams following in fifth, sixth and ninth place. Talking about the weekend, which featured the Senior Inter Regional and Equissage Pulse Para Home International running concurrently, Eastern region RDO Katharine Perry proudly commented, “It was fabulous to have our Para and Senior riders all together at Keysoe this weekend. Although we relinquished our Para title, we didn’t go home empty handed as the Senior Inter Regional Trophy came home to the East! Our four riders in the Eastern Greatest Showman Team all rode their socks off to achieve high scores across the levels. “It truly was a whole team effort this weekend, with Para Rep Joanne Dagley Cleworth, Chairman Lotte Olsen, Rider Rep Hayley Liddiard, Team Coach Mark Ruddock, Team Chef Matt Fawcett and the many other partners, parents, friends and supporters who all came and cheered us on and partied with us! It was a proud moment to see Eastern riders on the top of the podium for the Senior Inter Regional and in third for the Para Home International. To see both our Senior and Para riders all gathered together in the sunshine at the prize giving made the weekend even more special!” Dragon power was in evidence with the prolific results of the teams who travelled from Wales. “As I write this there are 20 plus horses in their transport heading to the four points of Wales as they return from a brilliant weekend at Keysoe,” said Wales Chairman Mike Mullis on Facebook . “As Chairman I feel so humble to have watched the 27 riders from Wales at the Para Home International and the Senior Inter Regional achieve so much, five teams in the top ten and the Para team coming fourth. This success is down to their commitment and teamwork and I thank you all for putting yourselves forward for selection and becoming such a successful group of riders. A quick thanks to the supporters who came to help the team, and a special thanks to Sue [Cottrell] our Chef d'Equipe and Vanessa [Archer] for all the work they have put in leading up to the competition and during the weekend. Well done all and I look forward to meeting many of you at the Welsh Championships in a few weeks.” Individual accolades Sian Sheridan from the winning Eastern Greatest Showman team, competing at Medium, remained unbeaten all weekend with her daughter India’s 14 year old UB40 x Metall gelding, Ardie. The pair broke the 70% benchmark both days to edge ahead of runners-up Helen Hopwell and Freshman from team Wales Faranth. Sian’s teammate, Debra Stapleton took the Novice individual title with Fuego’s Funny Guy, her British bred nine year old son of Fuego. The combination, in its second year of dressage, won on Saturday with 71.94% and scored 67.21% for eighth on Sunday - a good enough performance to secure them the overall Novice title. Despite their short time in the sport, they’ve already tasted success. Fuego’s Funny Guy won the Petplan Equine Area Festivals Horse of the Month last September for earning a ticket to Hartpury on his first ever foray into the Area Festivals series, and before the year was out, he and Debra won the Nettex Veteran Rider Prelim Championship at Vale View. The Prelim individual title belonged to Briony Cutler and Pantywaun Branwen (Tynyrheol Lloyd x Buckswood Idris) from the fifth placed team, Wales Norbetta. Briony and ‘Bron’, a 12 year old black Welsh Cob mare owned by Caroline Richards, followed their second place on Saturday with a runaway 72.92% victory Sunday for an overall percentage score of 71.16. A rider from South Yorkshire, another with a winning Welsh pony, won the individual Elementary title for the Northern region. Nine year old gelding Gwendraeth Welsh Dancer (Glantraeth Welsh Dancer x Nebo Daniel) was piloted by Heather Woodhead from the Northern Impact team to win with an overall score of 70.34%. Heather has produced the talented chestnut herself with the help of trainer Hannah Esberger Hancock. British Dressage thanks Simon Bates and the team at Keysoe for putting on a fantastic weekend. Congratulations to the winning teams and individuals, and to everyone who took part. Team standings: 1. Eastern Greatest Showman – S Sheridan, D Stapleton, S Williams - 413.620 2. Wales Balerion – S Cottrell, A Jones, S Jones, S Dando-Mansell - 409.182 3. Wales Faranth – A Daye, N Fletcher, H Hopwell, E Thompson Warren - 407.755 4. Southern Bollinger – C Ashley, S Ashwell, L Westaway, T Pardew - 407.644 5. Wales Norberta – B Cutler, T Ormrod, E Stanford-Roberts, V Western - 407.449 Individual winners: Preliminary -  Briony Cutler with Pantywaun Branwen, 71.16% Novice -  Debra Stapleton with Fuego’s Funny Guy, 69.58% Elementary -  Heather Woodhead with Gwendraeth Welsh Dancer, 70.34% Medium -  Sian Sheridan with Ardie, 70.87% For full results click here Photo © Kevin Sparrow
Friday, May 17

Nirvana Spa support for Wellington Riding PL

Wellington Riding is proud to host leg five of the British Dressage Premier League 2019 season over 5 – 10 June.. With an estimated 700 entries of national and international competitors, it promises to be one of the most exciting events of the Hampshire venue's 2019 calendar. The highlight of the entire show is without a doubt the Gala Evening on Saturday 8 June which centers around  Prix St George Freestyle To Music. Wellington is delighted to announce that John and Diana Barley, owners of Nirvana Spa, a stunning day spa located in Berkshire, are once again title sponsor of the feature Gala Evening Class. Nirvana Spa’s  sponsorship brings a remarkable first prize of £2,000, the highest level of prize money awarded to a first placed rider at a British Dressage Premier League. This year their support will extend to cover £500 for the runner up combination in the class. The venue is extremely grateful to Nirvana Spa for being such a generous gala sponsor for the third year in a row. John and  Diana have created a legacy with this much anticipated class attracting the public and equestrian media to watch top class riders compete for the coveted first prize. “Wellington Riding was one of the first centres in the country to run Dressage to Music. Our Waterloo Arena with 8000 square metres of performance space will indeed prove to be a music freestyle battle field for these high profile PSG competitors with such a prize at stake thanks to Nirvana Spa," commented David Sheerin, General Manager of Wellington Riding. Nirvana Spa’s Gala Sponsorship is perfectly matched as Diana Barley’s long term passion for horses, in particular dressage, which began with her very first lesson at Wellington Riding. Since that time, she's been a passionate advocate for equestrianism and Nirvana Spa’s dedicated sponsorship continues not only as Annual Affiliated Sponsors of Wellington Riding but also supporting British Dressage encouraging people into the sport with the Nirvana Spa Volunteer of the Month Award. For more info on the Premier League fixture at Wellington Riding - click here .  
Thursday, May 16

BD Abroad: Compiègne CDIO5*/CDI3*/CDI2*/CDIYJP

The following riders have been selected to represent Great Britain this week at Compiègne CDIO5*/CDI3*/CDI2*/CDIYJP in France (16 – 19 May 2019). CDIO5* - Nations Cup Richard Davison from Staffordshire with Gwendolyn Sontheim’s Bubblingh (bay gelding, 13yrs, s. Lingh ds. Picandt). Charlotte Fry from North Yorkshire but based in the Netherlands, with her own and Anne Van Olst’s Dark Legend V (dark bay gelding, 11yrs, s. Zucchero ds. Tango). Carl Hester from Gloucestershire with his own, Lady Anne Evans and Ann Cory's Hawtins Delicato (bay gelding, 11yrs, s. Diamond Hit) - pictured. Gareth Hughes from Warwickshire, with Rebecca Hughes’ Classic Briolinca (bay mare, 13yrs, s. Trento B ds. Royal Dance). CDI3* - Big Tour Charlotte Fry with Anne Van Olst’s Everdale (black stallion, 10yrs, s. Lord Leatherdale ds. Negro). Emma Hindle from Greater Manchester with her own Romy Del Sol (brown mare, 13yrs, s. Romanov Blue Hors). Daniel Watson from Kent with Nicola Naylor’s Amadeus VI (bay gelding, 14yrs, 16.1hh, s. Olivi ds. Sandro Hit). CDI2* - Small Tour Katie Bailey with Leslie Forlee’s Boccelli 6 (liver chestnut gelding, 12yrs, s. Belissimo M ds. Riccione). Jessica Dunn from Lancashire, with Jennifer Whittaker’s Alicante Valley (liver chestnut gelding, 14yrs, s. Caricello). Charlotte Fry with Van Olst Horses’ Glamourdale (black stallion, 8yrs, s. Lord Leatherdale ds. Negro). CDIY – Young Riders Rebecca Bell from Oxfordshire with Caroline Bell’s Nibeley Union Hit (bay mare, 12yrs, s. Nibeley Union Jack ds. Sandro Hit). Rebecca Swain from Surrey with her own Bon Jovi (chestnut gelding, 13yrs, s. UB40 ds. Ramdra). CDIJ – Juniors Jessica McConkey from Oxfordshire, with her own Lady Gaga II (dark bay mare, 10yrs, s. Quaterback). CDIP – Ponies Lily Laughton from Wiltshire with Alicia Laughton’s Steendieks Cadillac (chestnut gelding, 14.2hh, 8yrs, s. FS Chambertin). Annabella Pidgley from Berkshire with Sarah Pidgley’s Cognac IX (palomino gelding, 11yrs, s. FS Chambertin ds. Waldemar) and Sarah Pidgley’s  Ine  (chestnut mare, 12yrs, s. Constantin ds. Handryk). Hermione Tottman from Hertfordshire with Nicola Tottman’s Brasil (dark bay gelding, 12yrs, s. Sandokkans Leonardo ds. Orchard Davranches). Start lists and results Live stream Photo © Kevin Sparrow
Wednesday, May 15

SW Donald Ducks dominate Equissage Pulse PHI

A bumper weekend of Regional Team competition was hosted by Keysoe EC in Bedfordshire over 10 – 12 May and for the first time the Equissage Pulse Para Home International ran alongside the Senior Home International to give a busy weekend full of awesome dressage action. Eight teams came forward with England strongly represented with two riders from Wales; two from the Northern Region, two from Eastern, both supported by CU Phosco, one from South West, one from Southern and then two were mixed teams. Open to riders graded I to IV and in any section the teams were made of three or four riders with titles for the highest performances in each grade and of course the all-important team honours. In the battle for the team title, the riders from the south west proved tough to topple and a final score over two intense days, the foursome of SW Donald Ducks, Tom Dyer, Anna Mae Cole, Jemima Green and Jamie Winduss finished on 426.36, over 10% to the good of their nearest rivals, Southern Lanson. Grade III Silver rider Tom Dyer rode Elsbeth Greenall’s piebald Henry XVII, who he partnered to win the Winter Championship title in March and their 69 and 72% plus scores were a vital part of helping the team alongside Anna Mae Cole with her own The Gingerbread Man VI, a new partner for the Newton Abbot rider this season. Both Jemima and Jamie were top scorers in their grades which inevitably clinched the team result too. Jemima rode Clare Blaskey and her own Blue Chip Forever. Dutch bred by Johnson, the bay gelding competed up to Advanced Medium in able bodied before Jemima started riding him in March and they’ve already formed quite a bond with a number of 70% plus scores on their record toghether. Grade I Jamie Winduss (17), who combines his riding with comping in wheelchair basketball, rode Alice Pearse’s Wonnacott, his winning partner at this year’s Equisssage Pulse Winter Championships. The duo have been competing together since November last year and are quickly gaining notoriety in the Grade I ranks. Victorious RDO Mandy Heath said; “The region is absolutely thrilled with the great success this weekend of all of our SW para riders. We were lucky to have some experienced team riders alongside some new members this year, riding at a Home International for the first time. Nick Rodgers has worked hard to encourage, support and help our riders and what an amazing job he has done. Congratulations – we’re delighted for each and every one of you!” The Grade III champion was Sharon Kelsall, riding for the Southern Lanson team. She rode Valentino XVIII, who she jointly owns with Louise Latimer Smith. This is another partnership who are in the beginnings of their career together but they’re unbeaten this year in BD competition. Kent rider Katie Radzik dominated the Grade IV with her two rides; C’est la Vie II in the Southern Lanson team and Lollipop in the Swales Rainbows (an amalgamation of riders from Wales, Southern and South West. It was with Joyce Wood’s Lollipop that she triumphed individually with C’est la Vie II, owned by Miranda Vivienne, in second. Bronze Grade V rider Chloe Chadwick was the champion by a comfortable margin. She was riding in the composite team NWC Mergers aboard her own Inosent Flight and added a second individual title of 2019 to the one she earned at the Equissage Pulse Winter Championships. Congratulation to all our riders, their support crews and the team behind the competition for a great few days where the camaraderie, sportsmanship and spirit was truly inspirational. Teams First - South West Donald Ducks, 426.36 Tom Dyer with Henry XVII, Grade III Silver Anna Mae Cole with The Gingerbread Man IV, Grade II Gold Jemima Green with Blue Chip Forever, Grade II Silver Jamie Winduss with Wannacott, Grade I Silver Second – Southern Lawson, 415.5 Katie Radzick with C’est La Vie II, Grade IV Gold Rachel Collins with Finetime, Grade IV Gold Sharon Kelsall with Valentino XVIII, Grade III Silver Third – Eastern CU Phosco Shining, 414.19 Olivia Cornick with Ronaldo, Grade IV Silver Eleanor Currington with Drunkeen Boy, Grade III Bronze (test 21) Sophie Lingfield with Trust April, Grade I Bronze (test 3) Mari Ackhurst with Lebensfreude, Grade I Gold Para Individual Champions Grade I Jamie Winduss with Wonnacott, South West Donald Ducks (Silver) Grade II Jemima Green with Blue Chip Forever, South West Donald Ducks (Silver) Grade III Sharon Kelsall with Valentino XVIII, Southern Lawson (Silver) Grade IV Katie Radzik with Lolliop, Swales Rainbows (Gold) Grade V Chloe Chadwick with Inosent Flight, NWC Mergers (Bronze) Full results – click here Senior Inter Regional report to follow soon. Photo  © www.kevinsparrow.co.uk
Wednesday, May 15

Happy 20th Petplan Equine Area Festivals!

The 20th anniversary of the iconic British Dressage competition, the Petplan Equine Area Festivals, begins on May 23 2019 and sees 24 Area Festivals and eight Area Festival Finals taking place throughout the summer season. The series, which was launched in 2000 and is aimed at grass roots riders, has grown from 15 Area Festivals around the country with 555 tests completed in its’ first year to 24 Area Festivals, eight regional Area Festival Finals and the Championships with over 6,000 dressage tests ridden in the 2018/19 series. The Area Festival Championships which was introduced in 2001 had 84 competitors in its’ first year. The most recent Championships in April 2019 had almost 500 tests ridden, illustrating how the Petplan Equine Area Festivals have grown exponentially. As the 20th anniversary season begins the Petplan Equine Area Festivals is the largest competition in the British Dressage portfolio with more than a third of all members at all levels participating. As part of the celebrations of the 20th anniversary Petplan Equine is launching the Petplan Equine Area Festival Awards. These very special awards have been designed to recognise the hard work and endeavour that grassroots competitors and their support teams put in to take part in the much-loved Area Festivals. The award categories are: • Inspirational star of the series – do you have a particularly interesting qualification story? • Surprise star of the series – is there something different about your horse or dressage partnership? • Support star of the series – have you got a special supporter you couldn’t be without? • Progressive star of the series – have you worked your way up through the levels? • Perseverance star of the series – have you had to overcome any significant obstacles on your Area Festival journey? Entries open on Wednesday 22 May and close on Tuesday 1 September. The nominations will then be judged by an independent panel of equestrian experts. To take part go to www.petplanequine.co.uk/area-festivals/awards where you can nominate your friends, family or yourself. At every Area Festival there will also be the opportunity to nominate for the Awards. Kate Hopkins, Marketing Consultant at Petplan Equine commented, “It seemed fitting in our 20th anniversary year to celebrate the people who make the Petplan Equine Area Festivals what they are and that is the riders, horses and helpers who take part. Over the years we have heard some quite extraordinary stories from competitors. Petplan Equine is so proud to have been a sponsor right from the beginning; we have seen the Area Festivals grow and change and become what is now a fundamental part of the British Dressage calendar.” Linda Whetstone, now Chairman of British Dressage created the concept of the Area Festivals in 2000 and has been astounded at the development of the original idea into the huge competition it is today. “When I first had the idea of the Area Festivals it was quite a different era for British Dressage and I very much wanted to build a competition to encourage grassroots riders to participate. I take great satisfaction from seeing how they have developed with the fantastic support of Petplan Equine. I am sure ‘The Petplans’ as they are fondly known will continue to be a jewel in British Dressage’s crown for decades to come.” Further information about the Petplan Equine Area Festivals is available from the Petplan Equine website or the BD website .
Tuesday, May 14

Eilberg on winning form at Addington

The sun shone brightly on three days of Premier League dressage competition at Addington Equestrian in Buckinghamshire (10 – 12 May 2019). Maria Eilberg pulled off a double victory with her long-term ride, Royal Concert, the 16-year-old gelding she co-owns with Hermione Black. The partnership of six years (pictured) won Friday’s close-fought Cavalor Intermediate II, the grey Royal Diamond son a little on edge but growing in confidence as the test progressed to earn 71.53% and finish in front of second-placed Nicola Buchanan with Half Moon Dark Magic (70.92%) and Joanna Thurman-Baker with Highcliffe Apollo in third (70.26%). Competing on all three days, Maria and ‘Rico’ contested Saturday’s LeMieux Grand Prix – the score kept in check with some costly mistakes in the canter tour. Still, a respectable 67% was on the board for fifth place. With another day in front of them, the pair put on their dancing shoes for Sunday’s Grand Prix Freestyle and deliver they certainly did, with a runaway plus-four percent lead for their 74.29% performance. “Royal Concert was on top form again in his freestyle today, winning with 74%,” said Maria on Facebook . “He loves his music [and was] very happy with himself after his test.” Maria and Rico have shown much talent in the Grand Prix work as was evidenced with their double Medium Tour victory at Deauville CDI last June. The horse has battled with his nerves in the past but once relaxed, his enthusiasm and quality, channelled by Maria’s riding, can earn them marks from the higher end of the scale. Annabella Pidgley, British team rider at the 2018 FEI European Pony Championships, dominated Saturday’s Pony Team Test by taking first and second with her rides, chestnut mare Ine and the attractive palomino son of FS Chambertin, Cognac IX. Ine (Constantin x Handryk) was number one, winning the class with phenomenal PB of 74.61%, for an almost six percent lead. Annabella and Cognac IX earned 68.63%, just ahead of Olivia Langley and Bathleyhills Sea Wurzel who posted 68.24% to complete the top three. Sunday was a momentous day for young Devon-based rider Scarlett John who won the Pony Individual Test with her 11-year-old gelding BKS Grand Design on their Premier League debut. They scored 69.02% ahead of runners-up Betsy Smethan and Golden Amber, with Olivia Langley and Bathleyhills Sea Wurzel, third. Scarlett trains with Diane Thurman-Baker. Dan Greenwood and Exige M (Samarant x Jazz) impressed in both Friday’s and Saturday’s Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I classes for owners Jenny Welham and Diana Louvain-Miller. Friday saw them claim a second place to Jess Bennett and JB Dukaat, Saturday they won with 73.07%. A ticket to the LeMieux National Championships is now secured for Cotswolds-based Dan and Exige M, who is no stranger to Stoneleigh having won the 2014 Shearwater Supreme title there as a five-year-old. British Dressage thanks all the class sponsors and the team at Addington Equestrian for putting on a fantastic event. Congratulations to all the winners listed below and to all those who took part. The winners: Friday Class 1: Hickstead British Young Horse National 5YO Qualifier Lucinda Elliott with Hawtins Lirica, 8.06 Class 2: Hickstead British Young Horse National 6YO Qualifier Victoria Maw with Benito Dorato, 7.02 Class 3: Hickstead British Young Horse FEI 5YO Qualifier Lucinda Elliott with Hawtins Lirica, 7.90 Class 4: Hickstead British Young Horse FEI 6YO Qualifier Tom Goode with Sakira, 7.80 Class 5: Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Kate Cowell with Dramatic Conquest, 71.93% Class 6: Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I Jess Bennett with JB Dukaat, 70.83% Class 7: Cavalor Intermediate II Maria Eilberg with Royal Concert, 71.53% Saturday Class 8: Pony Team Test Annabella Pidgley with Ine, 74.61% Class 9: Equine Construction Advanced Medium Fiona Brennan with De Angelis II, 70.81% Class 10: Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Becky Moody with Full Fusion BS, 70.96% Class 11: Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I Dan Greenwood with Exige M, 73.07% Class 12: LeMieux Grand Prix Becky Moody with Carinsio, 70.76% Sunday Class 13: Pony Individual Test Scarlett John with BKS Grand Design, 69.02% Class 14: Equine Construction Advanced Medium Jayne Turney with Cruz III, 70.48% Class 15: Advanced 105 Antonia Brown with SJL Duuk, 62.10% Class 16: Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Gareth Hughes with Sintano Van Hof Olympia, 71.22% Class 17: Shearwater Young Horse 4YO Qualifier Dylan Deutrom with King Boy, 7.74 Class 18: Shearwater Young Horse 5YO Qualifier Lucy Amy with Jaliva, 8.06 Class 19: Shearwater Young Horse 6YO Qualifier Judy Harvey with SP Bento, 7.94 Class 20: Prix St Georges Freestyle Olivia Towers with Mercian Edjena, 70.45% Class 21: Grand Prix Freestyle Maria Eilberg and Royal Concert, 74.29% For full results click here Photo © Kevin Sparrow
Monday, May 13

Visit the Principles of Judging Seminar this autumn!

The BD Training and Education team is delighted to announce the lineup for this year’s Principles of Judging Seminar. Returning to Moulton College in Northamptonshire on 5 – 6 October, judges, trainers, riders and dressage fans alike will be treated to a rare opportunity to learn from three of the most globally respected FEI judges, Isobel Wessels, Clive Halsall and Peter Storr. Leading lady Isobel Wessels is one of only four FEI 5* judges in Britain. As part of this prestigious role she’s judged at the 2018 World Young Horse Championships, Senior European Championships, multiple European Championships for U21s riders and World Cup qualifiers. Away from her judging duties, Isobel has competed successfully to Grand Prix and also passes on her knowledge as a much sought after coach. Fellow FEI 5* judge Clive Halsall has been part of panels worldwide at many a high profile international event and will also judge at this year’s FEI Senior European Championships to be held in Rotterdam in August. For Lancashire based Clive, a busy judging schedule is balanced alongside coaching commitments, including his position as British Pony Team Trainer. BD Judges Director and FEI 4* level judge Peter Storr returns to the Principles of Judging Seminar following a popular appearance in 2018 and will without doubt bring all of his expertise, as a judge, rider and trainer. Having ridden at World Equestrian Games, European Championships and been reserve for the British Team for the Sydney Olympics in 2002, Peter made the decision to commit his career to judging and has forged an impressive reputation which has taken him all across the world. With live arena demonstrations and class room sessions, expect an interactive, immersive weekend of education led by three progressive judging talents. Covering Intro to Prix St Georges, sessions will delve into discussion around quality of paces, lateral work, scales of marking, test riding and more with plenty of opportunity to participate, ask questions and voice your opinion. The full timetable will be released later in the year, follow the BD website for the latest news. Early bird tickets are on sale now! Discounted tickets* are available for just £30 (day) and £60 (weekend) for listed and trainee judges, and for and all others £35 (day) and £65 (weekend). Why not make a weekend of it? Join us on the Saturday evening for a drinks reception and meal with the BD team, Judges Committee and fellow judges, add this option, alongside weekend accommodation, when buying your tickets. Buy tickets online today or call the Training and Education team on 02476 698833 to book over the phone. *Please note: booking fees apply when purchasing tickets online. Early bird ticket sales close at 23.59 on Friday 14 June 2019.
Monday, May 13

Key appointments for Team GBR paras

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) is delighted to confirm the appointment of GEORGINA SHARPLES as the new Performance Manager for Para-equestrian Dressage. The British Para-equestrian Dressage team is one of the most successful in the world – with the Rio 2016 Paralympics and Tryon 2018 WEG yielding 15 medals in total. Georgina will work with such riders as Paralympic gold-medallists Sir Lee Pearson CBE, Sophie Wells MBE and Natasha Baker MBE. She will lead the team at international competitions, European Championships, World Championships and Paralympic Games. A former international hockey player and bobsledder, Georgina led the Trampoline Programme at British Gymnastics, and is no stranger to Paralympic sport having been Head of Performance at ParalympicsGB overseeing athlete services, Games preparation, classification, sport science and sport medicine since London 2012. Georgina will take up the Para-Dressage role whilst retaining a Head of Performance Support strategic role with the English Institute of Sport (EIS) across the Equestrian Team GBR World Class Programme (WCP). The BEF will continue to work in collaboration with the EIS on further developments in this area. Commenting on her new role Georgina said “I am delighted to be joining the team and immensely privileged to have the opportunity to lead such a well-regarded and high-performing World Class Programme on the journey to Tokyo 2020 and beyond. This is a really exciting time to be involved. It is a Programme with strength in depth; established medal-winning partnerships, exciting developing combinations, talented athletes combined with an incredible support team and I know we will relish the journey as we fully focus on our preparation for delivering personal best performances next summer in Tokyo 2020.” Performance Director at the BEF, Vikki Underwood, says “We are delighted that Georgina will take up the role of Performance Manager for the Para-equestrian Dressage Programme following a unanimous decision by the selection panel. We will also continue to benefit from her retaining the strategic leadership of the Performance Support services which will be critical as we move closer to Tokyo and the new Paris cycle.” The BEF is also delighted to announce that ERIK MACKECHNIE-GUIRE will be the new Performance Pathway Manager for Para-equestrian Dressage. There are exceptional riders coming through the ranks and Erik will work alongside these riders to support them on their journey to the podium. Erik has more than 20 years’ experience working with high performance athletes including as a coach with the Team GBR Para-equestrian Dressage team and as Para-equestrian High Performance Manager with Team Australia. Commenting on his new role, Erik said “It is a really exciting time to be joining the team. I am looking forward to working with an outstanding team of practitioners who collectively underpin and support our Paralympic athletes to create an environment where our athletes can grow and develop to achieve Podium success for Team GBR”. Erik and Georgina will work together to deliver an effective programme that recognises potential, encourages growth and drives medal success in Tokyo 2020, Paris 2024, Los Angeles 2028 and beyond. BEF Chief Executive Nick Fellows, says “I am delighted with these new appointments and the high level commitment we are able to demonstrate to our Paralympic programme. Both Georgina and Erik have excellent knowledge and experience and know our team well. They will bring an added edge to our preparations for Tokyo 2020 and help us ensure we maximise all possible performance advantages as well as building the programme for the future.”
Friday, May 10

Windsor delight for Dujardin

With last night’s torrential rain making way for sunshine, it was back to the idyllic setting in the shadow of Windsor Castle for the final leg of the CDI4* at Royal Windsor Horse Show, the Al Shira’aa Freestyle. Earlier in the day news filtered through that last night’s runners up Carl Hester and his own and Jane de la Mare’s Nip Tuck had withdrawn when ‘Barney’ injured himself in the stable overnight which opened the field up somewhat. Charlotte impressed many last night with her catch ride on Sonnar Murray-Brown’s Erlentanz, who she's riding while Sonnar recovers from a badly broken leg, but tonight the duo took it to a whole new level in only their second Freestyle outing together. Electing to ride to her floor plan set to music from Disney’s film ‘How to train your dragon’ which suits the horse almost as much as Valegro, Charlotte rode a masterful test and ‘Early’ grew in confidence with each moment. There was one sticky moment when she asked for the first double canter pirouette on the centre line bang in front of the H, C and M judges and as she set up and started, the horse just appeared to die on her, losing canter and into walk. She recovered well but it would prove very costly if it couldn’t be rectified later in the test. But Charlotte is the master of Freestyle and she managed to fit one in at the end of the test which the judges clearly agreed with. A near-capacity crowd rewarded what they’d seen with rapturous applause and even more so when 81.9% flashed up. Afterwards, Charlotte admitted; “I think I had him too close to the board and as I set him up for the pirouette and he just dropped me! I was like ‘GO!’ but it was too late and I had to pick him up and start again. I then kept thinking where I could fit it in and then I couldn’t remember what let it was so it was a proper freestyle. [Judge] Katrina Wuest said to me in the prize giving that she gave me a two for the first one and a nine for the second so it would have been very expensive had I not re done it!” On the test itself she explained; “It’s only our second Freestyle and I’ve only really been riding him for about four months so it’s all still very new. He tries so hard but he lacks self-confidence and I have to give it to him, almost say ‘you can do it’. You can’t suffocate him and he’s got to find his confidence; he hasn’t got that instant ‘go’ button like my others. “He’s a different horse now to Keysoe as he’s so much stronger. The lovely thing is he has the temperament to do it and he’s talented at all the thing which earn high marks. He’s the horse that everyone would like to own and is just like a giant teddy bear. “It’s such a pleasure to ride him and I don’t feel the pressure. Plus, I’m enjoying putting my experience into the horse to help Sonnar in the future.” Owner Sonnar was on hand to watch his boy compete and he reported that he’s just come off his crutches and the next step is to have some of the smaller screws put in to mend the broken tibula and fibula out. Once that’s done, his rehabilitation can start in earnest and then get back in the saddle. Second place went to Briton Richard Davison with his own and Gwendolyn Meyer’s Bubblingh with 78.31%. Richard has managed his home bred hope carefully to build confidence and has been active on the FEI World Cup circuit as a ‘baptism of fire’ for competition experience. Tonight that certainly seemed to have paid off with the Lingh sired 13 year old looking much better after a further year at Grand Prix level under his belt. His ‘Gangsters Paradise’ inspired music isn’t to everyone’s taste but it certainly had the crowd captivated. There were a number of highlights including a piaffe pirouette bang on the lively beat and the tightest canter pirouettes of any combination on the night. Richard told us; “I’m really pleased. When we arrived on Wednesday he was very fresh and I’d wondered if my plan had worked but he really settled. It’s the little things now like last night after the test when I walked out of the arena I could drop my rein and he happily walked out of the arena. One judge said they’d given me a ten so something must have been right!” The pair are off to Compiegne next week as part of Team GBR’s Nations Cup quartet. Third went to Irish combination and last to go Heike Holstein and her home bred ten year old talent Sambuca with 74.91%. They didn’t get off to the best start with a canter in their first extended trot but once that mistake was behind them, the mare seemed to take a breath and focus on the task in only their second Freestyle appearance in eight months at the level. “I’m thrilled!” she exclaimed afterwards. “She was very nervous at the start. Last night she got a bit of a fright, I think it was the rain on the judges’ huts but once she settled it was really lovely.” Fourth was Louise Bell and the delectable Into the Blue; their lively country music routine was mistake free but for one trot stride going into a canter pirouette for 73.34%. The remaining British rider, Vicky Thompson Winfield with Sam Francis’s Mango Jacaro finished sixth on 68.55% with their entertaining James Bond medley. Once again it was a delight for dressage to be a part of The Royal Windsor Horse Show and we’re grateful to Al Shira’aa for their support of the CDI. Thanks to the team at Horsepower for an excellent show. Full results – click here  
Friday, May 10

Team NAF Pony longlist

The British Dressage Pony Selectors Nikki Herbert and Leanne Wall are delighted to release a longlist of eight names (nine combinations) as their longlist in contention for one of four places on the Team NAF squad for the upcoming Pony European Championships in Strzegom, Poland, 14-18 August 2019. Combinations (in alphabetical order): Bonneville Bourne (16) from Ashford, Kent with her own Fin C We (liver chestnut gelding, 14.2hh, 16yrs, s. Famos ds. Eiger III) Holly Kerslake (15) from Lifton Devon with her own and Carl Trock’s Valhallas Zorro (black stallion, 14.1hh, 10yrs, s. Valhallas Lord Matrafal ds. Fjordglimts Sir Johnson) Lily Laughton (15) from Chippenham, Wiltshire with Alicia Laughton’s Steendieks Cadillac (chestnut gelding, 14.2hh, 9yrs, s. FS Chambertin) Isobel Lickley (14) from Albrighton, Staffordshire with Robert and Nicola Lickley’s Mister Snowman (liver chestnut gelding, 14.1hh, 13yrs, s. The Braes My Mobility ds. Llanarth Most Triton) Annabella Pidgley (14) from Windsor, Berkshire with Sarah Pidgley’s Cognac IX (palomino gelding, 14.1hh, 11yrs, s. FS Chambertin ds Waldemar) and Sarah Pidgley’s Ine (chestnut mare, 14.1hh, 12yrs, s. Constantin ds. Handryk) Steffi Tomlinson (15) from Chester, Cheshire with Tracy Tomlinson’s Vivassa (liver chestnut mare, 14.1hh, 12yrs, s. Vivaldi) Hermione Tottman (15) from St Albans, Hertfordshire with Nicola Tottman’s Brasil (dark bay gelding, 14.2hh, 12yrs, s. Sandokkans Leonardo ds. Orchard Davranches) Olivia Whitelaw (15) from Nottingham, Nottinghamshire with her own Brouwershaven’s Viceroy (bay gelding, 14.2hh, 10yrs, s. Jurjen H) Pony and rider combinations listed are those from which the Team/or Individuals and Reserves are likely to be selected, but others may be considered for selection if they reach the requirements set out in the Selection Policy. The Team NAF Pony shortlist will be announced following Hagen CDIOP/CDIP during the week commencing 17 June. The selectors, riders, team staff and all at British Dressage are extremely grateful for the support of our generous team sponsor NAF and team supplier LeMieux.
Friday, May 10

Team NAF Junior and Young Rider longlists

The British Dressage Junior and Young Rider Selectors Nikki Herbert and Leanne Wall are delighted to release their longlists of riders in contention for a place on the Team NAF Junior and Young Rider teams for the European Championships in San Giovanni in Marignano, Italy on 24 – 28 July 2019. Junior combinations (in alphabetical order): Caitlin Burgess (18) from Ilfracombe, Devon with her own Chocotof (brown gelding, 12yrs, s. Lord Leatherdale) Clare Hole with (17) from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk with her own and Lynne Jackson’s Pro-Motion (bay gelding, 16yrs, s. Pro-Set) and Rachel Murray’s Winnetou GEP (black gelding, 12yrs, s. Gribaldi ds. Donnerhall) Jessie Kirby (16) from Wallingford, Oxfordshire with Sarah Carmichael’s Belle Amie (bay mare, 13yrs, s. Florencio) Jessica McConkey (17) from Watlington, Oxfordshire with her own Lady Gaga II (bay mare, 10yrs, s. Quaterback ds. Solos Landwind) Charlotte McDowall (17) from Newent, Gloucestershire with her own Alivia (back mare, 14yrs, s. Olivi ds. Roemer) Chloe Naylor (15) from Foston, Derbyshire with her own Karisma (chestnut gelding, 12yrs, s. Holme Grove Prokofiev) Olivia Wrennall (16) from Slough, Buckinghamshire with Nicola Hand and Tessa Thorne’s Disneyland (liver chestnut gelding, 10yrs, s. Diamond Hit) Young Rider combinations (in alphabetical order): Rebecca Bell (19) from Faringdon, Oxfordshire with Caroline Bell’s Nibeley Union Hit (dark bay mare, 12yrs, s. Nibeley Union Jack ds. Sandro Hit) Isobel Berrington (19) from Welwyn, Hertfordshire with Aimee Witkin’s Bing (bay gelding, 13yrs, s. Trento B ds. Hucarlos) Angus Corrie-Deane (19) from Salisbury, Wiltshire with his own Tiny Tempur (bay gelding, 14yrs, s. Raikano) Charlotte Dicker (20) from Stockbridge, Hampshire with her own Sabatini (brown mare, 14yrs, s. Stedinger ds. Sherlock Holmes) Alexandra Hellings (19) from Bakewell, Derbyshire with Sonia Baines’ Uvender V (bay gelding, 18yrs, s. Krack C ds. Juventus) Megan Ingham (20) from Wokingham, Berkshire with Coral Ingham’s Wanadoo (chestnut gelding, 18yrs, s. Wolkenstein II ds. Cavalier) Lara Kuropatwa (18) from Malmesbury, Wiltshire with Sian Kuropatwa’s For Season (liver chestnut gelding, 9yrs, s. Fifty Cent 2 ds. Voltaire) Rebecca Swain (18) from Godalming, Surrey with her own Bon Jovi (chestnut gelding, 13yrs, s. UB40 ds. Ramdra) Junior and Young Rider combinations listed are those from which the Team/or Individuals and Reserves are likely to be selected, but others may be considered for selection if they reach the requirements set out in the Selection Policy. The Team NAF Junior and Young Rider shortlists will be announced following Hagen CDIO/CDI during the week commencing 17 June. The Team NAF Junior and Young Rider Teams and Reserves will be announced during the w/c Monday 24 June. The selectors, riders, team staff and all at British Dressage are extremely grateful for the support of our generous team sponsor NAF and team supplier LeMieux.
Friday, May 10

All aboard for Addington PL!

Addington Equestrian in Buckinghamshire got their Premier League fixture underway this morning and what a high quality contingent of riders they have for the third Premier League competition of 2019. Three days of top dressage from today, Friday, through to Sunday (10 – 12 May). This morning the focus was on young horses with qualifiers for the Hickstead National Championships while the International equivalent runs this afternoon with good representation from some strong British breeding alongside some of Europe’s premier breeding on show. Visitors Friday will also have a mammoth Fairfax Saddles PSG line-up to look forward to. Lizzie Murray has her her winning 2018 Small Tour Championship partner Ulyssa while Tom Goode rides Langley. There's a few combinations who showed strong form at the recent NAF Five Star Winter Championships in the mix too, such as Nathalie Kayal and DHI Cleverboy, Becky Moody and Full Fusion BS and Jess Bennett with JB Dukaat. Friday’s Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I also boasts a top field with Paul Friday bringing forward three rides. The Cavalor Inter II ends day one; Claire Gallimore with Annette Ballerina, Lucy Pincus and Sheepcote Doncalisto, Joanna Therman-Baker and Highcliffe Apollo and Maria Eliberg with Royal Concert must be ones to watch here. On Saturday there’s the chance for our Pony riders hoping to catch the selectors’ eye with a good performance and then it’s a day of Small and Big Tour Action. Large Fairfax Prix St Georges and Saracens Horse Feeds Inter I classes will run throughout the day and, fresh from Windsor, Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin will be in action in the PSG with their young stars Brioso II and River Rise Nisa respectively. Starting at 11:12 on Saturday is the LeMieux Grand Prix. Carl Hester will be in action with his 2018 World Equestrian Games partner Hawtins Delicato while team mate Emile Fauie has two rides in Shilo and Quentano 2. Crowd pleasers Steph Croxford and My Hyde are entered as are Becky Moody and Carinsio. Pammy Hutton has two rides also. Sunday starts at 9am with another bumper Advanced Medium section, this one acting as a qualifier for the Equine Construction Championships later this year. Also in action is a third massive Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges section which includes Gareth Hughes and exciting prospect Sinanto Van Hof Olympia and Judy Harvey riding Palimera. There are Freestyle classes at both PSG and Grand Prix to bring some musicality to Sunday in the indoor arena which are followed at 11:40 by Shearwater Young Horse qualifiers for four, five and six year old horses. Leanne Wall and Nereide Goodman are the judges presiding over the action. For all this, simply head to the newly refurbished Buckinghamshire venue – entry is free on all three days. Addington boasts a high quality cafeteria with amazing pies and viewing of the main arena. Programme Friday 09:00 Hickstead British Young Horse National 5YO Qualifier 09:00 Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I 09:30 Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges 11:28 Hickstead British Young Horse National 6YO Qualifier 12:40 Hickstead British Young Horse International 5YO Qualifier 13:12 Cavalor Intermediate II 14:28 Hickstead British Young Horse International 6YO Qualifier Saturday 09:00 Pony Team Test 09:00 Advanced Medium 09:30 Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges 09:30 Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I 11.12 LeMieux Grand Prix Sunday 09:00 Equine Construction Advanced Medium 09:00 Prix St Georges Freestyle 09:30 Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges 10:00 Pony Individual Test 10:12 Grand Prix Freestyle 11:14 Advanced 11:40 Shearwater Young Horse 4YO Qualifier 13:30 Shearwater Young Horse 5YO Qualifier 15:25 Shearwater Young Horse 6YO Qualifier For start lists click here For results click here Venue website click here  
Friday, May 10

BD abroad: Saumur CDIOY/J/P

Last week Team NAF and a host of British young riders took centre stage at the CDIO Nations Cup competition in Saumur, France (2 – 5 May 2019). With teams gathering from Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France, the battle for the top spots in the Nations Cup competitions was extremely close fought. In the Pony ranks, Holly Kerslake, Annabella Pidgley, Isobel Lickley and Bonnie Bourne produced four super tests to put Team NAF onto the third place spot on the podium. On board her own and Carl Trock’s Valhallas Zorro, Holly enjoyed three plus 70% scores and three top ten placings; Staffordshire teen Isobel Lickley also achieved the same feat with Robert and Nicola Lickley’s 13 year old Mister Snowman to finish close on Holly’s heels in all three tests. With Sarah Pidgley’s eye catching palomino gelding Cognac IX, Annabella Pidgley rode to three 69% tests and making her Nations Cup debut, Bonnie Bourne produced two promising tests in the Team and Individual classes with her own Fin C WE. Team NAF also enjoyed a podium placing in the Junior Nations Cup event as Clare Hole, Olivia Wrennall, Charlotte McDowall and Jessica McConkey (pictured) delivered the goods in a competitive team test. Taking fifth place individually in the team event and the freestyle final, Clare Hole and Winnetou GEP earned stellar results in Saumur on their Nations Cup debut together. New combinations Charlotte McDowall and her own Alivia, and Olivia Wrennall with Tessa Thorne and Nicola Hand’s Disneyland both notched up promising results for the future including 68% scores in the team test, with Charlotte going on to achieve sixth in the freestyle earning 70.80%. On board her own Lady Gaga II, 2018 team rider Jessica McConkey showed her experience in the individual test to place fifth with 69.20%. With several riders travelling to the iconic French venue to contest the CDI classes, Great Britain was well represented and more top placings would follow. Enjoying a good start to the year at Junior FEI level, Caitlin Burgess (18) and her own Lord Leatherdale son Chocotof gained mileage and some super scores in the CDIJ competition; in the team test the duo rode for 68.78% and fifth, before going on to score an impressive 71.37% in the freestyle to music, picking up a third place ribbon for their efforts. Young riders Lara Kuropatwa and Alex Hellings improved each day in the CDIY competition. Making the step up to young riders with Sian Kuropatwa’s nine year old For Season (Fifty Cent x Voltaire), eighteen year old Lara picked up a brilliant second place in the individual competition with 70.44% plus fifth in the freestyle with 71.30%. Speaking from her Facebook page Lara said, “Wow! What a week I’ve just had in Saumur competing Fergus at his first CDI abroad - and his first International at Young Rider level. I’m just so proud of this horse and how he took it all in his stride and is just becoming more and more confident in the arena- he’s really starting to live up to his potential!” Fellow Young rider Alex Hellings and her own Uvender V, a former team combination at Junior level, earned fourth in the individual test with 69.70% before going on to take a top three placing of their own in the freestyle competition finishing third with a new personal best score of 72.78%. Congratulations to all British riders and their support teams who travelled to the event to take part. Thanks go to team sponsors NAF  for their generous support, as well as LeMieux for kindly providing beautiful branded Team NAF kit. Results CDIO-P Team 1st Shona Benner with Der Kleine Sunnyboy, 73.80% (GER) 7th Holly Kerslake with Valhallas Zorro, 70.42% (GBR) 8th Isobel Lickley with Mister Snowman, 70% (GBR) 9th Annabella Pidgley with Cognac IX, 69.54% (GBR) 13th Bonnie Bourne with Fin C WE, 68.60% (GBR) CDIO-P Nations Cup 1st Germany, 219.62 2nd The Netherlands, 215.60 3rd Great Britain, 209.97 4th France, 204.88 5th Belgium, 204.62 CDIO-P Individual 1st Antonia Busch Kuffner with Daily Pleasure WE, 74.82% (GER) 8th Holly Kerslake with Valhallas Zorro, 70.31% (GBR) 9th Isobel Lickley with Mister Snowman, 70.22% (GBR) 11th Annabella Pidgley with Cognax IX, 69.50% (GBR) 12th Bonnie Bourne with Fin C WE, 69.36% (GBR) CDIO-P Freestyle 1st Shona Benner with Der Kleine Sunnyboy, 78.37% (GER) 7th Holly Kerslake with Valhallas Zorro, 73.33% (GBR) 8th Isobel Lickley with Mister Snowman, 72.25% (GBR) 11th Annabella Pidgley with Cognax IX, 69.83% (GBR) CDI-P Team 1st Carlotta Wendenburg with Equestricons Day of Diva, 74.47% (GER) 18th Annabella Pidgley with Ine, 65.57% (GBR) 23rd Isobel Lickley with Valido’s Sunshine, 63.47% (GBR) CDI-P Individual 1st Lara van Nek with Brouwershaven’s Nairobi, 74.45% (NED) 16th Isobel Lickley with Valido’s Sunshine, 67.56% (GBR) 17th Annabella Pidgley with Ine, 67.34% (GBR) CDI-P Freestyle 1st Lara van Nek with Brouwershaven’s Nairobi, 74.95% (NED) CDIO-J Team 1st Tabea Schroer with Filegra, 72.66% (GER) 5th Clare Hole with Winnetou GEP, 69.21% (GBR) 7th Olivia Wrennall with Disneyland, 68.30% (GBR) 8th Charlotte McDowall with Alivia, 68.18% (GBR) 15th Jessica McConkey with Lady Gaga II, 67.03% (GBR) CDIO-J Nations Cup 1st Germany, 210.75 2nd The Netherlands, 207.39 3rd Great Britain, 205.69 4th France, 203.45 5th Switzerland, 202.94 6th Belgium, 197.03 CDIO-J Individual 1st Laura Stuhldreier with Diabolo Nymphenburg, 72.23% (GER) 5th Jessica McConkey with Lady Gaga II, 69.20% (GBR) 8th Charlotte McDowall with Alivia, 68.55% (GBR) 11th Clare Hole with Winnetou GEP, 67.23% (GBR) 18th Olivia Wrennall with Disneyland, 65.11% (GBR) CDIO-J Freestyle 1st Laura Stuhldreier with Diabolo Nymphenburg, 74.86% (GER) 5th Claire Hole with Winnetou GEP, 70.86% (GBR) 6th Charlotte McDowall with Alivia, 70.80% (GBR) 15th Jessica McConkey with Lady Gaga II, 66.07% (GBR) CDI-J Team 1st Sanne van der Pols with Excellentie, 70.65% (NED) 5th Caitlin Burgess with Chocotof, 68.78% (GBR) 11th Clare Hole with Pro-Motion, 64.94% (GBR) CDI-J Individual 1st Sanne van der Pols with Excellentie, 71.11% (NED) 8th Caitlin Burgess with Chocotof, 65.52% (GBR) 9th Clare Hole with Pro-Motion, 65.02% (GBR) CDI-J Freestyle 1st Sanne van der Pols with Excellentie, 73.43% (NED) 3rd Caitlin Burgess with Chocotof, 71.37% (GBR) 9th Clare Hole with Pro-Motion, 67.82% (GBR) CDI-Y Team 1st Laura de Graeve with Feuertanz, 69.41% (BEL) 5th Lara Kuropatwa with For Season, 66.22% (GBR) 6th Alex Hellings with Uvender V, 65.78% (GBR) CDI-Y Individual 1st Coco Soffers with Formidable, 71.61% (NED) 2nd Lara Kuropatwa with For Season, 70.44% (GBR) 4th Alex Hellings with Uvender V, 69.70% (GBR) CDI-Y Freestyle 1st Laura de Graeve with Feuertanz, 74.25% (BEL) 3rd Alex Hellings with Uvender V, 72.78% (GBR) 5th Lara Kuropatwa with For Season, 71.30% (GBR) For full results click here . 
Thursday, May 9

Charlotte and Erlentanz domintate at Windsor

Caroline Chew had the honour of getting the Al Shira’aa Grand Prix underway for Singapore tonight in the shadow of Windsor Castle as part of the Royal Windsor Horse Show 2019. And an impressive start they made with a ‘clear round’. Trained by Matt Frost, the duo are no strangers to the big occasion as they rode at last year’s World Equestrian Games and this was their first international outing since. A score of 68.45% set the bench mark for the others to follow. It was then the turn of the first British representatives, Vicky Thompson Winfield with Sam Francis’s Rondeno IX sired stallion Mango Jacaro, the current MCI European Champion. They started with great expression and activity but he became a bit unsettled in the piaffe – almost appearing to try too hard to please – which impacted on the rhythm but Vicky used her experience to ease him through. The two time canter changes were spot on but some tension just crept in towards the finish to peg the marks back in the latter stage for a final score of 66.3%. Rustique and Mai Tofte Olesen were third in for Denmark and they had plenty of highlights to score 67.91%. Next was one of the combinations most had come to see, Charlotte Dujardin, fresh from meeting HM The Queen earlier with Valegro, with Sonnar Murray Brown’s lovely Trakehner Erlentanz. Of course Charlotte is merely deputising for Sonnar while his broken leg mends. She started with clear intent with a bold first diagonal of effortless extended trot. Riding with a forward flow throughout, Charlotte and ‘Early’ got their two and one time changes and rode an excellent canter pirouette centreline with good energy and consistency. It was good…and mistake free, what did the judges make? 78.08% was the score, with both Peter Storr at H and Stephen Clarke at B feeling it was worth 80% plus. Straight on to Richard Davison with Gwendolyn Meyer and his own Bubblingh on their third trip to Windsor. A year on, the duo have grown in maturity and ‘Bubbles’ looked more relaxed in the atmospheric arena than on previous visits. Richard’s skill avoided a canter in the second extended trot and there was a mistake in the two time canter changes but a final impressive extended trot and centre line with awesome regularity in the piaffe and passage despite the pouring rain. Their score was 72.97% which put them second. It was then the turn of one of the most experienced and revered combination in the field, Carl Hester with his own and Jane de la Mare’s Nip Tuck. The duo made a welcome return to international competition at Keysoe where they were double victors but could they hold the same form? Carl rode with his usual master genius, coaxing every mark possible while ‘Barney’ looked more than happy to please and show his skill in front of the appreciative crowd. There was just a bit of swing in the piaffe/passage down the final line but otherwise it was a lovely test with super fluency and accuracy to score 74.3% to overtake Richard and Bubbles. Niina Nilosaari was next for Finland with KOM Ragdoll. They suffered a little bit with Windsor nerves which kept her marks down as the tension built and built to end with 62.95%. She was followed by Dutch pairing Tommie Visser and Chuppy Checker CL. The horse showed plenty of pleasing moments but was on a mission and didn’t settle to the task at hand and had a very expensive extended walk where he jogged most of the diagonal. However, they were marked 69.21% and higher scores are on the horizon for the duo. The final Brit was Louise Bell and Into the Blue. It was a momentous occasion as ‘Dynamo’ was making a return to Windsor having competed here previously with Louise as a working hunter; not many horses can boast competing on the hallowed ground of Windsor in two disciplines. Their test was impressive, mistake free with clear progress and improved consistency. Louise finished with a huge smile…which quickly turned into a sigh of relief that Dynamo had managed to contain his exuberance! They posted 70.6% which is huge for the pairing to break that magic score internationally. It was then the turn of our two Irish visitors and as three time Olympian Heike Holstein entered with her own Sambuca, the heavens opened and the rain got heavier and heavier, less than ideal. At just ten, Sambuca is relatively new to Grand Prix but there were some strong moments form the Samarant sired mare which the judges rewarded alongside some green ones but 70.37% is a new Grand Prix PB in only their fifth international together. The rain just got heavier and heavier for Dane Rawlins and Espoire and they didn’t look to be enjoying their task. Dane used all his experience and determination to get through for an extremely respectable 66.6%. In his own unique style, he joked by doing breast stroke as he exited the arena, showing a sense of humour to the end. He darted off and get changed ahead of coaching the Hickstead Young Rider Quadrille who are performing an eightsome reel as part of the Windsor Pageant later – let’s hope the rain eases off. So the victor was Charlotte Dujardin as it was in 2017 but this time with catch ride Earlentanz. Afterwards she said; “It’s only our third Grand Prix together and we’re still getting to know each other. I’m really pleased; he tried is heart out and I can’t ask for more than that.” Second place went to Carl Hester and crowd pleaser Nip Tuck who described his ride as ‘careful and precise’ while Richard Davison completed the podium of Brits with Bubblingh and Louise Bell and Into the Blue fourth to complete domination of the top placings by the home nation. The Al Shira’aa Freetyle takes place in the Castle Arena tomorrow night – tickets are still available or you can watch via the website www.rwhs.co.uk – just click on the Windsor TV link. Full results – click here  
Thursday, May 9

BD appointments: Scotland Chair and Marketing Manager

British Dressage is delighted to announce Sharon Lindop has been ratified as Chairman for the Scotland region . Sharon has been acting in an interim capacity during Deborah Adamson’s illness and sad passing. Following a successful application and interview process, Sharon has now been formally ratified to the position. Originally qualified as a Chartered Accountant, Aberdeenshire based Sharon (pictured) has spent most of her career in the energy sector, working with internationally renowned brands like BP and Shell on finance matters, business planning and leadership development. In July 2011, she set up her own business, Lin’terim, which provided interim management services to help inexperienced and under resourced companies. Sharon has been an active dressage competitor since 2005 and has qualified for most major Championships across the levels. She proudly represented the region last year at the Senior Home International, finishing ninth with the Scottish Prancers team and has a busy season ahead riding at Small Tour level. In just a few months supporting Emma Stewart, Regional Development Officer for Scotland and the volunteer committee, Sharon has made a positive impact. Communication, fundraising, governance and community have been high on the agenda and members are seeing benefits including the inaugural BD Scotland Ball which was a great success. Sharon commented; "I’m really pleased to be able to put my general business experience to use in helping to run dressage, a sport that I am very passionate about, in Scotland. The region has an outstanding committee of high energy individuals who have a lot of ideas and who collectively deliver a great variety of learning opportunities, events and information to the membership. It’s a pleasure to work with them and I’m sure that we will have a lot of fun as we continue to help develop the sport, horses and riders in our region." At headquarters, the British Dressage Senior Management Team is now complete with the recent appointment of Marketing Manager Becca Tuttle. Becca joins us from Serco Leisure where she held a national marketing role covering key contracts covering National Sports Centres including the National Water Sports Centre at Holme Pierrepoint, Bisham Abbey, Lilleshall and Stoke Mandeville. Key areas of responsibility included creation and delivery of marketing plans, new product launches, advertising campaigns, digital marketing, branding, events and ticket sales strategy. “I’m incredibly excited to have taken on the new role of Marketing Manager and to start working with the team to build on and develop the existing marketing activity and brand presence of British Dressage,” said Becca. “I’m looking forward to bringing with me the experience I have of working in other sport and membership based organisations to ultimately encourage more people to join BD and engage with the great services, competitions and events that are on offer,” she continued.
Thursday, May 9

BD abroad: Saumur CDI3*/2*/U25

It was a strong showing for the quintet of riders who headed to the legendary Cadre Noir in Saumur France for the CDI3*/2*/U25 with all achieving top eight placings throughout including two wins for Jess Dunn in the Small Tour ranks on her first trip to Europe to compete internationally. In the CDI3*, Gareth Hughes was best Brit with Rebecca Hughes’ Trento B sired Classic Briolinca in both the Grand Prix and Freestyle. The duo were runners up in the Grand Prix behind Spanish Olympic pair Beatriz Ferrer-Salat and Delgado with 73.39%. Louise Bell narrowly missed a +70% score with her own and Tonya Wood’s Into the Blue to finish eighth. In the Freestyle, Gareth and Briolinca impressed again to score well with 76.55% which put them third. On Facebook he said; ‘she was a rather impatient princess in her halts gaining threes but showed off her talent in the piaffe/passage gaining nines!’ Louise and ‘Dynamo’ improved one place with their Freestyle routine to earn 72.2% and seventh spot. The story of the weekend came in the CDI2* Small Tour classes as both British riders acquitted themselves on their first trip to represent Britain on the continent. In the PSG, it was Cheshire rider Helen Dutton who impressed with her own Valdorama D with a personal best 70% which earned second spot. Not far behind was Jess Dunn with Alicante Valley, owned by Jennifer Whittaker, on 68.97% which left them just off the podium in fourth. A step up in difficulty to the Inter I and it was Jess’s turn to shine with ‘Chello’. A score of72.05% left them nearly two percent ahead of the nearest challengers to take their maiden European victory. Helen and ‘Valde’ finished fifth on 67%. It was then Inter I Freestyle to finish off the week and again Jess rose to the challenge to post a fabulous76.04% test with the Dutch bred Alicante Valley – this time by an even more impressive margin of nearly four and a half percent. Helen and Valdorama D ended their first show on European soil with 69.37% which gave them sixth spot. In the U25 division, our sole representative was Ellie McCarthy with Bridget McCarthy’s Belissimo M sired Belafonte and they earned two podium places. In the Inter II they were narrowly edged into third with 67.2% while in the U25 Grand Prix it was one place better for the runners up spot with 65.81%. Full results – click here CDI3* Grand Prix 1. Beatriz Ferrer-Salat with Delgado (ESP), 75.19% 2. Gareth Hughes with Classic Briolinca (GBR), 73.39% 8. Louise Bell with Into the Blue (GBR), 69.82% Grand Prix Freestyle 1. Beatriz Ferrer-Salat with Delgado (ESP), 77.52% 3. Gareth Hughes with Classic Briolinca, (GBR), 76.55% 7. Louise Bell with Into the Blue (GBR), 72.20% CDI2* Prix St Georges 1. Jos Hogendoorn with Convalaria (NED), 70.78% 2. Helen Dutton with Valdorama D (GBR), 70% 4. Jess Dunn with Alicante Valley (GBR), 68.97% Inter I 1. Jess Dunn with Alicante Valley (GBR), 72.05% 5. Helen Dutton with Valdorama D (GBR), 67.5% Inter I Freestyle 1. Jess Dunn with Alicante Valley (GBR), 76.04% 6. Helen Dutton with Valdorama D (GBR), 69.37% CDIU25 Inter II 1. Cedric Gallinard with Scherzo ZC (FRA), 68.67% 2. Ellie McCarthy with Belafonte (GBR), 67.2% Grand Prix 16-25 1. Carl-Iennart Korsch with Ayers Rock BB (SUI), 66.88% 2. Ellie McCarthy with Belafonte (GBR), 65.81%
Wednesday, May 8

Prepare to be wowed at Windsor

This week, top riders from across the world will challenge some of Britain’s best when the Royal Windsor Horse Show hosts the Al Shira’aa CDI4* Grand Prix and Freestyle to Music on Thursday 9 and Friday 10 May, respectively. Among the world-renowned names competing is home-grown hero Carl Hester, the London 2012 team gold medallist and a rider who needs no introduction. Having already achieved so much within the discipline, Hester will be looking to further add to his illustrious collection of medals and accolades, as he returns riding Nip Tuck. The pair is sure to be backed by vociferous domestic support. Household name, and the first dressage rider ever to win Sky Sportswoman of the Year in 2014, Charlotte Dujardin, will be returning to the iconic grounds after giving spectators a masterclass in success when she claimed victory at the show in 2018. Teammate and friend to Carl Hester, the pair will be putting their friendship to one side as they go head-to head. Joining the British contingent will be Olympian Richard Davison. After coming third – following Dujardin and Hester – in 2018, Davison will be setting his sights on top spot, along with fellow Brits, Louise Bell and Vicky Thompson Winfield. Adding to the British line-up will be a strong start list of international talent, including Caroline Chew, Katherine Bateson Chandler, Kate Dwyer and Heike Holstein. British riders selected to compete : Louise Bell from Oxfordshire with her own and Tonya Wood’s Into the Blue (roan gelding, 13yrs, s. Ublesco ds. Calvaro Z). Richard Davison from Staffordshire with Gwendolyn Sontheim’s Bubblingh (bay gelding, 13yrs, s. Lingh ds. Picandt). Charlotte Dujardin from Gloucesterhire with Sonnar Murray-Brown’s Erlentanz (brown gelding, 12yrs, s. Latimer). Carl Hester from Gloucestershire with his own and Jane De La Mare’s Nip Tuck (bay gelding, 15yrs, s. Don Ruto). Vicky Thompson Winfield from West Sussex with Samantha Francis’s Mango Jacaro (bay stallion, 14yrs, s. Rondeño IX). Best of British equestrian displays to perform at Queen Victoria’s Pageant The best of British equestrian displays will perform at The Pageant on the evenings of 9, 10 and 11 May, joining a host of exciting international acts. Taking place in the private grounds of Windsor Castle, the performers and their equine companions will arrive from all over the country to commemorate the 200-year anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth. There will be a strong representation of the British Military, including The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, which will fire its famous 25 pounder guns to conclude The Pageant. A moving highlight of the evening will be a re-enactment of the Charge of The Light Brigade to Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s famous “Into The Valley of Death Rode The Six Hundred” poem, read by Simon Callow CBE, which will capture some of the extraordinary sacrifices made during the Crimean War. Travelling from all over the country will be some of Great Britain's most talented young dressage riders who will perform an Eightsome Reel on horses, choreographed by dressage legends Jennie Loriston-Clarke and Dane Rawlins – a special tribute to Queen Victoria’s love of Balmoral and the Highlands. They will be accompanied by Scottish dancers performing one of her favourite reels. The 90-minute show is staged by a BAFTA award-winning team and will transport the audience back to the Victorian era, drawing on some of its typical characteristics, such as the singalong Music Hall, favourites from Gilbert & Sullivan, and a mass tribute to Charles Dickens. Debbie Wiseman OBE, one of our foremost composers, has arranged and composed much of the music. Hansom Cabs, Coster Carts, Omnibuses and London Carriages, together with leading side saddle riders, will bring music from Oliver to life. By kind permission of Her Majesty The Queen, The Royal Mews will be exhibiting some rarely seen coaches and carriages from its collection. Riders of the Land Rover Shetland Pony Grand National and the DAKS Pony Club Mounted Games will enter a combined race for the first time. Representing every corner of the British Isles, the competition will be fast and furious as they race over fences and twist in and out of Pony Club games. The ‘Act’ will represent Queen Victoria’s interest in everything to do with ponies, which she rode later in life. Show Director Simon Brooks-Ward said: “The Pageant will capture the wonders of the Victorian era through world-class displays and musical dialogue. There is an exceptional level of national and international equestrian talent involved in the show, and it is fantastic to be marking the occasion by bringing them together to celebrate this fascinating time.” How to watch Royal Windsor Horse Show Action from CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show, which takes place from 8-12 May 2019 is set to be broadcast with an extensive live schedule allowing viewers across the world to tune in to the best that the Show has to offer. For those wanting to watch the Show live, Royal Windsor Horse Show offers a free live streaming service, which will be available on the Royal Windsor website , with a number of classes also streamed live on the Royal Windsor Facebook page. Enabling fans to enjoy the elite international competitions including the CDI4* Al’Shiraa Dressage Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle, the live streaming platforms are a welcome addition to the Show. The Horse & Country TV coverage of Royal Windsor will provide highlights of the week’s top-tier classes. On the evenings of 19, 20 and 21 May, the 9.00pm primetime slot on Sky channel 184 will show highlights of the CSI5* Kingdom of Bahrain Stakes for The King’s Cup, CDI4* FEI Al Shira’aa Grand Prix Freestyle to Music, and Extreme Driving. Timetable Ticket information Start lists and results
Wednesday, May 1

Pape and Harmony's Don Noblesse impressive in Hagen

Great Britain’s Susan Pape achieved top-ten placings in strong company at the prestigious Hagen CDI4* in Germany, this year themed ‘Horses & Dreams meets France’ (24 – 28 April 2019). Riding Harmony’s Don Noblesse (Dancier x Don Davidoff), a 12-year-old black stallion owned by Harmony Sporthorses, Susan achieved ninth in the Grand Prix for Special on a score of 71.63% followed by 10th in the Special with 70.66%. Both classes were won by the home nation’s Sönke Rothenberger and Cosmo 59 at their first show since a fire destroyed the Rothenberger family’s training centre at the end of February. “I’m very pleased with him [Don Noblesse],” commented Susan following her return home to Hengststation Pape in Hemmoor, North Western Germany, where she’s based with husband Ingo Pape. “I’m very happy. The horse has gained so much more strength and although there are still areas where he can improve, he gave me a very good feeling. He’s a marvellous horse, and my favourite of them all.” As a five year old, Harmony’s Don Noblesse reached the finals of the Bundeschampionate and was subsequently bought from the PSI auction. He stood in the finals of the prestigious Nürnberger Burgpokal and in the Louisdor Cup for upcoming Grand Prix horses and finished third in both classes. In 2017, in his first Grand Prix season, he earned several wins and high placings to get selected for the Nations Cup in Rotterdam. Following a year out after Rotterdam, the breeding stallion has come back stronger than ever, as was evidenced with two plus-70% Grand Prix Special scores at Wellington in Florida where Susan bases herself for two months of every year. “And he’s not even at his peak yet,” she says. “He’s a strong horse and it’s a nice feeling knowing that there’s more to come.” Susan, who trains with her husband Ingo and Michael Klimke, moved to Germany in 1982 and enjoyed several years under the tutelage of the great Herbert Rehbein and his wife Karin, rider of the legendary dressage stallion Donnerhall. “I did my apprenticeship and worked with Karin Rehbein for seven years. It was an incredible time, grooming for Karin and the great Donnerhall, and it was there that I met my husband.” She accredits many of her top ride’s qualities to his Donnerhall ancestry. “I can see and feel Donnerhall in Don Noblesse. The strength in the body…the talent for collected work…the way of collecting. There are so many similarities. He has a very good mind also. It doesn’t matter what stall he’s in at a show, or flying, so long as he has something to eat, he’s fine. “I’m delighted to ride such a horse and thankful for the opportunity they [Harmony Sporthorses] give me to ride these horses.” Results of the British riders: CDI4* Grand Prix – qualification for Freestyle 1st Frederic Wandres with Duke of Britain, 73.848% (GER) 20th Emma Hindle with Diesel 8, 65.500% (GBR) Full results CDI4* Grand Prix – qualification for Special 1st Sönke Rothenberger with Cosmo 59, 81.239% (GER) 9th Susan Pape with Harmony’s Don Noblesse, 71.630% (GBR) 14th Laura Tomlinson with Duval’s Capri Sonne Jr, 68.978% (GBR) 19th Emile Faurie with Café’s Caletta, 68.022% (GBR) 22nd Emma Hindle with Romy Del Sol, 66.196% (GBR) Full results CDI4* Grand Prix Special 1st Sönke Rothenberger with Cosmo 59, 79.638% (GER) 10th Susan Pape with Harmony’s Don Noblesse, 70.660% (GBR) 15th Laura Tomlinson with Duval’s Capri Sonne Jr, 66.489% (GBR) Full results CDI4* Grand Prix Consolation 1st Lone Bang Larsen with Bakkely’s Onandt, 71.014% (DEN) 4th Emma Hindle with Romy Del Sol, 69.239% (GBR) 11th Emile Faurie with Café’s Caletta, 65.652% (GBR) Full results
Tuesday, April 30

Dujardin dominates Grand Prix at Keysoe

Storm Hannah may have left some challenging conditions in her wake as high winds whipped across the UK, but this didn’t detract from three days of top class dressage last week at Keysoe Premier League in Bedfordshire (26 – 28 April 2019). Charlotte Dujardin and Erlentanz (pictured) were the outstanding winners of the LeMieux Grand Prix on Friday. Multi-medallist Charlotte and 12 year old ‘Erly’ were awarded a score of 78% from the judging panel comprising Finland’s Paula Nysten at C, Kirsty Mepham at M and Mark Ruddock at B, to take the class by a margin of more than ten percent. Charlotte has temporarily taken the ride on Erlentanz (by Latimer) whilst owner-rider Sonnar Murray-Brown continues his recovery from a broken leg, and they’ve been producing high quality Grand Prix performances since, despite their short time together. Charlotte knows the talented Trakehner well having played a part, alongside Carl Hester, in Sonnar’s training and is giving the gelding valuable arena exposure whilst Sonnar is sidelined. They won at Myerscough Premier League in March before claiming second to Carl Hester and Nip Tuck in both the Grand Prix and Freestyle at Keysoe CDI. Next month they contest the Al Shira’aa sponsored Windsor CDI4* in the grounds of Windsor Castle. Reflecting on her previous day’s ride, Charlotte took to Facebook to say; “Wonderful day yesterday at the Keysoe Premier League with Erlantanz who won the Grand Prix with 78%. [He’s] Such a lovely horse, with so much to give. Thank you to Alan [Davies] and Ian Cast for your help. Next stop Royal Windsor Horse Show which I am very very excited for.” Young French rider Camille Audo impressed on Friday, winning a competitive Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges with her new ride, the up and coming Grand Prix horse Behroez (United x Gribaldi). On only their third competition outing together the promising combination achieved a score of 71.49% to take the 40-strong class. Camille who is based with her trainer Sarah Millis in West Sussex now heads to Saumur CDI with Behroez to contest the Young Rider divisions for France. Herefordshire’s Kate Cowell was on winning form Friday too, achieving a Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I victory with 71.89% aboard the elegant Sirocco (by Sandro Hit) for owner Helen Illes. Kate was thrilled with Sirocco who was experiencing his first competition outing since Vale View High Profile last November. She took to Facebook to say; “Super star Sirocco! Winning the Intermediate I at Keysoe Premier League with 71%. His first show for 2019 and he felt amazing; he's really improved with the intensive winter training.” Saturday’s Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges was ably won by Debbie Poynter and her 14 year old Florencio son, Keystone For Real, on a score of 69.47%; and the Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I by Alice Oppenheimer and Headmore Davina, fresh from their Small Tour double at the NAF Five Star Winter Championships. Alice and ‘Davina’ achieved a cracking score of 74.69% before also taking Sunday’s Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges with 72.94%. Sunday’s Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I was won in style by Andrew Gould and Blue Hors Dexter (Don Schufro x Blue Hors Cavan), a black 12 year old owned by Terry and Joan Barnett-Knott. The pair, who’ve competed together just a handful of times scored 70.92%, with Daisy Coakley and Cleopatra and Dannie Morgan with Southern Cross Braemar completing the top three. On Saturday afternoon, freestyle classes from Advanced Medium to Grand Prix took centre stage in the indoor. Maria Eilberg, team silver medallist at the Senior European Championships in 2009, was the convincing winner of the Grand Prix Freestyle with her own and Hermione Black’s Royal Diamond son, Royal Concert, on a score of 73.16%. Now 16, the talented, sensitive grey gelding is showing increased confidence in the arena. He and Maria won the Grand Prix Freestyle at Keysoe High Profile last November and were recently sixth in the Freestyle at Keysoe CDI. In the Pony divisions, Olivia Whitelaw and Martha Jobling-Purser won the Team and Individual tests respectively. Pony Prime Squad member Olivia and Brouwershaven’s Viceroy, a Dutch-bred 10 year old by Jurjen H, earned a score of 70%; the new combination of Martha and Valido’s Starlight (Valido x Capri Moon) scored 70.61%. Martha who has a wealth of experience in the show ring, has ridden Valido’s Starlight, the ride of Megan Barrett at the 2018 Pony European Championships, since last autumn. A highlight of Sunday was the Cavalor Inter II which emphasised how many younger riders are working their way towards Grand Prix. In the line-up were riders such as Lucy Pincus with Sheepcote Fiesta, who also contested the Grand Prix, Joanna Thurman-Baker with her Young Rider European Championship partner Highcliffe Apollo, and Izzy Chaplin and Vincente II who won the Petplan Equine Inter II Silver at Hartpury earlier this month. The combination to take the honours however was 21 year old London based German rider Julia Giner with her 16 year old gelding Wytens on a score of 68.64%. British Dressage thanks all the class sponsors as well as Simon Bates and his team at Keysoe for putting on a fantastic event. Congratulations to all the winners listed below, and to all those who took part. The winners Friday Class 1: Equine Construction Advanced Medium Fiona Brennan with De Angelis II, 71.05% Class 2: Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Camille Audo with Behroez, 71.49% Class 3: Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I Kate Cowell with Sirocco, 71.89% Class 4: LeMieux Grand Prix Charlotte Dujardin with Erlentanz, 78.00% Class 5: Hickstead British Young Horse FEI 5YO Qualifier Antonia Brown with SJL Baks Zacco, 79.2 Class 6: Hickstead British Young Horse FEI 6YO Qualifier Tom Goode with Sakira, 78.0 Saturday Class 7: Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I Alice Oppenheimer with Headmore Davina, 74.69% Class 8: Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Debbie Poynter and Keystone For Real, 69.47% Class 9: Pony Team Test Olivia Whitelaw with Brouwershaven’s Viceroy, 70.00% Class 10: Equine Construction Advanced Medium Dylan Deutrom with San Marco, 73.96% Class 11: Hickstead British Young Horse National 5YO Qualifier Melissa Chapman with Jaguar DHI, 7.88 Class 12: Hickstead British Young Horse National 6YO Qualifier Judy Harvey with SP Bento, 8.26 Class 13: Advanced Medium Freestyle Jasmine Harding Heitzmann with Deco, 69.277% Class 14: Prix St Georges Freestyle Ellie McCarthy with Donna Summer, 71.70% Class 15: Intermediate I Freestyle Tahley Reeve Smith with Special, 72.37% Class 16: Grand Prix Freestyle Maria Eilberg with Royal Concert, 73.16% Sunday Class 17: Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Alice Oppenheimer with Headmore Davina, 72.94% Class 18: Cavalor Intermediate II Julia Giner with Wytens, 68.64% Class 19: Pony Individual Test Martha Jobling-Purser with Valido’s Starlight, 70.61% Class 20: Equine Construction Advanced Medium Fiona Brenna with De Angelis II, 72.11% Class 21: Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I Andrew Gould with Blue Hors Dexter, 70.92% Class 22: Shearwater Young Horse 4YO Qualifier Femke Meiland with First Lady, 44 Class 23: Shearwater Young Horse 5YO Qualifier Alex Hardwick with Joie De Vivre Prins, 44.5 Class 24: Shearwater Young Horse 6YO Qualifier Mark Mills with Washington DC, 44.1 Class 25: Shearwater Young Pony 4YO Qualifier Frances Turner with Dypool Miami Reef, 38.6 Class 26: Shearwater Young Pony 5YO Qualifier Vikki Pengilly with Cynheidrefawr Isaac, 39.6 Class 27: Shearwater Young Pony 6YO Qualifier Abigail Edwards with Penbee Savannah, 30.3 For full results click here Photo © Kevin Sparrow
Friday, April 26

BD abroad: Good luck Team NAF

The following riders have been selected to represent Great Britain at the Saumur CDIOY/J/P and CDIY/J/P at the iconic Cadre Noir, the French national riding school (2 - 5 May). Team NAF will be represented by two teams at Pony and Junior level who'll be proudly sporting their NAF team kit and branding, kindly provided by fellow team supporters LeMieux. Make sure to follow the latest news and results from Saumur on the BD Youth facebook page and show your support with #TeamNAF. CDIOP Bonnie Bourne from Pluckley, Kent, with her own Fin C WE (liver chestnut gelding, 16yrs, s. Famos) Holly Kerslake from Lifton, Devon, with her own and Carl Trock's Valhallas Zorro (black stallion, 10yrs, s. Valhallas Lord Matrafal) Isobel Lickley from Albrighton, Staffordshire, with Robert and Nicola Lickley's Mister Snowman (liver chestnut gelding, 13yrs, s. The Braes My Mobility) Annabella Pidgley from Windsor, Berkshire, with Sarah Pidgley's Cognac IX (palomino gelding, 11yrs, s. FS Chambertin) CDIP Isobel Lickley from Albrighton, Staffordshire, with Robert and Nicola Lickley's Valido's Sunshine (bay mare, 16yrs, s. Valido) Annabella Pidgley from Windsor, Berkshire, with Sarah Pidgley's Ine (chestnut mare, 12yrs, s. Constantin) CDIOJ Clare Hole from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, with Dr Rachel Murray's Winnetou GEP (black gelding, 16yrs, s. Gribaldi) Jessica McConkey from Watlington, Oxfordshire, with her own Lady Gaga II (dark bay mare, 10yrs, s. Quaterback) Charlotte McDowall from Highleadon, Gloucestershire, with her own Alivia (black mare, 14yrs, s. Olivi) Olivia Wrennall from Slough, Berkshire, with Tessa Thorne and Nicola Hand's Disneyland (liver chestnut gelding, 10yrs, s. Diamond Hit)  CDIJ Caitlin Burgess  from Berrynarbor, Devon, with her own Chocotof (dark brown gelding, 12yrs, s. Lord Leatherdale) Clare Hole  from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, with her own Pro-Motion (bay gelding, 16yrs, s. Pro-Set CDIY Alexandra Hellings from Bakewell, Derbyshire with Sonia Baines' Uvender V (bay gelding, 18yrs, s. Krack C) Lara Kuropatwa  from Malmesbury, Wiltshire, with Sian Kuropatwa's For Season (liver chestnut gelding, 9yrs, s. Fifty Cent) Click here to visit the event website.  Start lists and results to follow. 
Friday, April 26

Calling all potential international Youth riders

Ahead of the initial Test Riding and Viewing for the 2019/20 season and the 2019/20 Selection Policy, which is due to be published in the late autumn, Selectors are outlining the requirements for qualification at all levels and stages of the season to facilitate U21 riders and their plans. The 2019/20 season will run from 1 September 2019 until 31 August 2020. Initial Test Riding and Squad Viewing Viewing for all categories - Ponies, Juniors, Young Riders and Children on Horses - will be held on Sunday 8 September at The Unicorn Trust, Stow on the Wold, Gloucestershire GL54 1JZ. The day will consist of test riding, with an FEI Judge and with Selectors in attendance, covering the following tests: FEI Pony Team Test / FEI CoH Team Test / FEI Junior Team Test / FEI Young Rider Team Test Combinations wishing to ride at this viewing will need to have achieved two scores of 67% or above, from different judges at two separate affiliated shows, or internationally, at the relevant test levels detailed below. Scores must be achieved within the preceding six calendar months to close of entries. Entries will close 16 August 2019 and will be offered on BookWhen from six weeks prior to this date. • Ponies: FEI Pony Team Test, FEI Pony Individual Test, Medium 75 or 76 • Children on Horses: FEI COH Team Test, or Elementary 55, 57 or 59 • Juniors: FEI Junior Team Test (Adv Med 92), FEI Junior Ind Test (AM 96) or AM 98 • Young Riders: FEI Young Rider Team Test (PSG) or FEI YR Individual Test Combinations selected for inclusion on the 2019/20 International Squad will be notified in the week following this event. 2019 European Championship Team, Individual and Reserve combinations are not required to attend the Viewing Day but will still need to achieve the qualifying 68% at test riding or a Premier League show before going abroad. For further information including details of the 2019/2020 winter training programme, please follow this link or email Sharon Weir in the BD office.
Thursday, April 25

BD Abroad: Waregem CPEDI3*

The following riders have been selected to represent Great Britain this week at Waregem CPEDI3* in Belgium (26 – 28 April 2019). Grade I Mari Durward Akhurst from Amersham, Buckinghamshire, with Glesni Owen’s Sky O’Hara (brown gelding, 20yrs, s. Welt Hit II ds. Lector). Grade II Julie Payne from Oxford, Oxfordshire, with her own Pandora (chestnut mare, 18yrs, s. Pascal) - pictured. Lee Pearson from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with his own Breezer III (bay gelding, 8yrs, s. Bacardi) and Julie Daly’s B Grandeur (bay gelding, 13yrs, s. Grannex ds. Ilmeo). Grade III Erin Orford from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, with Charlie Zehetmayr’s LJT Diamond Crusador (bay gelding, 6yrs, s. Diamond Hit). Amanda Shirtcliffe from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, with her own New-Princess (black mare, 12yrs, s. Newman ds. World-Art). Grade IV Heather Bennett from Goole, Humberside, with Elizabeth Haigh’s Guinevere Aimbry (chestnut mare, 8yrs, s. Totilas). Nicola Naylor from London with her own Donnatella H (liver chestnut mare, 11yrs, s. Status Quo ds. Clavecimbel) and her own Ferrari (black gelding, 9yrs, s. Wynton ds. Contango). Izzy Palmer from Leeds, Yorkshire, with Deborah Doyle’s Grand Bolero K (bay gelding, 8yrs, s. Spielberg ds. Eugebio) and Sophie Wells’ Touchdown M (bay gelding, 19yrs, s. Jazz ds. Fundus OLD). Marcelle Ward from Chichester, West Sussex, with her own Dornroeschen (chestnut mare, 13yrs, s. De Niro ds. Rosenschnee). For start lists  click here For results  click here Live stream - Grade I, II and III Live stream - Grade IV and V
Thursday, April 25

Preview: Keysoe Premier League

Keysoe Equestrian in Bedfordshire is making final preparations before welcoming a high quality contingent of riders for the second Premier League competition of 2019. Here’s a taster of what promises to be three days of top dressage from Friday through Sunday (26 - 28 April). The show gets underway at 8am on Friday with a competitive Equine Construction Advanced Medium. Featured are some interesting combinations including San Marco who was the the 2016 Shearwater six year old Champion with his late owner-rider Caroline Church. San Marco, owned by Caroline’s son Will, will be making his Premier League debut with young rider Dylan Deutrom. Visitors Friday will also have a quality Fairfax Saddles PSG line-up to look forward to. Lizzie Murray presents two horses – the Totilas son Timolin and her winning 2018 Small Tour Championship partner Ulyssa – both talented young horses on the up. Charlotte Crocker-Westlake with Gaspar De Valle and Tom Pett and Curioso bring an Iberian feel, and all eyes will be on Tom Goode and Langley, a young horse who gained quite a fan club at the 2018 BD National Convention. Starting at 1pm Friday is the LeMieux Grand Prix. Charlotte Dujardin will make a second competition appearance with Erlentanz whilst owner-rider Sonnar Murray-Brown continues to recover from a broken leg. Charlotte and ‘Erly’ (pictured) competed together for the first time in March at Keysoe CDI3* where they finished close second to Carl Hester and Nip Tuck in the Grand Prix and Freestyle – such is the strength of this fledgling partnership. Grand Prix contenders include FEI 5* Judge Isobel Wessels with Chagall, young rider Lucy Pincus who has two rides, Maria Eilberg with Royal Concert, Bobby Hayler and Aldborough Rubinhall who won at Wellington Premier League in 2018, and Louise Bell and Into The Blue who’ve just returned from Sint-Truiden CDI3* in Belgium. Fresh from a phenomenal NAF Five Star Winter Championships where they did the Small Tour double, Alice Oppenheimer and Headmore Davina go into Saturday’s Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I as ones to watch; the same day’s Fairfax Saddles PSG includes youth talent such as 2015 FEI Pony European Championships team gold medallist Rebecca Bell with her Young Rider partner Nibeley Union Hit, and talented young French rider Camille Audo. The Hickstead British Young Horse qualifiers start with the five year olds at 1.58pm followed by six year olds at 4.30pm in front of judges Jenny Ward and Michel Assouline, whilst indoors from 4pm are Freestyles from Advanced Medium to Grand Prix. Sunday starts at 9am with another bumper Fairfax Saddles PSG class. Kate Cowell, FEI Young Rider European Team Bronze medallist in 2000, has two rides forward – Rayban and Firmino; and Emily Harris, 2007 FEI Pony European Team Bronze medallist, presents her exciting prospect Freya FST. Sunday afternoon’s Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I is a must-see. Dannie Morgan, who had the best week of his dressage career so far last month at Hartpury, will be riding his own and Sue Becvar’s Southern Cross Braemar; Rebecca Edwards rides Headmore Delegate, and Andrew Gould who was on the same bronze medal-winning Young Rider team as Kate Cowell, rides Blue Hors Dexter, a horse with whom he’s achieved exciting results so far in their short time together. From midday onwards, judges Nicola McGivern, Nikki Herbert and Chris Porterfield preside over the Shearwater Young Horse and Pony qualifiers between them, an opportunity to see many of Britain’s emerging equine talent as they are assessed for their potential as future performers. For all this, plus a chance to see the FEI Pony tests on Saturday and Sunday, simply head to Bedfordshire’s premier venue. Keysoe boasts a high quality cafeteria and entrance is free on all three days. Programme Friday 08:00 Equine Construction Advanced Medium 09:00 Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges 09:00 Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I 13:01 LeMieux Grand Prix 13:45 Hickstead British Young Horse FEI 5YO Qualifier 15:21 Hickstead British Young Horse FEI 6YO Qualifier Saturday 9:00 Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges 9:00 Pony Team Test 9:00 Equine Construction Advanced Medium 11:50 Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I 13:58 Hickstead British Young Horse National 5YO Qualifier 16:30 Hickstead British Young Horse National 6YO Qualifier 16:00 Advanced Medium Freestyle 16:56 Prix St Georges Freestyle 17:28 Intermediate I Freestyle 18:32 Grand Prix Freestyle Sunday 9:00 Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges 9:00 Cavalor Intermediate II 9:00 Equine Construction Advanced Medium 14:04 Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I 14:20 Pony Individual Test 12:01 Shearwater Young Horse 4YO Qualifier 14:17 Shearwater Young Horse 5YO Qualifier 16:49 Shearwater Young Horse 6YO Qualifier 12:01 Shearwater Young Pony 4YO Qualifier 15:53 Shearwater Young Pony 5YO Qualifier 17:56 Shearwater Young Pony 6YO Qualifier For start lists click here For results click here Photo © Kevin Sparrow
Wednesday, April 24

WC Podium Potential Pathway riders named

The British Equestrian Federation’s World Class Podium Potential Pathway Programme 2019-2021 squad of 30 talented riders has been announced. The selected athletes attended an Induction Day at Solihull Riding Club, West Midlands today and were welcomed on to the programme. Riders listened to several inspirational speakers focusing on what it takes to win, maximising their potential as an athlete, being part of the legacy plus an insight from double Olympic Champion Helen Glover MBE on her Olympic journey. The BEF Head of Performance Pathways, David Hamer, presented an overview to the riders of the pathway programme and challenged the athletes to consider what is talent and if this is an innate ability or can be developed into a skill. David explained “This is an exciting stage in the newly structured performance pathway as we now have three clear stages of the athletes journey starting here in developing the foundation skills to support their sport and sporting career. To achieve this standard these young athletes have already shown capabilities and the programme will now support them to aid their potential.” Riders who have been selected for the two year programme, funded by UK Sport National Lottery and Sport England, will have the opportunity to access top equestrian specialists including: international coaches, human sport science and medicine practitioners (physiotherapists and psychologists) and equine sport science and medicine practitioners (farriers, saddlers, vets and equine physiotherapists) via a series of squad training sessions. The Podium Potential Pathway Programme, which replaces the former Excel Talent Programme, will bring the performance foundation skill development level into the main World Class Performance Pathway and looks to identify, support and develop athletes who demonstrate the potential to progress to Podium Potential, by providing education to develop the foundation skills required for future performance. The dressage athletes accepted onto the two-year programme are:   DRESSAGE Lewis Carrier Lucy Amy Joanna Thurman-Baker Ellie McCarthy Angus Corrie-Deane Lara Kuropatwa Isobel Berrington Jessica McConkey   PARA Marcelle Ward Jessica Phillips Rowan Crosby Kyrby Brown
Tuesday, April 23

50 day countdown to Bolesworth

WITH just 50 days to go until this year’s Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show the final countdown is well and truly on. With a feast of world class show jumping and dressage, the North’s iconic equestrian event will bring together the very best British riders including Carl Hester, Charlotte Dujardin and the Whittakers; it’s a family entertainment galore there’s no better place to be this summer. Held in the stunning setting of Bolesworth Castle, the show runs June 12 to 16 and includes a packed line-up of competition featuring many of the leading riders from home and abroad. The show gets underway on Wednesday 12th with five, six and seven-year-old Young Dressage Horse Viewing Trials as well as an Advanced Medium class, Big Tour Grand Prix and Small Tour Inter 1 Freestyle Dressage to Music. Following the popularity over the last two years Carl Hester is back and has teamed up with renowned dressage rider, trainer and FEI 4* Judge, Peter Storr for the 2019 dressage demonstration. This well-known duo will bring to spectators a fascinating showcase titled - ‘80% Is The New 70%’ – Through The Eyes Of The Judges – in the International Arena at 7pm. Show jumping gets underway in the Castle Arena with four, five and six-year-old age classes and national classes look set to prove as popular as ever in the Lake Arena. Dressage continues to be the focus on the Thursday as the big guns take centre stage in the Prix St Georges and Grand Prix Freestyle. This year’s show will once again host the exciting Cazenove Capital Eventing Grand Prix featuring top names such as the ever popular Alex Hua Tian. Taking place during the evening performance on the Thursday, this exciting feature class will be a fast and furious competition and provides great entertainment for ringside spectators. And as part of a new innovation, the top five placed riders in the class will qualify to compete in the final leg at the Theraplate UK Liverpool International Horse Show in December. A second qualifying leg will run at the Bolesworth Young Horse Championship Show in August. This high calibre invitational spectacle will see 20 leading event riders tackle a course of show jumps and feature cross-country fences, against the clock in the International Arena. On Friday, June 14 competition includes the heart-stopping Equitop GLME Puissance, Arena Polo and the ground-breaking Bolesworth Elite Auction, followed by a Celebrity DJ in Club Boles. Champagne, cocktails, luxury shopping, and high class hospitality, meet fantastic family entertainment, World class sport and a brilliant line up of evening entertainment with extensive facilities to camp onsite if you would like to extend your stay, so why not take advantage of this fantastic opportunity. For 2019, the event will once again host the glamorous and ever popular ‘Ladies Day’ supported by Lord & Lady Equestrian on the Saturday! Throughout the day, ladies in hospitality have the chance to impress a celebrity judge panel to be awarded ‘The Equerry Bolesworth International’s Best Dressed’ with a dazzling awards ceremony in the International Arena. Ladies Day is full of exciting entertainment in Boleworth’s iconic International Arena including CSI 4* Show Jumping, a polo demonstration and the exhilarating Ride & Drive featuring celebrity drivers, top riders and one fast car! Sunday is Equerry Grand Prix day and always provides a fantastic finale to the show with the fences growing ever higher. Visit www.bolesworthinternational.com to book tickets for this year’s show. Hurry - book before 30 April for a 25% discount!
Tuesday, April 23

2019 Futurity plans announced

British Breeding is delighted to announce the dates and plans for its 2019 British Breeding Baileys Horse Feeds Futurity evaluations. This highly regarded series for foals and young stock aims to identify talented horses that will go on to compete successfully in the future. With many Futurity graduates already competing at top level in Dressage, Endurance, Eventing and Showjumping the series offers the ideal opportunity for breeders to showcase their potential stars. The 2019 British Breeding Baileys Horse Feeds Futurity sees several developments designed to build on their world-leading evaluation system, delivering an independent and objective detailed assessment of performance potential and opening opportunities for British bred foals and youngsters from all studbooks. In preparation for the relaunch of the Equine Bridge, British Breeding’s young stock development programme organised in cooperation with the Olympic Disciplines and designed to put more British riders on British horses, separate Futurity evaluation days have been dedicated to 3 to 5-year olds. Organiser and director of British Breeding, Dr Eva-Maria Broomer, explains, “The age range has been opened up to allow older horses the opportunity to qualify for the Bridge. Having these on separate days will allow us to use a tailor made and optimised assessment structure for that age group, designed to give the very best feedback and support at that crucial age. Our focus will then turn to the younger foals, yearlings and two-year olds that will be assessed on the other dates”. A new grading system has also been announced, replacing the old third, second and first premiums with Bronze, Silver and Gold. This reflects the Futurity’s recognition of the quality of a wide range of riding horses and ponies, from those suitable for the ambitious amateur to the next generation of international Grand Prix horses. The Futurity season will be rounded off with a special celebration and Futurity Gala, showcasing the very best of British Breeding and offering interested buyers the opportunity to find an excellent range of special youngsters in one place. British Breeding’s Futurity Evaluations have developed several unique benefits to breeders. Each entry undergoes a thorough veterinary assessment of soundness and conformation and receives expert nutritional advice. A detailed evaluation from a panel of renowned international industry experts gives a comprehensive linear profile and detailed feedback for each horse or pony, recorded in a state-of-the-art database for future reference. Professional videography and photography ensure that every entrant has a comprehensive record of their day. Qualification for the newly re-launched Equine Bridge, in cooperation with the Olympic Disciplines offers further opportunities for development and working closer with the sport. The 2019 Futurity dates range from late July to end of August, giving later foals time to mature and allowing breeders a choice to present their young stock at venues across the country. The Futurity is open to foals, yearlings, two, three, four and five-year-olds in the disciplines of Dressage, Endurance, Eventing and Show Jumping. All venues offer a safe, indoor environment that breeders have come to expect at Futurity evaluations. This year, the series will take place across eleven locations: 29th July – Richmond Equestrian Centre, North Yorkshire – 3-5-year olds 30th July – Richmond Equestrian Centre, North Yorkshire – foals – 2-year olds 31st July – Vale View, Melton Mowbray – Foals – 2-year olds 1st August – Writtle College, Essex – Foals – 2-year olds 2nd August – Bilsington Priory, Kent – Foals – 2-year olds 26th August – The Grange, Okehampton – Foals – 2-year olds 27th August – Catherston, Stockbridge – Foals – 2-year olds 28th August – Catherston, Stockbridge – 3-5-year olds 29th August – Addington Manor, Buckingham– Foals – 2-year olds 30th August – Swallowfield, Solihull – Foals – 2-year olds 31st August – Newton Rigg, Penrith – Foals – 2-year olds 1st September – Drumcarrow, St Andrews – Foals – 2-year olds 21st September – Solihull Riding Club – 3-5-year olds 22nd September – Solihull Riding Club – Futurity Gala and Mare & Youngstock Show For more information, visit www.british-breeding.com , or follow on facebook @BritishBreedingFuturity.  
Tuesday, April 23

BD Abroad: Sint-Truiden CDI3*/U25/Y/J/P/Ch-A results

Results of the British riders who competed last week at Sint-Truiden CDI3*/U25/Y/J/P/Ch-A in Belgium (18 – 22 April 2019): CDI3* Grand Prix 1st Morgan Barbançon with Bolero, 71.587% (FRA) 14th Louise Bell with Into The Blue, 66.239% (GBR) CDI3* Grand Prix Special 1st Morgan Barbançon with Bolero, 71.511% (FRA) 9th Louise Bell with Into The Blue, 67.000% (GBR) CDI3* Prix St Georges 1st Joyce Heuitink with Gaudi Vita, 71.647% (NED) 8th Sarah Williams with Bohigas W, 68.559% (GBR) 10th Sarah Higgins with Alfranco, 68.176% (GBR) - pictured last November CDI3* Intermediate I 1st Thibault Vandenberghe with Santiago Song, 71.676% (BEL) 7th Sarah Higgins with Alfranco, 68.059% (GBR) 10th Sarah Williams with Bohigas W, 66.941% (GBR) CDI3* Intermediate I Freestyle 1st Jorinde Verwimp with Kaster Hof Ter Zeedycke D’12, 77.625% (BEL) 8th Sarah Higgins with Alfranco, 70.042% (GBR) 12th Sarah Williams with Bohigas W, 66.667% (GBR) CDIJ Junior Team Test 1st Sara Aagaard Hyrm with Skovborgs Romadinov, 71.717% (DEN) 25th Avery Maude with Double Agent, 64.899% (GBR) CDIJ Junior Individual 1st Sara Aagaard Hyrm with Skovborgs Romadinov, 73.186% (DEN) 28th Avery Maude with Double Agent, 63.284% (GBR) CDIP Pony Team Test 1st Nathalie Thomassen with Lykkehoejs Dream of Dornik, 73.095% (DEN) 18th Steffi Tomlinson with Vivassa, 67.667% (GBR) 33rd Lavinia Johnson with Dublin, 62.048% (GBR) CDIP Pony Individual Test 1st Jana Lang with Nur Fuer Dich, 72.297% (GER) 19th Lavinia Johnson with Dublin, 66.892% (GBR) 21st Steffi Tomlinson with Vivassa, 66.532% (GBR) CDIP Pony Consolation 1st Maud Van Walstijn with Heidehof’s Don Diego, 70.631% (NED) 5th Lavinia Johnson with Dublin, 67.162% (GBR) 10th Steffi Tomlinson with Vivassa, 65.856% (GBR) For full results click here Photo © Kevin Sparrow
Tuesday, April 16

Frost sparkles at Ebreichsdorf CDI4*

Britain’s Matt Frost achieved strong results last week in the Pferdesportpark Magna Racino arena at Ebreichsdorf CDI4* in Austria (12 – 14 April 2019). Riding the gorgeous Tribiani he earned a mark of 68.19% to claim sixth place in Friday’s highly competitive Grand Prix, a class won by Germany’s Jessica Von Bredow-Werndl and Zaire-E (75.82%). The German contender went on to head Saturday night’s Grand Prix Freestyle too, with the British pair producing a stylish kür for 72.05% and fifth amongst hot company. Tribiani’s last competition outing was at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Tryon last September where he wore the Singapore flag with his usual rider and Matt’s pupil Caroline Chew who takes the reins back later this week for Wiener Neustadt CDI4* near Vienna. “The last time Tribiani competed was at WEG with Caroline,” said Matt. “He’s flown a lot recently so it was good for him to have a nice big break. I rode him at Ebreichsdorf to get him back in the ring, to give him his first competition outing after his holiday, and now Caroline will start her campaign to qualify for Tokyo next year.” Talking about the gorgeous ‘Joey’, Matt said; “He’s such a lovely horse and always produces a consistent test. There were a couple of mistakes in the Grand Prix but for his first time competing after a break, I’m very happy with him.” Describing their Star Wars-themed freestyle programme, Matt said; “It was a relatively easy one before, but this one is more high impact. It has double pirouettes, piaffe turns, and it really allows me to show the horse’s strengths. I really enjoy riding to it.” Tribiani was bought as a nine year old from Denmark by Caroline’s parents Tony and Melanie Chew as a Small Tour horse for their daughter. “They won silver at the Southeast Asian Games, he took to Grand Prix in the autumn of that year, and he hasn’t looked back. “Caroline is a full-time lawyer working in London and she rides at the weekends; I’m 6’4’’ and she’s 5’6’’; but he [Joey] copes with us both so well. Caroline is good at receiving instructions and trusting me. It’s a system that works. It’s a good team.” Talking about the S. Landtinus DVH 674 x Landandel gelding, Matt added; “He’s a kind, pleasant horse. He’s very easy-going but you can light him up and get some fantastic expression. He’s very normal too, he hacks, goes in the field and is lovely to have around.” Above: celebrating Grand Prix sixth CDI4* Grand Prix 1st Jessica Von Bredow-Werndl with Zaire-E, 75.826% (GER) 6th Matt Frost with Tribiani, 68.196% (GBR) Full results CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle 1st Jessica Von Bredow-Werndl with Zaire-E, 82.250% (GER) 5th Matt Frost with Tribiani, 72.055% (GBR) Full results Photo © Adam Fanthorpe
Monday, April 15

BD Abroad: Nieuw en Sint Joosland results

Results of the British riders who competed last week at Nieuw en Sint Joosland CDI3*/U25/YJP in the Netherlands (10 – 14 April 2019): CDI3* Grand Prix 1st Malin Wahlkamp-Nilsson with Eddieni, 72.043% (SWE) 6th Emma Hindle with Romy Del Sol, 70.348% (GBR) - pictured last year =12th Vicky Thompson-Winfield with Mango Jacaro, 68.326% (GBR) =12th Sara Gallop with Bandreo, 68.326% (GBR) 15th Willow Kemp with Dragon Heart, 67.739% (GBR) CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle 1st Marlies Van Baalen with Ben Johnson, 77.025% (NED) 5th Emma Hindle with Romy Del Sol, 73.150% (GBR) 12th Vicky Thompson-Winfield with Mango Jacaro, 68.085% (GBR) CDI3* Grand Prix Special 1st Malin Wahlkamp-Nilsson with Eddieni, 73.574% (SWE) 8th Sara Gallop with Bandreo, 66.809% (GBR) 12th Willow Kemp with Dragon Heart, 60.213% (GBR) CDI3* Prix St Georges 1st Lynne Maas with Fantastique, 71.529% (NED) 18th Kerry Mackin with Esquire, 64.412% (GBR) CDI3* Intermediate I 1st Lynne Maas with Fantastique, 73.059% (NED) 18th Kerry Mackin with Esquire, 61.235% (GBR) CDIU25 Intermediate II 1st Jasmien De Koeyer with Esperanza, 73.147% (NED) 3rd Claire Gallimore with Annette Ballerina, 70.235% (GBR) 17th Joanna Thurman-Baker with Highcliffe Apollo, 64.588% (GBR) CDIU25 Grand Prix 1st Jasmien De Koeyer with Esperanza, 73.821% (NED) 12th Claire Gallimore with Annette Ballerina, 66.949% (GBR) 14th Joanna Thurman-Baker with Highcliffe Apollo, 66.00% (GBR) CDIU25 Grand Prix Freestyle 1st Jeanine Nieuwenhuis with TC Athene, 74.725% (NED) 8th Claire Gallimore with Annette Ballerina, 68.375% (GBR) 9th Joanna Thurman-Baker with Highcliffe Apollo, 68.075% (GBR) CDIY Young Rider Team Test 1st Esmee Donkers with Chaina, 71.422% (NED) 21st Charlotte Dicker with Sabatini, 65.588% (GBR) 31st Isobel Berrington with Bing, 60.147% (GBR) CDIY Young Rider Individual Test 1st Esmee Donkers with Chaina, 70.588% (NED) 26th Isobel Berrington with Bing, 65.735% (GBR) 30th Charlotte Dicker with Sabatini, 62.794% (GBR) CDIY Young Rider Consolation 1st Thalia Rockx with Verdi De La Fazenda, 70.490% (NED) 8th Charlotte Dicker with Sabatini, 65.539% (GBR) 12th Isobel Berrington with Bing, 64.559% (GBR) CDIJ Junior Team Test 1st Laura Jarlkvist Rasmussen with Aatoftens Dornier, 71.869% (DEN) 10th Charlotte McDowall with Alivia, 69.394% (GBR) 21st Jessica McConkey with Lady Gaga, 67.828% (GBR) 35th Charlie Grieve with Fedor Van Het Booienhof, 64.848% (GBR) 36th Megan Assouline with Botero, 63.030% (GBR) CDIJ Junior Individual Test 1st Marten Luiten with Fynona, 72.892% (NED) 17th Charlotte McDowall with Alivia, 67.206% (GBR) 33rd Jessica McConkey with Lady Gaga, 64.510% (GBR) 37th Charlie Grieve with Fedor Van Het Booienhof, 60.882% (GBR) CDIJ Junior Freestyle 1st Marten Luiten with Fynona, 77.083% (NED) 11th Charlotte McDowall with Alivia, 70.833% (GBR) CDIJ Junior Consolation 1st Emelie Svanstrom with Toscham SD, 69.902% (SWE) 17th Charlie Grieve with Fedor Van Het Booienhof, 61.422% (GBR) CDIP Pony Team Test section B 1st Floor Van Der Kuijl with Champ of Daily, 71.095% (NED) 16th Hermione Tottman with Brasil, 64.667% (GBR) 20th Lily Laughton with Steendieks Cadillac, 61.381% (GBR) CDIP Pony Individual Test section B 1st Robin Heiden with Colourfull Cannonball, 71.396% (NED) 14th Hermione Tottman with Brasil, 67.207% (GBR) 18th Lily Laughton with Steendieks Cadillac, 64.189% (GBR) CDIP Pony Consolation 1st My Sandgren with Twenty Two, 70.405% (SWE) 11th Hermione Tottman with Brasil, 67.973% (GBR) 19th Lily Laughton with Steendieks Cadillac, 64.550% (GBR) For full results click here Photo © Kevin Sparrow
Monday, April 15

BD Abroad: Nieuw en Sint Joosland CDI3*/U25/YJP

The following riders have been selected to represent Great Britain this week at Nieuw en Sint Joosland CDI3*/U25/YJP in the Netherlands (10 - 14 April 2019). CDI3* Big Tour Sara Gallop from Gloucester, Gloucestershire with her own Bandreo (bay stallion, 13yrs, s. Sandreo). Emma Hindle from Sale, Greater Manchester with her own Romy Del Sol (brown mare, 13yrs, s. Romanov Blue Hors). Willow Kemp from London with her own Dragon Heart (chestnut gelding, 16yrs, s. Dresemann). Vicky Thompson-Winfield from Horsham, West Sussex with Samantha Francis’  Mango Jacaro (bay stallion, 14yrs, s. Rondeño IX). CDI3* Small Tour Kerry Mackin from Horsham, West Sussex with Angela Jones’ Esquire (bay stallion, 10yrs, s. Valeron). U25 Grand Prix Claire Gallimore from Wadhurst, East Sussex with Annette Ballerina (bay mare, 14yrs, s. Scandic ds. Jazz). Joanna Thurman-Baker from Henley-on-Thames with Highcliffe Apollo (bay gelding, 17yrs, s. Der Lenz ds. Laptop). CDIY – Young Riders Isobel Berrington from Welwyn, Hertfordshire with Bing (bay gelding, 13yrs, s. Trento B ds. Hucarlos). Charlotte Dicker from Stockbridge, Hampshire with Sabatini (brown mare, 14yrs, s. Stedinger ds. Sherlock Holmes). CDIJ – Juniors Megan Assouline from Colchester, Essex with Jane Manley’s Botero (chestnut gelding, 10yrs, s. Biasini ds. Rosenkavalier). Charlie Grieve from Folkestone, Kent with her own Fedor Van Het Booienhof (black gelding, 12yrs, s. Faustinis ds. Rotspon). Jessica McConkey from Watlington, Oxfordshire with her own Lada Gaga II (dark bay mare, 10yrs, s. Quaterback, ds. Solos Landwind) - pictured. Charlotte McDowall from Newent, Gloucestershire with her own Alivia (black mare, 14yrs, s. Olivi ds. Roemer). CDIP – Ponies Lily Laughton from Chippenham, Wiltshire with Alicia Laughton’s Steendieks Cadillac (chestnut gelding, 9yrs, s. FS Chambertin). Hermione Tottman from St Albans, Hertfordshire with Nicola Tottman’s Brasil (dark bay gelding, 12yrs, s. Sandokkans Leonardo ds. Orchard Davranches). For start lists and results click here .
Friday, April 12

H&CTV showcases NAF Five Star Winter Championships

This year’s NAF Five Star Winter Championships was a huge success with a host of stunning performances from leading names in the sport. Horse & Country TV will showcase the two gala evenings, which premiere on-demand, on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 April to subscribers of H&C web and mobile apps. Without doubt, this year’s championships was one of the best ever with world class riders travelling to Hartpury Arena in Gloucestershire to compete. The two Horse & Country TV highlight programmes feature the Friday evening Magic Prix St Georges Freestyle Gold Championship and the Saturday gala class, the Superflex Inter I Freestyle Gold title. These hour-long premieres will have dressage fans glued to the channel as they bring to life what proved to be two fantastic competitions. Without wanting to give too much away the Magic Prix St Georges Freestyle Gold Championship proved a huge success for relative outsiders Katie Bailey and Eagle Nouvelle who swept to a narrow victory much to the crowd’s delight. Popular guest commentator Isobel Wessels was thrilled to open the night with a super test! “I think the rider will be pleased! The beautiful music really suited the light footed way the horse works and the music really enhanced the way of going. What a lovely way to start the evening! There were a couple of mistakes but there was a lot to like.” Viewers will see local rider Katie and the 10-year-old Eagle Nouvelle debut an ethereal freestyle by maestro Tom Hunt set to James Newton Howards’ scores from Peter Pan and Maleficent. A huge extended walk shows outstanding suppleness over the back, the flying changes are straight, active and expressive and in trot the horse shows much ability for the future. Isobel was as impressed as the judges’ panel: “I thought that was really super – wonderful fluent test, much harmony and ease. The horse made no mistakes and I really loved this music – it’s been my favourite so far!” Katie enjoys a deserved moment in the spotlight in front of a supportive home crowd and it wasn’t a victory Katie was expecting; “I was hoping for a top three but never expected this. I’m a bit speechless but thrilled to pip the others!” she says. In an action-packed night at the final Gala Performance of this year’s NAF Five Star Winter Championship viewers will witness plenty of drama, inspiring performances and a touch of artistry. Newmarket rider Nikki Barker took the Superflex Inter I Freestyle Gold title. Riding her own and Viv Gleave’s stunning Spielberg sired stallion Durable, Nikki had a mishap with her music when first entering the arena but head judge at C, Claudia Thaller, gave her permission to come back at the end of the class, in the best interests of the sport. In her first effort, as Nikki raised her hand to signal the start of the music, it was evident that something was amiss as it was an old freestyle of hers. In a remarkable feat of horsemanship, Nikki returned to the arena after a one-hour hiatus following the earlier music issue. All eyes were on Durable, an imposing bay stallion who is simply too handsome for words. Riding to their fascinating Kill Bill soundtrack, a compilation by Ros Emery-Kay, the trot work is oh-so elastic and powerful. The half passes devoured the ground. The canter is powerful and expressive through all movements, yet with control and excellent placement of the pirouettes. Extended trot on the diagonal to the centre line concludes their performance to rapturous applause from the knowledgeable crowd. “I’m absolutely thrilled to win this class, especially considering what happened with the music,” says Nikki after the prize-giving ceremony. “The music started and I didn’t even recognise it! I now know it was a very old Advanced Medium. He felt fab and ready to go but then that. I spoke to judge Sandy Phillips at E and asked what would happen and she said that either the head judge would make me go or I could go later. I thought, well, if I have to go, I’ll just well and truly freestyle it!” Tune in to Horse&Country TV – SKY Channel 184 or Virgin Media channel 298, H&C web and mobile apps, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Prime, Amazon Fire, Roku.
Thursday, April 11

Calling all elite 5, 6 & 7 year old horses

The Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show (11 – 13 June) is once again holding young horse classes for 2019. The classes, for five, six and seven year olds, will act as viewing opportunities for the Senior Selectors to spot potential combinations for selection for the Longines FEI WBFSH Dressage World Breeding Championships for Young Horses in Ermelo, the Netherlands, 1 – 4 August 2019. In order to be considered to compete at Bolesworth in the young horse classes, combinations should be scoring 80% and above in five and six year old FEI Preliminary/Finale tests, or 70% and above in seven year old FEI Preliminary/Finale tests / PSG or Advanced 105 from 1 January 2019 until 27 May 2019. Bolesworth entries close on Friday 31 May 2019. Qualification opportunities are available as part of the five and six year old Hickstead British Young International Dressage Horse qualifiers held this year at: Keysoe, Bedfordshire, 26 – 28 April Addington, Buckinghamshire, 10 – 12 May Kingswood, Staffordshire, 17 May Somerford, Cheshire, 25 – 28 May Please note that Somerford will also be holding a seven year old Young Horse class. If you have a horse that has attained the standard at one of these qualifiers and would like to be considered for a place at Bolesworth, please complete this form and send to Lianne Martin at the BD Office. You will need to state the venue(s), date(s) and the qualifying score(s) achieved. Lianne Martin – 02476 698835 or email .
Thursday, April 11

BD Abroad: Niew en Sint Joosland CDI3*/U25/YJP

The following riders have been selected to represent Great Britain this week at Nieuw en Sint Joosland CDI3*/U25/YJP in the Netherlands (10 - 14 April 2019). CDI3* Big Tour Sara Gallop from Gloucester, Gloucestershire with her own Bandreo (bay stallion, 13yrs, s. Sandreo). Emma Hindle from Sale, Greater Manchester with her own Romy Del Sol (brown mare, 13yrs, s. Romanov Blue Hors). Willow Kemp from London with her own Dragon Heart (chestnut gelding, 16yrs, s. Dresemann). Vicky Thompson-Winfield from Horsham, West Sussex with Samantha Francis’  Mango Jacaro (bay stallion, 14yrs, s. Rondeño IX). CDI3* Small Tour Kerry Mackin from Horsham, West Sussex with Angela Jones’ Esquire (bay stallion, 10yrs, s. Valeron). U25 Grand Prix Claire Gallimore from Wadhurst, East Sussex with Annette Ballerina (bay mare, 14yrs, s. Scandic ds. Jazz). Joanna Thurman-Baker from Henley-on-Thames with Highcliffe Apollo (bay gelding, 17yrs, s. Der Lenz ds. Laptop). CDIY – Young Riders Isobel Berrington from Welwyn, Hertfordshire with Bing (bay gelding, 13yrs, s. Trento B ds. Hucarlos). Charlotte Dicker from Stockbridge, Hampshire with Sabatini (brown mare, 14yrs, s. Stedinger ds. Sherlock Holmes). CDIJ – Juniors Megan Assouline from Colchester, Essex with Jane Manley’s Botero (chestnut gelding, 10yrs, s. Biasini ds. Rosenkavalier). Charlie Grieve from Folkestone, Kent with her own Fedor Van Het Booienhof (black gelding, 12yrs, s. Faustinis ds. Rotspon). Jessica McConkey from Watlington, Oxfordshire with her own Lada Gaga II (dark bay mare, 10yrs, s. Quaterback, ds. Solos Landwind) - pictured. Charlotte McDowall from Newent, Gloucestershire with her own Alivia (black mare, 14yrs, s. Olivi ds. Roemer). CDIP – Ponies Lily Laughton from Chippenham, Wiltshire with Alicia Laughton’s Steendieks Cadillac (chestnut gelding, 9yrs, s. FS Chambertin). Hermione Tottman from St Albans, Hertfordshire with Nicola Tottman’s Brasil (dark bay gelding, 12yrs, s. Sandokkans Leonardo ds. Orchard Davranches). For start lists and results click here .
Tuesday, April 9

Wells and Greenhill do GBR proud at Deauville CPEDI3*

Sophie Wells and Nicky Greenhill’s 2019 campaigns have continued with five victories between them at Deauville CPEDI3* in France last week (4 – 7 April 2019). With Charlotte Hogg’s C Fatal Attraction (Fidertanz x Olivi), Sophie (28) won Friday’s Team Test with 74.65% as well as taking a podium position with relatively new ride, the 10 year old mare, Diadeem (by Westenwind) who scored 69.86% for third. Separating Sophie’s rides was the Netherlands’ Frank Hosmar and Alphaville NOP (70.76%). Individual Test day saw another victory for Wells. C Fatal Attraction (picture last year) who is known as ‘Jorge’ is coming into his prime at the age of 12. His increasing power and suppleness is reflected in his growing scores. 76.04% was the reward for his winning test, with Diadeem earning a very pleasing 68.85% for fourth. Sophie maintained her supremacy in Sunday’s Freestyle to add another win to her Grade V dominance, this time with a score of 78.39%. “I love him so much but he was a little devil today!” said Sophie on Facebook . “I had to change the floor plan three times through the test to try and claw back some marks after he had other ideas! Some of the work he’s doing feels the best he’s ever produced, so we are definitely heading in the right direction.....but maybe a bit of able bodied practise needed now! Sophie was also in Deauville with her trainer’s hat on; “Well done to Georgia Wilson this week too, Chico was a little cheeky today in the Freestyle, but for their second international abroad, loads of learning and experience gained.” Nicky Greenhill enjoyed great success in the Grade IV divisions. She was second to the home nation’s Camille Jaguelin and Wimke in the Team test, but by the narrowest of margins with the exciting prospect Betty Boo (pictured last year), a black Benetton Dream x Londonderry mare she co-owns with husband Gary. Nicky, who is visually impaired, also was fifth with the 11 year old son of Calido, King Edward I, who is owned by Gary. Following this excellent start, Nicky, 41, went one better to dominate the Individual with first and second place. “Wow wow wow! What a day of mixed emotions... Both the horses were on flying form! “Eddie really let me ride him today and felt so much more confident, although he seemed to have a gravitational force pulling him towards his dad standing at X! Betty did one of the best tests she has ever done, but I had a massive disorientation moment in the halt rein back which left me feeling utterly confused... it’s just the worst feeling ever when you end up somewhere you are not expecting and have no idea how it happened. It took all my strength to carry on, but I’m pleased I did as she finished a very close second to her brother! “It’s always been my dream to come first and second at an international, but now I have done it, it makes me feel so unbelievably sad that I can’t share the news with my mum,” said Nicky, referring to the recent passing of her mum. “She would have been the first person I would have rung and she would have been so excited. I know she is watching over me and when I look back in a few months when I’m not so emotional I will hopefully feel super proud of what I have just achieved.” On Sunday, Nicky once again stood atop the podium, winning the Grade IV Freestyle with Betty Boo, scoring 72.87%. “What a week! I cannot believe we are taking home two international champions,” she said. “I love these ponies.” Results of the British riders: Grade II Team Test 1st Nicole Den Dulk with Wallace N.O.P., 70.90% (NED) 2nd Lee Pearson with B Grandeur, 70.12% (GBR) 3rd Georgia Wilson with Chico III, 68.16% (GBR) 4th Natasha Adkinson with Sweet Caledonia, 67.81% (GBR) 6th Susanna Hext with LJT Enggaards Solitaire, 67.48% (GBR) Individual Test 1st Nicole Den Dulk with Wallace N.O.P., 71.23% (NED) 2nd Natasha Adkinson with Sweet Caledonia, 69.23% (GBR) 3rd Lee Pearson with B Grandeur, 69.17% (GBR) 4th Susanna Hext with LJT Enggaards Solitaire, 68.94% (GBR) 6th Georgia Wilson with Chico III, 68.20% (GBR) Freestyle 1st Nicole Den Dulk with Wallace N.O.P., 71.80% (NED) 2nd Susanna Hext with LJT Enggaards Solitaire, 71.60% (GBR) 3rd Lee Pearson with B Grandeur, 71.39% (GBR) 4th Natasha Adkinson with Sweet Caledonia, 69.66% (GBR) 5th Georgia Wilson with Chico III, 69.58% (GBR) Grade IV Team Test 1st Camille Jaguelin with Wimke, 67.85% (FRA) 2nd Nicky Greenhill with Betty Boo, 67.82% (GBR) 3rd Nicola Naylor with Ferrari SDB, 66.75% (GBR) 4th Nicola Naylor with Donnatella H, 66.57% (GBR) 5th Nicky Greenhill with King Edward I, 66.20% (GBR) 8th Heather Bennett with Guinevere Aimbry, 63.40% (GBR) Individual Test 1st Nicky Greenhill with King Edward I, 68.41% (GBR) 2nd Nicky Greenhill with Betty Boo, 68.24% (GBR) 4th Nicola Naylor with Ferrari SDB, 66.12% (GBR) 5th Heather Bennett with Guinevere Aimbry, 65.68% (GBR) 7th Nicola Naylor with Donnatella H, 63.58% (GBR) Freestyle 1st Nicky Greenhill with Betty Boo, 72.87% (GBR) 5th Nicola Naylor with Ferrari SDB, 67.75% (GBR) 6th Heather Bennett with Guinevere Aimbry, 63.35% (GBR) Grade V Team Test 1st Sophie Wells with C Fatal Attraction, 74.65% (GBR) 3rd Sophie Wells with Diadeem, 69.86% (GBR) Individual Test 1st Sophie Wells with C Fatal Attraction, 76.04% (GBR) 4th Sophie Wells with Diadeem, 68.85% (GBR) Freestyle 1st Sophie Wells with C Fatal Attraction, 78.39% (GBR) Nations Cup 1st Great Britain, 423.497 2nd The Netherlands, 416.642 3rd Russia, 402.040 4th France, 400.784 5th Ireland, 388.630 6th Spain, 367.794 For full results click here
Monday, April 8

Relive the NAF Five Star Winter Championships

With 921 tests started, 39 titles awarded, 5586 score sheets checked and 140 hours of dressage across three arenas, the curtain closes on the NAF Five Star Winter Championships and Petplan Equine Area Festival Championships for another year, and we’re missing the action at Hartpury already. We’d like to take the opportunity to thank Kelvin Bywater and his team at Show Direct, as well as the dedicated group of judges, writers, stewards, officials and volunteers who work tirelessly around the clock to keep the show running. A special thank you goes to generous title sponsors NAF and Petplan Equine, as well as class sponsors KBIS, Blue Chip, Baileys Horse Feeds, Equi-Trek, Suregrow, TheraPlate UK, Spillers, Charles Owen and Nupafeed. Our final thank you goes to you – the riders, spectators, supporters, grooms and owners who’ve made the show so memorable for all involved – congratulations to all who took part, no matter the results you’re all winners in our eyes! There’s still time to get involved with the NAF Five Star Winter Championships, work your way through the links below to relive all the highlights from a week of top class dressage. Read Show report day one click here . Show report day two click here . Show report day three click here . Show report day four click here . Show report day five click here . Magic Prix St Georges Freestyle Gold report click here . Superflex Intermediate I Freestyle Gold report click here . Reports feature photos by Kevin Sparrow and words by Winnie Murphy, Joanna Bowns and Camille Peters. Listen Rider interviews hosted by Cre8 Media click here . Watch NEW for 2019 at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships - tests from the indoor arena can be purchased for just £20. Click here to find your video and simply create an account, search for your test and purchase! Catch up with the two Gala Performance Freestyle classes, click here to watch. Videographer Harveywetdog was also on site to capture all of the highlights, click here to visit his Youtube channel to check out some of the best tests of the Championships. Social Media Visit the BD Social Media channels on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram too see a host of videos and photos from the week. Have your say! The team at BD would love to hear/see your stories and photos from the Championships; message the British Dressage Facebook page or Area Festivals Facebook page, use #NAFWDC19, #PetplanFestivals or tag BD in your posts to get involved. Results Click each day for full results and judges' breakdown. Day one - Featuring Blue Chip Novice Silver, Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Freestyle Gold, Spillers Medium Freestyle Gold, Suregrow Elementary Freestyle Silver, Equi-Trek Elementary Silver, Petplan Equine Medium Bronze Area Festival, Petplan Equine Medium Silver Area Festival, Petplan Equine Prix St Georges Bronze Area Festival and Petplan Equine Prix St Georges Silver Area Festival. Day two - Featuring Equi-Trek Elementary Gold, Magic Prix St Georges Gold, Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Freestyle Silver, Charles Owen Advnaced Medium Silver, Petplan Equine Intermediate I Bronze Area Festival, Petplan Equine Intermediate I Silver Area Festival, Petplan Equine Elementary Bronze Area Festival and Petplan Equine Elementary Silver Area Festival. Day three - Featuring Blue Chip Novice Gold, Nupafeeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Silver, Superflex Intermediate I Gold, TheraPlate UK Medium Silver, Magic Prix St Georges Freestyle Gold, Petplan Equine Advanced medium Silver Area Festival, Petplan Equine Novice Bronze Area Festival and Petplan Equine Novice Silver Area Festival. Day four – Featuring KBIS Preliminary Silver, Spillers Medium Freestyle Silver, Charles Owen Advanced Medium Gold, Superflex Intermediate I Freestyle Gold, Petplan Equine Preliminary Silver Area Festival, Petplan Equine Intermediate II Silver Area Festival, Petplan Equine Preliminary Under 21 Area Festival and Petplan Equine Elementary Under 21 Area Festival. Day five – Featuring Suregrow Elementary Freestyle Gold, Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Gold, TheraPlate UK Medium Gold, Petplan Equine Preliminary Bronze Area Festival, Petplan Equine Medium Under 21 Area Festival, Petplan Equine Novice Under 21 Area Festival and Petplan Equine Advanced Medium Bronze Area Festival. Sponsors Click here to visit the British Dressage sponsor page where you can find website links and details of all BD sponsors including the prestigious brands behind the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships.    
Sunday, April 7

NAF Five Star Winter Championships: day five

With ten horses entered this week who were born at Headmore Stud, it was likely they’d feature well in the placings but in this morning's SureGrow UK Elementary Freestyle Gold, it was a case of domination. First of the Headmore trio was the six year old Florencio-sired Headmore Figaro, owned by Sarah Oppenheimer with Dannie Morgan in the saddle. Due to a withdrawal, they were also the first of ht class and what a start to make! A captivating floorplan with as much technicality as the level allows to music which was so apt for the cheerful chestnut. A massive score of 78.78% was announced…gauntlet firmly laid down. Next was the Belissimo M mare Headmore Bella Ruby with Alice Oppenheimer. This duo were still flying high from their Equi-Trek Elementary Gold and they looked pretty spot on. Again excellent music with a flat plan packed with difficulty greeted the judges who duly obliged with a score of 77.37% to put Alice second. The combinations gave their all including Dannie with his second ride, Nicola Callam’s High Hoes Florizel, but they couldn’t come close. Then the penultimate to go was Alice with her second ride, Headmore Dionysus, a half brother to Bella Ruby in sharing the same dam, Headmore’s legendary Rubinsteena but this time with Dimaggio as the sire. ‘Dillon’ was bridesmaid on Thursday in the straight class but being a year older, today he showed that extra strength and was a picture in the arena. Again, perfectly selected music by Sara Green accompanied well thought out movements. They halted and saluted knowing it was going to be a good score. The commentator started…78…point…20%. Dannie and ‘Jack’ were champions. “I’m really pleased with him,” exclaimed Dannie. “I broke him in as a three year old and produced him along the way. He was fourth here last year and then second at the Nationals at Novice so it’s great to come here and get the win. “He’s got a great walk and he’s very secure in the medium canter plus he can do the simple changes so I’ve really worked on a technical floor plan. I didn’t mind going first, I just went in and gave the judges something to sit up and watch!” he continued. Alice was emotional afterwards. “It’s been an incredible week for Headmore. Six wins so far and three seconds, just amazing. Dannie and I have had some banter; ‘my walk is better, but no my music is’ – it’s been fun and in the end, it didn’t matter who won. Bella Ruby felt a bit tired today, she’s not a physically developed as Dillan but for all three to get those scores and be so far ahead of the other is great, they’re so clever! That was definitely the coolest prize giving I’ve ever done! “I have to thank Sara Green for her amazing skill in putting my music together. The detail she puts into every one and captures the horse’s personality is amazing. She’ll certainly be part of our celebrations. “It’s been a big build up for all the horses and I can’t fault any of them this week. It’s been very emotional and I’ve had the full range of ups and downs!” said Alice. Petplan Equine Prelim Bronze Joseph Davey and Joan Price’s Humbug II achieved an emphatic win in Sunday morning’s Petplan Equine Prelim Bronze after scoring a brilliant 72.08%. “It’s the journey,” an emotional Joseph said about his first championship win in only his second year with British Dressage, “I’m buzzing!” “I felt like I was water-skiing in my test but apparently it looked better than it felt! He was a very good boy, very obedient and just a little bit tense at times because of the whole occasion. I’ve been riding him for Joan Price for three years and he only learned to canter at 18! It’s not his strongest point but he’s really come on. For what he possibly lacks in ability, he’s got the biggest heart.” Joseph has benefitted from the expertise of Nikki McPherson, Denise O’Reilly and Karen Rouse: “Denise is an advocate of the ride with your mind approach and this has really helped me – I’ve always felt like I’ve needed more ability in my riding to help him, she was really marvellous. Karen has helped us recently, he’s a little stronger and more ready for it now and she really gets him.” “Really he’s everything you don’t want in a dressage horse,” he added laughing, “he’s got a good trot and he’s getting more and more confident with it all. He loves jumping too so we’ve used this to improve his canter!” Having taken the part bred trotting horse from not being able to canter a circle to Area Festival success, away from working in Finance for his local authority in schools Joseph rides Humbug three times a week and shares the ride with proud owner Jo. “She’s very kindly stayed off him,” laughed Joseph, “now we’ve done this she’s going to start to a little more on him and she can’t wait to canter him because she never has!” Joseph will now aim the piebald gelding at the 2019/2020 Area Festival series at Novice level and is also hoping to have a shot at the Summer Regionals at Prelim. Proud friend Viv Rhodes was quick to praise the rider from Kingsbury, “Jo’s just so good with the horses, he’s very calm and gets inside their heads. Him and Humbug have just bonded so well.” Second place went to Catrin John with Llancayo Danny Boy, and Trailtrow Texa Beag took third with Kirstin McMurray in the saddle. Petplan Equine Medium U21 Area Festival Championship Exeter rider Danielle Balsdon used her new found skills learned as a British Dressage National Academy rider to squeeze every mark possible from her self-produced Lord Lennox and claim the Petplan Equine Area Festival Medium u21 title. By the prolific German sire L’Espoir, the exceptionally handsome ‘Lenny’ was bought by Danielle as a green five year old and has produced him up the levels under guidance from trainers Adam Kemp and Karen List. “I’m totally overwhelmed and wasn’t expecting this. He did some of his best ever trot work today but as usual made me ride every step of canter. Today’s the first time he held it all together through the whole test; he’s hard to get a consistent test from,” summed up Danielle, who works as a bookkeeper. “I’d like to get to do under 25 Grand Prix with him but we’ll just move up the levels at his pace. Next will be Advanced Medium at ‘Petplans’. I’ve learned so much from the National Academy training and there’s no doubt it helped me get a few more marks today,” she explained. Petplan Equine Novice U21 Area Festival Championship This week, the deciding rounds of the Petplan Equine series have provided a real showcase of up-and-coming U21 talent. Once such rider is Carla Milne who took the spoils in today’s Petplan Equine Novice Area Festival U21 Area Festival Championship. Carla rode her talented black gelding Hey Good Looking GK (Chello III VDL x Elcaro) to a clear victory in the competitive class, scoring 71.87% from judges Sue Carson, Andrea Hessay and Sue Petty. “I’m so happy! This win was quite unexpected…it’s so exciting,” said a delighted Carla after the prize-giving. “He’s such a sharp horse and he can be difficult so I’m really happy with just how relaxed he was in the test.” Carla and ‘Cookie’, as he’s known, are no strangers to Hartpury having won the 2018 KBIS Preliminary Silver title, and this week has been a busy one for the pair. Arriving Monday, they’ve competed in both the Suregrow Elementary Freestyle Silver and the Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Freestyle Silver achieving 11th and 15th place respectively. Bought as a just backed four-year-old from Dutch Sports Horses, Cookie is described as ‘cheeky and he loves people’. Now seven, Carla has produced him with support from trainer Jane Rutherford. It was double celebrations for Carla this week as she also celebrated her 16th birthday. Happy birthday Carla! She now sets off on the seven-hour trip back home to Dumfries and Galloway. Nupafeed Advanced Medium Gold Freestyle On day five of the NAF Five Star Winter Championships the gentleman of dressage, Dannie Morgan, has once again shown what an exciting talent he is. The 27-year-old from Hampshire has enjoyed a resounding victory in this afternoon’s Nupafeed Advanced Medium Gold Freestyle Championship taking his 2019 NAF Five Star Winter Championship total to a thrilling three. With Lisa Morgan and David Knoxx’s stunning liver chestnut, Knoxx’s Figaro (Jazz x Krack C), he was awarded a super score of 76.05% from judges Penelope Lang at E, Austria’s Claudia Thaller at C and Nick Burton at M. This put a plus three percent margin between him and second-placed Jayne Turney with Charlotte Dujardin’s talented pony, Cruz III (72.83%). “I’m a bit speechless really, it’s not often you have a day or a week like this,” said Dannie following the prize-giving in front of an appreciative Hartpury crowd. “After winning the Advanced Medium [Gold] yesterday, I just relaxed today and went in to enjoy it. I’m so happy.” Dannie and Fig’s performance was all about supreme balance, suppleness and power, to a soundtrack of music from the film War of the Worlds, compiled by Clare Deithrick. “The trot’s really grown in strength as he’s become more confident in the ring, and now that he’s more supple, he can show the gears more,” says Dannie. Earlier today Dannie won the Suregrow Elementary Freestyle Gold with another Figaro, Headmore Figaro, with Alive Oppenheimer taking second and third on Headmore-bred horses. Talking about his collaboration with the stud, Dannie smiled, “Me and Alice have a bit of friendly rivalry! We have a bit of banter between us. It’s great that we’ve both done well and it’s good to have that support and team around us.” Petplan Equine Advanced Medium Bronze Concluding a week of top class action in the Petplan Equine Arenas, Denise Fryer rode the test of her life to score 70.72% and claim the final title of the week, the Petplan Equine Advanced Medium Bronze Area Festival. With her own Keystone Starstruck, Denise was the sole rider to top the 70% barrier finishing nearly three percent clear of the field. With her win today, Denise completes the Area Festival hat-trick having won her Area Festival at Crofton Manor and her Area Festival Final at Bicton Arena. Speaking about her Area Festival Championship win she said, “I’m over the moon with her, she’s tried her heart out for me!” “The changes were great today and she was just so with me, she did everything I asked, when I asked, she didn’t care about the atmosphere! She just went in there and was like ‘I’ve got this!’ I’m really happy.” The eight year old British-bred mare by Serano was bought by Intensive Care Nurse Denise out of the field at three years old. With persistent training and help from Kate Smith, the gamble more than paid off for the busy Stockbridge lady who carefully balances her work with dressage. “I do this to relax really! She hacks or has a day off when I’m working and I school her when I’m off, it works quite well!” “She’s just a joy to own,” an elated Denise continued, “She loves cuddles, scratches and attention – she’s the cuddliest horse going and is just super chilled out.” Next up for the talented duo is hopefully a debut at Prix St Georges level, we’re sure they’ll be in the arena in top hat and tails very soon. Theraplate UK Medium Gold The Medium Gold class at the NAF Five Star Winter Championships is always worth staying to watch and this year, it’s first supported by leading equine rehabilitation and sports conditioning experts Theraplate UK, the standard didn’t disappoint. The test to impress the judges panel of Peter Storr (C), Andrea Smith (M) and Sara Jane Lanning (E) was that of Katie Bailey and Hillgrounds Wolkenhall who earned a whopping 75.31% to steal the win from long-time leader Becky Moody and Heavenly Kiss BS. Becky and ‘Hector’ held on for second with an equally as impressive 72.25% whilst U25s rider Becky Edwards and Laerke Stensvang completed the top three with 71.66%. “It feels extra special when it’s your own!” Local lady Katie bought ‘Harry’ as a foal from breeder Claire Skinner, “He’s the first one I’ve done this with but wouldn’t do it again as it’s been quite expensive! He’s been quite straightforward and is mentally quite sharp but he’s really talented.” The well-suited combination placed here last year and have progressed through the levels over the winter season. About her winning test today on board the eight year old son of Wolkenderry Katie added, “he felt a bit more tense than he did in here last year, just a bit more ‘looky’. He actually knocked himself last week so I haven’t been able to give him as much preparations as I’d have liked.” “He gave me a really good feel today and I know he has all the talent to go up the levels,” dual Winter Championship title winner Katie concluded. For full results click here .
Sunday, April 7

NAF Five Star Winter Championships: day four

With Hackneys, Friesians, and many Native ponies enjoying wins and placings this week, the NAF Five Star Winter Championships have been a great celebration of the huge variation of breeds making waves in the dressage world. Gill Peckham and the part-bred Hackney stallion Hero (Huroos) continued the theme as they became triumphant winners of the 10th anniversary KBIS Preliminary Silver title. A high standard class was tough fought but after the Maidenhead based duo took an early lead from second in at 7.57 in the morning, a hot field couldn’t quite top their winning score of 71.83%. “I’ve only ever done one Regional Championship before, I’m just an amateur rider and it’s completely amazing!” Gill commented following her debut prize giving, “I just had no idea how he would react, I think I was lucky to have early draw before it got too busy in there but he just behaved so well. I tried really hard to be accurate today…I’ve got a habit of not being accurate! But Hero focused straight away and got on with the job, he did everything I asked.” Gill came across her star ride following a recommendation from long term trainer and friend Katharine Lewis, our winner of Wednesday’s Spillers Medium Freestyle Gold on board the Friesian stallion Jos K. “I couldn’t find an established dressage horse for reasonable money so Katharine said come on Gill we’ll get you a driving horse!” Gill fell in love with the newly backed Hero the first time she saw a video, “Katherine told me not to get excited from just a video but we went and sat on him and both fell in love with him!” In their short time together, Gill won an unaffiliated championship before going on to register with BD, qualify for the Winter Regionals and win her first title attempt at Merrist Wood. Speaking about her Championship hopes she added, “I had hoped to get into the top ten but it really was a hope and not an expectation. He’s a live wire and I didn’t know what he was going to do – really I just didn’t want to make a fool of myself! But he behaved and he’s just so consistent, he’s always around these scores but you always expect to score less at national level. It was a very long wait after getting my score!” Commenting on a successful ten years of sponsorship, KBIS owner Liz Prest said, “We’ve had a very good ten years with British Dressage and it’s been lovely watching it develop. There was a very wide variety of tests today, and Gill was a very worthy winner. It’s such a great story, a horse that’s gone from driving to winning at the Winter Championships in just a year – a super way to celebrate.” Petplan Equine Inter II Silver Izzy Chaplin and Coral Ingham’s Vincente II have already enjoyed a placing this week in the Petplan Equine Intermediate I Bronze Area Festival Championship and today went one better with a win in the Intermediate II Silver Championship. The panel of Peter Storr, Debbie Jones and Claudia Thaller rewarded 64.43% for their efforts in the highest grade test of the Area Festival Championships. The partnership have enjoyed great results in their three years together and appeared at the Championships last year as part of the Hickstead Young Rider Quadrille display team. Speaking about her test on board the Gribaldi sired stallion, Izzy said “I’m over the moon! I wasn’t expecting to win today at all, I was just hoping for a clear round. I really can’t believe it.” “We’ve always struggled with the changes but we got them today, and his piaffe felt amazing,” Izzy continued, “We’ve had a pretty chilled preparation and we’ve been working with my trainer Sarah Millis on our weak points in the test.” Izzy and Vincente only rode their first Inter II eight month ago – on her birthday of all days – and made their debut at Grand Prix just before Christmas. The full-time accountant is hoping to contest the Under 25s Grand Prix classes throughout the rest of the year. “He’s just a big Labrador,” she smiled about her winning ride, “We’ve risen up the ranks together and he’s really a very sweet horse.” It was a pleasant surprise for the family to taste success at Hartpury, as at one stage, it was looking unlikely that they’d be able to make it. David Millis, husband of trainer Sarah, came to the rescue of Izzy and her mother Karen to transport Vincente to Hartpury, as the family are currently waiting patiently for one of their broodmares to foal, at two and a half weeks late it’s touch and go with a non-horsey dad left at home to hold the fort!   Petplan Equine Elementary U21 Area Festival Bicester-based Gracie Catling (15), one of the busiest riders at the NAF Five Star Winter Championships with an incredible seven tests to ride over the five days, has celebrated victory this afternoon in the Petplan Equine Elementary U21 Area Festival Championship. Riding Helen Christie’s Silvano KR (by Wolfgang), an attractive KWPN gelding who belies his 20 years, she claimed the Petplan Equine Elementary U21 Area Festival Championships with a score of 69.70%. “I’m really surprised and extremely happy that he did so well,” said Gracie after the prize-giving. “Especially considering he’s not as elastic as the other horses and quite small too. Where he gains though is that his transitions are very good, and he’s just so harmonious.” Silvano, who is known as ‘Saman’ was gifted to owner Helen Christie three ago, and Gracie has ridden him for one year so far. “He had done a lot but not particularly successfully, and he’d suffered with allergies and hives too. I competed him for a couple of years,” said owner Helen, “we did quite well but he always had a tendency to shut down in the arena. So I decided to hand him to a younger rider who has the talent to motivate him.” Gracie, who trains with her mum Julia, a List 4 judge, is a tactful young rider who Saman enjoys working for. “He can be quite crafty, and he can shut down. I just have to make sure I don’t let him get away with anything, and keep him on the aids. Expressing just what this victory means to her, Gracie said; “I’ve been here for four years, and have been watching the prize-givings all this time. I’m so glad it’s me this time!” she beamed. Second place went to Rebecca Parsonage with Wacton Billy (68.23%) and Jersey Garrett and Crowhide the Talisman (68.18%) completed the top three.   Petplan Equine Area Festival U21 Preliminary West Midlands young talent Sophia Marston may have taken a cursory glance to the sky on the completion of her Prelim test in the Petplan Equine Area Festival U21 Championship this morning to say thank you to her great grandmother. It was the sum of £4000 left to her mum Claire that bought a San Amour x Hotline yearling into their lives six years ago and today the now grown Solitaire II and Sophia are champions. It’s been a buy day for the 13 year old as she also contested the KBIS Prelim Silver Championship where she and ‘Solly’ finished as runners up but went one better in the Petplan Equine class. “I was really pleased with how she coped with the big atmosphere, it’s our first really big show together and I’m just so happy with her!” said Sophia. Originally intended to be the ride for Claire, Sophia’s long legs made her the ideal jockey and they’ve been growing together as a partnership. Only last month they were reserve champions in the Ideal Saddles Prelim 70cm Combined Training Championship. Sophia trains with Michael Eilberg and she and Solly are working at Elementary with a view to being selected to represent Great Britain in FEI Children on Horses classes. Spillers Horse Feeds Medium Freestyle Silver A busy week of competition which has yielded two top five placings was topped off in style when Berkshire rider Rebecca Marsden partnered her own 11 year old Fidermark sired Fiorello to victory in the hotly contested Spillers Horse Feeds Medium Freestyle Silver. Rebecca combines competing as a hobby with her role as a full time lawyer for American IT giant Hewlett Packard and swapped disciplines from eventing to dressage about two years ago. “I train with Matt Hicks and he helped with my eventers but when I took up dressage I bought Fiorello from him and that was nearly a year ago to the day,” explained Rebecca. Working full time, she has a great family support network; “I’m very lucky to be based with her mum and dad just outside Newbury who are so supportive of me, along with husband Charlie.” She was also quick to extoll the virtues of her dancing partner; “He has an amazing hind leg, is well balanced and very polite! I’d also say he’s clever and with a bit of sass. And I must say, he’s very affectionate and gives great hugs! This is her debut at the Winters and she’s currently training towards competing in Prix St Georges by the end of the year. She’s also purchased schoolmaster El Zorro from Matt to help her gain experience with the more advanced movements. In 2012, the horse won this Spillers Horse Feeds title here so now there are two Medium Freestyle Champions in Rebecca’s stables tonight. Petplan Equine Prelim Silver Area Festival Championship West Country rider Katy Sawyer clinched the win in the epic Petplan Equine Prelim Silver Championship, a class that’s lasted almost the whole day with 42 starters. Riding her own gorgeous grey Greatest Time, who’s Dutch bred by Quality Time, Katy posted 74.44%. Katy clearly wasn’t expecting the win; “I’m amazed and so pleased with him. Didn’t ever imagine we’d get here, let alone win. It’s amazing and such an honour!” she enthused. Katy, who works part time as a baker and does some freelance grooming and riding, bought ‘Simba’ as an unbroken five year old and they just got going but sadly he went lame. The result was a stifle operation but he’s recovered well and the duo even managed to get some eventing in last season in BE 90 and 100. Somerset based Katy has been working hard on his trot work and to get more expression into his paces with trainer Virginia Peters which is clearly paying off. They also did their first Novice last week successfully. Affectionate Simba is clearly treasured at home; “He’s the yard favourite – so friendly and anyone can do anything to him; he’s just a lovely horse,” smiled Katy. Charles Owen Advanced Medium Gold As Tiger Roll took an emphatic second victory in the Randox Health Grand National, Dannie Morgan and the impressive Knoxx’s Figaro (Jazz x Krack C) notched up another national title of their own in the Charles Owen Advanced Medium Gold. The talented gelding, owned by Lisa Morgan and David Knoxx, scored an immense 73.46% to win by no less than three percent. Proud rider Dannie Morgan was elated after his prize giving, “this is the biggest win of my career so far!” For Dannie the win was another emotional marker of immense progress with a horse who’s been on quite a journey. “He’s an amazingly talented horse; last year was our first year together and he’s grown so much in confidence and strength. I was really pleased to be able to show that progress today!” Dannie thanked trainer Nicky Barrett for her help in producing his champion ride, “Nicky has helped develop him enormously, she knows him really well as she’s trained him from a young horse.” The duo have worked wonders over their year together with the naturally nervous ‘Fig’ who Dannie admits that “it would do him good to man-up a bit”. It’s been a tough road to the Winters for a key part of team Fig as owner Lisa unfortunately broke her back in multiple places in December. Dannie said, “coming here has been a huge motivation for Lisa, she’s been through a lot of rehab. It’s great for her to be able to be here, it’s going to be a long road.” Second place in the hot class went to Judy Harvey with the lovely Palimera (Polytraum x Rockwell), whilst Damian Hallam and Romir Elton took third. For full results click here . 
Saturday, April 6

Katie Bailey and Eagle Nouvelle land the perfect victory

With the nation in a betting mood ahead of tomorrow’s Randox Health Grand National, the bookies would have had short odds on riders like Hannah Biggs, Becky Moody and Alice Oppenheimer for tonight’s Gala Performance feature class, the Magic Prix St Georges Freestyle Gold Championship. However, it was the relative outsiders Katie Bailey and Eagle Nouvelle who swept to a narrow victory much to the crowd’s delight. Henrietta Cheetham and her own Dancer Khan kicked the night off in style with a test full of highlights. Starting in canter to Toto’s Africa the duo rode flowing tempi changes on curved lines followed by small pirouettes presented on the centre line. The extended walk showed a solid two hooves overtrack and nice relaxation with the elegant bay seeking the contact forwards. The energetic trot music was nicely matched to Dancer Khan’s paces and didn’t over power her light footed style. The duo completed their test with a powerful extended trot, the judges gave 70.41%. Popular guest commentator Isobel Wessells was thrilled to open the night with a super test! “I think the rider will be pleased! The beautiful music really suited the light footed way the horse works and the music really enhanced the way of going. What a lovely way to start the evening! There were a couple of mistakes but there was a lot to like.” Opening with a flowing extended trot, Paul Hayler produced some strong trot work on Sandra Cowing’s Balero II. Shoulder in ridden on the centre line and steep half pass zig zags in trot showed Balero’s quality within the lateral work. The canter programme also showed much scope for the future with energetic changes and more strong lateral work in the canter half passes. A couple of mistakes in the three tempis and right pirouette just kept the marks back, but a promising test gave the duo 66.95%. “Powerful music to suit a big powerful horse,” said Isobel, “the start of the test was interesting with a nice extension enhanced by the music. He became a little tense in the collected walk and canter today but Paul of course steered him through the test very well. There’s lots to like for the future.” Isobel also gave credit to a good floorplan which well suited the scopey Balero. Receiving an appreciative round of applause from the crowd, Paul Friday scored 69.20% with Sarah Overson’s Hawtins Horatio for their upbeat 80s pop music programme. The extended trot was a clear highlight with the British-bred gelding showing a lovely open frame and freedom of the shoulder. The canter pirouette right showed lovely collection within four balanced strides and the three and four time tempi changes were shown on a daring curved line. Isobel enjoyed Paul’s choice of upbeat music, “I like the music and I really like the horse, he has much potential for the future – there were a few mistakes today but the changes on the curved line were very nice.” Tania Grantham opted to start her test on Tina Grantham’s Samarino (by Samarant) with a walk pirouette into collected walk and extended walk on a half circle. The energetic Samarino showed a little too much exuberance with a small jog creeping into the collected walk but Tania used his power to her benefit within the canter and trot tours. “Tania will be very pleased with him,” reviewed Isobel, “he looked a little on edge tonight but it was very clever how she got the walk done early whilst he was still relaxed.” Classical music and an instrumental version of One Republic’s Secrets added much drama to Nathalie Kayal’s performance on board her own DHI Cleverboy. The tall gelding by Sandreo delivered balanced lateral work with explosive extensions, with Nathalie always keeping the poll at the highest point and a steady, consistent contact. The Beaconsfield-based rider chose to present her test in a snaffle; the consistent contact was proven again in walk and canter. Guest commentator Isobel Wessels praised the elegant rider for her efforts in the NAF Five Star Arena - “Nathalie you did a great job – it was very polished, it was very well balanced. The canter could be a little more through but the lines in the floorplan were very nice. A few little things but overall a super job!” For Nathalie, the end result was fifth with 70.62%. BD judge Sara Jane Lanning delivered a test full of drama on board her own faithful partner Mi Amigo. The 17 year old gelding showed good activity in the trot work, where the rider chose a mirrored floorplan with half pass zig zags and shoulder in on the centre line. ‘Zoa’ showed his talent for tempi changes in the canter tour with fours and threes ridden on 20m circle lines – they were in fact the sole combination to attempt this on Friday’s Gala Performance evening. Sara Jane was another rider to earn praise from Isobel who commented at the end of her test, “Well deserved cheers! Overall the music and floorplan really worked together, a difficult test with accomplished riding – very well done!” Rhythmical trot work accompanied Queen’s It’s A Kind of Magic to start Sarah Williams freestyle on board Georgina Howards’ Bohingus W in tuneful style. Neat pirouettes and flowing half passes were a highlight in canter, accompanied by Radio Gaga, but a couple of unfortunate mistakes in the tempi changes just kept the score back tonight, the duo earned 65.58%. “I’m a Freddie fan!” Isobel praised the all Queen arrangement, “There were some difficult movements in this test to show off the good training of this horse. The self-carriage could’ve been better towards the end but a really nice test and an enjoyable freestyle.” With Lucy Swinden’s Odwigs Echo, Sheffield lady Becky Moody proved her class once again with an impressive freestyle scoring 70.16%. The eye-catching coloured didn’t put a hoof out of place in the trot tour which was followed by a collected walk and extended walk of great quality. A small mistake in the four tempi changes certainly didn’t deter from an enjoyable programme. Small, balanced pirouettes and a powerful extended canter were appreciated by the knowledgeable crowd and Isobel Wessels: “What a choreography! Lots of changes of hand, which really test the suppleness – it’ll be noticed by the judges. Really difficult interesting movements, there were a couple of mistakes tonight but well done Becky.” Starting her freestyle in canter, Lara Edwards rode a packed floorplan on board Laura Milner’s Jazzed Up with tricky lines including one handed tempi changes into half pirouettes. The Jazz sired gelding has tones of potential and showed all his talent in the trot tour, the lateral work was full of energy with a super active hind leg. There was just one small mistake in the final trot half pass zig zag in an otherwise impressive test, Isobel summarised “It’s a very elegant light-footed horse and Lara used the choreography to show the horse off well. It was a nice inventive program and the horse became more and more relaxed as the test went on. Lovely horse and lots of nice things.” The combination placed 10th with 69.16%. Charlotte Dicker brought her 2018 European Young Rider Championship partner forward to contest the Magic title and their test didn’t disappoint – 68.79% was the score. Tempi changes on the centre line and 20m circles stood out and the canter pirouettes were secure. The elegant ‘Soli’ showed elevated extensions in both trot and canter, and Charlotte a complex floorplan with skills beyond her 19 years. “I thought the overall picture was very dramatic,” Isobel commented on the young rider’s test, “the choreography was intricate so well done for showing some steep half passes and tight pirouettes on the centre line. The horse lacked a little elasticity but going into this arena is not easy, Charlotte coped very well – well done.” Charlotte Dujardin pupil Jessica Wade brought her bright bay partner Empire H forward for her debut performance on Gala night at the NAF Five Star Winter Championships. The 10 year old by Santano has outstanding action in trot with much lift and impulsion; his extended walk was also notable, showing a nice lengthening of the frame. Riding to a compilation of modern pop music from Freya Ridings and Clean Bandit, Jessica completed her test with bold canter work, small pirouettes and neat changes. The panel of Peter Storr (C), Claudia Haller (M) and Mary Anne Horn (E) gave 69.20% for a solid test. “It was such a pity about the ending,” said Isobel post-test as she praised Jessica’s attempt to repeat her right pirouette which proved tricky first time around. “He’s a wonderful horse with such nice activity and a trot that’s nicely off the ground. He’s light-footed and very in front of the rider – clearly there’s lots of ability. I also liked the music, it was different and well fitted.” With her second ride of the evening, Hannah Moody’s Full Fusion BS, Becky Moody opted to ride her successful Sherlock Holmes routine. The athletic bay gelding was competed successfully by Hannah previously and looked in top form tonight with sister Becky in the saddle. In the canter work, the three tempi changes and pirouettes were top quality, the extended walk supple and in trot the extensions were very bold. A couple of tiny communication errors kept the score to 73.12%, and Isobel was quick to commend a great effort. “The horse is really talented for the pirouettes and the subtle change in the pirouette really highlighted that. There were a couple of little mistakes but a super horse and as always, very well ridden by Becky.” Local lady Katie Bailey and the ten year old Eagle Nouvelle debuted an ethereal freestyle by maestro Tom Hunt set to James Newton Howards’ scores from Peter Pan and Maleficent. A huge extended walk showed outstanding suppleness over the back, the flying changes were straight, active and expressive and in trot the horse showed much ability for the future. Overall, a polished test with a supreme floorplan and music programme was enough to move Katie into the lead with 73.70%. Isobel was as impressed as the judges’ panel: “I thought that was really super – wonderful fluent test, much harmony and ease. The horse made no mistakes and I really loved this music – it’s been my favourite so far!” Penultimate rider Hannah Biggs brought a very different freestyle into the arena with modern tunes, including music from Labrinth and Tiny Tempah. British-bred ‘Archie’ has been in top form this season but unfortunately the Hartpury atmosphere caused a couple of small mistakes to creep in. Nevertheless, Hannah produced high quality trot work with lovely, flowing half passes and a really stand out extended walk. “Really difficult choreography and unusual lines. The horse has some strong highlights, a wonderful extended walk – as a judge you think wow how much more ground cover could there be. He has lovely natural gaits and overall it was a super, really intricate test – great job!” For Hannah tonight the score was a respectable 69.04%. Headmore Davina has been nothing but a dream for Alice Oppenheimer and she pulled yet another fantastic test out of the bag tonight as the duo trotted down the centre line to conclude the Magic Prix St Georges Freestyle Gold. An exciting floorplan mirrored the work in both trot and canter on both reins and showed Davina’s many highlights. Reviewing the successful duo, Isobel concluded “Alice has done another super test with this horse! She always rides a brilliant freestyle and the music was lovely. Alice you’ve got a super horse, there were a few little mistakes tonight but really really top riding.” For Alice, the score tonight was 70.79% and her eventual placing fourth – another fantastic effort. However it was Katie Bailey to enjoy a deserved moment in the spotlight in front of a supportive home crowd. It wasn’t a victory Katie was expecting; “I was hoping for a top three but never expected this. I’m a bit speechless but thrilled to pip the others today!” she said. Katie has had the German bred gelding, by jumping sire Singapore, for two and a half years and he was working at Elementary when she took the ride on for owner Hannah Dovey. “Eddie is just the kindest horse. He coped really well with the atmosphere and he’s such a trier. Everything just came together a little more than normal tonight,” she said. The duo are in action tomorrow night in the Saturday Gala Performance Superflex Inter I Freestyle and those odds have suddenly shortened on them walking away with both showcase titles.   For full results - click here
Saturday, April 6

Katie Bailey and Eagle Novelle land the perfect victory

With the nation in a betting mood ahead of tomorrow’s Randox Health Grand National, the bookies would have had short odds on riders like Hannah Biggs, Becky Moody and Alice Oppenheimer for tonight’s Gala Performance feature class, the Magic Prix St Georges Freestyle Gold Championship. However, it was the relative outsiders Katie Bailey and Eagle Novelle who swept to a narrow victory much to the crowd’s delight. Henrietta Cheetham and her own Dancer Khan kicked the night off in style with a test full of highlights. Starting in canter to Toto’s Africa the duo rode flowing tempi changes on curved lines followed by small pirouettes presented on the centre line. The extended walk showed a solid two hooves overtrack and nice relaxation with the elegant bay seeking the contact forwards. The energetic trot music was nicely matched to Dancer Khan’s paces and didn’t over power her light footed style. The duo completed their test with a powerful extended trot, the judges gave 70.41%. Popular guest commentator Isobel Wessells was thrilled to open the night with a super test! “I think the rider will be pleased! The beautiful music really suited the light footed way the horse works and the music really enhanced the way of going. What a lovely way to start the evening! There were a couple of mistakes but there was a lot to like.” Opening with a flowing extended trot, Paul Hayler produced some strong trot work on Sandra Cowing’s Balero II. Shoulder in ridden on the centre line and steep half pass zig zags in trot showed Balero’s quality within the lateral work. The canter programme also showed much scope for the future with energetic changes and more strong lateral work in the canter half passes. A couple of mistakes in the three tempis and right pirouette just kept the marks back, but a promising test gave the duo 66.95%. “Powerful music to suit a big powerful horse,” said Isobel, “the start of the test was interesting with a nice extension enhanced by the music. He became a little tense in the collected walk and canter today but Paul of course steered him through the test very well. There’s lots to like for the future.” Isobel also gave credit to a good floorplan which well suited the scopey Balero. Receiving an appreciative round of applause from the crowd, Paul Friday scored 69.20% with Sarah Overson’s Hawtins Horatio for their upbeat 80s pop music programme. The extended trot was a clear highlight with the British-bred gelding showing a lovely open frame and freedom of the shoulder. The canter pirouette right showed lovely collection within four balanced strides and the three and four time tempi changes were shown on a daring curved line. Isobel enjoyed Paul’s choice of upbeat music, “I like the music and I really like the horse, he has much potential for the future – there were a few mistakes today but the changes on the curved line were very nice.” Tania Grantham opted to start her test on Tina Grantham’s Samarino (by Samarant) with a walk pirouette into collected walk and extended walk on a half circle. The energetic Samarino showed a little too much exuberance with a small jog creeping into the collected walk but Tania used his power to her benefit within the canter and trot tours. “Tania will be very pleased with him,” reviewed Isobel, “he looked a little on edge tonight but it was very clever how she got the walk done early whilst he was still relaxed.” Classical music and an instrumental version of One Republic’s Secrets added much drama to Nathalie Kayal’s performance on board her own DHI Cleverboy. The tall gelding by Sandreo delivered balanced lateral work with explosive extensions, with Nathalie always keeping the poll at the highest point and a steady, consistent contact. The Beaconsfield-based rider chose to present her test in a snaffle; the consistent contact was proven again in walk and canter. Guest commentator Isobel Wessels praised the elegant rider for her efforts in the NAF Five Star Arena - “Nathalie you did a great job – it was very polished, it was very well balanced. The canter could be a little more through but the lines in the floorplan were very nice. A few little things but overall a super job!” For Nathalie, the end result was fifth with 70.62%. BD judge Sara Jane Lanning delivered a test full of drama on board her own faithful partner Mi Amigo. The 17 year old gelding showed good activity in the trot work, where the rider chose a mirrored floorplan with half pass zig zags and shoulder in on the centre line. ‘Zoa’ showed his talent for tempi changes in the canter tour with fours and threes ridden on 20m circle lines – they were in fact the sole combination to attempt this on Friday’s Gala Performance evening. Sara Jane was another rider to earn praise from Isobel who commented at the end of her test, “Well deserved cheers! Overall the music and floorplan really worked together, a difficult test with accomplished riding – very well done!” Rhythmical trot work accompanied Queen’s It’s A Kind of Magic to start Sarah Williams freestyle on board Georgina Howards’ Bohingus W in tuneful style. Neat pirouettes and flowing half passes were a highlight in canter, accompanied by Radio Gaga, but a couple of unfortunate mistakes in the tempi changes just kept the score back tonight, the duo earned 65.58%. “I’m a Freddie fan!” Isobel praised the all Queen arrangement, “There were some difficult movements in this test to show off the good training of this horse. The self-carriage could’ve been better towards the end but a really nice test and an enjoyable freestyle.” With Lucy Swinden’s Odwigs Echo, Sheffield lady Becky Moody proved her class once again with an impressive freestyle scoring 70.16%. The eye-catching coloured didn’t put a hoof out of place in the trot tour which was followed by a collected walk and extended walk of great quality. A small mistake in the four tempi changes certainly didn’t deter from an enjoyable programme. Small, balanced pirouettes and a powerful extended canter were appreciated by the knowledgeable crowd and Isobel Wessels: “What a choreography! Lots of changes of hand, which really test the suppleness – it’ll be noticed by the judges. Really difficult interesting movements, there were a couple of mistakes tonight but well done Becky.” Starting her freestyle in canter, Lara Edwards rode a packed floorplan on board Laura Milner’s Jazzed Up with tricky lines including one handed tempi changes into half pirouettes. The Jazz sired gelding has tones of potential and showed all his talent in the trot tour, the lateral work was full of energy with a super active hind leg. There was just one small mistake in the final trot half pass zig zag in an otherwise impressive test, Isobel summarised “It’s a very elegant light-footed horse and Lara used the choreography to show the horse off well. It was a nice inventive program and the horse became more and more relaxed as the test went on. Lovely horse and lots of nice things.” The combination placed 10th with 69.16%. Charlotte Dicker brought her 2018 European Young Rider Championship partner forward to contest the Magic title and their test didn’t disappoint – 68.79% was the score. Tempi changes on the centre line and 20m circles stood out and the canter pirouettes were secure. The elegant ‘Soli’ showed elevated extensions in both trot and canter, and Charlotte a complex floorplan with skills beyond her 19 years. “I thought the overall picture was very dramatic,” Isobel commented on the young rider’s test, “the choreography was intricate so well done for showing some steep half passes and tight pirouettes on the centre line. The horse lacked a little elasticity but going into this arena is not easy, Charlotte coped very well – well done.” Charlotte Dujardin pupil Jessica Wade brought her bright bay partner Empire H forward for her debut performance on Gala night at the NAF Five Star Winter Championships. The 10 year old by Santano has outstanding action in trot with much lift and impulsion; his extended walk was also notable, showing a nice lengthening of the frame. Riding to a compilation of modern pop music from Freya Ridings and Clean Bandit, Jessica completed her test with bold canter work, small pirouettes and neat changes. The panel of Peter Storr (C), Claudia Haller (M) and Mary Anne Horn (E) gave 69.20% for a solid test. “It was such a pity about the ending,” said Isobel post-test as she praised Jessica’s attempt to repeat her right pirouette which proved tricky first time around. “He’s a wonderful horse with such nice activity and a trot that’s nicely off the ground. He’s light-footed and very in front of the rider – clearly there’s lots of ability. I also liked the music, it was different and well fitted.” With her second ride of the evening, Hannah Moody’s Full Fusion BS, Becky Moody opted to ride her successful Sherlock Holmes routine and enjoyed a score of 73.12% as the reward. The athletic bay gelding was competed successfully by Hannah previously and looked in top form tonight with sister Becky in the saddle. In the canter work, the three tempi changes and pirouettes were top quality, the extended walk supple and in trot the extensions were very bold. A couple of tiny communication errors kept the score to X, but Isobel’s was quick to commend a great effort. “The horse is really talented for the pirouettes and the subtle change in the pirouette really highlighted that. There were a couple of little mistakes but a super horse and as always, very well ridden by Becky.” Local lady Katie Bailey and the ten year old Eagle Nouvelle debuted an ethereal freestyle by maestro Tom Hunt set to James Newton Howards’ scores from Peter Pan and Maleficent. A huge extended walk showed outstanding suppleness over the back, the flying changes were straight, active and expressive and in trot the horse showed much ability for the future. Overall, a polished test with a supreme floorplan and music programme was enough to move Katie into the lead with 73.70%. Isobel was as impressed as the judges’ panel: “I thought that was really super – wonderful fluent test, much harmony and ease. The horse made no mistakes and I really loved this music – it’s been my favourite so far!” Penultimate rider Hannah Biggs brought a very different freestyle into the arena with modern tunes, including music from Labrinth and Tiny Tempah. British-bred ‘Archie’ has been in top form this season but unfortunately the Hartpury atmosphere caused a couple of small mistakes to creep in. Nevertheless, Hannah produced high quality trot work with lovely, flowing half passes and a really strand out extended walk. “Really difficult choreography and unusual lines. The horse has some strong highlights, a wonderful extended walk – as a judge you think wow how much more ground cover could there be. He has lovely natural gaits and overall it was a super, really intricate test – great job!” For Hannah tonight the score was a respectable 69.04%. Headmore Davina has been nothing but a dream for Alice Oppenheimer and she pulled yet another fantastic test out of the bag tonight as the duo trotted down the centre line to conclude the Magic Prix St Georges Freestyle Gold. An exciting floorplan mirrored the work in both trot and canter on both reins and showed Davina’s many highlights. Reviewing the successful duo, Isobel concluded “Alice has done another super test with this horse! She always rides a brilliant freestyle and the music was lovely. Alice you’ve got a super horse, there were a few little mistakes tonight but really really top riding.” For Alice, the score tonight was 70.79% and her eventual placing fourth – another fantastic effort. However it was Katie Bailey to enjoy a deserved moment in the spotlight in front of a supportive home crowd. It wasn’t a victory Katie was expecting; “I was hoping for a top three but never expected this. I’m a bit speechless but thrilled to pip the others today!” she said. Katie has had the German bred gelding, by jumping sire Singapore, for two and a half years and he was working at Elementary when she took the ride on for owner Hannah Dovey. “Eddie is just the kindest horse. He coped really well with the atmosphere and he’s such a trier. Everything just came together a little more than normal tonight,” she said. The duo are in action tomorrow night in the Saturday Gala Performance Superflex Inter I Freestyle and those odds have suddenly shortened on them walking away with both showcase titles.   For full results - click here
Friday, April 5

NAF Five Star Winter Championships: day three

The NAF Five Star Winter Championships is always well supported by multiple gold medallist, and local girl, Charlotte Dujardin. She loves to ride here for the opportunity it gives to expose young horses to the big stage. The opening class of day three was no exception, 2019 being the year for her and MSJ Charmer to make their championship debut together at the show; and they did it in style, winning a super-hot Blue Chip Novice Gold Championship with a cracking score of 77.96%. MSJ Charmer (Charmeur x Danone I) is a five-year-old gelding who Charlotte co-owns with Verity Jenner. “I was just hoping to get him round and have a good ride,” said Charlotte. “He went a bit green but he tried really hard. There’s a lot for a young horse to see in there [Hartpury Arena] but he coped so well. He’s new to it all but he’s not spooky at all. He just went in and delivered. I couldn’t be happier with him.” Known at home as ‘Cookie’, MSJ Charmer was bought by Charlotte as a foal from Emma Blundell at the Mount St John Stud. “He’s such a cool horse and it’s lovely to have had him from a foal. I know everything about him. I normally buy them between two and three [years old], so this feels surreal – to have had him since a baby and now to be competing him here,” she smiled. “This is only the second time I’ve competed him as Rob [Barker] qualified him for the Regionals, and I’ve loved every minute. Verity Jenner, who owns him with me, is here too. It’s the first time she’s seen him compete.” From Emma Blundell’s first crop of foals, one of things about MSJ Charmer that caught Charlotte’s eye was his incredible canter. “He cantered as a foal as he does now. The canter is like Valegro’s. And he’s been a pleasure to produce. He’s such a cool horse. He’s lovely to do at home and you forget he’s five. He’s brave; he hacks; he’s very mature,” she added. The Blue Chip Novice Gold was a highly competitive affair with the top ten competitors all on 70%-plus. The runner-up spot was taken by Becky Moody with the young stallion James Bond 2 (77.90%), with birthday girl Judy Harvey and SP Bento (76.23%) completing the top three. Happy birthday Judy! Petplan Equine Novice Bronze A rider on the first horse she’s ever owned was the winner of the Petplan Equine Novice Bronze Area Festival Championship this morning. Buckinghamshire-based Laura Green and her towering gelding Ireldo L (by Hofrat) achieved a score of 70.06% to take the coveted national title. “I’m thrilled with him,” beamed Laura after the prize-giving in the Hartpury Arena. “It feels incredible to come here and win. He felt very good today. He was hot in the warm-up, but he relaxed in the arena and tried his heart out for me. He really allowed me to ride the walk, and the canter was so uphill.” Laura has a background working with horses for TV and film and has been involved in shoots for Game of Thrones, War and Peace and King Arthur. Three years ago however, she swapped careers to pursue her dream of becoming a dressage rider. “I now work as a groom and rider at Twyford Mill Equestrian in Buckinghamshire and back and produce young horses and schooling liveries,” said Laura who trains with Tom Graham, George Blackburn and Judy Harvey. Six-year-old Ireldo L is a bay KWPN gelding whose legs go on forever. “I stopped measuring him when he got to 17.3hh!” laughed Laura. “I bought him as an unbacked three-year-old from Henry Boswell. I backed him and produced him myself, and he’s been a dream to produce all along. He always tries for me.” Petplan Equine Novice Silver Cheshire rider Fiona Newall has won today’s Petplan Equine Novice Silver Area Festival Championship title today in convincing style. With her beautiful German gelding Don Romance she headed the field on 72.22% and with a winning margin of almost two percent. Mum of two and full-time accountant, Fiona, was clearly delighted when we caught up with her after the prize-giving. “This is absolutely amazing,” she enthused. “I cannot believe it! He was incredible today because he lit up in the arena yet was still so rideable. I have never felt his trot like it. I don’t know where it came from!” Fiona has owned Don Romance (For Romance x Don Kennedy), now six, since he was a three-year-old. “I saw him advertised on Facebook. He was for sale along with several showjumpers although he’s dressage bred. He was a dressage gem amongst them and I could see all his potential.” With the support of her parents Ian and Lorna, who were on hand to support today, Fiona manages to fit her riding in around her career and family. “I couldn’t do any of this without them. They are a huge support” Fiona trains with Kate Cowell who she credits for ‘transforming her riding.’ Don Romance’s routine includes daily turnout and working just three or four times a week to give him time to grow into his 17.2hh frame. Petplan Equine Advanced Medium Silver After taking a second place spot in yesterday’s Intermediate I Bronze, Charlotte Cundall went one better today as she claimed victory in the Petplan Equine Advanced Medium Silver Championships with the Lady Joseph Trust’s Simply Red. Grade V Para Dressage starlet Charlotte was the only rider to crack the 70% barrier with her winning score, a supreme 71.70%. “I’m absolutely over the moon, I just can’t believe! To come second yesterday and go one better today is amazing, I’m ecstatic,” Charlotte enthused about her win today, “We went in the Advanced Medium Freestyle earlier but I was just so pleased with his test in this class, he was brilliant.” Charlotte thanked her trainer Amy Woodhead and today’s acting trainer, none other than Amy’s mum Tracey who stepped in at the last minute – “Amy had to dash off to Carl’s for a lesson so she briefed Tracey and said what we needed to do! She did a great job of helping me in the warm up and it really worked. The half passes in our test were a highlight, his changes were really clean and they’re definitely his forte.” Having recently returned from a successful international debut in Denmark, Charlotte has spent the last couple of weeks working on the basics in preparation for the Petplan Equine Area Festivals. Looking forwards to the rest of the year she’s excited to having a shot at the BD summer regionals, the Equissage Pulse Para Dressage Gold Semi-Finals and a couple more trips overseas to fly the flag for Great Britain. Summarising her Hartpury experience, Charlotte concluded: “It’s so surreal, you work hard all winter and it’s so nice to come here and for it to actually happen. Everybody comes to the winters with the same dream but only one person in each class can achieve their dream!” Superflex Intermediate I Gold Continuing arguably the best week of her career so far, Alice Oppenheimer notched up her third win of the week, and her fourteenth national title, with a victory in the Superflex Intermediate I Championship on-board her mother Sarah’s delightful home-bred Headmore Davina. A polished test packed with powerful pirouettes, balanced trot work and an superb extended walk impressed the judges panel of Linda Whetstone, Jenny Ward and Penelope Lang who rewarded the duo 72.71% for their efforts. “I was worried yesterday that we would get stuck on title number 13, I thought it might be unlucky!” Alice laughed after her prize giving, “Luckily Davina sorted that out for me!” About her wonder horse Alice said, “She’s just such a talented mare, the pirouettes I had in there today were amazing. I always say she only makes a mistake if I do, it’s just up to me to ride her. You can really trust her – she pulls it out of the bag every time.” It’s not been plain-sailing with the talented chestnut who proved tricky to back and produce as a young horse, “Dannie stepped in and was brilliant for giving her confidence. She was unridable in warm ups and nobody could sit her broncs – people would tell us just to leave it and breed from her but why would we breed from something that we can’t prove we can ride? Once we worked her out and got her going she’s just never said no, she’s just so special.” Former pilot Dannie Morgan jumped in to praise proud breeder Sarah Oppenheimer, “It’s an amazing achievement for a breeder to have so many horses win here this week, we’re very lucky to be a part of it.” In a week of outstanding team effort, Alice also paid credit to stand in groom Donald Fraser, who’s been on hand to help the Headmore crew, “I think he’s my lucky charm! He’s going to have to come with us every time!” TheraPlate UK Medium Silver It was a cracking class for the first ever Medium Championship sponsored by TheraPlate UK with 27 combinations coming forward to bid for the title under judges Debbie Jones, Sophie Dickinson and Cherry Elvin. Jennifer Martell, riding Fiderstan for owner Jade Guyton, made the most of a late draw to take the win on 74.41%, over three percent ahead of her nearest rival. Fourth spot in the SureGrow Elementary yesterday set them up well for their ride; “He was so relaxed today and gave me everything! He ‘let me in’ and whatever I asked, he willingly gave. The atmosphere really helped as it lit him up and got extra power,” said a delighted Jennifer. Jennifer and ‘Tigger’, by German sire For Compliment, have been together for about a year when her ‘boss’ Amy Woodhead secured the ride for her. “We’ve spent a lot of time getting him stronger as he’s so big. I also needed to get stronger as his paces are so big! We did a few tests, qualified for the Regionals and all of a sudden, we’re here – it’s been a whirlwind!” said Jennifer. It was a return to Hartpury for Jennifer as she’s a former student here and it was while being a part of the Academy that she met Carl Hester as he’s a trainer for the programme and Amy was working for him. “I’ve been with her for two years; I love working there – Amy’s just the best boss. I’m so lucky to have three amazing trainers like Ian, Tracy and Amy. They all are very different but I’ve learnt so much from them. it's a great place to work and I can't wait to get home and take him [Tigger] for a ride on the beach!” she beamed. “He’s just a gentle giant and definitely a horse for the future and I want to take him up to Grand Prix,” Jennifer concluded. Based on today’s performance, few would doubt her goal. Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Silver It may not have been a smooth run up to Hartpury for Warwickshire rider Keri Bates and her Danish-bred Christianslund Gevalia as injury meant missed work in preparation but they didn’t let that stop them in storming to a resounding three percent victory in the Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Silver. Para rider Izzy Palmer held the lead for much of the class with Sophie Wells’s Touchdown M but Keri and Gevalia proved too strong. Keri, who runs Ekko Equestrian with her sister Rebecca from their base in Southam, has had the De Noir sired mare for two years after discovering her in her native Denmark. “She’d been ridden by a para rider but done very little,” explained Keri. The pair won their Regional at Addington so were in good form but a cracked splint bone meant an enforced rest but it clearly just freshened the mare up as all three judges were unanimous in scoring her as the winner. Keri is now hoping to build the mare’s fitness up after the enforced layoff and bring her back out at Prix St Georges with the aim of doing an International plus balancing her busy schedule at the yard and her new found love of judging. “I’ve got my part 3 exam next week to become a list 3 judge and am really looking forward to it. The new fast track system has been amazing and I’ve learned so much in the last six months, I just love it!” For full results – click here Listen to audio interviews with our winners – click here
Thursday, April 4

NAF Five Star Winter Championships: day two

Despite battling wind, rain and sleet, Jess Bennett and JB Dukaat kicked day two off with a super test in the Petplan Equine Arenas to take home the Intermediate I Area Festival title. The judges panel of Tim Downes, Andrew Bennie and Kim Ratcliffe rewarded the duo’s polished performance with 69.60%. “I was so pleased with his test, he’s still new to the level and that’s only his fifth Intermediate 1 – he’s done really well. His extended trot and canter work is a real highlight, the changes have been a real problem through the years so they can be a bit hit and miss but today they were all there!” Jess and ‘Joey’ have a good record at the Winter Championships having picked up the Charles Owen Advanced Medium title in 2017. “He gets very excitable in the indoor arena! We’re back this afternoon for the PSG so I expect him to very over excited about…especially after a prize giving!” The Petplan Equine Area Festivals have provided the perfect opportunity for Jess to aim Joey at a competition with the right atmosphere for him, “I’ve aimed him for the Area Festival Championships knowing the outdoor arena would suit him, it’s also been a great opportunity to give him experience at the level because he is so green.” Full-time rider Jess plans to train Joey through the levels and will have a shot at the Summer Regionals at both Prix St Georges and Intermediate I. Talking about her 11 year old gelding’s character Jess said, “I call him my overgrown pony, he’s usually so quiet and easy and then he goes out…especially to Hartpury…and goes a bit wild!” Second place went to rising Para Dressage star Charlotte Cundall with Brenda Reddy’s BamBam, whilst under 25s rider Izzy Chaplin claimed third on board Coral Ingham’s Vincente II. Equi-Trek Elementary Gold Hampshire’s Alice Oppenheimer made her final Elementary outing with her homebred Headmore Bella Ruby one to remember as they claimed their first title together in the Equi-Trek Gold. “She’s been the bridesmaid so often, she finally deserves that win!” exclaimed Alice. Alice was first to go with her other homebred, Headmore Dionysus, owned by Amanda Radford, and firmly laid down the gauntlet with a score of 73.54%. She held the lead for nearly two hours only to go and overtake herself with the Belissimo M seven year old mare with 74.27%. There were a few strong challengers to come but the Headmore duo held on to their top two places. ‘Bella’, who has an embryo transfer foal by Franklin due this year, was broken by Ryan Shannon as a three year old; “The first time I sat on her, I knew she was special. Mum watched her and I said how amazing was and would go to the top, but she couldn’t see it, but I said, ‘well I can certainly feel it’. She’s just what you look for; go-ey, off the leg, an amazing canter.” Alice was quite emotional, and deservedly so. “She’s such a genuine mare! She’s such a pro inside the white boards. Yesterday she was quite quirky in the warm up, almost naughty but she’s not really like that; she quite surprised me. I had a think about why and decided that it’s just the way she shows her nerves,” said an emotional Alice. “I gave her an easy time in the warm up today and she was super, just 100% with me in the test. You get a good mare like that who tries for you and…there’s no feeling like it.” And the tears began to fall, it was proof of the bond this partnership share. Petplan Equine Elementary Bronze Area Festival Some seven months after winning the Elementary title at the inaugural BD Bronze Championships, veteran rider Patricia Smith and her partner of three and a half years Helios claimed another title today when heading the Petplan Equine Area Festival Elementary Bronze. Riding in the pouring spring rain, the duo powered on to score 69.51%. Their victory score in August was 67.18% so their training at home with Jade Dawson is clearly paying off. “He couldn’t have gone better despite getting soaked through!” said an elated Patricia. “I was really pleased with my medium trot lines. He doesn’t have flashy paces and isn’t extravagant but he was very consistent today and I really felt a difference. The weather didn’t bother me. I have an outdoor at home and if it’s raining and I’m less than enthusiastic, my trainer says ‘it could be like this in a competition day’ so we get on with it!” she continued. Helios, or Ozzy, is by KEC Diamond Millinium who’s a grandson of the legendary King of Diamonds. Patricia bought him from a dealer who said he’d done a bit of showing but dressage was her aim. The started in Team Quest with a group from their local Wokingham Riding Club before going solo and enjoying success at Prelim and Novice in the Draught Associated Championships, Petplan Equine Area Festivals and Winter Championships. The pair now have Medium firmly on their ‘to do’ list, “I’ll have to learn some new tricks!” joked Patricia. Petplan Equine Elementary Silver Area Festival In a true story of triumph over adversity, Lisa Clarkson and her own eight year old Giannova were the combination to shine through the afternoon rain in the Petplan Equine Elementary Silver class, taking the accolades with 70.09%. “The conditions were horrible!” said Lisa about her winning test, “Through my warm up the weather was getting worse and worse, sideways wind and rain, he didn’t even want to walk in it! In the test he was such a good boy, he can be a little sharp so I was really proud that he held it together. We had a couple of small mistakes but I was still pleased overall.” Post-test Lisa went back to the stables and discovered her score, unplaited and starting getting ready to leave before being told an hour later by the secretaries that she had in fact won! “They told me that I had 20 minutes to get ready so I called my trainer Becky Moody and her team came to the rescue – it took them only eight minutes to plait him and make him look beautiful again whilst I put all my wet show gear back on!” True survivor Giannova has had a tough journey to the top battling with MRSA after having a tooth removed a couple of years ago. “We nearly lost him, he had to have two lots of surgery under general anaesthetic because we couldn’t get rid of the infection. He’s lucky to be alive really! But we couldn’t miss our moment of glory, it’s a lifetime ambition to win a championship rug. “He’s a lot of fun to ride but he can be challenging,” Lisa added about her gelding by Goldfever, whom she discovered in Holland as a three year old. With trainer Becky Moody’s help she’s produced him through the levels to Petplan success. “I went to Becky for work experience age 13 and I’m 31 now! I’m based with her and she helps us a few times a week which makes a massive difference.” Lisa balances riding alongside a career in Pensions and plans to compete her wonder horse at the summer regionals at Elementary and Medium level, “I’m really excited about him, hopefully the changes will be secure enough for us to have a go at an Advanced Medium before too long.” Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Freestyle Silver For Maeve Morris it’s been two days, two tests and two titles! Today she scored a convincing 77.31% to add the Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Freestyle Silver to her growing collection on board wonder horse Headmore Footloose. “Amazing, absolutely amazing!” Maeve said about today’s performance where the pair danced to a Sara Green compilation including tunes from Footloose… what else! The elegant bay six-year-old ‘Eric’, who is by Florencio and out of a Dimaggio mare, has all the qualities of a great horse. “His greatest strength is that he has no weaknesses,” said Maeve, “and he just wants to do the job well. He always does what you ask.” Proud trainer Alice Oppenheimer had not one, but two tests to watch nervously from the sidelines in this class as her sister Kate rode to ninth place on board SOS Sealpoint. With four wins now in the bag, it’s very much looking like Headmore Stud’s time to enjoy a moment in the spotlight, and perhaps some celebratory champagne too. Magic Prix St Georges Gold With the withdrawal of Charlotte Dujardin and Mount St John VIP, today’s Magic Prix St Georges Gold was opened right up. The class drew quite a crowd of spectators, such was the quality still, and they were rewarded with a cracking PSG competition which was ultimately taken in style by Alice Oppenheimer and Headmore Davina. Fresh from taking an emphatic one-two in this morning’s Equi-Trek Elementary Gold, Alice Oppenheimer, going in the first group of riders before the break, produced a super test to score 71.05% from the judging panel of Fiona Wilson (E), Nick Burton (C) and Peter Storr (M). “She [Headmore Davina] was super,” enthused Alice. “I’m so happy with her and all the horses today. “It was the best trot work Davina’s ever produced in the ring. The canter pirouettes, which are normally her highlights, were not so good today. I felt I could have ridden them better, but that’s dressage riders – we always want perfection!” she smiled. “Davina is such a genuine horse and always tries hard for me. She can be a little silly and spooky outside but once between the white boards she gives everything. When you know you can trust a horse like that, it’s a nice feeling. She’s the kindest and sweetest horse too - she’s so lovely and polite.” Headmore Davina is a nine-year-old daughter of the Headmore Stud’s foundation mare Rubinsteena (Rubinstein) and the prolific stallion, Dimaggio. Remarkably she is a half-sister to Alice’s first- and second-placed rides this morning, a real feather in the cap to the matriarch of the Headmore dynasty, Rubinsteena. “They all have a real work ethic,” added Alice. Completing the top three was Becky Moody with both her rides, Full Fusion BS (70.96%) and Odwig’s Echo (70.08%). Charles Owen Advanced Medium Silver Lauren Noble (25) from Ripon in North Yorkshire claimed a close-fought Charles Owen Advanced Medium Silver Championship today at the NAF Five Star Winter Championships. With her 11 year old British mare, Heartbreak (by Herzensdieb). “I’m a little overwhelmed…it’s still sinking in,” said Lauren after having time to reflect on her win. “I’m so happy with her. “I had no expectations after my test, I was simply happy with my horse, so to win is a huge bonus. This horse is the best thing ever.” Lauren travelled to Hartpury via her trainer Sonia Baines’ base in Derbyshire to put some polish on the half passes, a decision which certainly paid off as “they came off really well today.” The talented mare’s energy and verve was channelled to produce a test earning just shy of 70%. Second and third spot were taken by Denise Fryer with Keystone Starstruck and Holly Colgate Hardaway with Dalvangs Lorenzo on 69.56% and 69.03% respectively. Talking about how the partnership was formed, Lauren said she bought ‘Rose’, as she’s known, as a four-year-old and describes her as her first ‘proper dressage horse’, “I started out showjumping and also did a bit of eventing with my pony but it later became clear that I was more interested in the dressage. “A lady at Sonia Baines’ yard told me about a nice young horse there that was for sale. She thought she might suit me as the mare was quite sharp and I was quiet. When I rode her she gave me a great feel so I knew at that moment that she was right.” “It’s a nice feeling having gone up the levels together,” said Lauren. “She’s not been easy and is quite reactive. At her first summer Nationals she reacted to the clapping after somebody’s test, spooked, and jumped on one of the judges’ cars. She still came fourth though! “She’s had a bit a time off with injury but has come back stronger, both physically and mentally. She’s happier too. She just gets it now. Now she’s older, she can take in and deal with the atmosphere.” Petplan Equine Inter I Silver Danish born rider Anne-Marie Bork Eppers headed a thrilling Petplan Equine Intermediate I Silver Championship today at Hartpury. With her 10-year-old Danish-bred gelding Zeilinger Firfod, she was awarded a score of 67.23% to head the class of 16 national finalists. “That was really amazing,” said a delighted Anne-Marie after their lap of honour in the Hartpury Arena this afternoon. “We came third last year in the Petplan Equine Advanced Medium Championship and I said we’d be here for the Inter I next year, and here we are! I’m so happy.” Talking through her test, Anne-Marie commented, “I was very happy with the trot work, and happy with the changes and pirouettes too.” Anne-Marie, who has been UK-based for six years, works in events and sports hospitality for a living. She trains with Charlie Hutton, Sam Rahmatallah and Richard Preston and bought Zeilinger Firfod in Denmark as six-year-old. “I’m Danish so I had to buy a Danish horse,” she smiled. Known at home as ‘Mumble’, after the penguin in the computer-animated film Happy Feet, the horse is described by his owner-rider as ‘really chilled then all of a sudden he switches on to perform.” Click here for full results.
Wednesday, April 3

NAF Five Star Winter Championships: day one

British-bred Headmore Footloose claimed a second championship of his young career in taking the first of 39 titles on offer on day one of the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships at Gloucestershire’s Hartpury Arena. With his rider of a year and a half, Maeve Morris, ‘Eric’ was awarded 71.6% for his efforts under judges Anne Keen, Andrew Bennie and Tim Downes to take the Blue Chip Novice Silver Championship by just under one percent. British stud Headmore is set to feature highly this week with ten horses bearing its prefix competing, all born at the Hampshire stable. Eric is a Headmore grandchild as his mum was also bred there. At last summer’s LeMieux National Championships, Maeve and Eric were KBIS Prelim champions and have continued their winning ways today. Maeve’s step mum Nicola bred and owns the horse. He was originally intended for her to ride but Maeve fell in love with him, enough to make her swap disciplines from jumping to dressage and they’ve been unstoppable ever since. Eric, rising six and by Florencio, is still stabled at Headmore and Maeve rides at the weekends when she shoots down from London where she works full-time as a property developer. She of course trains with Alice Oppenheimer and has had some lessons with Charlotte Dujardin when she’s down there. “I had a lovely ride today – the best ever for that test. There was a slight sat-nav failure when I stared doing my Freestyle test! It all came together today; I always struggle with my 10 metre circles but I think I did okay in there.” An approving nod from Alice confirmed, along with the comment; “It was a lovely test to watch.” So, the trainer approved. The duo are in action again tomorrow in the Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Silver Freestyle, and if you were wondering about music, well, there’s a clue in Eric’s show name! Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Freestyle Gold It was a second score of the day for Britain’s breeders in the Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Freestyle when Nikki Barker scored a whopping 77.03% with her own five year old Dan Icarus. Nikki bought Dan Icarus as a yearling from his breeder Viv Gleave who she jointly owns her stallion Durable with, who also happens to be the sire! A delighted Nikki said; “He has exactly the same brain and temperament as his dad, it’s unbelievable how similar they are. He’s probably done about five tests in his life so he’s never done anything like this; he’s such a joy! With him, you get the horse you have at home in the arena here which is so special.” Nikki and ‘Ruben’ rode to music put together by Ros Emery Kay with songs from Rocky. Nikki says that since qualifying for the regionals and subsequently for Hartpury, Ruben has really developed and his paces have ‘grown’; “I found myself ahead of the music as his movement is so much bigger so we halted early! Still, it gave him chance to smile nicely at the judges to finish!” Nikki has a busy week with six horses qualified, including Ruben’s dad Durable so she’s had to enlist help from her support network. Even her dad has been coerced into lending a hand to drive a second lorry, ensuring Ruben had an extra smooth ride to Gloucestershire from Newmarket! Petplan Equine Medium Bronze There was no smile wider in the Hartpury Arena today than that of Sarah Edwards as she exited the prize giving following her victory in the Petplan Equine Area Festival Medium Bronze Championship. Riding her own Westphalian Impression G, by Insterburg, she scored 69.31% two win by just over two percent and take her first ever title. “I’m just so thrilled!” she kept saying and she patted ‘Charlie’ repeatedly. The Director of her own successful head hunting business, Sarah has enjoyed a life-long passion for horses and point to pointing was her discipline of choice in her younger days. Along with her supportive husband she still breeds racehorses. “I took up dressage and loved it. I got my last horse, Mr Tintin here but he was at his limit. I wanted to do more and aged 50 I had an urge to wear tails. So, a year ago bought Charlie, my first warmblood, and getting here has been our ambition ever since.” Some time off at Christmas was the only blip on their journey to get to Hartpury. “He felt very jolly in the arena walk and his test felt the best he’s ever done, it felt so smooth,” beamed Sarah. When her score came through, Sarah couldn’t quite believe it so she went to the Secretary just to double check but it was real! “It’s really a case of dreams do come true. I started as a real novice at Prelim on an ex-racehorse and BD has helped me learn so much, it’s been such an adventure. I hope to be here next year with Charlie in the Advanced Medium and then again the year after…in my tails!” Equi-Trek Elementary Silver Bethany Edginton, a young rider from Wakefield, has won today’s Equi-Trek Elementary Silver Championship with her Grandmother Jackie’s Oldenburg seven-year-old, Frankel. First to go in the 30-strong class, the pair led from the start with a cracking score of 72.29% from the judging panel of Sally Andrews (E), Alison Duck (C) and Sue Wood (M). Like his racing namesake, Frankel is full of quality and took victory in convincing style. “I’m just so happy with him,” said Bethany, visibly elated after the prize-giving in the Hartpury Arena. Reflecting on the win – her first ever championship victory - she said, “I have never won anything like it…it’s just amazing, completely amazing!” Describing their test, which was in the morning chill at 8am, Bethany commented, “He [Frankel] was really good. He can be quite spooky but today he focused on me and gave me everything. We’ve recently started teaching him changes and during a pre-Championships test run, he threw one in, so I was a bit concerned that it might happen again. But today he did a good clean test. He felt very good.” Frankel, a picture-perfect grey gelding by Fairbanks out of a His Highness mare, was bought from Caroline Saynor as a four-year-old for Bethany whose burgeoning interest in dressage inspired her to train her showjumping pony in her new discipline. A search for a dressage horse ensued. “We told Caroline that we wanted something talented, but also sensible,” said owner Jackie, “And that’s Frankel.’ Bethany, 17, who trains with Becky Moody, is doing an advanced apprenticeship at S and T Equestrian and, long term, plans to develop her family’s livery yard into a more competition focused set-up. “I didn’t want her to be as horsey as me,” laughed Jackie, “but she’s even worse than me!” Petplan Equine Area Festival Medium Silver Holding on to an early lead, eventer-turned-dressage rider Georgina Tapner and her Belissimo M-sired gelding Bugatti II have added today’s Petplan Equine Medium Silver Area Festival Championship title to their excellent Hartpury record. Winners of last year’s Petplan Equine Medium Bronze, the cool-headed pair were the first of the day in Petplan Arena 2. The only combination to breach the magic 70% barrier, with a mark of 70.68%, they lead throughout to once again claim their place on the Petplan Equine roll of honour. “I’m so happy with him,” said Georgina of the good looking German gelding. “It was a bit daunting to start going first, but he stayed relaxed and gave me a great ride. I really enjoyed riding the test. There were no mistakes; it was a clear round.” Bugatti, now eight, was bought as a four-year-old by Georgina who evented to 2* level. “I didn’t want to event any more, since having the children, so decided to do some dressage.” Georgina is trained by both Charlie Hutton and her husband Paul, winner of Badminton Horse Trials in 2010 and here to support his wife today. Looking forward, Georgina modestly says she wants to ‘learn how to dressage’. The talented pair, who recently made their Prix St Georges debut, look on course for an exciting future. Their 2019 NAF Five Star Winter Championships campaign isn’t over just yet as they return on Sunday for the Petplan Equine Advanced Medium Bronze. Petplan Equine Prix St Georges Bronze A former event horse took top honours this afternoon in the Petplan Equine Prix St Georges Bronze Area Festival Championship. Laura Fisher and Sam The Man Veldhoek (by Oswin) were awarded a personal best score of 68.59% to win the class and take their 2019 championships tally to two; the multi-talented combination are fresh from victory in the Ideal Saddles Novice/90cm Combined Training Championships last month. “I’m so thrilled with him today,” enthused Laura after a celebratory glass of fizz. “All of the test felt good, and I was happy that we achieved all the tempi changes. He’s normally quite lazy but today he was really up for it and piaffed all the way to the arena! He really likes to be out.” Laura and Ozzie, as the gelding is known, enjoyed a successful eventing career competing up to 2* before he was forced to retire from the sport some three years ago due to navicular. Now 17, and with the help of trainer Debbie Jones, the Belgian-bred son of Oswin is flourishing in his second career. “Debbie has transformed us and helped to make the horse more confident,” said Laura. “She’s a judge also so she can help me from the judge’s perspective. I’ve trained with her since the end of last year. “When I was eventing I called it ‘stressage’ but I love it now,” added Laura. “Retiring from eventing was the turning point. At the time it was just doing what’s best for him so it’s exciting to have achieved what we have. He’s always done a good dressage test so in a way this was a natural progression.” North Wales based Laura, who works in Rural Development Marketing, is aiming towards Inter I with her ‘horse of a lifetime’. “I also have a few youngsters at home to bring up through the levels.” Spillers Medium Freestyle Gold Winning the hearts of the audience and judges alike, Katharine Lewis and Jos K claimed the Medium Freestyle Gold in style with a brilliant score of 73.22%, and the biggest cheer of the day. The Friesian stallion by Tsjale 454 turned heads at the 2018 NAF Five Star Winter Championships with a runner up spot in the Spillers Medium Freestyle Silver class; this year the duo went one better with a thrilling freestyle programme that also delivered them a title at the inaugural BD Summer Music Championships last year. Their test today showed all Jos’s talent for the future, with a huge extended canter a clear highlight. Speaking about her first Winter title Katharine said, “I’m absolutely thrilled with him, I’m so lucky to own him! I’ve had him since he was rising four, he’s been consistently qualifying for championships and he’s gone on to win at the Summer Music Championships and the Regional Championships. He’s just so consistent, and he’s growing in strength and confidence all the time.” Katharine presented her winning test to custom music produced by Gaynor Colburn, “It’s actually from a West End musical Gaynor wrote called Fire of London, she’s played it to his paces and it’s really dramatic.” “You just can’t get bored of riding him!” Katharine enthused about her star stallion, found at a riding school as a young horse, “Friesians aren’t common and it’s really tough in the Gold section, so to not only hold his own but win is amazing. He just goes into the arena and he knows, you can just ride and know he’ll give his all.” Katharine recently began training with Nicky Barrett and has enjoyed the progress and clearly reaped the rewards. “She’s really opened my mind and it’s going really well, she’s helped us and we’ve won today which is fantastic.” With Nicky’s help Katherine plans to take it slowly and sympathetically, and continue to train Jos through the levels. With only one and a half marks between first and second, It was a close battle between Katharine and local rival Alice Oppenheimer, repeating their Spillers title duel from Merrist Wood’s Winter Regional Championships in February. On both occasions, Regional runner up Alice had to settle for second with her outstanding mare Headmore Bella Ruby. Today the duo danced to an emotive Les Miserables soundtrack to earn 72.83%. Suregrow Elementary Freestyle Silver In Suregrow’s first year of Elementary Freestyle Silver sponsorship, the UK’s leading fertiliser company were treated to a class of outstanding quality. Stealing the win by a comfortable margin was Wendy Hudson with her own 10 year old mare, Hawtins Chanel (by Curator). The duo scored 72.24% to top the podium ahead of Florence Human and Lynn Perry who completed the top three. Victory smelled sweet for Wendy whose debut NAF Five Star Winter Championships was without a success, despite a challenging build up: “She had a week off just before we were supposed to be here, it was touch and go whether we would make it but we did and that’s the main thing! She’s not been the easiest but her personality and ability at shows is fantastic. She settles and behaves – bringing her to an occasion like this is great. She can be a bit of an introvert but she’s a very good girl.” “I was really pleased with how in tune we were with the music today, everything happened when it should and where it should,” Wendy added about her test, “Let’s call it a safe and accurate round, but I just loved the atmosphere in there. I came out and said to my friends I don’t care what the score is, whatever happens I had the best time ever and all I want to do is go back in there and ride again!” Finance Director and volunteer Treasurer for Newbury RDA Wendy will aim Chanel for the Petplan Equine Medium Area Festivals this season with the ultimate goal of riding in a top hat and tails o board her talented British bred mare bought from Judith Davis as a young horse. Commendations go to Sophie Watkins, who was unfortunately interrupted by a fire alarm mid-way through her test. On board her lovely mare Inca Spirit Sophie restarted her test to score 68.33%, well done Sophie. Petplan Equine Prix St Georges Silver Bringing day one in the Petplan Equine arenas to a close, Ella-Louise Mayhead and Tirclyn Sportsman clinched the Petplan Equine Prix St Georges Silver with a super score of 67.06% to top the 18 strong class. Ella-Louise and ‘Sporty’ placed second at their Area Festival Final at Beacons EC and went one better today as they impressed the judges panel – Linda Whetstone, Richard Baldwin and Felicity Scott. “This horse is so dear to me and I just wasn’t expecting a win today at all,” Proud owner/rider Ella Louise enthused following her prize giving, “We’ve not had the best preparation, you see people getting ready – their horses are having last minute massages and lessons and test practice – we’ve not ridden through the test since October! He’s been off work and a month ago I really didn’t think we’d be here. But he’s just come good, he’s a total star and I had the best ride I’ve ever had on his today.” Sporty was recently diagnosed with EMS which triggered a bout of laminitis back in October, an ongoing problem that Ella-Louise has worked hard to control. “Laminitis is one of those things you worry about every step, it’s always in your mind. We’ve been training the PSG movements for only two weeks, he’s really pulled it out of the bag!” “I came out of my test todayand thought ‘I’m really pleased with that’, it was just brilliant!” The gorgeous 14.3hh Welsh Section D cob was originally discovered as a rising four year old by Ella-Louise’s sister-in-law who bought him for very little money after he caught her eye in a Brightwells sale in Wales. “She fell off him quite early on and promptly said ‘here you have him’… I never game him back! We realised he was special, not just his temperament but his movement too. We’ve kept him and enjoyed him as a family.” In his successful career, Sporty has also won a national title with a pupil of Ella-Louise’s and enjoyed a trip to the Winter Championships in 2017 finishing seventh in the Advanced Medium Silver class. Ella-Louise herself balances riding with coaching and working as a civilian for the City of London Police where she runs their mounted branch; “It’s a full time job, they’re very supportive and it works well. It’s a horsey job but it so far away from anything else horsey!” For full results - click here      
Tuesday, April 2

NAF Winter Championships offers Five Star Appeal

Championships organiser Show Direct is making the final preparations at Hartpury Arena in Gloucestershire in readiness for the NAF Five Star Winter Championships (3 – 7 April 2019) which gets underway tomorrow morning. This five-day event – the finale to the winter dressage season - is without doubt the largest and most diverse event of the BD year. Nowhere else will you find so many of the UK’s top professionals, up-and-coming names and competitive amateurs competing all under one roof. From Wednesday to Sunday, we’ll welcome more than 1,000 horse and rider combinations at the popular venue which is set amongst glorious Gloucestershire countryside at Hartpury University and College. There are a total of 39 titles for the taking, including Freestyles, plus the deciding rounds of the 2018/2019 Petplan Equine Area Festival series. British breeding is making waves in the sport and this is no truer than here at Hartpury. An incredible 10 horses from the Headmore Stud in Hampshire are qualified, the small stud represented by Headmore prefixed horses at every level from Prelim to Inter I. Hawtins Stud has a strong presence also, with a number of horses qualified. Included are Hawtins Sandori who will contest the Blue Chip Novice Gold with stud rider Gijs Van Vooren, a young man making his first championship appearance on UK soil; Bryony Goodwin and Hawtins Soave who’ve received a wild card for the TheraPlate UK Medium Gold; and Paul Friday and Hawtins Horatio who contest the Magic Prix St Georges Gold. Once again, we’re lucky to have an Olympic, World and European gold medallist in our midst at Hartpury as Charlotte Dujardin is here with two of her young rides. Charlotte can be seen with her own five-year-old MSJ Charmer who contests the Blue Chip Novice Gold Friday morning. Then fresh from a triple Small Tour victory at last month’s Keysoe CDI3*, Charlotte and Mount St John VIP contest the Magic PSG on Thursday and the Superflex Inter I Gold on Friday, classes which both qualify for a respective Freestyle during the Friday and Saturday evening Gala Performances. Charlotte will also be there wearing her owner’s hat, with River Rise Isabella in the Equi-Trek Elementary Gold under Robert Barker, and the pony Cruz III in the Charles Owen Advanced Medium Gold partnered by Jayne Turney. Gala Performances Join us on Friday and Saturday (5 – 6 April) for our ticket-only Gala Performances for two show stopping nights where we’ll crown this year’s Magic Prix St Georges and Superflex Intermediate I Freestyle Champions. Witnessing these headline classes, which feature many of the UK’s best Small Tour combinations dancing to music in the atmospheric Hartpury Arena, is an opportunity not to be missed. In addition to top class competition, this year we’re delighted to welcome Adam Kemp and Matt Frost who will host a 30 minute Master Class during each evening performance. You can expect an educational and entertaining episode with two of Britain’s best as they talk about and demonstrate training from the horse’s perspective - that understanding how the horse sees the world is as important at Grand Prix as it is with the very early stages of introducing the horse to ridden work. Friday investigates ‘what’s it like to be a young horse’, Saturday investigates ‘what’s it like to be a Grand Prix horse’. During the competition interludes, two fabulous display teams will both be making their NAF Five Star Winter Championships debut - the Shetland Performance Display Team with their display of speed, daring and versatility, and Galloping Acrobatics who specialise in flamboyant equestrian vaulting giving an insight into the amazing world of equestrian performance art. The competition, Master Class and displays combined provide all the ingredients and more for a fantastic evening’s entertainment. Entry is free during the day and with three arenas running from around 8am to 6pm, and a wealth of shopping, there’s much to see and do. If you can’t make it to Hartpury, you won’t have to miss any of the action from the NAF Five Star Arena as thanks to support from LeMieux we’re able to provide a live stream of all the daytime indoor classes. Plus the feature gala evening classes, though not live, will be recorded and available to view after the show from Sunday evening. Please visit the BD Championships website for all the info on the NAF Five Star Championships – news, full timetable, results, tradestands, location and of course, the live stream! Plus, you’ll be able to download rider interviews using our audio service from Cre8media. BD has a trade stand in the NAF Five Star Arena, so do drop by to see us, and the communications and marketing team will also be out and about providing stories and quotes plus lots of coverage on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram (@british_dressage). New for Hartpury visitors this year is the chance to feed back about our communications. You might have heard about our regional roadshow, which comes to a close next week with one final open session in the classrooms above the Hartpury Arena. We always want to improve how we communicate with you, so if you've any views on our magazine, newsletters, website or social media, come along and have your say on Sunday 7 April at 1.30pm. The annual Members’ Meeting returns, taking place on Thursday evening (4 April) in lecture theatre MDC05 in the main Hartpury campus, just a short walk from Hartpury Arena, starting 15 minutes after the last prize-giving which should be about 6.30pm. Members of the Board and the senior management team will be available to chat and talk through your questions. Event website Start times and results Live stream