Chris Smith takes the honours in the Connolly?s RED MILLS Senior Newcomers Second Round at Arena UK

Thursday, December 12

AGM 2019 Minutes

The minutes from British Eventing's Annual General Meeting held on Sunday 24th November 2019 are now online.

Thursday, October 10

Keysoe CDI: Hindle harvests big tour double

Emma Hindle was indomitable in the Big Tour classes at last week’s Keysoe CDI in Bedfordshire (4 – 6 October 2019). The prolific Grand Prix rider, who has Senior European team medals to her name and was highest placed Brit at the Beijing Olympic Games, won both Friday’s Grand Prix and Saturday’s Grand Prix Freestyle with her current top ride, Romy Del Sol (pictured). Emma and the Romanov x Danny De Vito 13 year old, who’ve shown consistency all year on the Continent with top placings at Lier, Nieuw en Sint Joosland, Compiègne and Wiesbaden, took the Grand Prix in convincing style. A score of 71.13% was theirs to give them a clear lead in front of Sadie Smith with Keystone Dynamite (68.91%), making their CDI debut, and Rebecca Hughes with Rubini Royale (66.17%) in third. Saturday night at Keysoe, all eyes were on the Grand Prix Freestyle. Once again, Emma and Romy Del Sol put on a show-stopping performance - this time to their Lady Gaga-inspired freestyle soundtrack. They showed good regularity, power and suppleness through piaffe turns, steep half passes and one and a half turn pirouettes, all presented with an overall picture of harmony for 73.30%, and victory, the elegant mare appearing to have matured and strengthened over recent months. Sadie Smith held her own once again to take second, and Maria Eilberg and Royal Concert put up a superb challenge with a Gary Patterson-produced Rod Stewart compilation for a very close third. In the Small Tour, Gareth Hughes so impressed with his own and Judy Firmston-Williams’ young talent, Sintano Van Hof Olympia (by Sandro Hit). The exciting partnership, who won the Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I at Stoneleigh, dominated with identically scored wins of 73.94% in the PSG and Inter I, then a cracking 76.38% in the Inter I Freestyle. “He is such a talented horse and we are excited about his future,” says Gareth. Next stop for the pair – Le Mans CDI in France. Lewis Carrier and his 2018 FEI European Championship Young Rider horse, Diego V, continued to display their U25s promise with second in the U25 Inter II, and wins in both the U25 Grand Prix and Freestyle. “After a bit of a slow start to our Keysoe CDI in the Inter II on the first day, we ironed out a few silly mistakes to come away with two out of three wins in the U25 Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Freestyle,” said Lewis on Lewis Carrier Dressage Facebook. “Almost again hitting that 70% but were denied by our 1s [one-tempi changes] today. “[I’m] Looking forward to coming out next year after a winter’s training as I know our piaffe and passage are nowhere near where they need to be to compete at the top level, but pleased to get decent scores and have a great start to our U25 campaign.” Great Britain’s Sarah Khairallah and the evergreen Dimaggio-sired mare, Darling (19), were outstanding winners of the Young Rider Team Test with 68.725%, but it was Clare Hole who rose to the top in the Individual and Freestyle, winning both with her mother Rachel Murray’s Winnetou GEP (Gribaldi x Donnerhall) with scores of 68.48% and 71.13%. British Junior, Maddy Frewin, brought a touch of Bollywood to Bedfordshire with her 72.65% winning Freestyle aboard Woodlander Rhythm ‘n’ Blues, which followed a Team Test win and second place to Jessie Kirby and Belle Amie who scored 68.77% to win the Individual. In the Pony riders’ tournament, BD Northern Region rider Martha Jobling-Purser, representing Ireland, was victorious in the Team and Individual Tests with Yorkie Jobling-Purser’s Valido’s Starlight. Martha and ‘Star’, who competed as individuals for Ireland at this year’s FEI Pony European Championships, delivered two winning tests with 69.381% and 70.76%. British combinations, Gracie Morgan and Ella, and Betsy Smetham with Amber were in hot pursuit in the Pony Team Test, but each day, Syrah Van De Rovaart and Donna Daria 8 made up ground to ultimately top the Freestyle podium for the Netherlands on a score of 71.16%. Results of the British riders: CDI3* Big Tour Grand Prix 1. Emma Hindle and Romy Del Sol, 71.130% (GBR) 2. Sadie Smith and Keystone Dynamite, 68.913% (GBR) 6. Rebecca Hughes and Rubini Royale, 66.174% (GBR) 7. Vicky Thompson Winfield and Artist, 65.522% (GBR) 9. Maria Eilberg and Royal Concert, 65.130% (GBR) 10. Nicola Buchanan and Half Moon Dark Magic, 64.891% (GBR) 15. Keith Robertson and Boheme Af Sulsted, 61.565% (GBR) Grand Prix Freestyle 1. Emma Hindle and Romy Del Sol, 73.300% (GBR) 2. Sadie Smith and Keystone Dynamite, 71.850% (GBR) 3. Maria Eilberg and Royal Concert, 71.750% (GBR) 7. Vicky Thompson Winfield and Artist, 69.200% (GBR) 9. Nicola Buchanan and Half Moon Dark Magic, 68.460% (GBR) 11. Keith Robertson and Boheme Af Sulsted, 66.125% (GBR) 14. Rebecca Hughes and Rubini Royale, 64.500% (GBR) CDI3* Small Tour Prix St Georges 1. Gareth Hughes and Sintano Van Hof Olympia, 73.941% (GBR) 2. Jess Bennett and JB Dukaat, 70.206% (GBR) 3. Rebecca Hughes and Ibisco-O, 69.441% (GBR) 4. Sameera Rahmatalla and Hawtins Falerno, 68.794% (GBR) 5. Elder Klatzko and Little Richard, 68.265% (GBR) 6. Tor Fenwick and Renoir (Old), 67.618% (GBR) 8. Sarah Williams and Bohigas W, 66.500% (GBR) 10. Jessica Wade and Empire H, 66.176% (GBR) 11. Sarah Higgins and Davidoff, 66.147% (GBR) 12. John Chubb and Wringler, 65.941% (GBR) 14. Georgina Roden and Incroyable Van’t Heike, 65.265% (GBR) 15. Victoria Maw and Bon Rouge CH, 64.294% (GBR) 16. Sarah Higgins and Easter Bunny, 62.853% (GBR) Intermediate I 1. Gareth Hughes and Sintano Van Hof Olympia, 73.941% (GBR) 2. Jess Bennett and JB Dukaat, 70.529% (GBR) 3. Elder Klatzko and Little Richard, 69.088% (GBR) 4. Sameera Rahmatalla and Hawtins Falerno, 66.294% (GBR) 5. Tor Fenwick and Renoir (Old), 66.206% (GBR) 6. Georgina Roden and Incroyable Van’t Heike, 66.088% (GBR) 7= John Chubb and Wringler, 66.029% (GBR) 10. Rebecca Hughes and Ibisco-O, 65.088% (GBR) 11. Victoria Maw and Bon Rouge CH, 64.971% (GBR) 12. Sarah Higgins and Easter Bunny, 64.588% (GBR) 13. Lindsay Hancok and Barachiel, 64.235% (GBR) 14. Sarah Williams and Bohigas W, 64.206% (GBR) 15. Sarah Higgins and Davidoff, 62.265% (GBR) 17. Jessica Wade and Empire H, 60.029% (GBR) Intermediate I Freestyle 1. Gareth Hughes and Sintano Van Hof Olympia, 76.38% (GBR) 2. Jess Bennett and JB Dukaat, 72.92% (GBR) 3. Elder Klatzko and Little Richard, 71.37% (GBR) 5. John Chubb and Wringler, 69.78% (GBR) 6. Tor Fenwick and Renoir (Old), 69.77% (GBR) 7. Victoria Maw and Bon Rouge CH, 68.55% (GBR) 8. Lindsay Hancok and Barachiel, 68.50% (GBR) 10. Georgina Roden and Incroyable Van’t Heike, 67.54% (GBR) 11. Sameera Rahmatalla and Hawtins Falerno, 67.39% (GBR) 12. Sarah Higgins and Easter Bunny, 65.15% (GBR) CDIU25 Inter II 1. Nathalie Wahlund and Cerano Gold, 66.029% (SWE) 2. Lewis Carrier and Diego V, 65.794% (GBR) U25 Grand Prix 1. Lewis Carrier and Diego V, 66.154% (GBR) U25 Freestyle 1. Lewis Carrier and Diego V, 69.125% (GBR) CDIY Young Rider Team Test 1. Sarah Khairallah and Darling, 68.725% (GBR) 4. Clare Hole and Winnetou G.E.P, 66.863% (GBR) 6. Millie Gover and Kamil T, 65.735% (GBR) 8. Emma Bond and Lime Walk, 62.892% (GBR) Young Rider Individual Test 1. Clare Hole and Winnetou G.E.P, 68.480% (GBR) 4. Millie Gover and Kamil T, 65.980% (GBR) 5. Sarah Khairallah and Darling, 65.392% (GBR) 8. Emma Bond and Lime Walk, 58.333% (GBR) Young Rider Freestyle 1. Clare Hole and Winnetou G.E.P, 71.133% (GBR) 4. Sarah Khairallah and Darling, 69.200% (GBR) 5. Millie Gover and Kamil T, 67.542% (GBR) CDIJ Junior Team Test 1. Maddy Frewin and Woodlander Rhythm n Blues, 70.758% (GBR) 2. Jessie Kirby and Belle Amie, 70.505% (GBR) 4. Emily Coller and Flabbergasted, 68.636% (GBR) 5. Chloe Naylor and Karisma, 67.525% (GBR) 6. Gemma Owen and Sirius Black, 67.020% (GBR) 7. Charlotte Snape and Camelot III, 66.869% (GBR) 8. Olivia Wrennall and Disneyland, 65.000% (GBR) Junior Individual Test 1. Jessie Kirby and Belle Amie, 68.775% (GBR) 2. Maddy Frewin and Woodlander Rhythm n Blues, 68.235% (GBR) 3. Gemma Owen and Sirius Black, 67.794% (GBR) 5. Chloe Naylor and Karisma, 67.402% (GBR) 6. Charlotte Snape and Camelot III, 66.324% (GBR) 8. Emily Coller and Flabbergasted, 65.784% (GBR) 9. Olivia Wrennall and Disneyland, 64.951% (GBR) Junior Freestyle 1. Maddy Frewin and Woodlander Rhythm n Blues, 72.659% (GBR) 3. Gemma Owen and Sirius Black, 71.875% (GBR) 4. Jessie Kirby and Belle Amie, 71.850% (GBR) 5. Chloe Naylor and Karisma, 70.209% (GBR) 6. Charlotte Snape and Camelot III, 68.792% (GBR) 7. Emily Coller and Flabbergasted, 67.767% (GBR) CDIP Pony Team Test 1. Martha Jobling-Purser and Valido’s Starlight, 69.381% (IRL) 2. Gracie Morgan and Ella, 68.762% (GBR) 3. Betsy Smetham and Amber, 68.429% (GBR) 5. Myles Graham and Harnells Erasmus, 67.476% (GBR) 6. Mollie Whitham and DZL Royal Sunrise, 67.429% (GBR) 7. Claudia Davis and Rubinia 37, 67.333% (GBR) 9. Olivia Langley and Bathleyhills Sea Wurzel, 66.238% (GBR) 10. Scarlett John and BKS Grand Design, 65.952% (GBR) 11. Caitlin Clancy and Browbank Jacob Black, 65.524% (GBR) 12. Emilia Nelson and WFS Top Red, 63.048% (GBR) Pony Individual Test 1. Martha Jobling-Purser and Valido’s Starlight, 70.766% (IRL) 4. Gracie Morgan and Ella, 67.658% (GBR) 5. Mollie Whitham and DZL Royal Sunrise, 66.937% (GBR) 6. Betsy Smetham and Amber, 66.622% (GBR) 7. Myles Graham and Harnells Erasmus, 66.351% (GBR) 8. Emilia Nelson and WFS Top Red, 66.261% (GBR) 9. Claudia Davis and Rubinia 37, 65.450% (GBR) 10. Caitlin Clancy and Browbank Jacob Black, 64.730% (GBR) 11. Scarlett John and BKS Grand Design, 64.685% (GBR) 12. Olivia Langley and Bathleyhills Sea Wurzel, 63.694% (GBR) Pony Freestyle 1. Syrah Van De Rovaart with Donna Daria 8, 71.167% (NED) 2. Scarlett John and BKS Grand Design, 70.292% (GBR) 3. Mollie Whitham and DZL Royal Sunrise, 70.000% (GBR) 5. Emilia Nelson and WFS Top Red, 69.875% (GBR) 6. Myles Graham and Harnells Erasmus, 68.875% (GBR) 7. Olivia Langley and Bathleyhills Sea Wurzel, 68.125% (GBR) 8. Caitlin Clancy and Browbank Jacob Black, 67.125% (GBR) 9. Martha Jobling-Purser and Valido’s Starlight, 66.750% (IRL) 10. Claudia Davis and Rubinia 37, 66.625% (GBR) 11. Betsy Smetham and Amber, 64.917% (GBR) 12. Gracie Morgan and Ella, 64.834% (GBR) For full results click here Photo © Kevin Sparrow
Wednesday, October 9

Keysoe CPEDI: A new era dawns for Baker

Natasha Baker has enjoyed a winning return to international competition with a clean sweep of the 3* Grade III classes at Keysoe CPEDI3*/2*/1* in Bedfordshire (1 – 3 October 2019). With her new ride, Keystone Dawn Chorus (pictured), she won the Team, Individual and Freestyle tests with scores of 72.71%, 73.68% and 76.47% respectively, cementing the partnership that’s shown so much early promise. “She [Keystone Dawn Chorus] has gone above and beyond my expectations and has been an absolute pro!” said Natasha on her Natasha Baker MBE – Paralympic Dressage Rider Facebook page. “She has blown me away with her attitude and her professionalism, it’s like she’s done it all before.” The Dimaggio x Escudo eight year old, who’s known at home as Lottie, was purchased in March by Child’s Farm, Christian Landolt and the Baker family as a prospective FEI championship partner for Natasha. In their short time together, they’ve formed an effective and trusting alliance, qualifying for and coming second in the Dodson & Horrell Novice Silver at the LeMieux National Championships, then following a couple of dry runs in national para classes, this emphatic Keysoe hat-trick. In the CPEDI3* Grade II, Georgia Wilson – our Rotterdam Grade II Freestyle gold medallist – was unbeatable, winning all three tests by considerable margin with her European Championship ride, Midnight, with scores of 74.21%, 74.53% and 74.84%, whilst Singapore’s Laurentia Tan and Banestro broke the British stronghold by producing three knockout tests in the CPEDI3* Grade I. Nicola Naylor celebrated a fantastic week in which she not only dominated the CPEDI2* Grade IV with 11 year old Flemmingh-sired Del Piero, but also staked her claim in the 3* with Amadeus, winning the Grade IV Individual. Amadeus is well known as the former Grand Prix partner of Nicola’s trainer, Dan Watson, and was on Britain’s winning FEI Nations Cup™ team at Compiègne two years ago. CPEDI3* Grade IV Team test 1. Rosemary Gaffney and Werona, 69.13% (IRL) 2. Marcelle Ward and Dornroeschen, 68.75% (GBR) 3. Laura Gulliver and Woodcroft Garuda K, 68.73% (GBR) 4. Katie Radzik and C’est La Vie, 68.58% (GBR) 5. Nicola Naylor and Amadeus, 68.23% (GBR) 8. Rachel Collins and Fine-Time, 65.35% (GBR) 10. Izzy Palmer and Grand Bolero K, 62.43 (GBR) 11. Julie Blanchard and Echo Supreme, 60.68 (GBR) Grade IV Individual 1. Nicola Naylor and Amadeus, 70.63% (GBR) 2. Laura Gulliver and Woodcroft Garuda K, 70.61% (GBR) 3. Marcelle Ward and Dornroeschen, 70.32% (GBR) 4. Katie Radzik and C’est La Vie, 69.73% (GBR) 7. Izzy Palmer and Grand Bolero K, 66.93 (GBR) 8. Rachel Collins and Fine-Time, 65.44% (GBR) 10. Julie Blanchard and Echo Supreme, 63.34 (GBR) Grade IV Freestyle 1. Rosemary Gaffney and Werona, 74.23% (IRL) 2. Marcelle Ward and Dornroeschen, 72.18% (GBR) 3. Laura Gulliver and Woodcroft Garuda K, 71.58% (GBR) 4. Nicola Naylor and Amadeus, 70.40% (GBR) 6. Katie Radzik and C’est La Vie, 69.00% (GBR) 8. Rachel Collins and Fine-Time, 68.50% (GBR) Grade III Team test 1. Natasha Baker and Keystone Dawn Chorus, 72.71% (GBR) 3. Amanda Shirtcliffe and Remi, 69.94% (GBR) 4. Erin Orford and Dior UKH, 69.44% (GBR) Grade III Individual 1. Natasha Baker and Keystone Dawn Chorus, 73.68% (GBR) 2. Erin Orford and Dior UKH, 70.68% (GBR) 5. Amanda Shirtcliffe and Remi, 69.21% (GBR) Grade III Freestyle 1. Natasha Baker and Keystone Dawn Chorus, 76.47% (GBR) 2. Erin Orford and Dior UKH, 73.32% (GBR) 3. Amanda Shirtcliffe and Remi, 72.56% (GBR) Grade II Team test 1. Georgia Wilson and Midnight, 74.21% (GBR) 2. Suzanna Hext and LJT Enggaards Solitaire, 70.85% (GBR) 3. Julie Payne and Pandora, 69.97% (GBR) 5. Natasha Adkinson and Sweet Caledonia, 68.85% (GBR) Grade II Individual 1. Georgia Wilson and Midnight, 74.53% (GBR) 2. Julie Payne and Pandora, 69.97% (GBR) 3. Suzanna Hext and LJT Enggaards Solitaire, 69.18% (GBR) 4. Natasha Adkinson and Sweet Caledonia, 68.62% (GBR) Grade II Freestyle 1. Georgia Wilson and Midnight, 74.84% (GBR) 2. Suzanna Hext and LJT Enggaards Solitaire, 71.50% (GBR) 3. Julie Payne and Pandora, 71.27% (GBR) 4. Natasha Adkinson and Sweet Caledonia, 69.27% (GBR) Grade I Team test 1. Laurentia Tan and Banestro, 75.54% (SGP) 3. Sophie Christiansen and Die Furstin, 73.29% (GBR) 4. Gabriella Blake and Strong Beau, 71.79% (GBR) 5. Sophie Christiansen and Innuendo, 71.61 % (GBR) 6. Mari Durward-Akhurst and Lebensfreude, 68.82% (GBR) 10. Diane Green and Miss Ramexico, 66.64% (GBR) Grade I Individual 1. Laurentia Tan and Banestro, 75.29% (SGP) 3. Sophie Christiansen and Die Furstin, 73.04% (GBR) 4. Sophie Christiansen and Innuendo, 72.32% (GBR) 5. Gabriella Blake and Strong Beau, 71.36% (GBR) 7. Diane Green and Miss Ramexico, 68.46% (GBR) 9. Mari Durward-Akhurst and Lebensfreude, 66.64% (GBR) Grade I Freestyle 1. Laurentia Tan and Fuerst Sherlock, 78.40% (SGP) 2. Sophie Christiansen and Die Furstin, 74.63% (GBR) 3. Gabriella Blake and Strong Beau, 71.86% (GBR) 4. Diane Green and Miss Ramexico, 70.30% (GBR) 6. Mari Durward-Akhurst and Lebensfreude, 69.61% (GBR) CPEDI2* Grade V Novice A test 1. Joanne Dagley-Cleworth and Michael Angelo, 62.92% (GBR) Grade V Team test 1. Joanne Dagley-Cleworth and Michael Angelo, 63.72% (GBR) Grade V Freestyle 1. Joanne Dagley-Cleworth and Michael Angelo, 63.63% (GBR) Grade IV Novice A test 1. Nicola Naylor and Del Piero, 70.46% (GBR) 2. Sara Bates and Tango, 67.93% (GBR) 3. Julie Blanchard and Ucaro, 65.98% (GBR) 4. Fiona Maynard and Diesel, 64.08% (GBR) 5. Rachel Collins and Ronja, 63.51% (GBR) 6. Keeley Squires and Stanbeck by Request, 62.07% (GBR) Grade IV Team test 1. Nicola Naylor and Del Piero, 67.46% (GBR) 2. Julie Blanchard and Ucaro, 65.71% (GBR) 3. Sara Bates and Tango, 63.79% (GBR) 4. Fiona Maynard and Diesel, 63.17% (GBR) 5. Keeley Squires and Stanbeck by Request, 62.96% (GBR) 6. Rachel Collins and Ronja, 62.13% (GBR) Grade IV Freestyle 1. Nicola Naylor and Del Piero, 69.45% (GBR) 2. Fiona Maynard and Diesel, 66.98% (GBR) 3. Julie Blanchard and Ucaro 65.71% (GBR) 4. Keeley Squires and Stanbeck by Request, 64.82% (GBR) 5. Sara Bates and Tango, 63.19% (GBR) 6. Rachel Collins and Ronja, 64.15% (GBR) Grade III Novice A test 1. Amanda Shirtcliffe and Etrust, 65.47% (GBR) 2. Olivia Cornick and Ronaldo, 64.00% (GBR) Grade III Team Test 1. Olivia Cornick and Ronaldo, 66.08% (GBR) 2. Amanda Shirtcliffe and Etrust, 65.59% (GBR) Grade III Freestyle 1. Olivia Cornick and Ronaldo, 69.71% (GBR) 2. Amanda Shirtcliffe and Etrust, 67.75% (GBR) Grade II Novice A test 1. Georgia Wilson and Sugarbabe, 69.64% (GBR) 2. Jemima Green and Blue Chip Forever, 67.83% (GBR) Grade II Team Test 1. Jemima Green and Blue Chip Forever, 70.05% (GBR) 2. Georgia Wilson and Sugarbabe, 67.22% (GBR) Grade II Freestyle 1. Georgia Wilson and Sugarbabe, 72.58% (GBR) 2. Jemima Green and Blue Chip Forever, 70.34% (GBR) CPEDI1* Grade V Novice A test (day 1) 1. Hope Hayward and Et L’Amour, 66.71% (GBR) Grade V Novice A test (day 2) 1. Hope Hayward and Et L’Amour, 63.39% (GBR) Grade V Freestyle 1. Hope Hayward and Et L’Amour, 68.54% (GBR) Grade IV Novice A test (day 1) 1. Alicia Griffiths and Aegrus Ophelia, 65.57% (GBR) 2. Sara Bates and Parsley, 65.17% (GBR) 3. Marcelle Ward and Ivanho, 63.51% (GBR) 4. Deborah Hounsome and Bolencello, 62.82% (GBR) 5. Katie Radzik and Iba, 62.07% (GBR) Grade IV Novice A test (day 2) 1. Sara Bates amd Parsley, 66.67% (GBR) 2. Deborah Hounsome and Bolencello, 66.32% (GBR) 3. Alicia Griffiths and Aegrus Ophelia, 65.86% (GBR) 4. Katie Radzik and Iba, 65.23% (GBR) 5. Marcelle Ward and Ivanho, 62.13% (GBR) Grade IV Freestyle 1. Sara Bates and Parsley, 68.24% (GBR) 2. Katie Radzik and Iba, 67.67% (GBR) 3. Alicia Griffiths and Aegrus Ophelia, 65.63% (GBR) 4. Marcelle Ward and Ivanho, 64.54% (GBR) 5. Deborah Hounsome and Bolencello, 58.04% (GBR) Grade III Novice A test (day 1) 1. Vanessa Palmer and Encore, 67.87% (GBR) 2. Sharon Kelsall and Valentino, 67.60% (GBR) Grade III Novice A test (day 2) 1. Vanessa Palmer and Encore, 65.13% (GBR) Grade III Freestyle 1. Vanessa Palmer and Encore, 65.28% (GBR) Grade II Novice A test (day 1) 1. Veronica Bower and Game Over, 65.43% (GBR) 2. Anna-Mae Cole and The Gingerbread Man, 65.22% (GBR) 3. Victoria Smith and Louis, 64.78% (GBR) Grade II Novice A test (day 2) 1. Veronica Bower and Game Over, 68.26% (GBR) 2. Anna-Mae Cole and The Gingerbread Man, 66.23% (GBR) 3. Victoria Smith and Louis, 60.29% (GBR) Grade II Freestyle 1. Anna-Mae Cole and The Gingerbread Man, 69.45% (GBR) 2. Victoria Smith and Louis, 66.07% (GBR) For full results click here Photo © Kevin Sparrow
Monday, October 7

Nominations now open for the British Grooms Awards

Do you know an outstanding groom or employer? Well now is your chance to tell the world how brilliant you think they are. The Haddon Training sponsored British Grooms Awards 2019 provides an opportunity for these often unsung heroes of the equestrian industry to be recognised and rewarded. The awards believe in recognising brilliance, horsemanship, leadership, dedication and rewarding those individuals who go the extra mile. Chris Hewlett, Managing Director of Haddon Training said, “The British Groom Awards are very close to my heart and Haddon Training is delighted to sponsor these prestigious awards once again. This industry is hugely indebted to the unseen workforce that gives their “all” ensuring that the horses entrusted in their care are looked after to the highest of standards. For that reason I feel that it is of upmost importance for outstanding, dedicated grooms to be given the recognition they deserve. “I am equally delighted that we have the inaugural Employers Award which recognises and rewards employers who have created a safe, supportive workplace in which their employees can thrive.” The awards are for grooms and employers of all experience levels, working in all sectors of the industry. This years categories are: • The Haddon Training Groom Award • The Haddon Training Team GBR Groom Award • The Haddon Training Manager Award • Haddon Training Apprentice Award • *NEW for 2019* Haddon Training Employer Award With a total prize fund of £1,500 the winners of four categories will each take home £300, with the winner of the Employer Award being the recipient of an overnight hotel stay in London. All winners will also receive a prestigious trophy. Judging for the Awards will take place at the end of November with the experienced panel of Jane Holderness Roddam, Chris Hewlett and BGA Ambassador Alan Davies. Alan Davies, elite groom to Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester said, “I am so pleased and honoured to be asked to judge. I am so proud that the grooms are getting this amazing recognition. I really feel we have a very important role and there are so many grooms doing a fabulous job in the industry at all levels. I can't wait to see all the applications and read about all the fantastic work being done. As a judge I'll be looking for that extra special person - it's going to be a hard job I'm sure.” The winners will be invited to London where they will be presented their prestigious Award at the glamorous British Horse Foundation Awards Dinner on Saturday 11th January 2020. Nominations close on 30th November 2019. Nominating is easy and takes just a few moments - head over to the website . A little recognition goes a long way. Do something amazing and nominate your unsung hero today and let them know how valued they really are.  Image:c Janos Borbely Photography.
Friday, October 4

HOYS fab four for Dujardin

Charlotte Dujardin delivered the winning performance aboard her new equine prodigy to claim last night’s Dressage Future Elite Championship at the Horse of the Year Show in Birmingham (3 – 7 October 2018). The Olympic dressage champion completed a fourth consecutive victory in this prestigious event in front of a packed out HOYS crowd at the NEC. Riding Mount St John Stud’s Mount St John Valencia, Dujardin posted a score of 78.04% to complete her quartet of wins, all on different horses, producing further evidence still of her world class string of horses. A high class field took to the iconic Andrews Bowen International Arena, each performing an Inter I Freestyle under the NEC lights, and it was tight at the top. Second placed Katie Bailey put up a good fight aboard Eagle Nouvelle for a score of 77.62% but it was Dujardin with the brilliant liver chestnut mare, Mount St John Valencia, who held her superiority. This competition for up and coming horses, now in its seventh year, provides a unique opportunity to expose young horses to the big stage as well as acting as a shop window for our sport. At an event which is famed for show jumping and showing, the Andrews Bowen International Arena was jam-packed in anticipation for the dressage, which followed a superb afternoon masterclass by Emile Faurie. For talented eight to ten year old horses, this class is invitational based on rankings throughout the season from High Profile, Premier League and CDI shows on average percentage in Small Tour classes. The top ranked combinations are then invited to take part in an Intermediate I Freestyle competition. Eight competitors came forward last night under a top judging panel of Sandy Phillips (C), Stephen Clarke (H) and Peter Storr (M). First into the arena was Dylan Deutrom (22) with William Deans’ nine year old, San Marco (Status Quo x Gribaldi). The horse captivated the audience from the get-go with his powerful, elastic trot work. The shoulder ins, half passes and extensions were elegant and in a super frame. The horse was full of energy, however tension had an impact on the walk and canter resulting in mistakes in the tempi changes and green pirouettes and a score of 65.12%. “It’s a lovely horse,” commented Stephen Clarke, summarising the performance over commentator John Stokes’ roving mic. “We saw some very expressive trot work. The horse was very impressed in this atmosphere but that’s what this competition is all about – giving these young horses experience. The rider did a good job. It’s a lovely horse for the future.” Katie Bailey followed with her 2019 Magic PSG Freestyle winning partner, Eagle Nouvelle, owned by Hannah Dovey. Riding to their ethereal freestyle, produced by Tom Hunt and set to James Newton Howards’ scores from Peter Pan and Maleficent, Katie presented the 10 year old son of Singapore beautifully. The trot work was elastic, supple and fluent, and the walk covered much ground. The canter tour was clean, secure and expressive with super tempi changes and beautiful pirouettes, and the horse looked very at home in the intensity of the NEC. They leapt into a strong, early lead with a score of 77.62%. Sandy Phillips, who was enjoying her first time judging at HOYS, commented, ”It’s a very elegant horse and they improved as they went along. The pirouettes were a highlight and the whole performance was supple and elastic. They are a wonderful partnership to watch and are certainly ones for the future.” Next up was Abi Lyle with Fennella Ross’s delightful eight year old Farrell (Fabregas x Davignon). An orchestral U2 compilation, very fitting for the lady who rides for Ireland, suited the bay gelding well. Much of the canter work was secure, balanced and bold, the trot also was in a good balance and frame. In the extended trot, the horse for a moment was a bit surprised when he caught sight of himself on the big screen, and there was some loss of balance in the canter pirouettes, but the test was very enjoyable to watch and was awarded a score of 72.16%. “She did a great job,” said Peter Storr. “I was impressed with her choreography, and I could see what she was doing, which was good. The canter pirouettes are not yet established, so didn’t come off, and he was scared when he saw himself on the screen. But it was lovely to watch with super music. She [Abi] did a good job.” The fourth rider in was Emily Harris with Fay Thomas’s nine year old Freya FST, a British bred daughter of Fidertanz. Emily and the elegant chestnut are a super partnership and produced some lovely highlights. Riding to Impossible Opening from the Finding Neverland soundtrack, their trot work showed good quality, and Croatian Rhapsody complemented their bold canter tour well, with two-tempis on a half 20 metre circle into half pass, both ways, a highlight. Emily, clearly thrilled with her ride, flung her arms around the Freya’s neck after the final halt. The score for the talented pair was later announced as 71.75%. “I love the way she separated the trot and canter work,” summarised Stephen Clarke. “And the two and three tempis on a circle line were difficult, but she pulled it off. She did a great job.” Lara Edwards and Jazzed Up, who she co-owns with Laura Milner, followed with a really exciting, well-executed test for 73.70%. Their trot section, to Taylor Swift’s Shake it off, was punchy, balanced and confident. The canter, to Luis Fonsi’s Despacito, was brave with extended canter into pirouettes, and their pièce de résistance – three and two-tempis, ridden with one hand, on the centre line towards C. Lara and the 10 year old son of Jazz who have a remarkable partnership were awarded 73.70% for ultimately, third place. “She did the one-handed tempi changes twice, which was a very brave move, but she pulled it off,” said Sandy. “They did an excellent job. I loved her music. It was a wonderful job and she [Lara] has a lot to look forward to - it’s very exciting.”  Next up was Jayne Turney with Shirley Rixon’s nine year old Starnberg son, Penhaligon’s Jupiter. They showed some real quality, but also a touch of tension, during their Fleetwood Mac-inspired routine for 70.75%. The young horse oozes quality but was a little overexcited by the atmosphere, yet still there were some lovely highlights including an athletic counter change of hand and three-tempis on a turn. “He’s a really lovely horse,” summarised Peter. “He has some real highlight one of which is his extended trot, but tension spoilt the first one today. Tension got to him in the walk too, but he’s a young horse and she [Jayne] should be proud of him. She did a great job keeping him under control.” The penultimate rider of the evening was the defending Dressage Future Elite title holder Charlotte Dujardin with Mount St John Stud’s HOYS debutante, Mount St John Valencia. Charlotte and this high-energy liver chestnut mare, who so impressed at Stoneleigh last month when taking the Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I Freestyle, entered the HOYS arena – another buzzy, but quite different atmosphere - with exactly the same focus and verve. Riding to the their joyful soundtrack from the animated films Ice Age and The Snowman and the Snow Dog, they showed incredibly expressive and fluent trot work, and a super enthusiastic canter tour, perhaps with a bit of tension and a couple of blips, but so much scope and quality. Valencia, who’s known at home as Valerie, clearly has a mind-set to die for and looks every bit a Grand Prix horse in the making. Up went their score - 78.04%, taking them into the lead. “This is a very interesting horse,” said Stephen afterwards. “She has so much expression, especially in the trot. It’s a lovely, soft energy. She has tremendous ability for the future and is certainly in the right hands [to develop].” “There was plenty of content in the choreography, without over asking the horse, and the music is beautiful. It’s very nice to see,” he added. The final competitor of the night was Kate Cowell with Patricia Andrews’ impressive dark bay mare Dramatic Conquest (by Dramatic). The trot section, to Coldplay’s A Sky Full of Stars was softly powerful, with energetic, ground-covering extensions and fluent lateral work and changes of bend. The walk to My Name is Barbossa from Pirates of the Caribbean was relaxed and true, and the canter to Josh Vietti’s Starboy was super quality, but unfortunately marred by costly mistakes in the two-tempis. The score awarded was 71.13%. “Kate did a great job.” Said Sandy. “The mare was tense but improved as the test went along. She has a lot of elasticity, especially in the half passes. They’re a very exciting combination for the future.” “This is such an amazing competition for these young horses. We’re lucky that we can present this for them,” concluded Sandy on an impressive evening of competition. Reflecting on her victory, Charlotte told us, “I honestly had no idea how she [Mount St John Valencia] was going to go, in there today. She’s a new horse to me and I’ve done very little with her. The Nationals was just her third ever Inter I, and her first ever freestyle, so this was only her second ever freestyle. I really couldn’t be any happier.” “The changes are still green, and unfortunately tonight she had a good look at the screen as she was heading towards it, so got a bit short in a couple, but she’s just an inexperienced horse. What I was most proud of is the fact that she went in there and she tried, she really tried. She allowed me to reassure her and she focused on what I was asking her. For a horse that has done as little as she has, I couldn’t be prouder.” Describing her ride, Charlotte continued, “The trot work feels amazing! She’s so loose and athletic, she does lovely half passes and is just so expressive. I’ve just got to get the canter work a bit more established - she’s just a little bit greener in that. But then again, when I got her she was Medium level, she’d just done one or two Advanced Mediums, so she’s made a huge jump. “I didn’t even expect to do as well on her as I did at the Nationals - that was a hard atmosphere for a horse that’s so green,” said Charlotte, who’s learnt in their short time together what a great competition mind the mare has. “I know now that she’s got a really big heart. She tries, she’s not spooky, she’s very honest, and for the future that is what it’s all about – having a horse that’s brave and copes with a big atmosphere. I’m really, really proud of her. “She’ll now have a small holiday, then next year I’d like to go international Small Tour with her, possibly head her towards Aachen,” said Charlotte, talking about their future plans. “We’ll expose her to environments like that, then hopefully have her for Grand Prix the year after.” For full results click here To watch Charlotte Dujardin's winning test see CMH.TV Great Britain Facebook Photo © Julian Portch
Friday, October 4

Petplan Equine 20th anniversary award winners named

The 2019/20 Petplan Equine Area Festival season is a very special one for Petplan Equine, as it marks the 20th year of Petplan Equine’s sponsorship of this iconic British Dressage series. The Petplan Equine Area Festivals are the largest and most popular competition in the British Dressage portfolio with more than a third of all members taking part. To celebrate the 20th anniversary, Petplan Equine launched the Area Festival Awards. These very special awards were designed to recognise the dedication that grassroots competitors and their support teams put in to take part in the much-loved series. Petplan Equine received over 400 entries, with each nomination highlighting the hard work and inspirational journeys that competitors experience. Those nominating could enter themselves, a friend or family member for one of five categories: Inspirational Star, Surprise Star, Support Star, Progressive Star, Perseverance Star. A judging panel of industry experts, including International rider Charlie Hutton, Your Horse magazine Deputy Editor, Allison Lowther and Linda Whetstone, British Dressage Chairman and founder of the Area Festival Series had the difficult task of choosing a winner for each category. Meet the winners:  Inspirational star – Sue Grice and her talented traditional gypsy cob Frodo  Surprise star – Caroline Burrow and her rescue cob Mimi  Support star – Instructor and Area Festival competitor Brendan Tegg  Progressive star – Clare Hinchliffe and her dancing partner Crunchie  Perseverance star – Linda Clark riding her own super star Teddy Read more about our five worthy winners and their great stories. Kate Hopkins, Marketing Consultant at Petplan Equine commented, “We were overwhelmed with the amount of support the Petplan Equine Area Festival Awards received. In our 20th anniversary year of sponsoring the Area Festivals we wanted to celebrate the people who make the Petplan Equine Area Festivals what they are and that is the riders, horses and supporters who are a part of the series. We were inundated with such extraordinary and inspiring stories from competitors. Our five winners highlight the true spirit of the Area Festivals and they are all such deserving winners.” For further information about the Petplan Equine Area Festival Awards visit the Petplan Equine website .
Friday, October 4

BD Abroad: Keysoe CDI3*/CDIU25/Y/J/P

The following riders have been selected to represent Great Britain this week at Keysoe CDI3*/CDIU25/CDIY/CDIJ/CDIP in Bedfordshire (4 – 6 October 2019). CDI3* Big Tour Nicola Buchanan from Dorset with her own and Diana Reynolds-Hale’s Half Moon Dark Magic (black gelding, 10yrs, s. Dimaggio). Maria Eilberg from Worcestershire with her own and Hermione Black’s Royal Concert (grey gelding, 16yrs, s. Royal Diamond ds. Continue) - pictured. Emma Hindle from Greater Manchester with her own Romy Del Sol (brown mare, 13yrs, s. Romanov Blue Hors ds. Danny De Vito). Gareth Hughes from Warwickshire with Claudine Kroll’s KK Woodstock (dark brown gelding, 13yrs, s. Wolkentanz II ds Landiosa). Rebecca Hughes from Warwickshire with Lorraine Sattin’s Rubini Royale (dark brown gelding, 17yrs, s. Rubin Royal). Keith Robertson from Hertfordshire with his own Boheme AF Sulstead (chestnut gelding, 15yrs, s. Bernstein). Sadie Smith from Gloucestershire with her own Keystone Dynamite (liver chestnut gelding, 12yrs, s. Dimaggio ds. Escudo). Vicky Thompson Winfield from West Sussex with Samantha Francis’s Artist (palomino gelding, 11yrs, s. Abanos). CDI3* Small Tour Jess Bennett from Gloucestershire with her own JB Dukaat (bay gelding, 11yrs, s. Westernwind). John Chubb from Devon with his own Wringler (grey gelding, 16yrs, s. Rhodium). Tor Fenwick from Hampshire with Shaun Measures’ Renoir (OLD) (bay gelding, 10yrs, s. Rimskij Korsakov). Lindsay Hancock from West Yorkshire with Barachiel (black gelding, 13yrs, s. Gribaldi). Sarah Higgins from Cheshire with Sarah Rao’s Davidoff (black stallion, 11yrs, s. Westpoint), and Penny Lindop and Claire Gilchrist-Dick’s Easter Bunny (chestnut gelding, 10yrs, s. Valdez). Gareth Hughes  with his own and Judy Firmston-Williams’ Sintano Van Hof Olympia (bay gelding, 9yrs, s. Sandro Hit ds. Silvano). Rebecca Hughes  with Adele Rawlinson's Ibisco O (bay gelding, 11yrs, s. Spielberg ds. Goodwill). Elder Klatzko from Wiltshire with her own  Little Richard (bay gelding, 18yrs, s. Longchamp). Victoria Maw from Lincolnshire with her own Bon Rouge CH (chestnut gelding, 14yrs, s. Belissimo M). Sameera Rahmatalla from Wiltshire with her own Hawtins Falerno (bay gelding, 9yrs, s. Fürst Romancier). Georgina Roden from Lancashire with Kathryn Roden’s Incroyable Van’T Heike (brown gelding, 11yrs, s. Jazz). Jessica Wade from Oxfordshire with Diana Wade’s Empire H (bay gelding, 10yrs, s. Santano). Sarah Williams from Kent with Georgina Howard’s Bohigas W (bay mare, 18yrs, s. Breitling W ds. Fabriano). CDIY Young Riders Emma Bond from North Yorkshire with her own Lime Walk (chestnut gelding, 17yrs, s. Limes). Clare Hole from Suffolk with Rachel Murray’s Winnetou GEP (black gelding, 16yrs, s. Gribaldi ds. Donnerhall). Millie Gover from West Sussex with Philip Gover’s Kamil T (bay gelding, 9yrs, s. Thunder Van De Zuuthoveve). Sarah Khairallah from Hampshire with Kate Smith’s Keystone Darling (chestnut mare, 19yrs, s. Dimaggio ds. Weltmeyer). CDIJ Juniors Emily Coller from Norfolk with Ann Coller’s Flabbergasted (black mare, 9yrs, s. Gribaldi ds.Jazz). Maddy Frewin from Oxfordshire with Christine Kirk’s Woodlander Rhythm n Blues (dark bay gelding, 12yrs, s. Woodlander Rockstar). Jessie Kirby from Oxfordshire with her own Belle Amie (black mare, 13yrs, s. Ronaldo). Chloe Naylor from Derbyshire with her own Karisma (chestnut gelding, 12yrs, s. Holme Grove Prokofiev). Gemma Owen from Flintshire with her own Sirius Black (black gelding, 14yrs, s. Stedinger ds. Rotspon). Charlotte Snape from East Yorkshire with Camelot (bay gelding, 17yrs, s. Carabas). Olivia Wrennall from Buckinghamshire with Nicola Hand and Tessa Thorne’s Disneyland (liver chestnut gelding, 10yrs, s. Diamond Hit). CDIP Ponies Caitlin Clancy from Somerset with her own Browbank Jacob Black (black gelding, 9yrs, s. Foryd Dafydd Ddu ds. Sydenham Dragon). Claudia Davis from Essex with her own Rubinia 37 (bay mare, 13yrs, s. Constantin). Myles Graham from Wiltshire with Caron Roberts’ Harnells Erasmus (dun mare, 9yrs). Scarlett John from Devon with her own BKS Grand Design (bay gelding, 11yrs, s. FS Golden Moonlight). Olivia Langley from Leicester with Bathleyhills Sea Wurzel (grey gelding, 12yrs, s. Caesar 171 ds. Gigman Jacana). Gracie Morgan from North Yorkshire with Ella (grey mare, 10yrs, s. Caesar 171). Emilia Nelson from Berkshire with Sarah Steggall’s WFS Top Red (chestnut gelding, 11yrs, s. Top Yellow ds Pilgrims Red). Betsy Smetham from Kent with her own Amber (palomino gelding, 9yrs, s. Orchard Limb-Lopper). Mollie Whitham from South Yorkshire with DZL Royal Sunrise (chestnut gelding, 8yrs, s. Domingos Golden Surprise ds. Brockwell Prince Charming). Start lists Live results Live stream Photo © Kevin Sparrow
Tuesday, October 1

BD Abroad: Keysoe CPEDI

The following riders have been selected to represent Great Britain this week at Keysoe CPEDI3*/2*/1* in Bedfordshire (1 – 3 October 2019). CPEDI3* Grade I Gabriella Blake from Nottinghamshire with her own Strong Beau (grey gelding, 10yrs, s. Spinway Blakethorn). Sophie Christiansen from Surrey with her own Die Fürstin (chestnut mare, 6yrs, s. Dankeschon, ds. Fürst Piccolo) and her own Innuendo (dark bay gelding, 12yrs, s. Last Minute). Mari Durward Akhurst from Buckinghamshire with her own Lebensfreude (bay gelding, 10yrs, s. Laudabilis). Diane Green from Gloucestershire with Leonie Brown’s Miss Ramexico (brown mare, 10yrs). Caitlyn Saddington from Lancashire with her own Nirvana Morroko (bay gelding, 16yrs, s. Orame). Grade II Natasha Adkinson from North Lincolnshire with her own Highlander (black gelding, 12yrs, s. His Highness). Suzanna Hext from Gloucestershire with Lady Joseph Trust’s LJT Enggaards Solitaire (dark bay gelding, 14yrs, s. Blue Hors Soprano) - pictured. Julie Payne from Oxfordshire with her own Pandora (chestnut mare, 18ys, s. Pascal). Georgia Wilson from Clwyd with her own Midnight (brown mare, 10yrs, s. Hilkens Black Delight ds. Cassander). Grade III Natasha Baker from Middlesex with her own Keystone Dawn Chorus (bay mare, 8yrs, s. Dimaggio ds. Escudo). Erin Orford from Buckinghamshire with Annabel Whittet’s Dior UKH (chestnut mare, 16yrs, s. Dimaggio ds. Hitchcock) and Lady Joseph Trust’s LJT Diamond Crusador (bay gelding, 6yrs, s. Diamond Hit). Amanda Shirtcliffe from Buckinghamshire with Louise Robson’s Remi (dark bay gelding, 10yrs, s. Desert Moon). Grade IV Julie Blanchard from East Yorkshire with Anne Bateman’s Echo Supreme (grey gelding, 15yrs, s. Wilmoner). Rachel Collins from Kent with Fine-Time (liver chestnut gelding, 10yrs, s. Fifty Cent). Laura Gulliver from Buckinghamshire with Garuda K (chestnut stallion, 18yrs, s. Münchhausen). Nicola Naylor from London with her own Amadeus (bay gelding, 14yrs, s. Olivi, ds. Sandro Hit). Izzy Palmer from Yorkshire with Deborah Doyle’s Grand Bolero K (bay gelding, 8yrs, s. Spielberg). Katie Radzik from Kent with her own C’est La Vie (brown gelding, 12yrs, s. Florencio ds. Balder). Marcelle Ward from West Sussex with her own Dornroeschen (chestnut mare, 13yrs, s. De Niro). CPEDI2* Grade I Caitlyn Saddington from Lancashire with her own Dreamallo (chestnut gelding, 13yrs, s. Dream On). Grade II Jemima Green from Dorset with her own Blue Chip Forever (bay gelding, 13yrs, s. Johnson). Georgia Wilson from Clwyd with her own Sugarbabe (chestnut mare, 6yrs). Grade III Olivia Cornick from Cambridgeshire with Charlotte Drakeley’s Ronaldo (chestnut gelding, 21yrs, s. Jetset-D). Amanda Shirtcliffe from Buckinghamshire with Louise Robson’s Etrust (bay gelding, 10yrs). Grade IV Sara Bates from Warwickshire with her own Tango (bay mare, 10yrs, s. Arkida, ds. Diamond Rock). Julie Blanchard from East Yorkshire with Alicia Jardine-Laurie’s Ucaro (bay gelding, 18yrs, s. Elcaro). Rachel Collins from Kent with her own Ronja (bay mare, 16yrs, s. Sandro Hit). Fiona Maynard from Kent with Alex Wyatt’s Diesel (dark bay gelding, 7yrs, Don Aqui). Nicola Naylor from London with her own Del Piero (bay gelding, 11yrs, s. Flemmingh). Keeley Squires from South Yorkshire with her own Stanbeck by Request (bay gelding, 14yrs, s. Synod Replica ds. Pollyanna). Grade V Joanne Dagley-Cleworth from Bedfordshire with Michael Angelo (dark brown gelding, 15yrs, s. Medoc). CPEDI1* Grade II Veronica Bower from Clwyd with Tracy-Anne Ormrod’s Game Over (dark brown mare, 8yrs, s. Fürstenball). Anna-Mae Cole from Devon with her own The Gingerbread Man (chestnut gelding, 10yrs). Victoria Smith from Gloucestershire with her own Louis (skewbald mare, 13yrs). Grade III Sharon Kelsall from Kent with her own Valentino (bay gelding, 17yrs, s. River Man ds. Ulft). Vanessa Palmer from Hampshire with her own Encore (bay mare, 10yrs, s. Johnson). Grade IV Sara Bates from Warwickshire with her own Parsley (bay mare, 18yrs, s. North Col). Thomas Dyer from Wiltshire with his own Double Illusion (bay gelding, 15yrs, s. Welton Double Cracker ds. Canworthy Monsun). Alicia Griffiths from South Gloucestershire wither own Aegrus Ophelia (rose grey mare, 8yrs, s. Ars Vivendi ds. Coevers Diamond Boy). Deborah Hounsome from Dorset with Bolencello (dark brown gelding, 16yrs, s. Baroncelli). Katie Radzik from Kent with Iba (brown mare, 6yrs, s. Apache). Marcelle Ward from West Sussex with Ivanho (liver chestnut gelding, 6yrs, s. Wynton ds. Parcival). Grade V Hope Hayward from Somerset with Et L’Amour (dark bay mare, 10yrs, s. San Amour). For start lists click here . For results click here .
Friday, September 27

Dressage riders confirmed for HOYS 2019

This year’s Horse of the Year Show features the seventh running of the annual Dressage Future Elite Championship. Taking place during the evening performance on Thursday 3 October, this prestigious competition provides a platform for the UK's rising Grand Prix horses to gain invaluable experience under the spotlight at a world famous international event. In conjunction with British Dressage, the popular Championship is designed for horses between eight and ten years old. The class will feature a total of eight horse and rider combinations who will each showcase an Intermediate I Freestyle to Music in the Andrews Bowen International Arena. For the past three years, Charlote Dujardin has taken the title; 2016 riding Hawtins Delicato scoring 78.62%, 2017 with Mount St John Freestyle scoring 84.91% and last year she sealed her HOYS hat-trick with the young grey mare, Florentina VI, on 79.12%. This year, Charlotte is back with another star in the making, Mount St John Valencia, the mare with whom she won the Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I Freestyle at the LeMieux National Championships earlier this month. The eight horse and rider combinations competing this year are: • Katie Bailey with Hannah Dovey’s Eagle Nouvelle • Kate Cowell with Patricia Andrews’ Dramatic Conquest • Dylan Deutrom with William Deans’ San Marco • Charlotte Dujardin with Mount St John Stud’s Mount St John Valencia • Lara Edwards with her own and Laura Milner’s Jazzed Up • Emily Harris with Fay Thomas’s Freya FST • Abi Lyle with Fenella Ross’s Farrell • Jayne Turney with Shirley Rixon’s Penhaligon’s Jupiter Thursday is all about dressage at HOYS. Emile Faurie is set to inspire the Thursday afternoon HOYS audience in the Andrews Bowen International Arena as he hosts the show’s dressage masterclass for the very first time. “For the masterclass I will be bringing three young horses from Germany from the Performance Sales International who I work for; they will demonstrate exactly what it is we look for in a world class dressage horse and I will talk through how we start them out in their training. Then in the second half, Tom [Goode] will ride Dior who is enjoying his first season at Grand Prix level this year, so they will demonstrate the higher level movements and show the levels of progression through to the finished product.” Then at 5.30pm you can stop by the HOYS Live Zone in the Retail Village to see Emile’s ‘Let’s Talk Dressage’ expert talk. The Dressage Future Elite Championship will commence at approximately 6.05pm. There's still chance to buy tickets, head to https://hoys.co.uk/tickets/ or call 0844 581 8282
Friday, September 27

Rules on hyperflexion, blood and vaccinations finalised for 2020

The 2020 Members' Handbook is just about to go to press so we wanted to share wtih members the final wording around the new hyperflextion, blood and vaccination rules. Thanks to those members who fedback following our release of the the summary of rule changes issued a few weeks ago. Hyperflexion Hyperflexion or ‘rollkur’ is not permitted or tolerated from any rider or combination. In competition conditions, BD stewards will now refer any hyperflexion seen to the judge at C or the organiser immediately. The combination will be eliminated from the competition. Anyone who witnesses this practice at a BD competition, or any other action that contravenes the BD equine welfare policy, is requested to use our Welfare Form available via the BD website to report such instances to the BD office. Please include any available evidence (witness statements, video, photos, etc.) which can be used by the designated Welfare Officer who may then refer the matter to the Disciplinary Panel for action. Blood For all competitions: If the judge at C suspects fresh blood anywhere on the horse during the test, he/she will stop the horse to check for blood. If the horse shows fresh blood, it will be eliminated. The elimination is final. If the judge, through examination, clarifies that the horse has no fresh blood, the horse may resume and finish its test. Competitions where a BD steward is present: In addition to the above, if blood is noticed on a horse during the warm up, the BD steward will approach the rider, make them aware of it and inspect the horse. If the horse shows fresh blood, the BD steward will advise the rider to retire. If the rider fails to do so, the BD steward will report the matter with evidence to the judge at C and the horse will be eliminated from that class. The horse may be presented for subsequent classes but the BD steward must be satisfied the horse is fit to continue. Any fresh blood found by a BD steward during the post-test inspection in the horse’s mouth or area of the spurs will be reported to the Judge at C with evidence and the horse will be eliminated from that class. If there is blood on any other areas of the horses body, the BD Steward in consultation with the Judge at C will decide if the horse should be eliminated and/or is fit to continue in any further competition(s) in the event. Any horse which has a ‘sore patch’ (an area where hair has been rubbed off and the skin is inflamed) in a location where there is a danger that the skin could be broken if the horse were continued to be ridden, it must be withdrawn from competition. If the sore patch is not noticed until after a test has been completed, then elimination will only occur if the skin is broken. The horse may not continue to compete for the remainder of the competition thereafter, unless approved to continue by an independent vet. Equine Influenza Vaccination To protect the health of the other competing horses and the biosecurity of the venue, a valid passport must accompany the horse to all competitions and be produced on request. Failure to comply is a disciplinary offence and will debar the horse from competing at the event for which it has been entered. A horse will not be permitted to compete unless it has a current vaccination against equine influenza which complies with the following conditions: • An initial course of two injections for primary vaccination, not less than 21 days and not more than 92 days apart, are required before being eligible to compete. • A first booster injection must be given between 150 and 215 days after the second injection of primary vaccination. • Subsequent booster injections must be given at regular intervals of not more than 12 months, commencing after the first booster injection. • The most recent booster injection must have been given within six calendar months +21 days prior to the horse competing. • The full course or booster must have been administered at least seven days before arriving at the competition. The vaccination record(s) in the horse’s passport, must be completed, signed and stamped line by line, by an appropriate veterinary surgeon (who is neither the owner nor the rider of the horse). For those competing under FEI rules, please refer to FEI rules. The responsibility to comply with this rule lies with the competitor, who should consult with their veterinarian. Horses being found without adequate and up to date vaccinations will not be allowed to compete and will be barred from competing until such a time that they have been given their first and second vaccinations. The registration of any horse found in breach of this rule will be suspended until rectified.  
Friday, September 27

Principles of Judging Seminar: One week to go!

There’s just one week to go until the Principles of Judging Seminar gets underway at Moulton College. With Clive Halsall, Isobel Wessels and Peter Storr set to present a fascinating day of judging theory and test riding tips, it’s guaranteed to be a valuable experience whatever your role within the sport. British Dressage is delighted to announce the line-up of combinations joining us next weekend (5 – 6 October 2019). Saturday Quality of Paces | Bryony Goodwin and Hawtins Floresta Quality of Paces | Sharon Marshall and Nabstarlini Quality of Paces | Lynn Pickering and Lindeth Glad Rags Elementary 59 | Bryony Goodwin and Hawtins Soave Elementary 59 | Amanda Chatfield and Kingsclough Masquerade Intro C | Sarah Summerscales and Miss Dollymixture Intro C | Whitney Brooks and Clueso Medium 75 | Lucinda Elliot and Hawtins Bellegra Medium 75 | Lizzie Hughes and Breight Said Fred Preliminary 17 | Katie Hughes and Marble Arch VIII Preliminary 17 | +Laura Cooper and Woodlander Roxanne Sunday Way of Going | Amanda Chatfield and Kingsclough Masquerade Way of Going | Sophia Longworth and Gwithian Percival Way of Going | Jo Swain and MSL Saloutto Advanced Medium 98 | Darcas Lever and Flying Dream II Advanced Medium 98 | Susan Bullock with Lynwood Crofter Novice 37A | Marsha Webb and J’Adore Novice 37A | Sarah Dale and Blimey O’Reilly Prix St Georges | Sally Oldham and Tomgarrow Teans Prix St Georges | Rachael Lane and Wilhemina II Elementary 59 | Nina Monks and Saffron 2 Elementary 59 | Jo Swain and MSL Saloutto We look forwarding to welcoming many of you to Moulton next week, view the complete timetable or find out more about what to expect here . Buy your last minute tickets online .  
Friday, September 27

International Judges line up for Equine Bridge

British Breeding is delighted to announce a world leading line-up of trainers and evaluators for the re-aunched British Breeding Equine Bridge 14 – 15 October 2019 at Addington EC. The newly enhanced British Breeding Equine Bridge programme is organised in association with British Showjumping, British Dressage and British Eventing. The aim of the Bridge is to facilitate the development of talented young horses which have been identified through the Futurity series and to provide a transition for them into the sport. To achieve this, the programme is designed to bring together breeders, trainers, riders and owners. The ultimate goal behind the initiative is to see more British riders on British horses representing their country at international level. The first new Equine Bridge event will take place on 14th and 15th October this year at Addington EC in Buckinghamshire, and is for horses and ponies aged four to six years that have qualified via the British Breeding Baileys Horse Feeds Futurity Evaluations. British Breeding Director and Interim CEO of the British Equestrian Federation Iain Graham commented; “The British Breeding Equine Bridge is of central strategic importance in encouraging the breeding and development of our team horses for the future. It sits at that crucial point of transition from a young horse to the full grown equine athlete.” All entries will undergo an intensive two-day programme of training and evaluation to provide useful and meaningful feedback and to identify future talent. On the first day, all Bridge candidates will experience a 45 minute session under their own riders with one of three industry expert trainers. “We are absolutely delighted to welcome our world leading team of trainers, who will be working with small groups of horses and ponies at a time. Our dressage candidates will be trained by none other than the great Peter Storr, known to us all from his achievements as British team rider and international judge, as well as for his contributions to the sport through his involvement with British Dressage. The showjumpers will enjoy 45 minutes with Corinne Bracken whose success as the British Junior and Young rider Team Coach has been outstanding and who brings a wealth of experience in the training of riders and horses. For the eventers, we are very excited to welcome Yogi Breisner, again someone who requires no further introduction, and whose career in the sport as World Class Performance Manager and Chef d’Equipe of the British Eventing team has been outstanding. Observing the Bridge horses and ponies during 45 minute training sessions forms a vital part of the Bridge assessment and will give our evaluators excellent information about the trainability of our equine candidates, as well as providing a wonderful opportunity to our participants,” explained British Breeding Director Dr Eva-Maria Broomer. Throughout the entire programme, the horses and ponies will be observed by a panel of international evaluators and industry experts. British Breeding Director Rachael Holdsworth explains, “We are excited to welcome our team of international experts to come and evaluate some of the very best of British bred youngsters. Rik van Miert has been a special friend to the Futurity in recent years, and it is a privilege to benefit from his vast experience. Not only has he been instrumental in the development of the World Breeding Federation as one of its long standing Vice Presidents, he has also overseen and been instrumental in the rise of the BWP in the world rankings. Rik will be working with Mikael Nolin who joins us from Sweden where he is responsible for the assessment of young horses and stallion gradings for the Swedish warmbloods. His experience in riding and evaluating show jumpers has taken him all over the world. From Holland, we welcome Frank de Kok whose name has long been associated with the ability to source potential international horses for some of the world’s top competition homes. As a result, Frank enjoys an excellent reputation across the globe, as a trainer as well as a talent spotter. From closer to home, our team of evaluators is joined by the international eventer and BE Youth Performance Manager Darrell Scaife, whose experience as a rider as well as a trainer will be invaluable!” The two day event at Addington will be open to the public, so that those interested in riding, training or owning young horses can come along to watch all the sessions and meet our trainers, riders and breeders, as well as perhaps finding their next future Olympic horse. To enter, horses and ponies must be aged four, five or six and must have qualified through the Futurity evaluation series. The entry system will be open soon! All horses and ponies qualified through the Futurity series are welcome. Anybody who presented a  three year old youngster in 2016, 2017 or 2018 and who obtained a score of 8.5 or above is able to enter. The same goes for anybody who presented a four or five year old this year and obtained a gold score. If you are unsure whether you qualify or not, please do not hesitate to contact us under info@british-breeding.com , the team are very happy to advise you.
Thursday, September 26

Ideal Saddles Combined Training: Start qualifying!

Returning with a new look for 2019/2020, the Ideal Saddles Combined Training is all set to jump back into the BD calendar next month. Keeping up with the growing popularity of our super winter season championship, the Sports Operations team was delighted to announce several key changes to the series earlier in the summer ahead of the 2019/2020 qualifiers. Speaking ahead of this year’s competition, Ideal Saddles Product Development Manager Jim Revilles commented, “We’re delighted to continue our support of the British Dressage Combined Training series. The winter months can be long and, let’s face it, a bit depressing here in the UK! But the Combined Training series is a great way for riders to keep motivated and to keep progressing in their training over the winter, while having a lot of fun! The entire Ideal Saddles team wishes the very best of luck to all competitors for the series ahead.” Rules re-cap Combinations are now able to compete and qualify for the Championship final as Associate members on class tickets, with riders and horses going forwards to the Championship holding Club registrations or higher. Prelim and Novice sections are now only open to combinations who have not ridden at Medium or above – but for those with more dressage experience, have a go at our brand new Elementary level classes with two jumping options.  Levels ( BD Dressage Test/Showjumping Maximum Height) Prelim 2 with 70cm Prelim 18 with 80cm Novice 24 with 90cm Novice 34 with 100cm Elementary 42 with 90cm Elementary 50 with 100cm Find all the dates for this year’s series here , there are 19 qualifiers to choose from up and down the country whilst the championship final returns to Field House EC in Staffordshire on 15 March 2020. Take a look at our interactive venue map to plan your show! Find out more about the Ideal Saddles Combined Training series or enter your qualifier online via BD Schedules . 
Monday, September 16

Notes from the BD AGM

Interim Chair Linda Whetsone welcomed everyone and introduced the Board members to the audience before handing to Chief Executive Jason Brautigam (JB) for the formal business of the Annual General Meeting. Apologies were read from Susie Cumine, David Trott and Peter & Sue Baxter before moving on to the resolutions as follows: 1. To elect the Chairman – Proxy votes; 75 for, 2 against and 2 void papers. In the room there were no votes against so the motion was duly carried to elect Linda Whetstone as Chairman. 2. To elect the International Director - Proxy votes; 77 for and zero against. In the room there were no votes against so the motion was unanimously carried to elect Judy Harvey as International Director. 3. To elect the Sports Operations Director – four candidates came forward and were subsequently approved by the Nominations Committee to go to the membership for election. An electronic ballot was held by independent company Mi-Voice who reported 1517 votes. The results were as follows: Simon Bates – 538 votes Sandy Phillips – 354 votes Kelly Thompson – 311 votes Ros Ingledew – 304 votes Simon Bates was duly elected to the role of Sport 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. Finance Director Caroline Godfrey ran through the accounts and reported turnover for BD was up 4% and a profit of £303,909 was returned. Iryndeep Kaur-Delay, Senior Statutory Auditor from KPMG updated the meeting and said there were no audit issues or changes to the presentation. They approved the accounts on 13 June 2019. The vote was put to the room and carried unanimously. 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. A panel carried out an Audit Tender for our Auditors this year. KPMG elected not to tender but five companies were interviewed for best fit. Mazars were selected by the panel and subsequently approved by the Board. It motion was put to the room and unanimously carried. That was the end of the formal business and Linda then opened the Members’ Meeting where there were presentations from the CEO and Board members ( see the pdf of the slides ). Points of note: CEO: there will be no members’ forum on the new BD website. Costs are coming in at £16 – 24K for an appropriate site and the Board feel this money would be better spent elsewhere. BD will be using other social media channels more effectively for interactive content like webinars, Twitter/FB Q&A, etc. Judges : Peter Storr emphasised that candidates in the current exam system will have opportunity in 2020 to finish their qualification and if unsuccessful, they’ll move to the new system in 2021. International: Judy Harvey clarified that three horse and rider combinations will be in the team for the Tokyo Olympics with a fourth travelling reserve who may be substituted into the team for the Grand Prix Special to decide the team medals. Sport Operations: Tamsyn Cowie explained the new 2020 Petplan Equine Area Festival venues were still being worked on and a mapping exercise was taking place to spread the venues so that members had access to an Area Festival within a two hour drive. Questions from the floor Would BD consider aligning with the FEI on the vaccination rules of six months with a 21 day grace period? JB – the final wording is still being worked on for the 2020 rules and he would ask the Board to look at it as well as a dispensation system for horses who have severe reactions. With the new flu regulations, would BD consider a six month membership? JB said he and the Board will look at a six monthly horse registrations. With the new season split of two six monthly periods, how would BD insure results are in in time for the three week entry window ahead of Regionals? TC said the new IT system will help dramatically as the Phase IV priority is the upload of results into the database directly to speed up the process so there shouldn’t be the delays as previously. Lou Jones added that qualifications will be sent as they’re gained so members should be aware they’ve qualified. Questions submitted prior to the meeting 50% of the BD Board has not contested an election, they’re appointed or elected unopposed – this is an issue? JB said often the calibre of people who come forward mean they are the only applicant for vacancies. All roles are advertised and all applicants must go through a process with the Nominations Committee to make sure they’re fit for office so there are checks in place. As a volunteer role requiring a great deal of commitment, there may just be people who are unwilling to come forward – the Board is only as good as those who come forward. Some NGBs have 100% appointed boards whereas BD have a largely democratic process except where we need particular skillsets and have appointed Directors (as per the Mems and Arts) such as Suzanne Homewood in the new Business Development Director role. We may look to similar for an HR Director. Would we consider using Mi-Voice for all elections so that members could take part in a simple yes or no vote where there is one candidate? JB said it was a fair point and would be looked into. Download PDF of presentation sildes (pictures have been removed to reduce file size). Full formal minutes will be publisheed in due course.   
Monday, September 16

Day four: LeMieux National Dressage Championships

Day four of the LeMieux National Dressage Championships dawned, another beautiful day, another spectular schedule of competition and the final titles waited to be claimed by those who proved best of the best. Horse Health Grand Prix Freestyle and National Championship The Horse Health Grand Prix Freestyle, the jewel in the LeMieux National Championships crown, drew a knowledgeable crowd to Stoneleigh Park this afternoon. Ten combinations came forward and the competition was strong but it was the maestro himself, Carl Hester, who secured the class and his tenth National Champion title. Carl and Nip Tuck rode the incredibly technical freestyle that they performed in Rio to earn the winning score of 78.47%, ahead of Lara Butler and Kristjan (75.55%) and Louise Bell with Into the Blue (73.60%). At the half way mark, Maria Eilberg and the stunning grey Royal Concert had the lead with their brilliant Rod Stewart compilation which earned them 73.20%. Louise Bell and Into the Blue later delighted with a fun, expressive performance to the sound of Sweet Home Alabama and The Greatest Showman, the roan gelding and his rider showing off an extensive piaffe-passage tour. Josh Vietti’s Despacito set the canter off well, and there was great interpretation of music. A secure test with the horse showing a good ability to collect earned them 73.60%. Next in, Laura Tomlinson and Duval’s Capri Sonne Jr, showed much ability riding to their familiar reggae routine, which many will associate with former ride Andretti H. The performance was tinged with some tension with ‘Cas’ not quite settled in mouth, but when it all comes together, it’s going to be spectacular as the stallion has so much ability. 69.67% was their score today. Lara Butler and Kristjan entered next to Amazing Grace in passage. Accompanied by Thin Lizzy‘s Whisky in the Jar and Scotland the Brave, their test had bags of energy, high points and flair. A misunderstanding into half pass left was costly, the extended canter impressed and the one-time changes very confident. Ultimately second place was theirs with 75.55%. The penultimate pair Carl Hester and Nip Tuck entered in passage to a good square halt, straight into piaffe-passage tour, including turning piaffe, to their familiar Rio music. Carl is so confident with this horse and the two time changes on a curve and the 23 one-time changes on a curve were beautiful. The canter pirouettes both ways were high quality, there was one moment when something in the grandstand caught the attention of ‘Barney’, but his mind was soon back on the job. The extended trot was cautious but beautifully balanced, and overall the test beautifully presented for a great reception from crowd and a score of 78.47% from the judging panel. Last to go Sadie Smith and Keystone Dynamite showed a lot of energy and talent with some super highlights. There score was 72.85% despite some miscommunications, so what a promising combination for the future with more experience under their belts. After the prize-giving, Carl told us, “That first centreline has some impact! He did 23 one time changes without an error and then I had one small blip on the straight but that was it. He knows that test so well and gives all he has, he’s just so obedient. It’s nice now that he enjoys it rather than being terrified, but then again at 15, he should really! It’s a really difficult programme and he makes it look easy. “It’s nice to get my tenth National Champion title with him. He deserves it for what he’s given to British dressage – he’s represented Britain at European, World and Olympic level and always been so solid – he was due this win."  Barney currently lives at Rob Barker’s yard and he’ll train with Carl to work towards a Grand Prix debut. “I’ll keep schooling him twice a week to keep him sharp and Rob can learn from him which will only help his riding and his skills for his own horses. If I hadn’t had a ‘leg up’ like this when I was younger, I’d never be where I am today so it’s important. Barney still has a lot to give and I don’t think he’ll ever retire!” Equine Construction Advanced Medium Gold The Headmore Stud is enjoying a fabulous LeMieux National Championships, with their horses in the frame all week. Alice Oppenheimer was runner up in yesterday’s Saracen Horse Inter I with top ride Headmore Davina but today she secured her first win of the show. With another liver chestnut Headmore-bred mare, the up and coming Headmore Bella Ruby, Alice claimed a highly competitive Equine Construction Advanced Medium Gold with 73.71% ahead of Jane Turney and Cruz III (72.26%) and Sam Rahmatalla with Hawtins Falerno in third (71.78%). “I was so pleased with her today,” beamed Alice. “She had the Medium yesterday, and she warmed up OK, but I got in the ring and she was so hot that I had to ride a safe test. I was quite disappointed with the feel I got in the ring yesterday, just because I know she can go so much better. She still got 70% though, and I thought if she can still get that, when she feels like that, I’m on to a winner – I can’t really complain. “Today, she was so much more relaxed, so much more rideable, and I’m so surprised as it’s only her first season Advanced Medium,” said Alice of the Belissimo M x Rubinstein seven year old. “I was just coming here for the experience, I thought she’d be too green to do this well but she just gave me such a super ride in there. “I need to thank my farrier Tom Smith. A couple of weeks ago we just slightly changed her shoeing to give her a little bit more support. I felt that I’d lost the quality in her changes, and we discussed it and felt that she could do with a little bit of help, a bit more support on her shoeing, and she’s been like a different horse since. She nailed it today and I’m so proud of her. Mum cried and I cried! “I love that horse, she’s so special,” concluded Alice. “She’s just so lovely to ride, she’s got everything you want. She’s supple, she’s hot on the leg, she’s good in the contact, she’s clever, and she’s a real character on the yard.” Childeric Saddles Elementary Gold Becky Moody staked her claim in the Childeric Saddles Elementary Gold Championships as she rode to a one-two with two rising stars, James Bond and Jagerbomb. The winning margin is almost as impressive as the result itself as Becky scored an identical mark of 74.56% with Jo Cooper’s five year old stallion James Bond just pipping the home-bred Jagerbomb to the post on collectives, there were just two marks in it! “He’s [James Bond] such a talented horse and has a really good attitude. Jagerbomb isn’t so talented but the more I do with him the more he’s developing,” Becky said about her two promising partners, “Jagerbomb did a really tidy, neat, correct test. His canter work and simple changes, transitions were really good – the other horse is much more talented but he just pulls it out the bag with the consistency and tidiness.” “Both of these horses in their different ways are future Grand Prix horses,” Becky continued, “I’d like to keep hold of both of them!” “I’d hoped James Bond would do well, he was second in the Novice to Charlotte at the Winters and e’s a really cool horse so I’d hoped he would score well! It’s been a pretty epic weekend, we’ve had six horses and ridden 11 tests so thanks to my wonderful team – the weather has definitely helped too, it’s been amazing!” Becky will now focus on training and strengthening James Bond, known as Q at home, over the winter with a view to working towards Medium and Advanced Medium in the New Year. Whilst ‘Bomb’ will aim for the NAF Five Star Winter Championships, “It’s good for him to get out and do a bit, he’s a bit more edgy out of the two – he’s very good boy but he’s the one we’ve done the arena walks with this week! The long term aim with both is Grand Prix so it’s just working towards that.” Full results Photos by Kevin Sparrow Photography  
Tuesday, September 10

BD statement: vaccinations & microchipping

We’re aware of some questions that have been raised by some members over the incoming rule which mandates six monthly boosters against Equine Influenza (EI) and would like to provide further information about the rationale behind this decision. For much of 2019, the United Kingdom has been affected by outbreaks of EI, which initially hit the national news headlines in February, although the number of cases actually peaked as recently as July. As a National Governing Body, the welfare of equines competing under our rules has to remain paramount at all times – and it’s our responsibility, along with every horse owner, to help negate the spread of this virus. Throughout the course of this year, we’ve been acting on advice and evidence from our veterinary and industry colleagues on the BEF High Health Steering Group, the Equine Infectious Disease Advisory Group and the Animal Health Trust (AHT). We took the decision not to change our vaccination requirements mid-season during the initial outbreak, instead strongly recommending that a six month booster be given, while continually monitoring the situation based on the latest updates from the AHT. Boosters within six months of competing have been compulsory for FEI competitors for some time and British Eventing made an immediate rule change to implement the same vaccination regulations for all BE competitions. A priority for the BEF High Health Steering Group, which was set up at the start of this year and is chaired by Dr Jane Nixon, has been driving harmonisation of vaccination rules across the Federation. All member bodies will be required to follow the same protocol, so that the intervals for first three vaccinations are all aligned, whatever the discipline, with a minimum requirement of annual vaccinations and six monthly boosters strongly advised. While this is a positive step to improve vaccination rates across the equine population, as a high profile Olympic sport we believe it is important to lead by example, based on the expert veterinary advice on offer, by mandating six monthly boosters as a requirement of competing with British Dressage from 1 December 2019 onwards. As a result of the outbreak in February, a number of our show venues have already taken the decision to mandate six monthly boosters, particularly equine colleges or those that have large livery facilities. This has led to some confusion among members as to the different vaccination requirements from venue to venue, which has necessitated additional checks before competing. Obviously our preference is to have a consistent approach across all of our venues, with a clear policy that all members can follow. However, we appreciate that this is a significant move, so we wanted to ensure that we considered the advice provided by veterinary experts before amending our competition rules. All of the evidence points to the efficacy of vaccinations reducing after six months, hence the decision taken by the British Dressage Board of Directors to act accordingly. Dr Richard Newton, Director of Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance at the Animal Health Trust, has been instrumental in providing the necessary advice and input on this matter. In his words: “There is strong scientific evidence from both previous outbreak investigations and mathematical modelling projects to support that the herd immunity arising from adopting six monthly instead of 12 monthly booster vaccination will be enhanced based.” In the most recent AHT update, Dr Newton reinforces this point: “We believe it is through the actions of responsible horse owners who have heeded the advice to vaccinate their animals in light of the increased infectious risk that has contributed to the decline in the number of outbreaks we are seeing now. However, Equine Influenza remains a threat to the horse population and therefore owners should continue to remain vigilant and follow the advice to boost their horse’s vaccination if it was given more than six months ago.” Dr Jane Nixon MA VETMB BSC MRCVS, Chair of the BEF High Health Steering Group, added; “It’s welcome news that British Dressage are implementing six monthly boosters in their vaccination regulations. We’re in the middle of an equine flu epidemic, with over 220 reported outbreaks alone so far in 2019 – and each case includes a number of horses so there are thousands affected; marking an increase of 100% on last year alone. “We all need to help control the spread of the virus and vaccination unequivocally does just that. There have been several peer-reviewed scientific papers which support vaccination, including six monthly boosters, which should not leave any responsible horse owner in doubt that this is the right way forward.” Jason Brautigam, Chief Executive of British Dressage, commented: “It is vitally important that we take our collective responsibility to reduce the risk of Equine Influenza in the UK and we need to base our vaccination rules on the latest advice from veterinary experts. It is the responsible approach for a National Governing Body to take and, as we continually emphasise, horse welfare must remain at the heart of everything we do in BD.” The exact wording of the new rule will be as follows:   Equine Influenza Vaccination To protect the health of the other competing horses and the biosecurity of the venue, a valid passport must accompany the horse to all competitions and be produced on request. Failure to comply is a disciplinary offence and will debar the horse from competing at the event for which it has been entered. A horse will not be permitted to compete unless it has a current vaccination against equine influenza which complies with the following conditions: • An initial course of two injections for primary vaccination, not less than 21 days and not more than 92 days apart, are required before being eligible to compete. • A first booster injection must be given between 150 and 215 days after the second injection of primary vaccination • Subsequent booster injections must be given at regular intervals of not more than 12 months, commencing after the first booster injection. • The most recent booster injection must have been given within six calendar months prior to the horse competing. • The full course or booster must have been administered at least seven days before the competition. The vaccination record(s) in the horse’s passport, must be completed, signed and stamped line by line, by an appropriate veterinary surgeon (who is neither the owner nor the rider of the horse). For those competing under FEI rules, please refer to FEI rules. The responsibility to comply with this rule lies with the competitor, who should consult with their veterinarian. Horses being found without adequate and up to date vaccinations will not be allowed to compete and will be barred from competing until such a time that they have been given their first and second vaccinations. Membership and Horse Registration will be suspended for any horses and their owners in breach of this rule. Horse Microchipping There is also a degree of confusion around microchipping, as we've made it a requirement for registration, with effect from 1 December 2019. A law was passed in June 2018 which came into effect on 1 October last year for all horses to be microchipped, with a two year implementation period. The deadlines to have your horse microchipped expire on 1 October 2020 for England, 12 February 2021 for Wales and 28 March 2021 for Scotland. After this time, non-compliance may be liable for a fixed penalty notice and fine. The law is in place and active, as from 1 October last year, hence us introducing the requirement ahead of the legal enforcement deadline so members are ready and not at risk of incurring unnecessary fines. Microchipping is part of the Equine ID project from DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) alongside passports and registration on the Central Equine Database in a bid to prevent abuse and improve welfare. As part of responsible horse ownership, we are all required to comply with this law.
Tuesday, September 10

2020 BD Members' Handbook - rules preview

The team at BDHQ is hard at work compiling the 2020 BD Members' Handbook, which will be in circulation at the end of October, in advance of coming into effect from 1 December 2019. There's a lot of work that goes into bringing it together, taking on board input for Directors, technical committees and staff, so co-ordinating this effort is no small feat! All major rule changes are now finalised, so this gives us chance to give you a preview of what's coming so you can start the Summer Season well prepared. In mid-August, we shared the findings of the Championship Pathway and Calendar Review Panel , where the main recommendations centred around the ever-popular Petplan Equine Area Festivals. As promised, we've now got more information about qualification criteria for you. When your Members’ Handbook arrives, please do take time to read through it carefully as not all of the changes are covered fully here. Seasons We’re working towards the competition year starting on 1 January (as opposed to 1 December), so the two qualification seasons will be slightly different in 2019/2020: Summer: 1 December 2019 – 30 June 2020 Winter: 1 July – 31 December 2020 From 2021, we’ll move to two six monthly seasons: 1 January – 30 June (summer) and 1 July – 31 December (winter). The 2020 Members’ Handbook will therefore cover a thirteen month period, as a one-off, while subsequent editions will start on 1 January. Horse registrations The 2020 Members’ Handbook will mandate six-monthly Equine Influenza boosters, instead of yearly vaccinations. If you’re currently outside the six month period from your last vaccination, we recommend you have a booster, but you may wait until your next annual renewal date to start your six-monthly vaccination. There’s no need to restart with an initial course, unless otherwise advised by your vet. The requirement of 'the full course or booster must have been administered at least seven days before the competition' remains the same as in previous years. Any horse found without adequate and up to date vaccinations will not be allowed to compete with BD and will be suspended until this is rectified. You'll be well aware of the high incidence of reported EI cases across the UK this year, so it's imperative that we all take responsibility to minimise the spread of this disease by bringing our national vaccination requirements in line with FEI rules and advice from senior veterinary experts. All horses must now be microchipped to be registered with BD. This is a legal requirement. Associated Championships Our range of Associated Championships continue to go from strength to strength – and for 2020 they’ll be running with separate Bronze, Silver and Gold sections at the finals. This opens up the competition to a new range of riders, while still protecting those less experienced combinations. Tests ridden per day The rule has been re-worded to provide clarification: - If a horse competes at Intro/Prelim/Novice it may only compete in four tests at that level or below per day - If a horse competes at Elementary/Medium/Advanced Medium it may only compete in three tests at that level or below per day - If a horse competes at PSG/Inter I it may only compete in two tests at that level or below per day - If a horse competes at Inter II/A/B GP it may not compete in any other test on the same day, including HC. Rider substitutions Substituted riders will not be permitted after close of entries at Regional Championships to allow time for the office to verify eligibility and membership/registration status. Warm up Only the combination entered into a competition may warm up for their class. The rules which apply to para riders in Grade I – III competitions still apply. HC competing Group 3 riders and above are permitted to ride HC at PSG or above. Blood while competing The FEI blood rule will be adopted in BD national competitions with the following wording: If blood is noticed on a horse during the warm up, the Steward will approach the rider and make them aware of it. If the blood is on the flanks, nose, mouth or lips the rider should be made aware that if they are unable to stop the bleeding immediately they should retire from that class. Failure to do this will result in the steward notifying the Judge at C. Where blood is seen by the judge(s) when the competitor is in the area surrounding the competition arena or in the competition, before, during or after the test, the judge at C must eliminate that combination from that class. Where blood is found by a steward during the horse inspection after the test has been completed the details of the occurrence must be noted. Only when blood is found on the flanks, nose, mouth or lips can the Steward then take the necessary steps to advise the Judge at C who must then, on production of the evidence collated by the steward, eliminate that combination from that class. Blood as a result of abuse rather than accidental damage (i.e. a knock to a leg or fly bite) is the only occurrence that a steward may act upon. New guidelines on hyperflexion The following will be listed in the Handbook: Hyperflexion is not permitted or tolerated from any rider or combination. Stewards will now refer any hyperflexion seen to the judge at C or the organiser immediately. The combination will be eliminated from the competition. Tack and Equipment updates: - All saddles (including treeless) must have a cantle and pommel - All colour stirrups are now permitted. Ideal Saddles Combined Training Combinations will now be able to compete and qualify on Class Tickets Riders and horses at the Championship can be registered Club or above Prelim and Novice sections will only be open to combinations who have not ridden at Medium or above New classes called ‘All-comers’ introduced which are open to everyone – one features Elementary 42 with 90cm jumping and the second will ride Elementary 50 with 1m jumping. Petplan Equine Area Festivals Many of you will have read our recent update on the Championship Pathway and Calendar review which detailed the new era for Area Festivals. To summarise: - There will be two distinct seasons, providing equal qualification periods from 2020/2021 onward - A points based qualification system, in line with BD Regional Championships - Between 16 and 18 Summer Area Festivals, mapped to provide a geographical spread across the country, with the Championship taking place in September - Music classes included at around half of the Summer Area Festivals for Bronze and Silver sections, from Prelim to Inter I which qualify for a Championship. - Between eight and 10 Winter Area Festivals, again positioned across the regions to provide a good geographical spread, with the Championship Finals at Hartpury, alongside the Winter Championships in April. - Inter II and separate Under 21 sections will no longer part of the AF Championships. Inter II will be accommodated elsewhere and we'll update members as soon as any details are finalised while the highest placed under 21 rider will be awarded a rosette in each section. Further updates for you: The Working Party reviewing FEI level competitions and championships on offer with BD is still hard at work with a number of options being looked at to insure riders at Small, Medium and Big Tour have fair opportunity to compete and qualify for championships. We’ll keep you informed with any updates as these plans come to fruition over coming weeks. The qualification detail for the Petplan Equine Area Festivals has now been finalised. As mentioned, riders will work on a points basis like the Regionals do. Those points will be as follows: Level Bronze Silver Prelim 7 9 Novice 7 9 Elementary 7 9 Medium 4 6 Advanced Medium 4 6 PSG 2 4 Inter I 2 4 At least one point for each level/section must be gained from a qualifier test. From the Area Festivals, you need to finish in the top two of your class. Any unfilled places will be awarded by the wild card system. Qualification for the new Summer Music classes as part of some of the Area Festivals (around 10, still to be finalised) will be two scores of 63% or above at each level/section. To reach the Championship, combinations will need to be first or second - and again wildcards will be offered to fill any spaces at the Championship. The selection process for venues to host the summer Petplan Equine Area Festivals is well advanced following the original expressions of interest from organisers. A mapping exercise has been completed with the tender process resulting in a shortlist of venues for our new Fixtures Allocation Panel to consider. We’re anticipating that the 2020 summer programme will be formally announced by early to mid-October at the latest. Further details will follow as soon as they're available.
Tuesday, September 10

LeMieux National Championships 2019 Preview

There’s only two more sleeps until the dressage event we’ve all been waiting for – the LeMieux National Championships 2019 (12 – 15 September). For four action packed days of outstanding competition, this great national gathering of British dressage is a dream show for enthusiasts and followers of the sport. The centrally located Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire will welcome the country’s leading riders alongside a host of talented amateurs, which’ll provide us with high calibre dressage competition at all levels from Prelim right through to the crowning of the LeMieux National Champion at the ultimate level of Grand Prix. Following standout performances at the FEI European Championships in Rotterdam last month, Charlotte Dujardin, Carl Hester, Gareth Hughes, plus FEI Para Dressage European Championships medallists Sophie Wells, Mari Durward-Akhurst and Georgia Wilson will all be heading to Stoneleigh. Dujardin is a LeMieux National Championships regular. She loves to support the show and it gives her an unmissable opportunity to expose her up-and-coming horses to the big arena. This year is no exception with her having a total of four rides. There’s Mount St John Valencia in the Fairfax Saddles PSG Gold (Thursday) and the Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I Gold (Friday), Gio in the Cavalor Inter II Gold (Thursday) and Hawtins San Floriana in the Equine Construction Advanced Medium Gold (Sunday), so visitors on any of these days can get to enjoy seeing her ride. Hughes, who returned home from the FEI European Championships in Rotterdam as the highest-placed Brit, has Sintano Van Hof Olympia in Thursday’s Fairfax Saddles PSG, KK Dominant in the Cavalor Inter II Gold the same day, and he goes Sunday in the super-hot Equine Construction Advanced Medium Gold. Gareth also hosts the popular weekend LeMieux Masterclass on Saturday at 15:57 and Sunday at 15:56. Expect top training tips and insights from one of the sport’s most popular characters. Crowd favourite Carl Hester meanwhile will contest the LeMieux Grand Prix Gold on Saturday with Rio medallist and all-round superstar Nip Tuck! Three of the fab four who won team silver at the FEI Para Dressage Europeans in Rotterdam will be competing. Mari Durward-Akhurst with younger ride Lebensfreude, and Grade II Freestyle European Champion Georgia Wilson with Midnight, both contest the Equissage Pulse Para Gold Championships, whilst Sophie Wells and C Fatal Attraction go head to head with the able-bodied riders in the Fairfax Saddles PSG Gold and the Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I. Mari, Georgia and Sophie will be joined on Saturday by fourth team member Nicky Greenhill as we raise a glass to their medal success in our ‘salute to the medallists’ parade at 16:27 in the LeMieux Arena. The Shearwater Young Dressage Horse Finals are always interesting, with the top young horses in Great Britain going head-to-head for the titles. All finalists will compete on Saturday performing their age specific tests, before the top four from each age group go through to Sunday’s final where Philipp Hess joins us as ride judge to assess their future potential. Philip, son of FEI 4* Judge Christoph Hess, is a young professional rider who has gained much respect and acclaim as a test rider at the Bundeschampionate as well as at the German stallion performance tests and this year’s Pavo Cup Finals in Ermelo, the Netherlands. Super Saturday Following a successful debut year, the Anglo European Studbook is delighted to return to Stoneleigh in partnership with Brightwells on Saturday with another superb selection of 20 handpicked foals from world class bloodlines. Viewing stables will be open throughout the day where interested buyers can meet the foals and their breeders, and the auction starts at approximately 19:00 in the LeMieux Arena. For the full catalogue click here . The British Equestrian Vaulting squad that headed to the FEI Vaulting World Championships in Ermelo, the Netherlands in July takes centre stage at 17:41 on Saturday, then Sunday at 17:20 it’s the turn of some of Vaulting’s rising stars. It’s been an exciting year for British Equestrian Vaulting as the relatively new team all performed beyond expectations at the championships, despite being together for a matter of months. Prepare to amazed by these awe-inspiring displays of artistry, athleticism and horsemanship. Don’t forget there’s huge range of trade stands for that much needed retail therapy plus a good selection of food outlets to enjoy during your day out. On arrival at the showground, get your essential programme (available at the gate, at the Secretary’s Office, at the BD stand and from the roving programme sellers) for exclusive interviews, all the essential reading on the competitors as well as the all-important schedule. For the full Nationals experience, why not purchase a Radio Nationals headset? These pre–tuned headsets (available from the Secretary’s Office and the BD Stand) give you detailed commentary on the classes and help keep you up to date with what’s happening and where, ensuring you don’t miss a thing. Alternatively, listeners can tune in on their mobile phone. If you can’t make it to the Nationals, you can keep up-to-speed with the scores, results and more by visiting www.britishdressage.co.uk , www.bdchampionships.com , Instagram, Twitter and Facebook . And if you haven’t yet got your tickets for the Nationals, don’t worry! Although advance ticket sales are now closed, tickets are available on each day of the Championships at the gate. Click here to visit the Championships website for detailed information on the event, ticket prices and schedules. We look forward to seeing you there! Thursday 12/09/2019 7:50 BackinAction Preliminary Silver 7:50 Equine Construction Advanced Medium Silver 10:25 Childéric Saddles Elementary Silver 12:05 Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Gold 14:35 Cavalor Intermediate II Gold Friday 13/09/2019 7:50 Dodson & Horrell Novice Gold 7:50 Equissage Pulse Para Dressage Gold - Grade I , Grade II , Grade III , Grade IV, Grade V 10:10 Dodson & Horrell Novice Silver 13:15 Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I Gold 14:10 TopSpec Medium Silver Saturday 14/09/2019 7:50 Assessment & Pre-Judging Shearwater 4yo Young Horse 7:50 TopSpec Medium Gold 9:05  Assessment & Pre-Judging Shearwater 5yo Young Horse 10:25 Assessment & Pre-Judging Shearwater 6yo Young Horse 11:40 LeMieux Grand Prix Gold 14:59 Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I Freestyle Gold Sunday 15/09/2019 7:50 Equine Construction Advanced Medium Gold 7:50 Childéric Saddles Elementary Gold 11:55 Final of the Shearwater 4yo Young Horse 13:40 Final of the Shearwater 5yo Young Horse 14:25 Final of the Shearwater 6yo Young Horse 15:20 Horse Health Grand Prix Freestyle Gold
Monday, September 9

Petplan Equine AF Final qualifying ratios '19

The numbers qualifying from Petplan Equine Area Festival Finals to the Championship next April have been released. Please note the following: 1) The number qualifying from each Area Festival Final 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 Area Festival Finals and the number of spaces available at the Petplan Equine Area Festival Championships. 2) Combinations scoring below 63% will not be eligible for qualification for the Petplan Equine Area Festival Championship as stated in the British Dressage Rule Book, UNLESS IT IS BY A WILD CARD 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 certificate from the secretary before leaving the showground. 5) Official entry packs will be emailed / posted to the RIDER directly from the BD Office in plenty of time for entries to be made to the Petplan Equine Area Festival Championship in April 2020. 6) The names of the combinations awarded wild cards will be put on the BD website in the New year. These spaces will be filled by the highest scoring unqualified combinations from all the Area Festival Finals.       Numbers to qualify Scores must be 63% and above to qualify to the Championships PRELIM BRONZE: 1 in 8 qualify 1 - 8 = 1 qualifies 9 - 16 = 2 qualify 17 -24 = 3 qualify 25 - 32 = 4 qualify 33 – 40 = 5 qualify PRELIM SILVER: 1 in 8 qualify 1 - 8 = 1 qualifies 9 - 16 = 2 qualify 17 -24 = 3 qualify 25 - 32 = 4 qualify 33 – 40 = 5 qualify PRELIM UNDER 21: 1 in 8 qualify 1 - 8 = 1 qualifies 9 - 16 = 2 qualify 17 -24 = 3 qualify 25 - 32 = 4 qualify 33 – 40 = 5 qualify NOVICE BRONZE: 1 in 10 qualify 1 – 10 = 1 qualifies 11 – 20 = 2 qualify 21 – 30 = 3 qualify 31 – 40 = 4 qualify NOVICE SILVER: 1 in 10 qualify 1 – 10 = 1 qualifies 11 – 20 = 2 qualify 21 – 30 = 3 qualify 31 – 40 = 4 qualify NOVICE UNDER 21: 1 in 8 qualify 1 - 8 = 1 qualifies 9 - 16 = 2 qualify 17 -24 = 3 qualify 25 - 32 = 4 qualify 33 – 40 = 5 qualify ELEMENTARY BRONZE:1 in 10 qualify 1 – 10 = 1 qualifies 11 – 20 = 2 qualify 21 – 30 = 3 qualify 31 – 40 = 4 qualify ELEMENTARY SILVER: 1 in 10 qualify 1 – 10 = 1 qualifies 11 – 20 = 2 qualify 21 – 30 = 3 qualify 31 – 40 = 4 qualify ELEMENTARY UNDER 21: 1 in 5 qualify 1 – 5 = 1 qualifies 6 – 10 = 2 qualify 11 – 15 = 3 qualify 16 – 20 = 4 qualify MEDIUM BRONZE: 1 in 10 qualify 1 – 10 = 1 qualifies 11 – 20 = 2 qualify 21 – 30 = 3 qualify 31 – 40 = 4 qualify MEDIUM SILVER:1 in 8 qualify 1 – 8 = 1 qualifies 9– 16 = 2 qualify 17 – 24 = 3 qualify 25 – 32 = 4 qualify MEDIUM UNDER 21:1 in 8 qualify 1 – 8 = 1 qualifies 9– 16 = 2 qualify 17 – 24 = 3 qualify 25 – 32 = 4 qualify ADVANCED MEDIUM BRONZE: 1 in 8 qualify 1 – 8 = 1 qualifies 9– 16 = 2 qualify 17 – 24 = 3 qualify 25 – 32 = 4 qualify ADVANCED MEDIUM SILVER:1 in 5 qualify 1 – 5 = 1 qualifies 6 – 10 = 2 qualify 11 – 15 = 3 qualify 16 – 20 = 4 qualify PRIX ST GEORGES BRONZE: 1 in 8 qualify 1 – 8 = 1 qualifies 9– 16 = 2 qualify 17 – 24 = 3 qualify 25 – 32 = 4 qualify PRIX ST GEORGES SILVER: 1 in 10 qualify 1 – 10 = 1 qualifies 11 – 20 = 2 qualify 21 – 30 = 3 qualify 31 – 40 = 4 qualify INTERMEDIATE I BRONZE: 1 in 8 qualify 1 – 8 = 1 qualifies 9– 16 = 2 qualify 17 – 24 = 3 qualify 25 – 32 = 4 qualify INTERMEDIATE I SILVER: 1 in 5 qualify 1 – 5 = 1 qualifies 6– 10 = 2 qualify 11 – 15 = 3 qualify 16 – 20 = 4 qualify INTERMEDIATE II SILVER: 1 in 2 qualify 1-2 = 1 qualifies 3-4 = 2 qualify 5-6 = 3 qualify 4-8 = 4 qualify  
Friday, September 6

Equissage Pulse Para Bronze/Silver and ID Champs

The Equissage Pulse Para Bronze and Silver Summer Championships and the British Dressage RDA Intellectual Disability Championships attracted a host of up-and-coming riders to Solihull Riding Club last weekend (31 August – 1 September). Dorset rider Jemima Green enjoyed a show to remember with a decisive win in the Equissage Pulse Grade II Silver Championship aboard her KWPN gelding Blue Chip Forever (by Johnson). The months-old combination (pictured) posted a score of 72.71% to take the crown in convincing style. Before taking up para dressage, Jemima (30) was head girl and second rider for a top event rider, as well as eventing her own horses, but that changed in 2015 when she sustained life-altering injuries in a serious car accident. She suffered a spinal cord injury leaving her paralysed from the waist down as well as severe abdominal damage, yet with an extensive rehab programme, Jemima is making great strides in her new sport. In their short time together, she and ‘Jools’, as Blue Chip Forever is known, have been bringing home lots of scores in the 70s and numerous wins. Jemima took to Facebook to say, “[I] Had such a brilliant time at Solihull Riding Club for the Silver Championships. Blue Chip Forever was a star and scored +72% in the test giving us the win. It was so lovely to have Claire [Blaskey], Jools’ previous owner come and support us too.” Former General Practitioner, Ursula Treadgold, and her 16 year old British bred gelding Tyler II were the resounding winners of the Grade V Bronze Championships on a score of 71.66%. Ursula, who was forced to retire two-and-a-half years ago after being diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which leads to hypermobility, and a cerebellar stroke which affects her balance and coordination, has enjoyed a cracking summer competing in Para, Quest and regular BD competitions. The pair had a great round at the Sparsholt Summer Regionals in July to earn themselves a wild card for the BackinAction Preliminary Silver at the LeMieux National Championships next week. The biggest accolade in the Bronze divisions went to Sharon Kelsall, from Ashford in Kent, with her Dutch bred gelding Valentino XVIII (River Man x Ulft). This fledgling partnership, with just five months’ competition experience under their belts, achieved an impressive 77.63% in the Grade III. Sharon, who is from Cornilo RDA Group, won a senior title at the RDA National Championships at Hartpury in July and has clearly formed a promising partnership with Valentino who previously competed at Junior FEI and national Small Tour level with young rider Merlyn Latimer Smith. The Eastern region was well-represented with a win in the Grade IV Bronze for Georgina Maton and Desperaux, a Grade I Bronze title for Sophie Lingfield and Trust April, and the region’s Para Rep Joanne Dagley-Cleworth becoming Grade V Silver Champion. Running alongside the Equissage Pulse Championships was the second ever running of the Intellectual Disability (ID) Championships which is held in conjunction with the Riding for the Disabled Association. A total of 29 riders came forward under the watchful eyes of para judges Sandra Smith and Sandra Edwards. The RDA walk test got proceedings underway on Saturday. The first rider down the centre line, Jonathan Rigby riding Charlie, held an early lead with his 70.97%, to be later overtaken by Jess Chapman and Keano from Penni Wells RDA in Elstree. A whopping 73.05% was the score for the Hertfordshire combination of Jess and ‘Oreo’ who claimed the win ahead of runners-up Jodie Williamson and Drunkeen Boy. The nine-strong walk and trot test was a competitive affair with an incredible five riders breaking the 70% barrier, however it was Danielle Morgan and the gorgeous dun gelding, Goldy, who had the winning edge with a score of 71.12%. Danielle has had a summer to remember, including a successful trip to Hartpury for the RDA Championships in July. The final test of the day was the RDA walk, trot and canter test which drew a highly competitive field. Penni Wells RDA rider Georgina Maton (29) and her 11 year old Desperados son, Despereaux, scored an immense 74.21% to take the win, before adding to their tally with an Equissage Pulse Grade IV Bronze victory on Sunday. British Dressage thanks the team at Solihull for running an excellent weekend of competition as well as Equissage Pulse for their generous support. Congratulations to all the championship winners and to everyone who took part. Full results Bronze Championships Grade V 1. Ursula Treadgold and Tyler II, 71.66% 2. Chloe Chadwick and Innocent Flight, 67.61% 3. Caroline Hemitage and Geramiek, 62.73% Grade IV 1. Georgina Maton and Desperaux, 67.37% 2. Linsey McLaren and Rockefeller, 66.12% Grade III 1. Sharon Kelsall and Valentino XVIII, 77.63% 2. Thomas Dyer and Henry XVII, 73.19% 3. Veronica Bower and Game Over, 65.27% Grade II 1. Jane Ogden and Fairview Romeo, 67.64% 2. Jacqueline Walker and Jack Daniels VI, 67.50% 3. Victoria Smith and Louis VII, 62.50% Grade I 1. Sophie Lingfield and Trust April, 67.81% 2. Katherine Mannion and Ballingowan Lilly, 59.84% Silver Championships Grade V 1. Joanne Dagley-Cleworth and Michael Angelo, 66.32% 2. Karen Hale and Santa Sheva, 57.57% Grade IV 1. Sara Bates with Tango VII, 67.24% 2. Deborah Hounsome and Bolencello, 66.56% 3. Alicia Griffiths and Aegrus Ophelia, 66.12% Grade III 1. Sharon Kelsall and Valentino XVIII, 68.40% 2. Veronica Bower and Game Over, 66.50% 3. Thomas Dyer and Henry XVII, 66.10% Grade II 1. Jemima Green and Blue Chip Forever, 72.71% 2. Jessica Phillips and Criminal Girl, 67.06% 3. Victoria Smith and Louis VII, 63.84% Grade I 1. Gabriella Blake with Strong Beau, 68.00% 2. Jason Marques and Bobby VII, 66.37% 3. Alice Lundy and Ricardo’s Lucky Charm, 59.50% ID Championships RDA walk test 1. Jess Chapman and Keano, 73.05% 2. Jodie Williamson and Drunkeen Boy, 72.22% 3. Jonathan Rigby and Charlie. 70.97% RDA walk and trot 1. Danielle Morgan and Goldy, 71.12% 2. Alfie Armstrong and Ruby, 70.62% 3. Ben Willdigg and Lady Beth of Dargavel, 70.37% RDA walk, trot and canter 1. Georgina Malton and Despereaux, 74.21% 2. Jonathan Kemp and Zaldaltus, 71.71% 3. Annie Wordley and Brackenbank Flash Harry, 71.18%
Thursday, September 5

Summer Music Championships on Song

Riders travelled from far and wide for the second ever Summer Music Championships at Sheepgate Equestrian (26 – 28 August 2019) where the leading Lincolnshire venue staged three days of wall-to-wall Freestyles from Prelim to PSG in soaring August temperatures. Laura Marshall from Southam in Warwickshire danced to a decisive victory in the Novice Silver with the aptly named British Hanoverian mare Cha Cha Herself (pictured). The pair earned a score of 72.31% for their freestyle to a compilation of music from the Harry Potter spin-off fantasy film series, Fantastic Beasts. “I’m absolutely thrilled to bits,” was Laura’s response. “She [Cha Cha] was 100% on it…quite feisty in the warm up but completely on her A-game during the test. She felt amazing and it was only the third time we’ve ridden through that music.” Laura and Cha Cha (nine) competed at their first regionals in February earning themselves a wild card for Baileys Novice Freestyle Silver at the NAF Five Star Winter Championships. The music, a composition by Music in Motion’s Kay Vittori, is dramatic and fits the mare well. “I love riding to it,” commented Laura. Laura works for Jaguar Land Rover and Cha Cha, who was bred by Paul Friday, is her only horse. “I loved her from the start. She was petite and sharp, but very kind. We had a bit of a setback early on. After being backed in the autumn of her fifth year, she kicked herself badly in the field the following spring which meant an 18 month rehab. It wasn’t easy at the time but it makes me value every moment of riding even more.” Marsha Webb at Classic Dressage is Laura’s trainer who she says “has been a revelation in our training.” West Devon grandmother, Sally Pidsley, made the long journey east a profitable one by winning the Preliminary Silver Freestyle with her British bred 15 year old, Tranwheal Tineth Moon. Sally, who's 73 years young, won the 70cm class at the Horse & Hound Grass Roots Eventing Championships just two years ago with this mare, which goes to show that age doesn’t have to be a barrier to competitive riding. List 2 judge and BDCC Level 3 trainer, Sarah Williams, was the runaway winner of the competitive Medium Gold Freestyle with her talented gelding, San Remo Hitt. The pair achieved a superb 78.61% ahead of Sara-Jane Lanning with Dreamcatcher III and Nicholas Lawson with Fandango V in second and third respectively, both on 75.17%. Sarah and 11 year old San Remo Hitt (San Remo x Sunset Boulevard) presented a fluent, well executed test to a fitting soundtrack of commanding music. “I am absolutely beyond over the moon,” says Sarah. British Dressage thanks the team at Sheepgate for delivering 18 classes over three days of competition and all the judges, stewards, writers and volunteers who all helped to make it happen. Congratulations to the winning riders and all those who took part. This was the final running of the Summer Music Championships before the event’s incorporation into the Petplan Equine Area Festival series from 2020 and beyond. Read more here . 2019 Summer Music Freestyle Champions: Preliminary Bronze Ann Hiles with Bojangles III, 69.54% Preliminary Silver Sally Pidsley with Tranwheal Tineth Moon, 68.33% Preliminary Gold Jane Lavington with Broadriver Madison, 72.22% Novice Bronze Rachel Punch with Annie V, 68.61% Novice Silver Laura Marshall with Cha Cha Herself, 72.31% Novice Gold Jessica Parr with Gabber D, 73.70% Elementary Bronze Patricia Smith with Helios, 68.46% Elementary Silver Lesley Wheatley with Fürst Lazio, 70.83% Elementary Gold Tyler Bradshaw with Igor VIII, 72.12% Medium Bronze Trixi Gingell with Contudo, 72.83% Medium Silver Florence Human with Fulgencio, 72.39% Medium Gold Sarah Williams with San Remo Hitt, 78.61% Advanced Medium Bronze Lucie Dunkeld and Barchetta, 71.17% Advanced Medium Silver Katharine Lewis with Albertho B, 75.94% Advanced Medium Gold Laura Wollen with Woodcroft Francisco, 72.89% Prix St Georges Bronze Tyler Bradshaw with Gijsbert, 70.21% Prix St Georges Silver Cazzy Derby with Frenderups De Nice, 68.13% Prix St Georges Gold Mark Walters with IceBlue Valentino, 72.38% For full results click here
Friday, August 30

Hot competition at Bury Farm HP

The three days were packed with High Profile classes, the finals of Bury Farm’s own championships and regular BD classes – all on one of the hottest weekends of the year. Well done to all the competitors who kept their cool in the heat and a big thank you to all the judges and writers who sweated it out for hours in their judges’ huts and cars. Maria Eilberg and Hermione Black’s Royal Concert (pictured) dominated the big tour High Profile classes with good wins in the Inter II and the Grand Prix. Maria took over the ride on the beautiful iron grey gelding at Advanced Medium and has produced him through to the highest level. Her Inter II score of 72.28% is one of the pair’s best at the level and Maria commented after her Grand Prix test that she is finding she is able to take more charge of the exuberant gelding and he is becoming more relaxed in the arena. “The more he works the better he is,” she said. Steph Croxford and Mr Hyde are popular competitors and she was a close runner-up in the first Grand Prix and won the second on the final day. Mr Hyde was a bit distracted indoors by seeing his reflection in the glass in the arena at the end of the diagonal but much more chilled outside where he scored almost 70%. Lisa Marriott had a good weekend with her super athletic ‘Rocket’, more properly known as Valucio, a 10-year-old gelding by Va-Vite. She later said on social media: “My little hero Rocket just won the Inter II with 68.8% in 30 degrees heat!!! Podium and bubbles what more could you ask for! I was already totally happy with him being fourth last night in the Grand Prix so today was the icing on the cake after a challenging week. It’s tough to make the step up from small tour on a young horse so I’m totally, totally proud of him.” Nicola McGivern has returned to top level competition with the Coleridge-Smith’s Hotline gelding, WfD Hotstuff. She bred Hotstuff out of Marata, the mother of her Olympic ride, Active Walero, and sold him as a foal. The pair won Saturday’s Inter I. ‘I took the ride in December last year and have been working on getting him fit,” commented Nicola. “He’s very consistent. As a fairly new partnership, we still make little mistakes but he has learned to piaffe and passage and is showing great talent for collection. I think he’s going to be a successful Grand Prix horse.” The Inter I on the first day was won by Sam Rahmatallah and the British-bred Furst Romancier gelding, Hawtins Falerno. On their debut at the level, Sam achieved her goal of getting the scores she needs to compete internationally. “We’re having an incredible year,” said Sam, who has qualified for the Nationals at Advanced Medium gold and Prix St Georges (PSG) and is a Bicton Summer Regionals champion. Sam bought ‘Doodle’ as a two-year-old so has had a long wait to see him realise his potential at the higher levels but his excellent progress is making it worthwhile. Jayne Turney is another rider who is having an excellent year and the show was an excellent warm-up for the LeMieux National Championships. She and Shirley Rixon’s Penhaligon’s Jupiter were second in the PSG at Keysoe Summer Regionals and Hartpury Premier League and the winners of the Inter I at Wellington Premier League. They scored a super 72.72%, a personal best, in the PSG, despite the blistering heat. “He’s feeling more secure in the work now – I’ve just got to iron out a few rider mistakes!” said Jayne, who was also second on Charlotte Dujardin’s pony, Cruz III. “It was ‘Tom’s’ fourth PSG so he’s still a little bit green. I’m looking to do his first Inter I soon and that should help him with the PSG.” The first day’s PSG was won by Rowan Bryson and Lazulith, a reformed character she has owned since he was five. She admits to having ‘real issues’ with the Laudabilis 12-year-old, but judging by his performances over the weekend, he has put his naughty ways behind him. The pair have qualified for both National Championships every year since 2015 and their next goal is an Inter II. This is Rowan’s first ride at this level so she has been upping her game by having schoolmaster lessons at Talland Equitation. “I struggled with the changes for three years – I couldn’t get one, but now his tempis are his party piece,” said Rowan. Former pony team rider, Lara Kuropatwa and For Season (Fergus) aced their PSG class. The 18-year-old had an anxious wait for the results as they were fourth to go in a massive class of 32. The pair are in their first year of PSG and international young riders competition. “He’s not done much for a nine-year old and he’s quite a quirky character,” said Lara who was pleased that all her tempi changes came off. She felt that practising full canter pirouettes at home has helped Fergus do better half pirouettes. Lara will be heading off to Bristol University in October to study History of Art but plans to travel home regularly to keep Fergus on his toes. Nathalie Kayal brought three horses for match practice before the Nationals and went home with a win in the Inter I freestyle with DHI Cleverboy, a second place in the Inter II for DHI Homerun and the Advanced Medium Freestyle win with Graf Lincom CL. “The timing of this show is perfect as there is time to correct anything before the Nationals,” said Nathalie. “Today I had a breakthrough with Homerun. He has struggled with the piaffe in the Inter II but he got sevens for it today. It was a mental issue – he didn’t like the idea of trotting on the spot! “I decided to ride Cleverboy with more power to see how much I could put in at the Nationals. I was very pleased with the trot work but in the canter it was too much in places! All in all it was a positive experience for the Nationals.” Angus Corrie-Deane rocked the Bury Farm indoor arena to a Tinie Tempah compilation put together by Ros Kay for his aptly named ride, Tiny Tempur. They won the PSG freestyle. The 14-year-old Raikonen gelding was bred by Olympic rider, Fiona Bigwood. “He loves his music although it can divide the judges,” said Angus. “A highlight today was his extended canter which got good marks.” Bury Farm also ran a championship for its regular competitors. The Prelim title went to Fred Hodges and Keystone Drum Roll, Novice title to Edward Johnson and Faberge Egg, Elementary to Imogen Byers and Hercules and Medium to Femke Meiland and Marvel. The last championship of the day went to Samantha Thurman-Baker and Gerardo, beating her other ride, Seramai, into second place. It was a busy weekend for Samantha who competed sister Joanna’s rides. Joanne injured her back in a fall from a young horse but was keen to keep her horses match fit. To make sure her top ride, Highcliffe Apollo, stays on top form for the Nationals, she drafted in mum Diane to ride him in the Inter II and GP. To her credit, Diane, who hadn’t competed at that level for over 20 years had good placings in both. The whole show ran very smoothly with Bury Farm’s well-oiled organising team staying cool in the sun despite the large classes and withdrawals because of the heat. High Profile Results Prix St Georges Rowan Bryson with Lazulith 68.64% (Friday) Lara Kuropatwa with Fore Season 70.39 (Saturday) Jayne Turney with Penhaligon’s Jupiter 72.71 (Sunday) PSG freestyle Angus Corrie-Deane with Tiny Tempur 70.25 Inter I Sam Rahmatallah with Hawtins Falerno 69.38 (Friday) Nicola McGivern with WfD Hotstuff 68.9 (Saturday) Inter I freestyle Nathalie Kayal with DHI Cleverboy 71.37 Inter II Maria Eilberg with Royal Concert 72.28 (Friday) Lisa Marriott with Valucio 68.35. (Sunday) Grand Prix Maria Eilberg with Royal Concert 68.73 (Saturday) Steph Croxford and Mr Hyde 69.1 (Sunday) Full results are available from the Bury Farm website . 
Thursday, August 29

Sheepgate showcases up and coming talent

Now in its 18th year, the BD Sheepgate Under 25s Championships continues to attract the UK’s up and coming young riders, as was evidenced over five days of thrilling competition at Sheepgate Equestrian last week (19 – 24 August 2019). Fifteen year old Betsy Smetham dominated the British Dressage Supporters Club-sponsored FEI Pony Championship. Aboard Amber V (by Orchard Limb-Lopper), her attractive Dutch bred palomino gelding she delivered two strong scores - 68.12% to win the Pony Team test and 70.16% for the Pony Individual, securing the overall FEI Pony Championship in the process. The Kent based pair also achieved second in the Digital Horse Open Freestyle Challenge, scoring 72.50%. Betsy and Amber (pictured), who is known as Jack, have enjoyed a cracking year so far with promising results at Premier League shows and a top-five placing on their international debut at Hickstead CDIO last month. “Jack and I have had the best time at Sheepgate U25’s Championships this year, I’m so so pleased that all our work is finally coming together! With a podium finish in every test, and coming away as FEI Pony Champions, I don’t think the week could have gone any better!” Runaway winner of the Digital Horse Open Freestyle was Oxfordshire rider Maddy Frewin with Christine Kirk’s 12 year old British bred gelding Woodlander Rhythm n Blues, by Woodlander Rockstar. The pair’s captivating Bollywood-inspired freestyle, compiled by Julie Geraghty of Equivisions, was awarded with 76.83% earning them a huge plus-four percent lead. They also the dominated the FEI Junior divisions to take the overall Dengie FEI Junior Championship title. “It’s been a great start the Sheepgate Under 25s Championships. R ’n’ B gets more expressive in his work, gaining higher marks. Four tests over two days with results ranging from 70.70% to 76.83%, becoming FEI Junior Champion and Open Freestyle Challenge Champion. Over the moon with how consistent his work is now becoming,” said Maddy on Maddy Frewin Dressage . Taking the honours in the TopSpec FEI Young Rider Championship was Rebecca Baybutt, from Merseyside, with Michelle Swire’s 17 year old Medoc-sired gelding Hey Mambo. They posted two solid scores to take the overall title. Rebecca was part of the winning Northern Platinum team which took the Sheepgate Tack & Togs Medium and above title spearheaded by reigning Equi-Trek Elementary Silver title holders, Bethany Edginton and Frankel. The FEI Children on Horses title was won by Sophia Marston with her British bred mare Solitaire II (San Amour x Hotline) on scores of 70.38% and 69.81%. Sophia and Solitaire, who train with Michael Eilberg, won the individual Novice and Children on Horses titles at the BD Youth Home International in July. This unique and popular championships offers an amazing week of competition and friendship for riders and their families. British Dressage thanks Bruce Grant, Sarah Payne, Alex Jewell and the enthusiastic team at Sheepgate Equestrian, and the companies who supported through sponsorship and prizes Congratulations to all the winners and well done to everyone who took part! Monday Class FEI 2a: British Dressage Supporters Club FEI Pony Championship – Team Test 1st Betsy Smetham with Amber V, 68.12% 2nd Mollie Witham with DZL Royal Sunrise, 67.44% 3rd Claudia Davis with Rubinia 37, 67.14% Class FEI 3a: Dengie FEI Junior Championship – Team Test 1st Maddy Frewin with Woodlander Rhythm n Blues, 72.34% 2nd Emily Coller with Flabbergasted II, 66.49% 3rd Charlotte Neal with Walter’s Fable, 65.36% Class FEI 4a: TopSpec FEI Young Rider Championship – Team Test 1st Rebecca Baybutt with Hey Mambo, 66.32% 2nd Alicia Lee with Bonita VI, 65.70% 3rd Shona Leckie with Adventure, 65.53% Class 5a: FEI Children on Horses – Team Test 1st Sophia Marston with Solitaire II, 70.38% 2nd Annabel Coller with My Delilah, 68.27% 3rd Charlotte Hill with Bonhard Alexander, 60.77% Class 3a: Tucker M & E Building Services Ltd Open Freestyle Challenge – Nov/Elem 1st Sophia Marston with Solitaire II, 74.04% 2nd Rose Foley with Cordici K, 73.46% 3rd Chloe Vell with Joep, 71.94% Class 4a: Digital Horse Open Freestyle Challenge – Med/Adv Med 1st Maddy Frewin with Woodlander Rhythm n Blues, 72.35% 2nd Claudia Davis with Rubinia 37, 69.39% 3rd Betsy Smetham with Amber, 66.97% Class 5: KBIS Insurance Services Ltd British Dressage U25s National Advanced Medium Championship Harriette Williams with Creto Shona Leckie with Adventure Shona Lecie with Apart Tuesday Class FEI 6: Cheval Unique FEI PYO – PSG/Inter I/Inter II/U25 GP Class FEI 2b: British Dressage Supporters Club FEI Pony Championship – Team or Individual 1st Betsy Smetham with Amber, 70.16% 2nd Mollie Witham with DZL Royal Sunrise, 68.94% 3rd Claudia Davis with Rubinia 37, 66.10% Class FEI 3b: Dengie FEI Junior Championship – Team or Individual 1st Maddy Frewin with Woodlander Rhythm n Blues, 70.70% 2nd Charlotte Snape with Camelot III, 68.46% 3rd Matilda Haley with Go, 64.95% Class FEI 4b: TopSpec Young Rider Championships – Team or Individual 1st Alicia Lee with Bonita VI, 68.29% 2nd Rebecca Baybutt with Hey Mambo, 67.89% 3rd Emily Bradshaw with Enjoy Amaris V, 67.50% Class FEI 5b: Children on Horses Championships – Team or Individual 1st Sophia Marston with Solitaire, 69.81% 2nd Annabel Coller with My Delilah, 68.01% 3rd Charlotte Hill with Bonhard Alexander, 62.50% Class 3b: Tucker M & E Building Services Ltd Open Freestyle Challenge – Nov/Elem 1st Chloe Peat with Cremmdalla Crem, 73.62% 2nd Rose Foley with Cordici K, 69.66% 3rd Chloe Vell with Joep, 68.39% Class 4b: Digital Horse Open Freestyle Challenge – Med/Adv Med 1st Maddy Frewin with Woodlander Rhythm n Blues, 76.83% 2nd Betsy Smetham with Amber, 72.50% 3rd Charlotte Neal with Walter’s Fable, 72.33% Wednesday Class 10: Sue Carson Saddles Preliminary section A 1st Ellie Smith with Casper XV, 72.40% 2nd Emma O’Connor with Elwell Master Craftsman, 40.00% 3rd Anna Roberts with Landsbury Dizzy Rascal, 69.80% Class 10: Sue Carson Saddles Preliminary section B 1st Maggie Howell with Hendricks, 68.80% 2nd Anna Bates with Gitina, 68.40% (69) =3rd Megan Field with Gwithian Gallant, 68.40% (68) =3rd Tallulah Murrell with Celestial Navigation, 68.40% (68) Class 11: Sue Carson Saddles Novice 1st Emily Collings with Chiddock Hour Glass, 70.17% 2nd Sophia Marston with Solitaire II, 69.66% 3rd Emily Coller with Ashley, 68.62% Thursday Class 17: Catago British Dressage U25s National Preliminary Championship 1st Flora Hayes with Haybells Cinderella, 69.37% 2nd Rebecca Hutchinson with Shanbally Shadow, 69.20% 3rd Ruby Lewin with CNS Cob Marley, 69.14% Class 19: Dodson & Horrell British Dressage U25s National Elementary Championship 1st Alexandra Bradbury with Santa Tropez HFD, 74.83% 2nd Matilda Haley with Go, 72.41% 3rd Abigail Taylor with Wind dance, 71.38% Friday Class 21a: Digital Horse Open Freestyle Challenge – Nov/Elem 1st Jack Wainwright with Hero, 75.83% 2nd Nalani King with Florence IV, 71.94% 3rd Sally Howell with Son of Orion, 70.00% Class 22a: Tucker M & E Building Services Ltd Open Freestyle Challenge – Elem/Med 1st Ellie Roberts with Tyngwndwn Golden Boy, 73.27% 2nd Emily Sutherland with Grace X, 71.35% 3rd Erin George with Sir Chancealot, 68.08% Class 23: Uvex British Dressage U25s National Novice Championship 1st Eliza Mackworth-Praed with Thacka Playboy, 71.45% 2nd Noah Brook with Gabana HFD, 70.97% 3rd Maddy Frewin with Tottola, 70.86% Saturday Class 21b: Digital Horse Open Freestyle Challenge – Nov/Elem 1st Phoebe Corner with Small-land Tapdance, 68.39% 2nd Jack Wainwright with Hero, 68.06% 3rd Logan Wilkieson with Burnockmill Brigadoon, 68.00% Class 29: Freestyle to Music – Prelim 1st Logan Wilkieson with Burnockmill Brigadoon, 71.11% 2nd Katherine Kirby with Archie XIX, 67.78% 3rd Megan Davie with Jetstream, 67.78% Class 30: Freestyle to Music – Nov 1st Tichy Sanders with Penrherber Chaconne, 71.94% 2nd Tabitha Leicester with Elegant, 69.72% 3rd Sally Howell with Son of Orion, 68.33% Class 31: Woodhouses Freestyle to Music – Elem 1st Rose Foley with Cordici K, 73.27% 2nd Amy Charlton with Vanabyt van het Kleuterhof, 72.50% 3rd Ellie Roberts with Tyngwndwn Golden Boy, 71.54% Class 32: Sheepgate Tack & Togs Children on Horses – Team/Individual Test 1st Eliza Ireson with Saoirse Serenade, 63.46% Sheepgate Tack & Togs Team Results Prelim 1st Scottish Kelpies Rhona Forbes with Lownthwaite Savin Reece Cunningham with Inside Out II Niamh Murray with Colourville Zarina Abigail Gray with Glyncoch Red Rascal Novice 1st North West Swallows Amy Charlton with Vanabyt van het Kleuterhof Madelaine Hinchliff with Fiorendo Freya Shaw with Estelle Royal Princess Elementary 1st Central Cobras India Keates-Robinson with Cubea N Emily Collings with Chiddock Hour Glass Amy Aufiero with Celeste V Demi Howard-Cartwright with The Longhouse Rosadonna Med/Adv Med/Adv/PSG 1st Northern Platinum Bethany Edginton with Frankel Joshua Mellor with Wallenstetin Charlotte Snape with Camelot III Rebecca Baybutt with Hey Mambo For full results click here
Thursday, August 29

Team NAF put up strong challenge at Pony Europeans

Great Britain’s Team NAF Pony riders put up an admirable challenge to finish in fourth place at the FEI Pony European Championships in Strzegom, Poland (13 – 18 August 2019). The team podium was tight, with the top three all within two percent of each other, but it was an exciting squad from Denmark who made history by winning the nation’s first ever team gold. The Danish four broke the German stronghold, which was last interrupted when Britain won team championship honours in 2015. The Dutch quartet all posted scores around the mid-70s to finish on the heels of the Danes, and Germany claimed Bronze. Britain’s team campaign was robust. On Wednesday, team pathfinder Bonnie Bourne and her lovely gelding Fin C We (Famos x Eiger III) scored a super 69.40%, followed by 71.31% from Izzy Lickley and the charming white-faced Mister Snowman to put Great Britain into overnight Bronze. Thursday morning, Holly Kerslake and the stunning Danish bred Welsh section D stallion Valhalla’s Zorro delivered 70.02% to strengthen the campaign before Annabella Pidgley rode an exciting test with Cognac IX’s (FS Chambertin x Waldemar) to earn the top British score of 71.54%, confirming a great team effort of fourth place. Denmark’s Alexander Yde Helgstrand (16), son of Andreas and Marianne Helgstrand, was impressive, winning the Individual Gold aboard Adriano B (De Angelo B x Flying Dream) on a score of 78.21%. Alexander’s compatriot Liva Addy Guldager Nielson and D’Artagnan 187 (FS Don’t Worry x Colano) took Silver with Germany’s Shona Benner and Der Kleine Sunnyboy We (Der Feine Lord x Valentino) in Bronze. Annabella Pidgley rode with maturity to earn the highest accolades for Team NAF in the challenging Individual Test to finish best of the Brits in 14th with Cognac IX. Izzy Lickley presented an accomplished test with Mister Snowman (The Braes My Mobility x Llanarth Most Triton) for 71.40% and 15th, Bonnie Bourne and Fin C We a whisker behind on 69.89% (18th), followed by Holly Kerslake and Valhalla’s Zorro (Lord Matrafal x Fjordglimts Sir Johnson) on 69.64% for 20th place. Helgstrand takes the hat-trick There was much to look forward to in the British camp with three Team NAF riders qualifying for the Freestyle to Music final on Sunday. Helgstand and Adriano were once again supreme, earning 82.014% to add to his haul of Golds, and the podium remained the same as the Individual with a Helgstrand, Nielsen, Benner one-two-three. The scores were impressive but, still, the record for all three tests remain in the British hands of Phoebe Peters. Izzy Lickley rode the test of her life to finish best of the Brits in the Freestyle, taking 10th place with 73.15%, whilst Annabella was 11th with 72.98% and Bonnie 17th on a score of 70.09%. “Well what can I say,” said Izzy on Izzy Lickley Dressage after her return home to Kingswood Equestrian in Staffordshire. “Now we are finally home and Snowy is enjoying downtime in the field - it has been the most amazing two weeks. Snowman exceeded my expectations of him for this season and to finish with a top 10 placing at the Europeans is something of a dream. He hasn’t dropped below 70% this entire qualification season right up to the final class and he has so much more to give next year.” Congratulations to all four of our riders for their results. Thanks go to NAF and LeMieux for their support of our Under 21s international teams, as well as Chef d’Equipe Caroline Bell and all those behind the scenes at the Championships who contributed to the riders’ success. Clockwise from top left: Bonnie Bourne and Fin C We, Annabella Pidgley and Cognac IX, Holly Kerslake and Valhalla's Zorro, Izzy Lickley and Mister Snowman. Results of the British riders Team Test 1st Alexander Yde Helgstrand with Adriano B, 77.543% (DEN) 14th Annabella Pidgley with Cognac IX, 71.543% (GBR) 15th Isobel Lickley with Mister Snowman, 71.314% (GBR) 19th Holly Kerslake with Valhalla’s Zorro, 70.029% (GBR) 25th Bonneville Bourne with Fin C We, 69.400% (GBR) Team Standings 1. Denmark – 226.829 Alexander Yde Helgstrand with Adriano B, 77.543% Liva Addy Guldager Nielson with D’Artagnan 187, 76.029% Nathalie Thomassen with Lykkehoejs Dream of Dornik, 73.257% Thilde Rude Hare with Morgensterns Dakar, 72.857% 2. Netherlands – 225.771 Micky Schelstraete with Elin’s Nonciscador, 75.629% Floor Van Der Kuijl with Champ of Daily, 75.171% Robin Heiden with Colourfull Cannonball, 74.971% Evi Van Rooij with King Stayerhof’s Jango, 74.257% 3. Germany – 224.915 Shona Benner with Der Kleine Sunnyboy We, 75.800% Lana-Pinou Baumgürtel with Zinq Massimiliano FH, 74.829% Antonia Busch-Kuffner with Daily Pleasure We, 74.286% Rose Oatley with Daddy Moon, 67.071% 4. Great Britain – 212.886 Annabella Pidgley with Cognac IX, 71.543% Isobel Lickley with Mister Snowman, 71.314% Holly Kerslake with Valhalla’s Zorro, 70.029% Bonneville Bourne with Fin C We, 69.400% 5. Sweden – 209.915 6. Switzerland – 206.944 7. Austria – 206.171 8. Spain – 206.000 9. Belgium – 204.599 10. Poland – 202.343 11. France 200.143 12. Russian Federation – 199.771 13. Czech Republic – 198.185 14. Hungary – 196.085 Individual Test 1st Alexander Yde Helgstrand with Adriano B, 78.216% (DEN) 14th Annabella Pidgley with Cognac IX, 71.432% (GBR) 15th Isobel Lickley with Mister Snowman, 71.405% (GBR) 18th Bonneville Bourne with Fin C We, 68.892% (GBR) 20th Holly Kerslake with Valhalla’s Zorro, 69.649% (GBR) Freestyle 1st Alexander Yde Helgstrand with Adriano B, 82.140% (DEN) 10th Isobel Lickley with Mister Snowman, 73.155% (GBR) 11th Annabella Pidgley with Cognac IX, 72.985% (GBR) 17th Bonneville Bourne with Fin C We (70.095% (GBR) For full results click here Photo © Adam Fanthorpe
Thursday, August 29

Update: Member Survey 2019

The Member Survey 2019 was a major initiative for the team at HQ this spring and 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. A huge majority of 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. 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. We’ve put together an infographic of the survey findings which highlights some of the key findings and outlines some of the plans in the pipeline to address them - click on the graphic below to download.
Wednesday, August 28

LNDC19: Advanced discount prices close soon!

The 22nd annual National Dressage Championships return to Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, from 12 – 15 September this year, supported once again by LeMieux , the leading brand of luxury horse wear and dressage essentials. Advanced ticket sales close next Wednesday 4 September! Don't miss your chance to benefit from BD members' discounts and pre-booking benefits on all entry tickets! Call the ticket hotline from Monday to Saturday between 9am - 7pm on 07791 318721, download the postal application form or buy tickets online . The competition Renowned for being the platform to launch the careers of champions, the action in the LeMieux and Horse Health arenas will once again see the very best of British gather to do battle for the 25 titles on offer. From Prelim to Grand Prix, be inspired by the huge variety of riders and horses heading to Stoneleigh, no matter your level. The weekend’s programme features the Shearwater Young Dressage Horse Championships and the ultimate competition, the LeMieux National Grand Prix Championship. Last year’s National Champion crown belonged to Lara Butler with Wilfried Bechtolsheimer’s Rubin Al Asad, join us this year to see who’ll be the rider to take home the highest accolade in the BD collection. There’s a stellar line up of National stars due to contest the title, including none other than Carl Hester with his Olympic partner Nip Tuck. Hear about Carl’s expectations for the week here . Gareth Hughes heads weekend entertainment Joining us for Saturday and Sunday’s popular Master Class fixture is Team GBR high-flyer Gareth Hughes. Gareth’s enjoying the season of dreams on board Grand Prix super-mare Classic Briolinca and his string of rising stars including KK Dominant and Sintano van hof Olympia, two horses with direct qualification tickets to the National Championships. Visit Stoneleigh for the weekend to enjoy a super two part Master Class where Gareth will share his top training tips for success. Joining Gareth for the weekend performances are the English Vaulting Squad who visit Stoneleigh fresh from a successful trip to the FEI European Championships! Enjoy their dazzling display of talent and artistry on Saturday and Sunday amidst the LeMieux Grand Prix competition. Plan your visit Truly a spectator-friendly event, enjoy panoramic views from a range of vantage points around the show’s first class open plan layout. The open working-in is undoubtedly a highlight offering the unique opportunity to watch riders prepare for their test, whilst the covered grandstand seating at the C end of the competition arena is perfect for those who want to camp out for the day and enjoy every second of the show under protection from the elements. Covered grandstand seats are available from an additional £8 daily, find out more here . Looking for a touch of luxury? The popular Andrews Bowen Nationals Pavilion provides the perfect setting for enjoying dressage in style. Relax, have a bite to eat and enjoy the action with friends in comfortable surroundings. We recommend booking sooner rather than later to guarantee your place, click here to buy your tickets online . Why not make a horsey holiday of the week and stay with us for the duration? Choose from a four day or two day camping pass with caravans, horseboxes and tents welcome! The Nationals Camp Site is close to the stable area on site and is the perfect way to soak up the atmosphere and really feel part of the Championships. General admission tickets start from £14 with BD Members’ benefiting from an advanced ticket sales discount. Don’t forget there are also a range of hospitality options on offer if you want to make your trip to the Nationals a day to remember. Find out more about visiting the LeMieux National Championships here .
Sunday, August 25

Wilson secures gold for Team GBR

It was hot day in Rotterdam for the final action of the 2019 Longines FEI European Championships and the heat was as intense as the competition. First up for Team GBR was 23 year old Georgia Wilson from Conwy and she really upset the form book by claiming a debut European gold medal in the Grade II Freestyle Championship. A personal best 78.18% with Midnight, by Hilkens Black Delight, was enough to beat two time Paralympian Pepo Puch from Austria who was one of the first to congratulate her when her score was announced. Riding to music from Tarzan by David Newman, it was picture of pure joy and harmony from the duo on debut – in fact it’s their first international competition outside the UK! A clever floorplan devised after her mentor Sophie Wells had a dream while sleeping was perfect for the British bred mare, who Georgia owns with her parents Geoff and Julie Wilson. “I was awake at 4am this morning so I’m quite glad I could actually ride today! My legs were more shaky than normal this morning so in a way I was just happy to get her round. I was a bit ahead of my music so had to think hard on how to use the arena. I was really pleased with my medium trot and free walk…and I think I got all my halts! It’s been an amazing week, Midnight has never even been abroad before and she’s coped so well and been really easy,” she said after the test. “Secretly all week I’ve been dreaming about winning a watch but I didn’t dare tell anyone! I’m not sure if I’ll cry when I get on the podium, we’ll see.” Well, we can report that she kept her cool and the only tears of the day were those after the test, from everyone not just Georgia. Trainer and mentor Sophie Wells added; “I honestly had a dream in the middle of the night about the floorplan and we put it together the next morning about a year ago. Sometimes you just come up with a floorplan that fits like a glove. It’s Jorge’s trot music [C Fatal Attraction] so if I was going to give it to anyone, it had to be Georgia. During the test, my heart was going mental – it’s so much harder watching. She’s amazing, she has such a great feel and mindset, she just gets on with it. I know this is just the beginning.” Buckinghmashire’s Mari Durward-Akhurst (25) ended her championship debut with a hat-trick of personal best scores in each test with a 75.4% to finish just off the podium in fourth in the Grade I riding Glensi Owen’s Sky O’Hara in temperatures approaching 30 degrees. Riding to music from the Disney epic Beauty and the Beast, it was an inspiring performance, the only worrying moment came when Sky kicked out during the three loop serpentine with a bothersome fly but much of the walk work was of the highest calibre. A huge smile proved that Mari was pleased with her final performance of the Championships and an equally big grin from trainer and groom for the week Rob Waine showed he was proud of his pupils. “Well it’s certainly good practice for Tokyo in there!” exclaimed Mari. “My score really reflect our performance and I think that’s the best the test has ever gone – I was spot on with my music. Sky kicked out in the serpentine movement at a fly but that was the only thing. He was back to the Sky I know today and certainly proved he doesn’t act his age [20]. This is actually the test which stresses me out the most as getting it spot on isn’t easy!” When Mari was asked for her reflection on her Championship, she said; “It was incredible to get silver with the team. I’ve always dreamt of winning a medal and I can’t wait to get the chance to do it again; I know the Paralympics is a massive step up. The team have been so supportive of each other – Sky and I have loved every minute!” Lincolnshire 29 year old Sophie Wells ended her 2019 Longines FEI European Championship campaign with third silver medal, the 32nd of her career, in the Grade V individual Freestyle competition riding Charlotte Hogg’s C Fatal Attraction. Their score of 78.37% was only bettered by rival Frank Hosmar from the host nation, the Netherlands, on 79.90%. The test oozed quality…huge reach in the half pass, brave extended canter with strides as long as a horse two or three hands bigger than ‘Jorge’ actually is and light extended trot diagonals with great ground cover all set to beautiful, emotive music in a floorplan which must be near maximum difficutly. “I’m really pleased with him but I’m not sure what more I could have done for the judges. I love this music which Tom [Hunt] did with me for the World Equestrian Games last year and today the simple changes were good; the extended canter, the half passes, all cool, there was no tension today. You’ve got to perform in there and everything has to come together and whatever the result, I know I’m taking the best horse home,” reflected Sophie. “We came here feeling a team medal was going to be a challenge and gold was most definitely out of reach so the silver is amazing. People expect top performances out of me but Georgia was an unknown and I know that what we’ve seen this week isn’t her best week which makes it even more exciting,” she concluded. Britain’s first ever visually impaired para team rider Nicky Greenhill from Surrey finished her debut week at the Longines FEI European Championship on a high with 71.33% in the Grade IV Freestyle riding her own and husband Gary’s King Edward I. It was the first competitive freestyle they’ve ridden together and finished just off the podium in fourth. Nicky has made a huge impression on the competition as all watch in amazement at her horsemanship – it’s al – and her guide dog Sparky has won a legion of fans! “I’m really pleased. Having not done a freestyle with him I had no idea how it would go. The music I had done for him specially as he’s so big and powerful and it really suits him. I was really pleased with all the canter work; his stride is so massive in the extended you get to the other side before you know it! He was a proper star, and so was my husband Gary. He can sense when I’m getting a bit lost and he knows how to call to get me on track,” Nicky said afterward. As the final competitor of the day, and the Championship, what are Nicky’s thoughts on the week? “Now it’s all done, it feels weird. It was such a long time coming and now we’re done. I’m happy with how I’ve coped as you never know. Ed has got better and better too and it’s been the making of him. The team behind the scenes is amazing and the other disciplines have been so supportive which I wasn’t expecting. And of course Sparky now has her own fan club!” she concluded. So it was just a single rendition of God Save the Queen in the main Rotterdam arena this week for Georgia’s stunning performance today but we have four riders who will have learned a great deal about themselves, their horses and what being part of a Championship team means which is priceless. Today marks one year until the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Paralympics which is the perfect day for a gold medal performance, what will the next 365 days bring for these riders? But for now, Georgia’s just happy to spend time admiring her watch…and gold medal!
Saturday, August 24

Gold for Werth, top ten for Hughes in Rotterdam

The climax of the Longines FEI Dressage European Championships proved as hot as the August weather this afternoon in Rotterdam. Germany were expected to dominate with their three leading ladies but what would the medal order be? Jessica von Bredow–Werndl firmly laid the challenge down with TSF Dalera BB with a grand freestyle display to post 89.10% but Isabell Werth and Bella Rose have just dominated this week. As their test went progressed it was looking tight and with the score shooting to over 90% and then down to the low 80s… As Isabell progressed to her final halt in one-handed passage with crowd in perfect hand clap rhythm it was clear this was going to be close…90.87% it was. Dorothee Schneider riding Showtime was the remaining realistic threat and their test was truly impressive – powerful, artistic and with good harmony. The wait for the final score felt like ages…90….point 56% - just missing the gold to ensure Isabell defended her Euro crown. The two British representatives had truly mixed fortunes… Carl Hester was first up with his own, Ann Cory and Lady Anne Evans’s Hawtins Delicato. ‘Del’ came into the atmospheric arena which was packed to the rafters and looked like he could breathe fire – definitely more electric than his two previous tests. Carl had chosen to use an older freestyle featuring ‘Cry Me a River’, music from The Last Mohicans and God save the King which was made famous by Uthopia. It was technically difficult but on a good day, nothing that is beyond Del’s capability. But today, he wasn’t really playing ball and even the brilliance of Mr Hester couldn’t coax high scoring work from him. The final score was 70.73% which left them in an eventual 14th place. “Today was another lesson learned with him. He’s been so good this week I gave him an easy day yesterday and he warmed up well but then he became crispy around the edge and he wasn’t as rideable as he’s been. Am I disappointed? Yes, of course but for me, it’s all about the Grand Prix and the Special,” Carl said. As is his way, Carl was still philosophical; “It’s been a brilliant week for the team disregarding the fact we lost a medal. For Lottie and Gareth to come here and perform as they have is really exciting. We had an ‘easy’ silver and closer to gold than we expected. We have four great horses and four great riders ahead of next year and now we’ve just got to pull it together and get it right at the same time.” Gareth Hughes followed immediately with his own, wife Rebecca and Julia Hornig’s Classic Briolinca and they were brimming with confidence after their stunning Grand Prix Special test. Riding to a new programme set to music from the hit TV historical time travel series Outlander, the duo looked hot with temperatures around 30 degrees and the electric environment (which Gareth later described as being ‘like a cauldron’) but ready to perform. They didn’t quite hit the first halt and salute, brief really but then the magic began. Expressive half passes, superb piaffe work including pirouettes and a half pass zig zag, and oodles of great canter pirouettes wowed the audience. Despite the tough conditions it was a strong performance and earned 80.12% - a new PB by nearly four percent. Amazingly, this was just their fourth international Freestyle together. Gareth explained; “There’s so much noise in there! It’s hot too and there’s lots of movement as people are fanning themselves. She got strong on me but I knew we could pick up points on her passage and pirouettes. I decided to go with a simpler routine before we came here and during the week I thought maybe I should have gone for something tougher but now I’m glad I stuck with it! It was tough in there – if horses can cope in there, they can cope anywhere! To score a PB in each of my tests has been amazing and as have all involved with the team this week.” Their final place was tenth – if anyone had told Gareth he’d be the tenth best in Europe at the end of a long week, he wouldn’t have believed it. However the Warwickshire rider has ridden like the professional he is and produced results all knew he could. So what’s next for him and the Trento B mare? “I probably won’t campaign her much over the winter indoors but I’ll speak with the Selectors to work on a plan for next year and then just hope they say ‘konnichiwa’ to a place on the team,” he said hopefully. Bring on Tokyo… Thanks to the team behind the team from Team GBR who which is only possible through our vital funding form UK Sport, via the National Lottery and to our owners and grooms who support these combinations and enable the dressage public to enjoy their performances and make us proud. For full results – click here
Saturday, August 24

Paras surpass expectations with stunning team silver

Mari Durward-Akhurst got Equestrian Team GBR’s quest for gold underway bright and early on day five of the FEI European Championships yesterday in Rotterdam. Riding the evergreen 20 year old Sky O’Hara for Glensi Owen, Mari and trainer Rob Waine took the decision with the rest of the team to bring up a companion horse for the test to settle Sky’s nerves in the Team test. Sophie Wells’ ride C Fatal Attraction duly did the honours and it looked to have paid off. The twists and turns of the Grade I team test were tackled with great determination with average marks of seven to seven point five flashing up on the arena side scoreboard. The only worrying moment came in the halt across the arena at X when there was a crash of bottles being emptied somewhere on site and Sky’s attention was momentarily taken elsewhere but Mari was straight back on the case to establish the consistency and flow they’d shown previously to end well. It looked like a 70%+ performance and the score was confirmed at 70.89% - a new PB by 0.32. It left them in sixth overall but an excellent start to the team tally. “It was quite noisy in there but he was much better than the other day. We’ve never tried him with a companion horse before but it seems to have worked – we needed to try something to have him more relaxed. Something caught his attention in the halt but I got him back quickly. Sky has an amazing walk but it’s all about getting the in between – not too fast, not too slow. I don’t really like the team test much, it doesn’t suit me as I have to work quite hard on the circles with my disability. But it’s a good start for the team!” Mari told us afterwards. So how as she found her first Championship? “It’s amazing to be here. There’s such an atmosphere and bumping in to riders like Carl [Hester] and Charlotte [Dujardin] is incredible,” she beamed. Grade II rider Georgia Wilson from Conwy has been busy winning a new legion of fans with many impressed by her fabulous outlook and positive attitude. She and her parent’s British bred Midnight have come here well prepared by mentor Sophie Wells but it’s the way they’ve handled the pressure of a Championship debut which has caught the eye. It was a long build up as they were the third last combination of the day. A good start brought the eights and nines rolling in from the judges and their halt at C was about as square and immobile as you could see but just one nine was awarded. A Georgia rode every step to keep the accuracy and rhythm and earn every mark possible for a final score of 74.75% - a new personal best score. More importantly, a great boost to the team total. Afterward, Georgia told us; “I had to think hard on how to waste a morning so I watched Heartland on Netflix to keep myself busy. She was very good but I had to work to keep the trot I had outside in there. Sophie has had me do so many transitions, we’ve been working really hard on them and been videoing every step to improve. The preparation and hard work has worked as I was happy with the halts and free walk which Sophie has been nagging me on.” And her take on her first Championship experience; “It’s very different to a normal international. You have to remember your accreditation and there’s lots of waiting but it’s been amazing but scary, it’s not really sunk it!” On to day two of the Team competition and it looked like the gold was the Netherlands’s to lose but Great Britain, Denmark and Belgium were all guaranteed to give it their all. Sophie Wells has been working hard to get Charlotte Hogg’s C Fatal Attraction more comfortable with the arena in a bid to boost their score from the Individual test. He’s been on companion horse duty and hand walked to the arena from the stables a few times but would their plan pay off? ‘Jorge’ certainly looked spritely in the final warm up so as she was given the go ahead to enter the arena ahead of starting, she dropper her reins and let him walk calmly on a long rein in a bid to get him to relax. Judge at C rang her bell and Sophie picked Jorge up ready to start. Things were certainly calmer than the Individual test with lovely medium trot work, two super simple changes and she was able to ‘attack’ her extended canter unlike her previous test. As they halted for the final time, it looked to be a superior performance. But sometimes in dressage, it’s hard to predict and the score of 75.65% was on a par with Thursday despite a more relaxed, harmonious performance. “That was a lot better than before. He was more relaxed and showed better quality…but I guess the judges didn’t quite agree as the score was much the same. He was quite unsettled in the 20 minute box, I’m not really sure why so I went back to my approach when he was a baby of walking around the arena on a long rein before the test which worked. I’d have liked a better score for the team; you get one chance to pull it out of the bag but I’m pleased with it all. I was aiming for a PB but judges in different positions have different opinions,” said Sophie. It was enough for second once again behind Frank Hosmar for the home team on 75.86% which was a huge leap for the Netherlands towards gold. The final rider for Team GBR was Grade IV visually impaired rider Nicky Greenhill riding King Edward I whom she owns with husband Gary. As previously reported, it’s been tough debut week for Nicky but ‘Ed’ has settled better and Nicky has been able to make progress on his relaxation. The Dutch team had been building well through the day and a stunning 77.15% from their anchor rider Sanne Voets all but secured gold – Nicky would need 76% plus to challenge and as this is only her and Ed’s fourth international, it was going to be a huge ask. The warm up went much smoother than the other day but in the adjoining Rotterdam Arena, the Grand Prix Freestyle was building to fever-pitch and the music was as loud as the boisterous crowd. Nicky of course relies on the guidance of callers to navigate the arena and she could barely hear their calls which made things tricky. The judges seemed to have their fingers stuck on the six, six point five and seven button until the final halt which merited an eight from four of the five judges. The final score came up as 69.57%, a valiant effort in testing conditions and a new personal best by over two percent. It was to be the discard score such were the performances by the other trio but Nicky will be buoyed by a confidence bolstering ride ahead of tomorrow’s freestyle. “It’s very hot and it was hard as that music of Carl’s was very, very loud, so I was struggling to hear my callers, but we got to the end! We turned the background music down, then his was turned up really loud. But he was a really good boy and much more confident than he was the other day, so I couldn’t ask him for any more than that. He has found it really difficult [here this week], he’s struggled in this environment as it is so much more electric than he is used to but it’s great to get him here and grow in confidence and he will learn from it. “I’ve had quite a lot thrown at me this week but it has been great and just highlights the team work. The team around me have just been amazing and I’m so grateful to them as it is just so much work behind the scenes going on and it is fantastic to be part of that. The silver medal has put the icing on the cake. We didn’t come here with any expectations and three of us are newbies so that is amazing.” So it was gold to the Netherlands with a total of 227.03 which is an extended margin of victory over the Brits in silver on 221.30, a comfortable near five percent ahead of Denmark in bronze on 216.49. Team ‘veteran’ Sophie Wells summed up by saying; “Historically we’ve been so strong but the other nations have put money and time into developing the sport but have no fear, we’ll be hunting them down in Tokyo!” It’s on to Freestyle tomorrow to bring this year’s FEI European Championships to a thrilling climax and all four riders will be in action. Start times and results – click here .
Friday, August 23

Hughes and Briolinca wow under the Rotterdam lights

It was a battle royale in the first opportunity for individual dressage medals in the Grand Prix Special this evening at the Longines FEI European Championships. With the Germans on fire this week, few would take a bet against them making a clean sweep of the medals on offer. First to go for the British was Lottie Fry riding Dark Legend, whom she co owns with her employers, Van Olst Horses and they were in determined mood. It was a beautiful evening in Rotterdam with the daylight beginning to fade in favour of the floodlights and the crowd were in boisterous mood, typically Dutch as they love their dressage. Darkie was cheeky to start by not standing for more than a millisecond but Lottie is clever with him and moved on into the first extended where she maintained a good rhythm and continued in that vein throughout with some well ridden transitions in the numerous changes of pace within pace. They did manage to halt fully at the end – Lottie winning that battle on this occasion. 73.81% was the score which left her among the leaders at the time. He was a bit more on his toes tonight than yesterday – he’s never ridden with noise in an arena like that and I’m really happy with the way he coped,” said Lottie. “Doing Aachen was great preparation though. His trot work felt really amazing but there’s nothing in the test that I wasn’t pleased with.” She was asked how her first senior championship was going; “It’s exciting, it’s still not really sunk in that I’m here. I love the atmosphere and Darkie will learn to love it too!” she joked. Carl Hester has felt under the weather since arriving in the Netherlands but an early night gave him just the boost needed to wake in determined mood to aim for a top ten finish and even a hunger for a medal. As the daylight finally faded and the floodlights took hold, Carl entered after a break to a crowd still settling in their seats with Ann Cory, Lady Anne Evans and his own British bred Hawtins Delicato. Despite the ruckus, Del appeared settled and focused on his rider. Everything flowed beautifully as every trademark Hester test does and the marks piled in. The piaffe looked secure with just a bit of hesitation in the transitions out in to passage but this will come with more strength, he is just 11 after all. He nailed the tricky canter strike off and then gave a clean line of two time changes for an average of 8.4 but sadly the ones weren’t clean…a missed change was spotted but didn’t put them out of their rhythm and they quickly recovered but the damage was done.. average of 4.1 which dragged down the score. This was rectified however with the ones on the centreline which earned 8.5. It looked promising – perhaps not a PB with the error in the ones – but not far off. The score was confirmed as 77.5% which looked like it would give him the top ten placing he hoped for. Carl was very happy with a job well done. “He was totally rideable tonight. He halted, he piaffed…and I actually rode out of them as I had my instructions to do so. I really have to focus on the positives tonight and now keep up this moment to improve my ranking – I want to be back in the top ten. He now needs to get out there more so the judges have the confidence to give him the marks he deserves.” Then it was Gareth Hughes as the final Brit with Classic Briolinca, owned by Julia Hornig, Rebecca Hughes and Gareth and the mare looked a picture as she glided around to the back drop of a rendition of U2’s ‘Beautiful Day’. Plenty of eights flowed for elegant and athletic work; the Special really suiting the Trento B 13 year old. As the test built, so did the marks with a great deal of passage, Briolinca’s party piece. He was approaching the then leaders score…just a loss of rhythm in the final extended trot was the only negative and as they came to a halt, the crowd knew it was close and 78.08% was confirmed. It was a new lifetime best score for Gareth! A stunned Gareth (pictured top) said; “This just doesn’t happen…not to me… At home, you ride, you train, you question your ability. You then go up the steps of riding internationally, being on teams but to finish in the top ten at a Championship is something else. It’s so special to be doing this on this mare. She’s been with us since a three year old when my wife Rebecca spotted her and we’ve had our fair share of issues. It’s tough in there, we’re judged on every step and I’m not a big name but this has just been a dream. She tried her heart out in there, even though she had never been in an atmosphere like that before, under floodlights and with so much noise. This is the stuff dreams are made of, and I couldn’t believe that score.” In the end, Isabell Werth claimed her 19th European gold medal of her career with Bella Rose on 86.53% while fellow country woman Dorothy Schneider finished second on 85.46% after leading for a great deal of the class with Showtime FRH. Denmark’s Catherine Dufour secured bronze with Atterupgaard’s Cassidy. Full results – click here It’s a rest day for the dressage riders before the Freestyle finale on Saturday and the top 15 go through from this evening, Gareth and Carl included.
Thursday, August 22

Sophie secures second silver for the paras in Rotterdam

Day two of the para Individual competition in Rotterdam produced as second silver for Team GBR and a place for all four riders in Sunday’s Freestyle finale. Under cloudless skies throughout the day, Grades IV and V battled it out for the medals, with Britain fielding a rider in each. The Grade IV was up first and it was Nicki Greenhill’s debut and a place in history as Britain’s first visually impaired team member. Nicky hasn’t had the smoothest build up since her arrival on Dutch soil…travel issues for guide dog Sparky, a wasp sting, which she’s allergic to, resulting in a trip to the local hospital and husband Gary who’s a vital part of her riding as her guide and caller losing his voice! But this is a lady made of strong stuff and is the ace of coping with what’s thrown at her with great calmness and stoicism. Riding Gary and her own King Edward I, Nicki was given a last minute confidence boost when her trainer Charlotte Dujardin arrived to help with the final preparations and as ‘Eddie’ was very on his toes, her advice was much welcome. As Nicky was completing her pre-test trot around the arena, the audio device that calls ‘C’ to help her orientate failed so Angela Weiss had to quickly step in, further distraction for Nicky. Plus the young Eddie was getting more and more agitated, not the calm, placid ride Nicky was hoping for. But she did an excellent job under testing conditions. She has a system of three callers; one at ‘C’ who also moves to ‘B’ as mentioned, one who moves between ‘K’ and ‘F’ and then husband Gary at X. They all call the letters as she approaches and hits the markers for her to work out where to start and finish the movements – it a real case of trust. There was a heart stopping moment when Eddie spooked at Ange at C as it was highly irregular for her to be there and then a slight miscommunication with Gary which gave a wobble in a cross diagonal movement. There was plenty of quality throughout and Nicky, who must have had her own nerves, gave her young charge a great, confidence giving ride to score 69.53% for fourth place and a spot to dance on Sunday. The class was won by Sanne Voets for the Netherlands on a whopping 76.65%. Nicky said afterwards; “It's been a challenging week and not getting less challenging yet. I had my sting on Tuesday, ended up in hospital and that wasn't ideal, then Gary lost his voice up until today so that was a bit worrying. I had a great day on Eddie yesterday so felt quite confident coming in but then he was really tricky in the warm up. He was really nervous, to be honest I’m very grateful to have got in and got round. I just felt I couldn't really let him go as I thought he would never stop. It was a bit of safe riding and just had to ride horse I had on day but he'll learn from it and come out more confident next time. The venue been challenging as it’s so huge, really hard for me to orientate, a million paths in the forest. The longer we’re here the more I’m getting used to it.” It was then the turn of the team ‘veteran’…at the age of 29! Grade V is renowned for the rivalry between Britain, the Netherlands and Belgium in the form of Wells, Hosmar and George and today’s battle promised to be a good one. Frank Hosmar set the early pace with 75.81% so Sophie knew what she had to achieve and looked in determined mood with Charlotte Hogg’s C Fatal Attraction, or Jorge. A conservative extended trot to start was followed by some bright, energetic work with Jorge clearly buoyed by a good sized crowd, who had of course come to watch him in particular. Tight half pirouettes, excellent fluidity in the half passes and skilled simple changes flowed. The walk wasn’t the best it could be today with Jorge on a mission rather than taking his time. As they halted, the score was trending very near Frank’s – it was going to be a nail biter…scores between 74 and 76 fluttered up as the marks came in and it felt an eternity before the final score of 75.59% flashed up…it was just 0.21% short of gold. Belgian Michele George finished in bronze with her new ride Best for 8 on 72.57%. Sophie said afterwards; “He was a little tense today and really picked up when he spotted all the people watching. He’s never at his best on day one but there were no big mistakes. If I can get that sort of mark with the tension then when the quality comes we’ll be happy. Today was about dealing with the horse, not disturbing things…but that’s Jorge for you! As we’re in the Netherlands, I thought I’d give Frank [Hosmar] a little present to start with!” When asked if there was more or less pressure after losing their unbeaten team record last year: “It happened and the world kept turning! There’s less but we know the Dutch will be strong and there’s a number of nations coming up. We have three inexperienced riders and we’ll just do the best we can, the results will look after themselves. Over the last two days, it’s great to see so many nations in the medals – so exciting! We’re here for the team medal, anything after that is a bonus.” It was medal day so Sophie didn’t have long to wait for her silver and her protégé Georgia Wilson got her first taste of a Championship podium having won silver with Midnight in the Grade II. On to the Team test tomorrow and it’s Grades I, II and III in action. Mari and Sky are on at 08:08 and then Georgia and Midnight at 15.32 (times BST). Full start lists and results – click here Remember you can watch on the FEI You Tube Channe l.  
Wednesday, August 21

Wilson wows for Britain's first medal in Rotterdam

Today was the first day for the paras to take to the arena, set in the woods in the shadow of the main Rotterdam Arena with their FEI European Championship Individual tests for Grades I, II and III. As well as individual medals at stake, the test acts as a qualifier for the championship finale, the Freestyle with the top eight riders qualifying in each grade. It was a historic day for Team GBR as two riders made their debut on a Championship team, and neither disappointed. The Grade II contingent was first under the judging panel as the morning sun shone brightly. Georgia Wilson (23) was the first Brit in action with her own and her parent’s Midnight, a ten year old by Hilkens Black Delight. Georgia is under the charge of Sophie Wells and she’s really brought the duo along in the last 12 months, culminating in this first team call up. Their test started brightly with some strong work – excellent immobility in the halt, good crossing in the leg yield, an accurate three loop serpentine all flowed with the exceptional regularity required for good marks in para dressage. The final halt was a good one and as Georgia turned back towards A to exit, that familiar smile beamed bright, she was pleased with the performance and as a final score of 73.47% was announced, it was justified. That was enough to give her silver behind multi-Paralympian Pepo Puch from Austria with his new ride, Sailor’s Blue who scored 75.23% and in bronze was another ‘veteran’ para duo, Nicole den Dulk and Wallace NOP for the home side on 73.35% so quite the company to be in for the rider from Conwy. After her test she told us; “It was completely nerve racking but I’m glad that first test is out of the way! I had a dilemma if to carry two whips or not but Sophie [Wells] told me to stick with the plan. She’s amazing and doesn’t spook really. When she’s listens, she loves to flick her toes!” Georgia’s trainer Sophie Wells, also competing in Rotterdam in the Grade V with Charlotte Hogg’s C Fatal Attraction added; “Once I’d let her go, I was nervous as I was out of control but I’m so pleased - it was pretty mistake free.” Next up under the British flag was Buckinghamshire 25 year old Mari Duward-Akhurst riding Glensi Owen’s 20 year old Sky O’Hara (below). Proudly wearing her British team Flying Changes jacket for the first time, Mari, who trains with Rob Waine, started with great purpose and determination with some accurate riding being rewarded with sevens and more. The elegant, leggy duo impressed but as the test went on, ‘Sky’ became unsettled by a horse misbehaving out of the arena and let out several whinnies. Mari knows him so well and kept her cool…and his focus to finish well for 70.10% which at the end of the 17 starters left her seventh so securing a spot in Sunday’s Freestyle.  It was a tough battle for gold in the Grade I with a tie on 75.036% but a countback of the collectives gave gold to Jens-Lasse Dokkan for Norway with new ride Aladdin over multi-medallist Italy’s Sara Morganti riding Royal Delight. Bronze is headed to Latvia for Rihard Snikus and his ride Kind of the Dance – a perfect name for a horse whose rider is a part time DJ! Mari said after her ride; “It was quite good to have him so ‘up’ – I’m really happy! I was nervous before but not once I got on – we’re a team and once we went down the centerline together, it was all good. He’s chilled but always rises to the occasion. I’m hoping it’ll be a bit easier the next time but today I’m very pleased with most of my test.” It’s the turn of Grades IV and V tomorrow in the shape of Nicky Greenhill and King Edward (GIV) at 10:46 and Sophie Wells and C Fatal Attraction (GV) at 13.59.Georgia will have to wait until tomorrow evening for her time on the podium as all five grades will be presented together. The dressage trio are in Grand Prix Special action for individual medals and first up is Lottie Fry with her own and Van Olst Horses’ Dark Legend at 17.40, then it’s Carl Hester with Ann Cory, Lady Anne Evans and his own Hawtins Delicato at 19:20 while Gareth Hughes completes the British medal bid with Classic Briolinca who he co-owns with wife Rebecca and Julia Hornig, owner and proprietor of Classic Dressage at 20:00 – all times are BST. A busy day for the fourth day with five riders in action – keep up to date with times and results on this link . The para tests are available on free to view FEI You Tube while the GP Special is on air on FEI TV which requires a subscription to watch.
Tuesday, August 20

Team GBR dressage finish fourth in Rotterdam

It’s been a rollercoaster day in Rotterdam at the FEI Longines Dressage European Championships. It was team medals day and the pressure was on not only for Euro medals but qualification spots for Tokyo. The last 24 hours for Carl Hester have been emotional. Lottie Fry holds a very special place in his heart having ridden with her mum Laura on the 1992 Barcelona Olympic team and helped her throughout her career while Gareth Hughes is one of his best friends. He coached and watched them both perform above expectation yesterday but today, it was his turn to deliver the goods. Few would expect someone with Carl’s experience, talent and gift to experience nerves, but he does. There’s always the pressure of expectation on his shoulders and his ride, Hawtins Delicato, who he owns with long term and loyal supporters Ann Cory and Lady Anne Evans, has not been the easiest of rides this year with a few niggly mistakes at competitions meaning a mistake free performance and top score have eluded them in the build-up. As Hester’s test time neared, the heavens opened having been a fine but chilly morning and when he entered the arena and the crowd took time to settle in their seats, organise umbrellas and sort coats which didn’t help as Carl tried is best to reassure the 11 year old Diamond Hit British bred. The first halt was fairly square with ‘Del’ looking in relaxed mode. A couple of crows took residence in the ‘M’ corner of the arena, pecking about and totally unaware of the magnitude of what was going on around them, only flying off as Del rounded the corner to set sail in extended trot. It’s a moment when Carl will be grateful for his menagerie of birds at home as many horses would have spooked but it just made Del feel right at home, as if they were in the school back in Gloucestershire. Carl and Del glided along in effortless half passes followed by a brief halt before the rein back and the sun then appeared from behind the crowd. Clean two and one time changes, sometimes an issue, were clean and earned over eight on average from the seven judges. Just the final tricky line which sometimes is a piaffe too far but not today, Del was obliging and then to a final jubilant halt. It looked like a good score was coming. 78.32% was the final percentage, a new personal best for the duo by just over 1% from their last championship outing at the World Equestrian Games. “It’s a huge relief and I’m glad my plan for the year has worked out. I’ve kept him [Hawtins Delicato] at home most of the year to build his confidence and today, he went in and was brilliant. I always ride him on the careful side but today, I rode for everything. He has so much quality but quality means nothing where there are mistakes,” he told the mixed zone afterwards. “If I only manage a mistake free test once a year, this is the time to do it! I’m still learning about him and in the warm up it was as if he rose out of ashes – he was wild! But once we were in the arena, I felt I could trust him. He’s still young experience wise and it’s all about letting go. I’m actually looking forward to the Special as that’s HIS test,” he concluded. As the final riders then started for each team, thoughts not only turned to today’s medals but the all-important final qualification chance for the Tokyo Olympics next year. Denmark, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, Russia, France and Switzerland all vying for the three places on offer. Then the drama of the day unfolded… The penultimate combination of the day were Charlotte Dujardin and Mount St John Freestyle, owned by Emma and Jill Blundell and the tension around the arena was at danger levels. Germany had already secured gold with a stellar performance from Isabell Werth and Bella Rose to score 85.65%. With Sweden’s final rider, Patrik Kittel giving them a team score of 229.92, Charlotte needed 75.24% to secure team silver. A good entry was followed by a spectacular first trot extension to click click click click from the orchestra of photographers. The half passes were athletic and flowed across the arena with ease. There was a blip in one sweep of the zig zag which scored just 5.8 from the judges but as the end of the test neared, the nines were flowing for the final extended trot and passage/piaffe centre line. It was a performance which looked enough to give us silver and the final score of 81.91% confirmed it. Edward Gal was the final rider with Glock’s Zonik for the home nation and the tension levels rose, if it were possible as the hunt was on for a bronze in a battle with Sweden. They posted 78.75% which was enough – it was a celebration of orange that their national hero had done it. But after the initial elation of a job well done and a hard fought silver for the British came the news that Charlotte Had been eliminated during the FEI Steward check which happens post test for all competitors. A trace of blood had been found on the mare’s side. The rules stipulate that any blood is elimination and all the riders accept this – horse welfare is paramount. This promoted the Netherlands to silver and Sweden up on to the podium in third with Germany the clear victors to retain their European title. This left Britain fourth, but only just. Our riders have performed amazingly and even with the devastating news of Charlotte’s elimination, we finished fourth and just 0.93% off a medal. Personal best performances from Carl and Gareth and a debut to be proud of from Lottie show the healthy state of dressage in Britain. Quotes from the official Team GBR statement – Vikki Underwood, Chef de Mission for Great Britain, commented: “This is extremely difficult because in Britain we pride ourselves on our animal welfare. Charlotte is one of our most respected and talented athletes, who dearly loves her horses, but she would not hesitate to accept this decision. It takes a great deal of teamwork to get the horses and riders to a championship, and all the connections will be devastated, but the horse is fit and well and will contest many more championships. This obviously means the end of the European Championships for Charlotte and Freestyle, but she’ll be with us cheering on the remaining three combinations.” Charlotte Dujardin commented: “I’m obviously absolutely devastated – nothing like this has ever happened to me before. The health and welfare of my horses is always my number one priority, but of course I accept the decision.” Emma and Jill Blundell, owners of Mount St John Freestyle, commented: “We fully support Charlotte. Today’s was a great performance, but we accept the decision. We know how seriously Charlotte takes the welfare of our horse and we’re proud to have her ride for us.” The dressage combinations have a rest day tomorrow and are back in action on Thursday in the Grand Prix Special where Carl, Gareth and Lottie will be competing for individual honours. The para horses were all passed fit and well in their inspection so the action gets underway tomorrow with Mari Duward-Akhurst and Sky O’Hara in action in the Grade I and Georgia Wilson riding Midnight in Grade II. Times weren’t available at the time of writing. The action will be free to air on the FEI You Tube Channel so you can cheer Mari and Georgia on. Full results and times – click here Photo – c Kevin Sparrow  
Tuesday, August 20

Statement on the elimination of Charlotte Dujardin

Following their test, a routine post-test inspection by the FEI stewards revealed a small trace of blood on the flank of Mount St John Freestyle, the ride of Charlotte Dujardin. As is the FEI rules, any blood found during this inspection results in elimination. Having consulted with our dressage team veterinarian, Andre Buthe, who also inspected the horse, we feel this decision is fair in respect that the welfare of our horses and riders is absolutely paramount. We will not be appealing their decision. In the short journey from the inspection area to the stable, the rub site remained dry and clean. Vikki Underwood, Chef de Mission for Great Britain, commented: “This is extremely difficult because in Britain we pride ourselves on our animal welfare. Charlotte is one of our most respected and talented athletes, who dearly loves her horses, but she would not hesitate to accept this decision. It takes a great deal of teamwork to get the horses and riders to a championship, and all the connections will be devastated, but the horse is fit and well and will contest many more championships. This obviously means the end of the European Championships for Charlotte and Freestyle, but she’ll be with us cheering on the remaining three combinations.” Charlotte Dujardin commented: “I’m obviously absolutely devastated – nothing like this has ever happened to me before. The health and welfare of my horses is always my number one priority, but of course I accept the decision.” Emma and Jill Blundell, owners of Mount St John Freestyle, commented: “We fully support Charlotte. Today’s was a great performance, but we accept the decision. We know how seriously Charlotte takes the welfare of our horse and we’re proud to have her ride for us.”    
Monday, August 19

Two top class performances put Britain in silver

It’s been fabulous day one at the Longines FEI European Championships in Rotterdam for Team GBR with two riders complete for most teams. Charlotte Fry rode for the first time under the Senior flag with Dark Legend while Gareth Hughes firmly laid a few demons to rest with Classic Briolinca and both gave the assembled British contingent of fans much to cheer about. It was a meteoric start to Charlotte Fry’s senior Team GBR career riding the 11 year old Zucchero x Tango gelding Dark Legend whom she jointly owns with her employers, Van Olst Horses. There was a sharp intake of breath as ‘Darkie’ routed himself to the spot as he caught sight of the imposing Rotterdam Arena but it’s a normal trick for the cheeky chap and like a well-oiled machine, her support team leapt to action to coax him in. There was another anxious moment as groom Claire struggled to unclip the lead rein but once free, the pair set sail on their familiarisation lap around the arena and they looked at home. After an inattentive first halt, he first passage/piaffe tour was super and the changes all secure, easily getting the 15 one time changes in. The canter zig zag was exceptionally tidy and accomplished and the final halt was also short but present to end a performance all concerned could be proud of. All seven members of the judging panel agreed on their performance with each awarding 74% with differing fractions afterwards but 74.31% was the final score which put them, and the team, into second after the first round of riders. For someone so young, she appeared to thrive from the added pressure of going first for the team and while Darkie was nervous, she kept him fairly calm and impressed with her ability under the extreme conditions. Afterwards she said; “I’m really pleased – he was amazing. He was a little nervous going in – almost star struck – but he gave me all he had in there. He can be a nervy horse but we’ve been together such a long time and I know his so well. I quite enjoy the pressure and the hype! I don’t think it really sunk in until I arrived.” Second last rider of the day was Gareth Hughes for Team GBR with his own, wife Rebecca and Julia Hornig’s Classic Briolinca (Trento B x Royal Dance). The duo has been in fine fettle this year with strong performances but today was the ideal opportunity to shine. And they did just that. As the 13 year old trotted up the centre line, memories of Compiegne CDIO still fresh where she didn’t halt sprung to mind but today, there was no sign and four feet planted square and still. Moments later, that was followed by a second square halt and neat reign back which was rewarded with an aggregate 8.2 from the seven judges. The first extended trot diagonals were conservative but with good reason. She’d done two excellent halts and the piaffes was next, her nemisys...but no worries, they were duly executed, the first tentatively, the second looking very secure. As a violin rendition of Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’ echoed out of the tannoy, a really pleasing canter tour unfolded. Fifteen clean one time changes and two tight pirouettes, all scoring eight or more followed. Confidence now high, Gareth let Briolinca fly on the final extended trot to further boost the marks. It looked good and he needed 75% plus to keep Britain’s hopes of silver strong. The final score was confirmed as 76.31% which was exactly what was needed and even better, a new personal best score for the duo. It’s also Gareth’s career best Grand Prix score – what a day to do it! “Phew…it’s been such a long day! I had about four hours sleep last night with anxiety and then that horrible fall fast asleep just before your alarm. When you’re riding that late in the day it’s tough here. There’s nowhere to go and have some quiet time. The lorries are a long way away and when I’m nervous, I get tired so normally I’d go and watch a DVD or sleep but instead I’ve been watching the others. That gives you time worry about what could go wrong which isn’t good as you focus on the negative. But I didn’t let that happen today! “Normally if I get the halt and walk, I don’t get the piaffe and vice versa but today, I got them all! She tried so hard and I couldn’t be happier. Everyone knows the issues we’ve had with the horse; I owe so much to my team. Ben [Benson] the farrier, Rob [Cnockaert] and Steph [Sharples] my groom have worked hard to get her here and myself, Rebecca and Julia [Hornig] are so grateful. Lottie did a great job to ride with nerves of steel.” Sadly the team from Luxembourg are out of the competition as Nicolas Wagner was eliminated for blood in the mouth after his ride reared and must have nicked his mouth in the process. As they had a team of three, this rules them out. France’s Charlotte Chalvignac also fell foul of the judges when the judge at C, Isabel Judet, rang the bell for unlevel strides. The Germans were in a dominant mood as expected and look untouchable for gold with an 80.23% already on the board from Dorothee Schneider and Showtime FRH but the battle for silver will make day two a nail biter! Full results and start times for tomorrow – click here Photos © Kevin Sparrow
Monday, August 19

British combinations are ready in Rotterdam

All four British horses are safely through today’s Horse Inspection and looked a picture thanks to the stunning efforts of our grooms Alan, Lucy, Steph and Claire. Emma & Jill Blundell’s Mount St John Freestyle, Ann Cory, Lady Anne Evans and Carl Hester’s Hawtins Delicato, Gareth & Rebecca Hughes and Julia Hornig’s Classic Briolinca and Lottie Fry and Van Olst Horses’ Dark Legend all sailed through without issue. One of the favourites, Bella Rose, the ride of Isabell Werth, showed she’s feeling well ahead of the competition with some unscheduled above the ground moves but was passed fit and well ahead helping Germany to defend their team gold won two years ago in Gothenburg. The British riders then had chance to have a close inspection of the impressive main arena which also went smoothly with each horse running through a few Grand Prix essentials in between the showers. The para horses have also arrived and are settled into their stables with the riders arriving late this afternoon. The news in is that Nicki Greenhill will now ride her second horse, King Edward I as her first ride, Betty Boo, hasn’t recovered adequately from being cast in her stable. In the draw this evening, Britain came out of the hat in a favourable 14th out 15 teams with hosts the Netherlands last to go. The Germans are 12th with Sweden 13th making it a very competitive last few riders in each cycle. Performance Manager Caroline Griffith named the team order as debutante Lottie Fry as our pathfinder with ‘Darkie’ at 11:40 CET/10:40 BST and then Gareth Hughes and Briolinca ending day two at 15:50 CET/14:50 BST. Then on Tuesday 20 August it’s Carl Hester and ‘Del’ in action at 11:00 CET/10:00 BST before Charlotte Dujardin hopefully rides for a medal at 14:50 CET/13:50 BST with Freestyle. The GP action will be on FEI TV by subscription but it’s worth checking the FEI You Tube Channel or FEI Dressage Facebook page too. Follow us on social media for updates, scores and quotes from the riders. Full start times and results – click here Full British TV coverage: BBC Thursday 22 August 9am – Showjumping team competition day one (Red Button live coverage) Friday 23 August 10am – Showjumping team competition day one (Red Button repeat) 2pm – Showjumping team competition day two (Red Button live coverage) Saturday 24 August 2pm– Dressage Freestyle individual competition (Red Button live coverage) Sunday 25 August 10am – Dressage Freestyle individual competition (Red Button repeat) 2pm – Showjumping individual competition (Red Button live coverage) Monday 26 August 10am – Showjumping individual competition (Red Button repeat) 1pm – Highlights (BBC2) Click here to access Red Button live coverage *timings and discipline coverage may be subject to change Horse & Country TV Saturday 24 August – 8pm – Dressage Grand Prix team competition highlights Tuesday 27 August – 8pm Dressage Grand Prix Special individual competition highlights Wednesday 28 August – 8pm – Showjumping team competition highlights Thursday 29 August – 8pm – Dressage Freestyle individual competition highlights Friday 30 August 8pm – Showjumping individual competition highlights  
Friday, August 16

LeMieux Nationals '19 wild cards

British Dressage can now announce the wild cards for this year’s LeMieux National Dressage Championships. Congratulations to all the riders, owners and horses concerned. PLEASE NOTE – The close of entries date for wild cards is Tuesday 20 August 2019. NO late entries will be accepted You must make your entry online via My Riding Life by visiting the Entries/Times/Results page on www.bdchampionships.com Please contact the office immediately via email if you will not be attending the LeMieux Championships to enable your place to be passed down to the next eligible combination. BackinAction Preliminary Silver Stephanie Graves, Rockwell Blue, 72.41% Samantha Crosdil, Venezia 1, 71.84% Ursula Treadgold, Tyler II, 71.44% Eliza Mackworth-Praed, Thacka Playboy, 71.38% Katie Robotham, My Lady Myfanwy, 71.15% Laura Barrow, Angel II, 70.98% Chloe Arnold, Full House, 70.92% Jennifer Colbourne, Alvescot Dakato, 70.57% Melissa Percy, Giolita, 70.46% Sally Crane, Florance, 70.23% Dodson & Horrell Novice Silver Jordan Kavanagh, Billy James, 70.62% Louise Moses, Forever Endeavor, 70.12% Kathy Staples, John Travolta 11, 70.12% Bethan Young, Jackpots Forsetti, 70.06% Louise Robson, Remi 11, 70.00% Clare Bennett, Jozef S, 69.94% Laura Hill, Jobarde-E, 69.81% Natasha Baker, Keystone Dawn Chorus, 69.69% 168 coll Dodson & Horrell Novice Gold Jennifer Johnston Harman, Jazzman MfS, 71.98% Jayne Turney, Fred Astaire WD, 71.73% Dan Greenwood, SJL Baks Zacco, 71.48% Nikki Barker, Dan Icarus, 71.48% Lotte Seal, Fenix, 71.23% Sara Squires, Laetitius C, 70.93% Claire Ballantyne, Dvorak, 70.86% Antonia Brown, Impulz De B, 70.74% Jennifer Harkness, Inouk, 70.62% Dianne Breeze, Fittipaldi, 70.56% Childéric Elementary Silver Lyndsay Gammon, Glorestan Jazz, 71.20% Claire Johnston, Sensation, 70.94% Roberta Collyer, Fiasco II, 70.83% Janine Jansen, Spitfire III, 70.57% Danielle Brown, Wasara, 70.52% Emma Murray, Wainthropp, 70.31% Cath Creemer, Floris, 70.00% Childéric Elementary Gold Melissa Chapman, TCE Jubilant Al Sno, 71.98% Nicky Heale, Furstinclaire, 71.35 % Sara Squires, Billy Jean D, 70.99% Melanie Phillips, Ruxton Shogun, 70.94% Jayne Turney, Donna Frederica, 70.94% Nick Lawson, Fandango V, 70.89% Benjamin Franklin, De Angelis, 70.83% Nikki Barker, History, 70.63% 173 coll TopSpec Medium Silver Simon Lawrance, Sir Wilfred, 70.99% Hazel McCorriston, Blue Hors Zagato, 70.86% Sissel Hansen, Le Rondine, 69.32% Katie Owens, Saffira, 69.10% Niki Compton, Roulette MKM, 68.87% Linda Barnes, First Miss Sunrise A.S., 68.51% Debra Fews, Fabizio, 68.38% Patsy Bartram, Donisbroc, 68.33% Ali Govani, San Salvador III, 68.20% TopSpec Medium Gold Nicky Heale, Furstinclaire, 70.77% Jo Barry, Goofy La Perle, 70.18% Laura Wollen, Ivan Carlos, 69.82% Georgina Roden, Harley, 69.77% Lucy Cartwright, Grandio, 69.73% Eilidh Grant, Mount St John Doornroos II, 69.73% Joshua Hill, Mallards Sirena, 69.19% Darcas Lever, Flying Dream II, 68.92% Equine Construction Advanced Medium Silver Taylor Denness, Amaro O, 69.52% Jane Morris, Quinet Du Buisson Z, 69.47% Rebecca Marsden, El Zorro, 69.39% Antonia Brown, SJL Jackson, 69.39% Charlotte Hollis, Suitably Gracious, 68.99% Millie Gover, Kamil T, 68.86% Equine Construction Advanced Medium Gold None at present – to be advised Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Gold Premier Leagues None at present – to be advised Regionals None at present – to be advised Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I Gold Premier League None at present – to be advised Regionals None at present – to be advised Cavalor Intermediate II Gold None at present – to be advised LeMieux Grand Prix Gold All riders will be contacted individually early next week. If you qualified directly by winning a Premier League GP and DO NOT intend competing, can you please let the office know by emailing Charlene Bryant .  Shearwater Young Horse Championships 4yr old King Boy ridden by Dylan Deutrom 8.1 First Lady ridden by Semke Meiland 8.06 Keystone Drum Role ridden by Fred Hodges 8.04 Princess Florina ridden by Georgina Day 8.02 5yr old Djoe Dimagio ridden by Katie Bailey 8.02 TCE Jubilant al Sno ridden by Melissa Chapman 8.0 Jenny Wren ridden by Ashley Jenkins 7.9 Active Scalini ridden by Charlie Hutton 7.86 6yr old SP Bento ridden by Judy Harvey 7.98 Freeman ridden by Hannah Biggs 7.98 Woodlander St Louis Blues ridden by Carsten Sandrock 7.84 Hawtins Quattro ridden by Lucinda Elliot 7.84
Thursday, August 15

Summer Regionals: Bicton Arena

Bicton was beset by heavy rain and gale force winds but this didn’t put off competitors determined to secure their golden tickets for the LeMieux National Championships at the final Regional of the season. The organisers put on a great show, despite the weather, with a lovely extra touch of a gorgeous bouquet of flowers for the winners, just like the big continental shows, courtesy of Halley Floral Design .  International Grand Prix rider and former British team member at Junior, Young Rider andU25 levels, Becky Edwards, was on top form. She aced the Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I with her homebred mare, Fantasia I (Roxy) winning with a personal best score of 71.54% (pictured). Roxy was bred by Becky’s mum Leigh and is by Florencio out of Leigh’s Advanced mare, Baroness III (by Barloewe). The 10-year-old mare has been lightly competed and started her Small Tour campaign in November last year. “I’ve been doing a bit more competing to give her more experience and confidence in the arena and felt like it all came together in the test,” said Rebecca, who lives near Henley. “The Inter I seems to suit her better than the Prix St Georges (PSG). She got nines for her halt and rein back, extended and collected walks and eights for her trot work and lateral movements.” Second in the Inter I and hoping for a wild card was Emily Harris and Fay Thomas’s Freya FST. They had better luck in the Fairfax PSG where they won the title on 70.75%. Emily has been riding the Fidertanz x Weltmeyer nine-year-old mare since she was three. The pair has had an exciting year, with placings internationally at Deauville and Le Mans. “This is her first year of campaigning at Small Tour and she suddenly feels she’s got her confidence,” commented Emily. “She’s a horse who likes to know what she’s doing. I know there’s more power in her but I’m letting her enjoy herself this year.” Off-spring of Hawtins Stud foundation mare, World Finest, took two titles with Sam Rahmatallah winning the Equine Construction Advanced Medium Gold on her own Hawtins Falerno (by Fuerst Romancier) and Lucinda Elliot on Judith Davis’s Hawtins Bellegra (by Belissimo) took the TopSpec Medium Gold title. Sam has owned Hawtins Falerno (Doodle) since she persuaded Judith to sell him as a two-year-old. “I had set my heart on a Fuerst Romancier horse and went to see one of her four-year-olds but saw Doodle and loved him. It’s a great honour to have him and I try and do him justice,” said Sam who was also reserve champion in the Fairfax PSG with him. “This Advanced Medium isn’t my favourite test but we got eights for our serpentine. He felt up for it and had lots of power. I train every week with Mike Eilberg and we’re pushing onto Grand Prix work which makes him stronger. We’re hoping to do our first international at Keysoe later this year.” Hawtins Bellegra (Foxy) is a lovely substantial chestnut mare that Lucinda has been riding for about 18 months. “She’s a great mare – bold, but sensible and not spooky,” commented Lucinda rides for Hawtins and trains with Serena Pincus. “She tried her hardest and it was a clean test. Her canter work is her highlight and she has amazing reach in her half passes. I’m working on getting more expression and power and being more accurate in the test.” Jenny Martell travelled all the way from Amy Woodhead’s yard in Lincolnshire. She was rewarded with the Equine Construction advanced medium silver title with Jade Ivy–Guyton’s 11-year-old For Compliment gelding, Fiderstan. “This was only his fifth Advanced Medium test so he was put in at the deep end,” explained Jenny. “He wasn’t foot perfect but he coped really well. He’s really green so I wasn’t expecting to win at all.” Jenny and Fiderstan are the current Theraplate UK Medium Silver winter champions and it will be Jenny’s first appearance at the LeMieux Nationals. Cath Creemer’s accident prone ride, Floris (Wynton x 007), has been hard to keep on the road so she was absolutely thrilled with his victory in the TopSpec Medium Silver and winning her first regional sash. Floris is owned by Sandra Biddlecombe who imported him from Holland. “He didn’t make any mistakes – though I made a couple!” said Cath, who trains with David Pincus. “It will be the first time at the Nationals for him.” Sadie Smith is no stranger to regional titles and added another sash to her collection in the Childeric Elementary gold with Imhotep, Carl Hester and Coral Ingham’s six-year-old Everdale x Vivaldi gelding. ‘Pete’ and Sadie were third at the Winters at Spillers Novice Freestyle Gold this year and this boy has a good chance of success at the Nationals if he can keep a lid on his exuberance. “In the Novice on the first day he was so naughty – he bucked in the canter,” said Sadie. “This is a horse that never runs out of energy, even though he lives out in the field. On the Saturday we got up early and did the arena walk and then I rode him and put him away. The only way he copes is if he’s a little bit tired. He was much more settled and relaxed in the Elementary test – I think Novice is too boring for him. He needs more to think about!” “He’s an amazing horse for the future. I absolutely love him because he’s so powerful to ride.” It’s probably safe to conjecture that Simon Lawrance will be the only Hunt Master dancing between the white boards at Stoneleigh. Simon, who evented to 5* level and continues to coach in the displine, is Joint Master and Field Master of the Heythrop Hunt but is now adding dressage to his list of talents. His mount Sir Wilfred was bought with a dressage career in mind and has made a great start, heading for the pair’s first LeMieux National Championships at Elementary Silver, sponsored by Childeric. Simon bought the Samba Hit III x Weltmeyer seven-year-old a year ago from his breeder, Dan Henson, and owns him with Mel Buckler. He started competing him in March and they have now won eight out of their ten classes. Wilfred was also second in the TopSpec Medium with a plus-70% score, so fingers crossed for a wild card. “He was a bit starstruck at the atmosphere, particularly in the medium,” said Simon, who scored over 72% in the Elementary class. “He’s very nice and trainable and I’m lucky to have him. I’d love to have more dressage horses to ride.” Lucy Amy and Jaliva (Mary) gave a super performance in the Dodson & Horell Novice Gold, which the judges obviously liked as the pair had the highest score of the show – 74.14%. They were almost four per cent ahead of the field. Lucy bought Mary from Holland from a video as a two-year-old. Now five, she was only backed at Christmas and Lucy believes she is the best five-year-old she’s ever ridden. “She’s got loads of energy and, although she’s still a bit green, she has a good tempo and is nice in her frame,” commented Lucy. “I had a lesson the day before the show with Roland Tong which really helped.” Dodson & Horrell Novice Silver winners, Ellie Maguire and Frouke (by Junior STV) didn’t have the best preparation for Bicton as a recent move left them without an arena to practice in. “She’s now quite established at Novice so luckily she remembered everything. I had quite low expectations so was very excited to win,” recalled Ellie. “She’s a late starter, only being backed as a five-year-old, and she’s also had time off with ulcers. She’s very trainable and consistent.” After her test, Ellie discovered she had competed with only three shoes. Frouke spooked as she trotted around the outside of the arena and pulled off a shoe. Jessica Colvin and her 11-year-old skewbald mare, Dreamer V, will be making their first appearance at the Lemieux National Championships this year in the BackinAction Prelim Silver championship. After competing in the Petplan Equine Area Festival Championships last year, Dreamer was diagnosed with kissing spine which required injections and a substantial rehabilitation programme. “I got back on in November and have spent the months getting her stronger and fitter,” said Jessica who works part-time as an estate agent. “This was the biggest competition we’ve been to since Hartpury and I wasn’t sure how she would deal with the wind and the rain. Once she got onto the centre line she was fine, she knew her job.” Jessica has owned the pretty cob mare for four years and it is a great achievement to have got her past her problems so effectively. British Dressage thanks the team at Bicton Arena as well as the National class sponsors for their generous support. Bicton was the last summer regional so congratulations and good luck to all competitors heading to the LeMieux National Championships at Stoneleigh Park. Regional champions: Backinaction Preliminary Silver Jessica Colvin and Dreamer V 71.03 Dodson & Horrell Novice Silver Ellie Maguire and Frouke 71.91 Dodson & Horrell Novice Gold Lucy Amy with Jaliva 74.14 Childéric Saddles Elementary Silver Simon Lawrence and Sir Wilfred 72.4 Childéric Saddles Elementary Gold Sadie Smith with Imhotep 72.03 TopSpec Medium Silver Cath Creemer with Floris 71.3 TopSpec Medium Gold Lucinda Elliot with Hawtins Bellegra 71.17 Equine Construction Advanced Medium Silver Jennifer Martell with Fiderstan 67.89 Equine Construction Advanced Medium Gold Sam Rahmatallah with Hawtins Falerno 71.1 Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Gold Emily Harris with Freya FST 70.75 Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I Gold Becky Edwards with Fantasia I 71.54.
Thursday, August 15

Update: Championship Pathway and Calendar Review

As you’ll already be aware, the Sport Operations Committee has been focusing on developing the Championship pathways available within British Dressage. Earlier this year, a Working Group was set up to review, evaluate and analyse our existing Championships in order to make a series of recommendations and proposals for changes to the current system, with effect from 2020 onwards. The Working Party set out to achieve the following objectives: - Simplification and evolution of the current Championship structure - Improved member satisfaction, with increased opportunity - Reduced administration and central resource - Development, maintenance and growth of membership - Increase in competitor participation and starter numbers Summary of Key Findings Using an evidence based approach which included analysis of results, a sample of starters, survey feedback and consultation, an imbalance in our current programme was identified, which has had an impact across our sport, on competitors, organisers and officials. Most of our Championship finals fall in the third and fourth quarter of the year. This results in a congested programme, where members have a number of different Championship options at certain times of the year, but very limited opportunities available at other points in the calendar. It was also recognised that the Petplan Equine Area Festival Championships currently span over three rule books and an 18 month time period, which in itself is far from ideal from a planning perspective. Most importantly, this does not support progression through the levels and has often resulted in confusion amongst some members. Due to the prolonged time period from Area Festival qualification through to the Championship finals, some horses have already progressed to higher levels – and in some cases have qualified at Regionals for the Winter Championships. The findings from the recent membership survey supported the recommendations of the Championship Working Group, with 60% saying that they wanted to see the calendar more evenly spread over the course of the year and a third stating that there were too many different championship options available currently. Since the new competition structure was introduced four years ago, members requested the opportunity to have two championships at Bronze, Silver and Gold. We piloted the Bronze and Summer Music Championships in 2018; however, these have not delivered the cohesive all-inclusive programme that we originally envisaged. In particular, the leader board qualification system caused confusion and was often counter-productive, as riders have stopped competing by mid-season once they fell outside the qualification places. So it actually acted as a disincentive to compete. In addition, the message back from the Member Survey 2019 was clear: we need to simplify, streamline and consolidate the current competition structure where possible. Therefore our aim is to revitalise the Area Festival Championship Series by essentially mirroring the existing Regional Championship structure to provide consistency and continuity at all levels of the sport. Exciting Changes Ahead The first major step is to realign the seasons. The 2020 Members’ Handbook will be effective from 1 December 2019 and will end on 31 December 2020 (and therefore cover a 13 month period, as a one-off), with the aim of establishing two equal competition seasons for each half of the year. So from 2021 the Members’ Handbook will start on 1 January and the two seasons will run from 1 January – 30 June (summer) and then 1 July – 31 December (winter). Based on the numbers competing, we have decided to stop running the Bronze, Summer Music and Small Tour as separate Championships. Revisions to the Area Festival structure, as outlined below, will mean that the vast majority of opportunities will be covered by the summer series – so members won’t lose any chances to qualify for a Championship. Plus, all qualifications will now be on a points basis – rather than a mixture of points, percentages and leader boards, which members have often found confusing. Competitors will now just have to check what number of points are required for each level and Championship. The move to two equal seasons will mean that riders in the Silver section will need to plan ahead, based on their Championship ambitions. It will be necessary to choose your competition pathways carefully, as there will be restrictions on competing in Area Festivals and Regionals in the same calendar year. Petplan Equine Area Festival Series 2020 – a new era for grass roots competition Having consulted with our sponsors Petplan Equine and venue organisers, who have been very supportive of our plans, we’re delighted to announce that we will be introducing a two season Area Festival Series from next year onwards; a new Championship in the summer months to complement the existing Area Festival Series in the winter. This includes a new addition, the Summer Area Festival Music Championship for Silver and Bronze sections. The 2019 Petplan Area Festival Championships that is currently underway will take place at Hartpury as usual in April 2020. Qualification for the inaugural Petplan Equine Summer Area Festivals will start on 1 December to qualify for the Summer Championships, which will take place in September 2020 (at a venue to be confirmed). Qualification for the Winter Area Festivals then starts on 1 June, with the Winter Area Festival Championships once again at Hartpury in April 2021. The new Petplan Equine Area Festival structure will feature: • Two distinct seasons, providing equal qualification periods from 2021 onwards. • A points based qualification system, in line with BD Regional Championships. • Between 16 and 18 Summer Area Festivals, mapped to provide a geographical spread across the country, with the Championship taking place in September. • Music classes included at the Summer Area Festivals Championships for Bronze and Silver sections, from Prelim to Inter I. • Between eight and 10 Winter Area Festivals, again spread across the regions to provide a good geographical spread, with the Championship Finals at Hartpury, alongside the Winter Championships in April. Due to limited demand and relatively small numbers of qualifying combinations, Inter II will no longer be part of the Area Festival Championship Series and we will look to incorporate this elsewhere within the competition structure. A separate Working Group has been set up to consider the championship options available at FEI levels for Small, Medium and Big Tour, with further proposals to follow. The move to incorporate the music sections within the Summer Area Festivals mean that Gold Music sections will no longer feature as part of the summer series. Taking on board feedback we have received from members, it is important we re-affirm the status of the Area Festival Series as the grass roots championships for riders in the Bronze and Silver sections. In addition, there will no longer be separate Under 21 classes. Instead, the top scoring U21 rider at each level will receive a rosette to recognise their achievements. These proposals were discussed in detail and approved by the Sport Operations Committee and Board last month, so we wanted to let all members know more about these exciting plans at the earliest opportunity. Whether you’re a competitor, owner, organiser, official or supporter, we hope that you will welcome this evolution of our Championship programme, ahead of implementing the new-look structure later this year. Full details on the relevant rule changes, including the qualification and eligibility criteria, will be announced at the end of August in time for inclusion in the 2020 Members’ Handbook. . For now, we've prepared a FAQ document to help with any questions. Initial expressions of interest have been received from organisers and a formal tendering process will take place over the coming weeks before allocating Area Festival fixtures to venues for the next three year cycle, beginning in 2020. These initiatives are in direct response to feedback we have received from members and follow extensive data analysis. As this demonstrates, we’ve listened to you and taken your comments on board: 70% of you said that the competition structure is currently too complex, 51% wanted more straightforward rules and 60% wanted to see a more even spread of the calendar. We hope that these new initiatives will go some way to addressing these points and that members will embrace this revised championship structure, heralding an exciting new era for the Petplan Equine Area Festivals – our longest running, most popular and successful competition series. To see the email sent to paid members yesterday - click here  
Wednesday, August 14

Wilson warms up for Euros at Bishop Burton CPEDI

For three days last week, representatives from Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America travelled to East Yorkshire for the popular Bishop Burton CPEDI1*/2*/3* hosted by Bishop Burton College (5 – 9 August 2019). Great Britain’s Georgia Wilson took the opportunity to give her ride, Midnight, a pre Europeans run. The 23 year old from Wales took three categorical wins in the 3* Grade III divisions aboard the black mare with whom she’ll make her FEI Championship debut in Rotterdam next week. Showing the quality which earned them a hat-trick at Hartpury CPEDI last month, the stylish pair (pictured earlier this year) claimed the Team, Individual and Freestyle honours by a good margin, no doubt filling them with confidence as they head towards their first team appearance. Georgia, who last year was selected as reserve for the FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, USA, trains with Sophie Wells who alongside Nicky Greenhill and Mari Durward-Akhurst make up the Rotterdam four. “Another great international with ‘Mids’,” said Georgia on Facebook . “Three scores 72, 73, 74%, three red ribbons and highest placed British rider out of all the grades over the three days. Onwards and upwards to Rotterdam now. Thanks Sophie Wells for all your help.” The CPEDI3* Team competition was secured by the home team of Georgia and Midnight, Heather Bennett with Zavailantika (Grade IV), Izzy Palmer with Grand Bolero K (Grade IV), and Amanda Shirtcliffe with New Princess (Grade III), ahead of Ireland and Hong Kong. Sophie Christiansen introduced her young horse Die Furstin to the international stage, making a stunning debut in the process. They enjoyed a triumphant triple win in the Grade I scoring 71.86%, 72.25% and 74.50% across the Team, Individual and Freestyle tests. Die Furstin (Dankeschon x Fürst Piccolo) is a six year old German bred mare known at home as Stella and owned by Sophie. The biggest score in the 2* competition was international debutant Jemima Green (30) with Blue Chip Forever (by Johnson), a 13 year old KWPN gelding who she co-owns with Clare Blaskey. This combination was rewarded with scores of 72.35% in the Novice, 69.39% in the Team and 71.17% in the Freestyle. In the CPEDI1*, Dorset’s Jamie Winduss made his mark aboard Wonnacott by achieving the highest scores across all grades with 68.70%, 68.10% and 70.03% in the two Novice tests and Freestyle respectively. 2019 has been a momentous year for the 17 year old from Christchurch. In March, he was crowned Equissage Pulse Grade I Silver Champion and later, he lead the South West region to victory at the Para Home International – both with the talented Wonnacott, an attractive Lord Sinclair-sired gelding who is owned by Alice Pearse. Jamie’s para dressage career was initiated at South Bucks RDA a hotbed of talent which has produced numerous big names in the sport, not least Sophie Christiansen and Julie Payne. Results of the British riders CPEDI3* Grade I Team Test 1st Sophie Christiansen with Die Furstin, 71.86% (GBR) 3rd Diane Green with Miss Remexico, 69.07R (GBR) 6th Caitlyn Saddington with Nirvana Morroko, 67.11% (GBR) Grade I Individual Test 1st Sophie Christiansen with Die Furstin, 72.25% (GBR) 2nd Diane Green with Miss Remexico, 70.50% (GBR) 6th Caitlyn Saddington with Nirvana Morroko, 65.04% (GBR) Grade I Freestyle 1st Sophie Christiansen with Die Furstin, 74.50% (GBR) 3rd Diane Green with Miss Remexico, 72.09% (GBR) 4th Caitlyn Saddington with Nirvana Morroko, 68.73% (GBR) Grade II Team Test 1st Georgia Wilson with Midnight, 72.06% (GBR) - Team 2nd Natasha Adkinson with Sweet Caledonia, 70.61% (GBR) 3rd Julie Payne with Pandora, 68.91% (GBR) Grade II Individual Test 1st Georgia Wilson with Midnight, 73.32% (GBR) - Team 2nd Julie Payne with Pandora, 70.44% (GBR) 3rd Natasha Adkinson with Sweet Caledonia, 69.18% (GBR) Grade II Freestyle 1st Georgia Wilson with Midnight, 74.37% (GBR) - Team 2nd Julie Payne with Pandora, 73.80% (GBR) 3rd Natasha Adkinson with Sweet Caledonia, 72.20% (GBR) Grade III Team Test 1st Amanda Shirtcliffe with New Princess, 69.94% (GBR) - Team 2nd Amanda Shirtcliffe with Remi, 69.29% (GBR) 4th Erin Orford with LJT Diamond Crusador, 68.38% (GBR) Grade III Individual Test 1st Amanda Shirtcliffe with New Princess, 70.06% (GBR) - Team 4th Erin Orford with LJT Diamond Crusador, 67.68% (GBR) 6th Amanda Shirtcliffe with Remi, 65.82% (GBR) Grade III Freestyle 1st Amanda Shirtcliffe with New Princess, 74.07% (GBR) 3rd Erin Orford with LJT Diamond Crusador, 71.47% (GBR) Grade IV Team Test 1st Izzy Palmer with Grand Bolero K, 69.13% (GBR) - Team 2nd Marcelle Ward with Dornroeschen, 69.05% (GBR) 3rd Laura Gulliver with Garuda K, 68.70% (GBR) 4th Heather Bennett with Zavailantika, 67.55% (GBR) - Team 6th Katie Radzik with C’est La Vie, 66.35% (GBR) 7th Julie Blanchard with Echo Supreme, 63.43% (GBR)\ Grade IV Individual Test 1st Marcelle Ward with Dornroeschen, 70.90% (GBR) 2nd Izzy Palmer with Grand Bolero K, 69.37% (GBR) - Team 3rd Laura Gulliver with Garuda K, 67.98% (GBR) 4th Heather Bennett with Zavailantika, 67.46% (GBR) - Team 6th Katie Radzik with C’est La Vie, 65.37% (GBR) Grade IV Freestyle 1st Marcelle Ward with Dornroeschen, 74.88% (GBR) 2nd Izzy Palmer with Grand Bolero K, 71.16% (GBR) 3rd Laura Gulliver with Garuda K, 70.47% (GBR) Grade V Team Test 1st Charlotte Cundall with LJT Simply Red, 75.00% (GBR) Grade V Individual Test 1st Charlotte Cundall with LJT Simply Red, 69.07% (GBR) Grade V Freestyle 1st Charlotte Cundall with LJT Simply Red, 75.33% (GBR) Team standings 1st - Great Britain Georgia Wilson with Midnight Heather Bennett with Zavailantika Izzy Palmer with Grand Bolero K Amanda Shirtcliffe with New Princess 2nd - Ireland Michael Murphy with Skjoldsgaard Hippo-VO Angela Lyons with Woodcroft Santa Cruz Tamsin Addison with Donna Siesta Lucinda Blakiston with Happy Feet 3 3rd – Hong Kong Natasha Pui Ting with Baxo Timothy Tin Chi with Jockey Club Cethegus M Fleur Schrader with Jockey Club Sarago Raphael CPEDI2* Grade I Novice 1st Gabriella Blake with Strong Beau, 68.25% (GBR) 2nd Caitlyn Saddington with Dremallo, 64.95% (GBR) Grade I Team Test 1st Gabriella Blake with Strong Beau, 68.75% (GBR) 2nd Caitlyn Saddington with Dreamallo, 63.32% (GBR) Grade I Freestyle 1st Gabriella Blake with Strong Beau, 71.25% (GBR) 2nd Caitlyn Saddington with Dreamallo, 66.17% (GBR) Grade II Novice 1st Jemima Green with Blue Chip Forever, 72.35% (GBR) Grade II Team Test 1st Jemima Green with Blue Chip Forever, 69.39% (GBR) Grade II Freestyle 1st Jemima Green with Blue Chip Forever, 71.17% (GBR) Grade III Novice 1st Sara Davies with Hundon Lodger, 68.36% (GBR) 2nd Emma Kent with Zandokan, 63.76% (GBR) 3rd Vicky Nurcombe with Rubieux, 61.92% (GBR) Grade III Team Test 1st Sara Davies with Hundon Lodger, 65.26% (GBR) 2nd Vicky Nurcombe with Rubieux, 57.88% (GBR) 3rd Emma Kent with Zandokan, 51.94% (GBR) Grade III Freestyle 1st Sara Davies with Hundon Lodger, 66.53% (GBR) Grade IV Novice 1st Sara Bates with Tango, 67.28% (GBR) 2nd Fiona Maynard with Diesel, 66.97% (GBR) 3rd Keeley Squires with Stanbeck By Request, 62.28% (GBR) Grade IV Team Test 1st Sara Bates with Tango, 64.10% (GBR) 2nd Fiona Maynard with Diesel, 63.58% (GBR) 3rd Keeley Squires with Stanbeck By Request, 60.83% (GBR) Grade IV Freestyle 1st Fiona Maynard with Diesel, 68.65% (GBR) 2nd Sara Bates with Tango, 63.49% (GBR) 3rd Keeley Squires with Stanbeck By Request, 61.57% (GBR) CPEDI1* Grade I Novice 1st Jamie Winduss with Wonnacott, 68.70% (GBR) Grade I Novice 1st Jamie Winduss with Wonnacott, 68.10% (GBR) Grade I Freestyle Jamie Winduss with Wonnacott, 70.03% (GBR) Grade II Novice 1st Jane Ogden with Fairview Romeo, 65.04% (GBR) Grade II Novice 1st Jane Ogden with Fairview Romeo, 64.17% (GBR) Grade II Freestyle 1st Jane Ogden with Fairview Romeo, 59.23% (GBR) Grade III Novice 1st Olivia Cornick with Ronaldo V, 67.68% (GBR) Grade III Novice 1st Olivia Cornick with Ronaldo V, 68.48% (GBR) Grade III Freestyle 1st Olivia Cornick with Ronaldo V, 66.37% (GBR) Grade IV Novice 1st Sara Bates with Parsley, 66.59% (GBR) 2nd Alicia Griffiths with Aegrus Ophelia, 66.59% (GBR) 3rd Marcelle Ward with Ivanho, 62.00% (GBR) 4th Katie Radzik with IBA, 57.41% (GBR) Grade IV Novice 1st Alicia Griffiths with Aegrus Ophelia, 66.24% (GBR) 2nd Sara Bates with Parsley, 65.28% (GBR) 3rd Marcelle Ward with Ivanho, 63.69% (GBR) 4th Katie Radzik with IBA, 62.76% (GBR) Grade IV Freestyle 1st Sara Bates with Parsley, 67.35% (GBR) 2nd Katie Radzik with IBA, 62.84% (GBR) 3rd Marclle Ward with Ivanho, 61.85% (GBR) 4th Alicia Griffiths with Aegrus Ophelia, 57.90% (GBR) Grade V Novice 1st Julie Frizzell with Namibian, 63.50% (GBR) Grade V Novice 1st Julie Frizzell with Namibian, 63.28% (GBR) Grade V Freestyle 1st Julie Frizzell with Namibian, 61.55% (GBR) For full results click here Photo © Kevin Sparrow
Sunday, August 11

Important update: BDSW Area Festival move

It’s with great sadness and apologies that, in conjunction with BD South West Regional Development Officer Amanda Heath, Duchy College has made the decision to relocate their Petplan Equine Area Festival, scheduled to run on 16-18 August 2019 to near by Bicton Arena . Following significant investment to renew all ground works, infrastructure and install a new 20 x 60 silica sand mix surface at the College, it’s been agreed that more time is needed to enable the arena to bed in to ensure that it reaches its top class potential for future competitions at Duchy. Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond the control of the Duchy team, it’s not been possible to achieve this for the Petplan Equine Area Festival. Helen West, Arena Manager at Bicton Arena, said “We’re so disappointed for Duchy College not to be able run their show because their new arena is not quite ready for such a high profile competition. We’re delighted to be able to step up and assist them to provide our BD south west members with an alternative venue allowing this show to continue and run as planned, just at a different venue.” Duchy College Organiser Hazel Young added, “We’re really sad that following the significant investment made to completely renew our outdoor arena, it’s not yet bedded in sufficiently to host such a prestigious event. Time got the better of us, despite the onsite team working hard to get everything to the best standards for competitors. We’re grateful that our neighbours Bicton Arena have been able to step up and support us at such short notice and we are confident that the BD members will have a great show and we wish each and every one of them good luck. We look forward to welcoming them back to Duchy soon.” All entries for the warm up and Pet Plan classes will be directly transferred to Bicton Arena. Due to the change in venue, we will now only run on Saturday and Sunday which has resulted in the Friday classes now running on Saturday . The warm up classes will now run in 20 x 60 arenas and different tests will be used. Please refer to the attached sheets one and two for more information and details. All class entry fees will be directly transferred and honoured by Bicton Arena. All stabling and hook ups will be automatically refunded in full by Duchy College , please contact Hazel Young with any queries regarding this. If you require stabling or hook up , please go to www.bicton-arena.co.uk and following link on the home page in a purple box. A revised show timetable is attached showing provisional class running times – but please continue to check as this may be subject to change. Late entries are now being taken but only for riders who have met the original qualification criteria for competing at Duchy, these will close at midnight on Tuesday 13 August 2019. Times will be released around 1500 on Thursday 15 August 2019. Bedding and forage may be purchased on arrival. The stabling link will go live at 1000 on Monday 12 August 2019. No horses will be admitted on site before 1900 on Friday 16 August due to another event being hosted at Bicton on that day. We thank all members for their affected for their patience. Any questions or enquiries can be directed to Amanda Heath, RDO on 07894 232355.
Friday, August 9

National Convention 2019: Demo rider competition launched!

With the hosts in place for this year’s National Convention in partnership with Harrison Clark Rickerbys , British Dressage is excited to launch our search for a very special combination to join us as a demo rider at Addington Equestrian on 23 – 24 November! The lucky winner will take part in a session with one of our three hosts, Daniel Bachmann Andersen, Chris Bartle and Michael Eilberg, and hone their skills in a once in a lifetime opportunity to take part in the most prestigious training event in the BD calendar. With this year’s focus on using a varied workout routine and exercises to develop your performance, no matter your level, horse type or competition goals, we want our demo riders to represent YOU, the BD member and competitor! To be considered for selection, we’re searching for the following: - Riders to be 16 years old and over - Consistently achieving 68% or above at the level you are competing at - Exposure to a big competition environment is favourable, such as a Petplan Equine Area Festival or Quest Championship. All you need to do to enter is tell us a brief description of why you’d love to be a demo rider at the National Convention, upload a photo of you and your horse, and fill out a few simple questions to tell us more about your competition level and section. The closing date for entries is Sunday 15 September 2019! Enter our demo rider competition here. Spread the news about this amazing opportunity! Send to a friend or family member, print off this story and leave it in your yard tack room or share on social media with the hashtag #bdnationalconvention. If you don’t fancy experiencing the National Convention stage from the saddle, why not join us as a spectator. Early bird discount tickets for members and non-members are still available, click here to buy online .
Thursday, August 8

Summer Regional Championships: The Cabin

The most northerly summer regional saw some fierce competition with Jo Barry on fighting form, taking home three titles while Robyn Smith dominated the Small Tour classes. Jo Barry and Hidalgo II and Nicky Heale and Furstinclaire went head to head in the Childeric Elementary and Top Spec Medium Gold championships. In the event, Jo won both, but the combinations were only separated by one collective mark in the elementary. Hidalgo (Humphrey) is by Rousseau and is owned by Jo and Lady Hope. He’s a half-brother to her very successful horse, Vivaldi V. His dam was bought with him in vitro and he was born at Jo’s yard. “He hasn’t stopped growing – I’m afraid to put a measuring stick on him,” said Jo. “Fortunately he’s not hugely wide so I survive riding him! “He was fairly wild in the Elementary class so I had to do a bit of damage limitation,” confessed Jo. “He has so much energy and power, sometimes he doesn’t know what to do with it. That power will help in the future but at the moment it can be a bit too much. “He was much more on-side in the Medium class. He kept a lid on it. He’s starting to co-ordinate his body, it’s just takes time to find the strength.” Goofy La Perle (Belissimo x Jazz) made a few mistakes in the Equine Construction Advanced Medium Gold but still managed a 70%+ score to take the title. The eight-year-old was bought for Jo two years ago by Gordon Grainger of the Kingfisher Group. He was Elementary Gold champion at the LeMieux Nationals last year and won three titles at the Scottish Championships 2018. “He’s made good progress through each stage and has developed strength and balance,” said Jo. “He was very chilled about learning his changes.” With the lovely Retanach Request, her12-year-old Welsh Section D, Nicky Heale threw off the ‘seconditis’ and won the Equine Construction Advanced Medium Silver championship. Nicky is a full time paramedic and she and Rocco have been to six consecutive Winter Championships at every level from Novice to PSG, and the National Championships at Medium and Advanced Medium. They’re currently competing at Inter I and will soon aim for Inter II and GP. Both small tour classes were won by Robyn Smith and her 11-year-old Florencio stallion, Francesco 77. In their Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I test, they were almost 4% ahead of their nearest rival. Robyn has been working hard all year on improving Frank’s performance so was thrilled when it all came off on the day. She explained that on his way down to the arena he was very bright and wanted to say hello to everybody but 10 steps into the arena he transformed. “He just said ‘Yeah, I can do this’,” said Robyn who competed him at his first internationals at Bolesworth and Hartpury recently. “For the last few weeks we’ve been going back to basics to try and resolve any issues. I’ve been working on the canter pirouettes as he hasn’t always wanted to sit enough and we got some eights for them this weekend. I bought him in Germany when he was a small gangly stallion and thankfully nobody else wanted him.” Jade Whitelaw had her 19th birthday the day before she won the Childeric Elementary Silver with Dauphin III, the first time she’s qualified for the summer Nationals. “My trainer Jennifer Johnston helped me warm up and I was very pleased with the test, we had no major mistakes. He’s a really easy safe horse and very trainable. He’s not a super flashy mover but he’s very elegant and judges seem to like him.” The pair was restricted Prelim and Novice champions at the 2015 Winters. When Teresa Smith bought her 12-year-old Costa Rica II four years ago she thought of it “as an alternative to going to the gym.” However it wasn’t long before she got hooked on dressage and the pair are now the new Dodson & Horell Novice Silver regional champions. “The more he does and the harder he works, the happier he is,” said Teresa who is another of Jennifer Johnston’s pupils and also has help from Pammy Hutton. “He’s not been the most straightforward horse. Balance is an issue as he has a massive stride and it’s taken him time to develop enough strength.” No doubt all the hard work will feel worthwhile when they trot down the centre line at Stoneleigh. Charlotte Lutener and Ab Barroco will be attending their first summer National Championships together after winning the Top Spec Medium Silver title. Charlotte bought the nine-year-old Bellissimo gelding two years ago and has been competing him since last summer. “In the last few months we’ve come together as a team,” explained Charlotte. “Bertie is completely different to my previous horse. He has so much power and is quick to learn.” Charlotte finished her A levels last year and has spent time since training her horses with the help of Jess Dunn. Jess also went back to Burnley with a title – she won the Dodson & Horrell Novice Gold on Charlotte’s four-year-old mare, MSJ Furstin Florida. Florida has only ever been to three shows before her regional appearance and has won four out of the five classes she’s entered. British Dressage thanks the team at The Cabin as well as the National class sponsors for their generous support. Congratulations to all competitors and good luck to those heading to the LeMieux National Championships at Stoneleigh Park. Regional champions: Backinaction Preliminary Silver Abigail Gray with Glynoch Red Rascal, 69.83% Dodson & Horrell Novice Silver Teresa Smith with Costa Rica II, 70.25% Dodson & Horrell Novice Gold Jessica Dunn with MSJ Furstin Florida, 72.9% Childéric Saddles Elementary Silver Jade Whitelaw with Dauphon III, 71.09% Childéric Saddles Elementary Gold Jo Barry with Hidalgo II, 71.35% TopSpec Medium Silver Charlotte Lutener with Ab Barroco, 70.09% TopSpec Medium Gold Jo Barry with Hidalgo II, 71.17 % Equine Construction Advanced Medium Silver Nicky Heale with Retanach Request, 68.42% Equine Construction Advanced Medium Gold Jo Barry with Goofy La Perle, 70.57% Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Gold Robyn Smith with Francesco 77, 70.88% Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I Gold Robyn Smith with Francesco, 72.06%
Thursday, August 8

Summer Regional Championships: Mount Ballan

As always the Summer Regionals at Mount Ballan didn’t disappoint, with three days of riveting competition. Although there were withdrawals from some top names like Charlotte Dujardin, Henriette Andersen and Paul Friday, there were plenty of exciting combinations making their mark. The highest scorer of the competition was Laura Wollen who travelled from Herefordshire with Anne Seifert-Cohn’s lovely six-year-old, Ivan Carlos (Ampere x Jazz). The pair notched up 75.26% to win the Childeric Elementary Gold. ‘Blackie’ is also known as ‘Mr Consistent” and will be off to his first summer National Championships. “He’s a clever horse who we’ve not had to push much and is such a delight to ride,” enthused Laura. “We didn’t have a great start to the test as he stumbled into the halt but then he trotted away and did his job. His simple changes were brilliant and he got four nines for them.” Blackie was also fourth in the Top Spec Medium Gold so fingers crossed for a wild card. The Childeric Elementary Silver title went to Louise Berry and Woodcroft Daisy Duke, ahead of Cath Creemer and Floris. They scored 70.89%, very close to their personal best. Louise has owned the Don Frederico eight-year-old since he was three and Louise believes, “She’s the most accident prone creature on the planet!” Accidents in the field, getting her leg through a stable partition and jumping over the stable door are just some of her antics. Fortunately, she seems to have put these ways behind her and has been consistently in work since February 2018. Louise, who is an instructor at Summerhouse EC, trains with Tessa Thorne, with whose help the pair are learning changes in anticipation of moving on to advanced medium. “The elementary test felt fantastic, she felt like she loved it,” said Louise who admitted to having a little cry when she won. “It’s our first ever sash!” “At the winter regionals I forgot my test so my whole goal was to remember it this time!” said Louise. Melissa O’Brien Shawcross followed up an elementary win at Moreton Morrell Petplan Equine Area Festival in July by taking the Dodson & Horrell Novice Silver title on Rubatino ML. In the gold section, international young rider Lucy Pincus was victorious with Johnson homebred, Sheepcote Just Daisy. Although she’s seven, Daisy is only lightly competed and this was her first regional and first stay-away show. “I wasn’t quite sure how she would cope but she behaved really well,” said Lucy. “She’s quite a brave mare, with lovely energy.” Lucy and Daisy scored 73.02% - not surprising when you look at her record; she’s won 11 out of her 12 starts. Male riders took all the sashes in the Top Spec Medium and Advanced Equine Construction Medium classes. Welsh rider Brendan Tegg had to contend with Sarah Davies’ breeding stallion Sunset Boulevard’s testosterone levels. ‘Springers’ took his mind off the ladies long enough to squeak into the Top Spec Medium Silver title position in front of Maisie Hodge and Garant H. “It’s not the easiest time of year for us,” said Brendan. “He took a little bit of riding but he’s a kind horse who says ‘yes’. He’s getting more established and his rhythm stayed good. It was a clean test. Hopefully I’ll be able to ask for more pizazz at the Nationals in September when the testosterone levels are lower!” Rob Barker was the only double winner at the show. He won the Top Spec Medium Gold on Christine Kirk’s Hamlet and Equine Construction Advanced Medium Silver on Alison Haste’s Woodlander Romance. Rob won the Dodson & Horrell Novice Silver national summer title on Hamlet (Uthopia x Jazz) in 2017 and he was sixth in the Elementary Silver at the 2018 winter championships. Sonnar Murray-Brown, Rob’s partner, took over the ride, notching up a fifth in elementary gold at last year’s summer championships. When Sonny broke his leg in February this year, the ride reverted to Rob, who’s very enthusiastic about the seven-year-old. “He’s a really good horse – very powerful and talented,” said Rob. “He can get hot in the bigger atmospheres (at shows) but he was very rideable in the test. I was able to braver in the mediums and still able to collect for the simple changes. He was able to travel up and down the gears.” Woodlander Romance has been Rob’s ride since the seven-year-old Rousseau mare was four. He reported on social media that they had some miscommunication issues in the Medium which led to an eventual seventh place but these were ironed out by the time of the Advanced Medium championship. “She’s still very green at the level,” commented Rob. “But she gave it her all. She tries very hard in training and at shows and is always thinking ‘what’s next?’. She just needs to get stronger and more confident.” They won the class ahead of another Woodlander horse, Woodlander Rhythm ‘n’ Blues, ridden by Maddy Frewin. Two out of the three judges gave Calum Whitworth and Fernando (pictured) 74% and that was enough to win them the Equine Construction Advanced Medium Gold victory ahead of Abi Lyle and Suspension Giraldo. The United x Special D nine-year-old, owned by Sue and Rob Fearis, has been winning Premier Leagues at PSG so was stepping down a level at Mount Ballan. “You never quite know what you’re going to get with him,” said Calum, “but he seemed to like it in Wales and we had a calm day. He did a really nice consistent test and felt confident in all the work.” Fernando is also heading to the Nationals to contest the Fairfax PSG class. A mark of 71.45% from one judge was enough to win Debbie Childs the Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I title and give her 13-year-old Stedinger gelding his first regional win. “I was thrilled as I didn’t expect it,” said Debbie whose goal is Grand Prix. “He’s been improving all year and it’s the icing on the cake to be going to the Nationals. I’ve been working all year trying to get his tests clean and correct – and this test was. Now I need to work on getting more power and expression. I’ve been training with Roland Tong for a couple of years and he’s really turned us round.” Hannah Dovey’s Eagle Nouvelle has also been improving all year with Katie Bailey. Their Fairfax PSG Gold win follows a win at Magic PSG freestyle at the Winter Championships and placing fourth in the straight PSG. Eighteen combinations went down the centre line and judges Richard Baldwin, Christian Landolt and Carol Thornton were unanimous in picking Katie and ‘Eddie’ for their champions with a super score of 73.29%. “His trot work was some of the best I’ve had in a test,” Katie said afterwards. “He was a little bit tight in the changes but in the main the test was free-flowing with no major mistakes. He’s been getting more confident in the arena since we started working on the Grand Prix movements at home. He’s a very sweet horse and tries his hardest.” BackinAction Prelim Silver champion Katie Byam-Cook rode her Dimaggio mare, Diminutive, into the lead with 71.95%, just ahead of Katie Robotham and My Lady Myfanwy. The seven-year-old is British-bred by UK Hanoverians. British Dressage thanks the team at Mount Ballan as well as the National class sponsors for their generous support. Congratulations to all competitors and good luck to those heading to the LeMieux National Championships at Stoneleigh Park. Regional champions: Backinaction Preliminary Silver Katie Byam-Cook with DiMinutive 71.95% Dodson & Horrell Novice Silver Melissa O’Brien Shawcross with Rubatino ML 71.89 Dodson & Horrell Novice Gold Lucy Pincus with Sheepcote Just Daisy 73.02% Childéric Saddles Elementary Silver Louise Berry with Woodcroft Daisy Duke 70.89 Childéric Saddles Elementary Gold Laura Wollen with Ivan Carlos 75.26% TopSpec Medium Silver Brendan Tegg with Sunset Boulevard 69.91 TopSpec Medium Gold Rob Barker with Hamlet 71.62% Equine Construction Advanced Medium Silver Rob Barker with Woodlander Romance 71.75 Equine Construction Advanced Medium Gold Calum Whitworth with Fernando 73.73 Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Gold Katie Bailey with Eagle-Nouvelle 73.29 Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I Gold Debbie Childs with Berrifield Stuntman 68.29.
Thursday, August 8

New organiser for Pencoed College

Following a recent meeting with the Equine Department and Curriculum Head at Pencoed College, it has been agreed that the British Dressage competitions will be reinstated at the venue and outsourced to a new organiser, Zoe Mann. As an unaffiliated dressage judge, mother of a BD Youth rider and Pencoed livery owner, Zoe has extensive knowledge of British Dressage competitions and is keen to run the shows as a new project. Vanessa Archer, Wales RDO commented;”Pencoed College’s last British Dressage show was in June 2018 so there has been a gap for competitions in the area for quite some time. The College has always been popular for competitions and other BD activities so we didn’t want to lose the venue altogether. It has also hosted the Petplan Area Festival in the past so the venue has great capacity for prestigious events”. The new organiser Zoe Mann expressed her enthusiasm about the show allocation; “I am really excited about getting the shows back at Pencoed College, it’s an excellent venue and everyone is so helpful! Fingers crossed it’s a huge success!” Vanessa added; “I’ve known Zoe for a number of years and I know that she will take ownership of the British Dressage competitions. I am looking forward to the months ahead”. Whilst welcoming Zoe, the competitions also say farewell to Jenna Capel, the previous organiser; “Jenna did a fantastic job of running the shows at Pencoed. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jenna for all her hard work and I know she will be very helpful to Zoe during this transition,” said Vanessa. Three initial show dates have been scheduled for next year. Zoe will host her first show at Pencoed College on Saturday 28th March 2020 with core Summer and Autumn dates of Saturday 4th July and Saturday 10th October to follow. British Dressage Wales will also offer evening training clinics prior to each of these dates. Zoe would welcome any help and support with these shows so if you would like to offer your services as a writer or steward then please get in touch, Zoe Mann .  
Wednesday, August 7

Applications invited for BD BEF Board Director

In line with the British Equestrian Federation Articles of Association, British Dressage is entitled to nominate a Director to sit on the BEF Board. The current Nominated Director, Lotte Olsen, completes her first term at the end of this year and has indicated that she would like to stand for a second term. However, we are also opening this up to other nominations from the British Dressage membership, for anyone who would like to put their name forward to work with the BEF Board to help develop the future direction of the Federation and implement the new five-year strategic plan. All applicants will need to meet the specified knowledge, experience and competencies required for a Board Director, in accordance with the defined Terms of Reference . Anyone wishing to submit a nomination should download and complete a nomination paper and declaration of interests form (see links below). In addition, candidates will need to provide a full curriculum vitae, together with a supporting statement detailing how they meet the role requirements by midday on Friday 30 August. All applications will then be reviewed by the BD Nominations Committee in September, before a recommendation is put forward to the BEF Nominations Committee for final ratification. Download: • BEF Board Director Terms of Reference • Nomination form • Declaration of Interests form For further information, please contact Angela Green, HR & Office Manager, by email or call 0247 669 8844.
Monday, August 5

Brilliant Bronze weekend at Sheepgate

The second British Dressage Bronze Championships proved a massive hit with the competitors who all judged new venue Sheepgate Eqestrian ‘well worth the journey’ after two days of battle across Prelim to Advanced Medium. The Prelim title is headed to Wales, Carmarthenshire to be exact, as 12 year old Bryley Llewelyn took the championship with her own eye catching skewbald Cwmtyysswg Will (pictured right), who she lovingly refers to as Will I Am, in homage to the star judge on The Voice, a favourite in her music collection. Bryley has had Will for two years and has produced him herself. They enjoy doing a bit of everything and compete with the Pony Club as well as their BD career. Bryley and Will were the overnight leaders after a fantastic day one score of 70.27% but it was tight on Sunday when Rebecca Lock and Brickell Mr Pickwick pushed them hard and won the test on 68.79%. However, the Welsh duo’s 68.05% was enough to secure the win, but by just 0.85%. After her win, Bryley said; “He felt a little tired today so I did have to use my legs a bit more but yesterday’s test felt perfect!” Bryley enjoys maths and art at school – two great subjects to help with any budding dressage rider! A duo taking some time out from eventing claimed a dominant victory in the Novice division. Gloucestershire rider Steph Woolley and the British bred Freckleton Matador, by Monte Carlo, topped the leaderboard on both days with two great scores. Saturday it was 70.75% and on Sunday, they cruised to a 72.31% which gave them a clear victory over Grace Lynch and Jara H. All of this on top of winning Friday’s Petplan Equine Novice Bronze Area Festival at Sheepgate! Steph has had the now 11 year old since he was two when she bought him from breeder Penny Roots at the small Wawickshire stud whose prefix his name bears and this is their first full season with BD. “He’s just fab, I love him to bits. He’s not always been the most straightforward though. We evented together but at the moment he’s just lost his love for the cross country so I decided to focus on our dressage this year,” said Steph. “I have to say a huge thanks to Rob Barker who we’ve started having lessons with and he’s made a huge difference.” Far from resting on their laurels, the duo has a busy few weeks to come with the Riding Club Championships at Lincoln, an Area Festival Final at Fieldhouse, Riding Club Dressage to Music Championships and they’re hoping for selection to represent her region at the Home International at Wellington. The Elementary crown went to another horse and rider combination who’ve moved their focus to dressage from eventing. Dutch-born rider Hente Dorhout-Meers returned to riding after taking a long break for university, getting married and having children. In her teen years, she worked in a dressage yard but then her life’s focus changed. Once children were older and riding horses themselves she rediscovered her love of riding and purchased Troef van de Vive la Vie as an eventing schoolmaster. ‘Doodle’ was bred to show jump but went on to event to advanced level before Hente got him but veterinary issues have now forced a focus on dressage – and the change has clearly suited them both. The rich chestnut was a winner on both days, scoring 70.75% on Saturday which was followed by 69.43% on Sunday. Hente said; “The first day he was really good; calm and rideable but today he was more himself and just a bit stressy. We’re lucky he’s here really as we nearly lost him to kidney failure last year and he’s had a few bone chips which means he can’t jump or gallop anymore so dressage is his new job. I just adore this horse!” So what are the plans for the future? “We’ve done one Medium and would like to do more next year so perhaps work towards the Regionals at Elementary and Area Festivals at Medium,” Hente added. The win was special…but came at a cost! “I said that if I won, I’d buy my daughter a new tailcoat she spotted so we’re off to pay Tack and Togs a visit!” laughed Hente. Runners up were Hampshire’s Deanne Courtnadge and the Ace of Spaces on a total of 137.70. It was a worthwhile journey from Kent for Roberta Collyer and her talented Jazz son Fiasco II when they claimed the Medium title. Roberta, who runs RC Equine Bodyworks, started riding as a child but made dressage her choice aged 14. She and Fiasco dominated the Medium ranks over the weekend, winning on both days. A great 68.91% got their campaign underway on day one and this was followed with an impressive 71.06% on Sunday which gave them the coveted winner’s sash and rosette by over 6% ahead of nearest rivals, Sophie Bennett riding Vallon du Rock. “We’ve really loved it here! It’s a six hour journey but has been worth it,” enthused Roberta. “I’ve had the ride on him for three years but bought him outright this year. He was a very hot youngster, a typical Jazz but everything is just now clicking into play. Getting to these championships was a goal for the season so to win is amazing,” she added. And she’s got high hopes for Fiasco, “I’d really love to get him to Grand Prix – I hope he’s got it in him! We’ve just started the changes which can be exciting but whatever I ask, he always tries his heart out,” she ended. The final section, Advanced Medium , was a popular win for local rider Alice Elliott and her lovable British bred Chatsworth Chieftain, who live just 17 miles away from Sheepgate and are regulars at the centre. They’ve been together for seven years and have risen up the ranks from Prelim and they’ve made a few attempts at Prix St Georges. Alice has competed a horse every year with British Dressage since 1999 but this is the first horse she’s got to this level. Saturday’s Advanced Medium was claimed by Tyler Bradshaw and Igor VIII but they couldn’t hold their advantage on day two, allowing Alice and ‘Murph’ to take the title after they topped the class having been second on Saturday. Abi Uden pulled up with Rain Dance to be reserve champions. “I’ve had an absolutely fantastic couple of days. He’s a shire cross and gives you everything he can. He’s taken me to places I never dreamed I’d get to! We’ve done a couple of PSGs but that’s as far as I’ll take him. I’m looking at getting a youngster – even a my age!” quipped Alice. Thanks to everyone who made these championships possible! The Sheepgate team pulled out all the stops on the back of a busy Petplan Equine Area Festival show to make sure everyone was welcome and the competition ran like clockwork. All weekend there was a tremendous atmosphere with a huge sense of camaraderie – so well done to our riders, officials and volunteers. Championship podiums: Prelim 1. Bryley Llewelyn and Cwmtysswg Will, 138.31 2. Rebecca Lock Brickell and Mr Pickwick, 137.46 3. Lauren Crowe and Scout, 135.22 Novice 1. Steph Woolley and Freckleton Matador, 143.06 2. Grace Lynch and Jara H, 140.94 3. Amy Hamilton and Zico II, 138.66 Elementary 1. Hente Dorhout Mees and Troef van de Vive la Vie, 140.17 2. Deanne Courtnadge and The Ace of Spades, 137.70 3. Hilary Janion and Sir Wilhelm, 137.13 Medium 1. Roberta Collyer and Fiasco II, 139.97 2. Sophie Bennett and Vallon du Rock, 133.69 3. Annabel Whittet and Ballynoe Hallo, 133.66 Advanced Medium 1. Alice Elliot and Chatsworth Chieftain, 134.61 2. Abi Uden and Rain Dance, 132.34 3. Nicola North and Damons Gold, 131.55 Full results – click here . 
Monday, August 5

FEI World Breeding Dressage Championships for Young Horses

A highlight in the calendar of any dressage enthusiast, this year’s FEI World Breeding Dressage Championships for Young Horses didn’t disappoint with spectators treated to four days of world class competition as the stars of tomorrow did battle for the prestigious accolades. Five talented British combinations headed to Ermelo, the Netherlands, with each putting in a promising performance for the future, gaining valuable mileage and proving their perspective against some of the most outstanding breeding stallions and sport horses in Europe. Five year old Hawtins Lirica, bred by Judith Davis of Hawtins Stud, has enjoyed a winning streak on the national scene with skillful jockey Lucinda Elliot producing the standout mare to a Shearwater four year old title in 2018 amongst numerous other victories. In Ermelo, a touch of tension in the preliminary qualification round just kept the top marks at bay for the bright chestnut mare by Lemony’s Nicket, however an improved test the following day resulted in a superb ninth place in the small final for five year old horses. Proud breeder Judith commented, “Well that was an amazing day! Lucinda and Hawtins Lirica finished ninth out of thirty in the small final with an overall score of 8.12! Lyra was much more relaxed today so it was great that she got super scores for her paces and also really lovely comments from the judges in the commentary after the test. Thank you to the rest of Team GB for their great support! A big thank you especially to Serena Pincus for her invaluable training and support as always.” Susan Pape brought forward the Vivaldi sired Harmony’s V-Plus to the five year old competition and achieved 20th in the Preliminary round with 8.02, followed by 14th in the small final on another encouraging mark of 7.82. The American owned V-Plus was bred at Lewitz Stud in Germany and changed hands to Leslie Malone of Harmony Sport Horses at the 2018 PSI Auction. 2019 Senior European Championships team rider Charlotte Fry continued a busy summer with an appearance in the six year old championship on board Van Olst Horses’ Inclusive. The eye-catching bay (Everdale x Uptown) impressed in the preliminary competition, scoring well with the judges panel of Annette Fransen-Iacobaeus (SWE), Christoph Hess (GER), Susan Barrup (DEN) and Isobel Wessels (GBR), with his trot the highlight earning 8.8. Leah Beckett and Gunther Schulz’s Merlot Royal will be ones to watch for the future, they scored 69.38% and 67.99% in their two seven year old tests. “An amazing accomplishment to ride down this centre line and so proud of how Merlot rose to the challenge. Green moments in the canter work will not take away from his future, he’s such a dude! Thank you to all the support crew, incredible owners Johanna-Sophie Schulz and Gûnther Schulz, Sune Hansen and all at home” Leah said reflecting on the experience on social media. UKCCL3 and BHSI Elizabeth Allen took time out of her busy schedule at Collective Equestrian to campaign the Uphill gelding Heraldik alongside Leah in the seven year old class. Two solid scores in the mid-sixties were the reward for a great home team effort and top quality riding. Congratulations to the winners of each FEI World Championship and to all British riders, breeders and their support teams. Winners and results of the British combinations Qualification for five year old horses 1st Jessica Lynn Thomas with Secret (Sezuan x St Moritz) – SWE – 9.54 20th Susan Pape with Harmony’s V-Plus (Vivaldi x Furst Romancier) – GBR – 8.02 32nd Lucinda Elliot with Hawtins Lirica (Lemony’s Nicket x Dimaggio) – GBR – 7.40 Qualification for six year old horses 1st Frederic Wandres with Zucchero OLD (Zonik NOP x Prince Thatch XX) – GER – 9.46 18th Charlotte Fry with Inclusive (Everdale x Uptown) – GBR – 7.80 Qualification for seven year old horses 1st Severo Jurado Loez with d’Avie (Don Juan de Hus x Londonderry) – ESP – 85.04% 33rd Leah Beckett with Merlot Royal (Millennium x Rubin Royale) – GBR – 69.38% 39th Elizabeth Allen with Heraldik (Uphill x Silvano N) – GBR – 63.50% Small final for five year old horses 1st Eva Moller with Espe (Escolar x Dimaggio) – GER – 8.72 9th Lucinda Elliot with Hawtins Lirica (Lemony’s Nicket x Dimaggio) – GBR – 8.12 14th Susan Pape with Harmony’s V-Plus (Vivaldi x Furst Romancier) – GBR – 7.82 Small final for six year old horses 1st Yvonne Osterholm with Ironman H (Bordeaux x Rousseau) – FIN – 8.96 9th Charlotte Fry with Inclusive (Everdale x Uptown) – GBR – 8.02 CH-M-D YH Final for five year old horses 1st Andreas Helgstrand with Jovian (Apache x Tango) – DEN – 9.66 2nd Jessica Lynn Thomas with Secret (Sezuan x St Moritz) – SWE – 9.64 3rd Andreas Helgstrand with Queensparks Wendy (Sezuan x Blue Hors Soprano) – DEN – 9.42 Small final for seven year old horses 1st Jeanna Hogberg with Astoria (Sir Donnerhall II OLD x Quaterback) – SWE – 79.60% 23rd Leah Beckett with Merlot Royal (Millennium x Rubin Royale) – GBR – 67.99% 26th Elizabeth Allen with Heraldik (Uphill x Silvano N) – GBR – 66.92% CH-M-D YH Final for six year old horses 1st Frederic Wandres with Zucchero OLD (Zonik NOP x Prince Thatch XX) – GER – 9.66 2nd Andreas Helgstrand with Revolution (Rocky Lee x Rouletto) – DEN – 9.44 3rd Andreas Helgstrand with Zhaplin Langholt (Zonik NOP x Stedinger) – DEN – 9.34 CH-M-D YH Final for seven year old horses 1st Severo Jurado Lopez with d’Avie (Don Juan de Hus x Londonderry) – ESP – 85.10% 2nd Jan Moller Christensen with Hesselhoej Donkey Boy (Era Dancing Hit x Milan) – DEN – 85.02% 3rd Isabel Freese with Total Hope OLD (Totilas x Blue Horse Don Schufro) – NOR – 84.25% Watch the highlights from the FEI WBFSH Championships .   Full results . 
Friday, August 2

Scotland Macbeth takes BD Youth Hl title

Scottish team, Scotland Macbeth, won a thriller of a competition at the BD Youth Home International, held last week at Arena UK in Lincolnshire (26 – 28 July 2019). The quartet of Rose Foley, Carmen Gammie, Matilda Haley and Eilidh Roberts took an early lead on day one, with two riders impressively breaking through the 70% benchmark - Eilidh Roberts from Berwickshire with her black Irish gelding Flashy Rocko competing in the Novice, and Elementary combination Matilda Haley from Aberdeenshire and her KWPN gelding Go. In pole position overnight, hopes were high on Sunday morning for the Macbeth four, however last year’s winners, and winners of the 2019 BD Youth Inter Regional - South West Donald Ducks - were not going to release their grip of the trophy easily. Just two percent off the leaders overnight, the South West challengers made up ground on day two, but it wasn’t enough to dislodge the Scottish challengers from the podium. Maintaining their focus, Aberdeenshire’s Carmen Gammie and her Welsh pony Champagne Bubbles (17) posted a super 72.06% in the Medium, Matilda and Go. 70.49% in the Elementary, whilst Dumfries and Galloway’s Rose Foley with Shona Leckie’s Cordici K earned 68.14% in the Elementary, and Eilidh and Flashy Rocko scored 69.95% at Novice to bolster the team total. “It was a fantastic competition!” said Scotland RDO Emma Stewart, reflecting on the success of her young riders. “Ending day one in the lead by a narrow margin meant a nail biting day two but all the team were outstanding to hold their nerve and put in excellent individual performances. I’m so proud of the whole squad for supporting each other throughout the competition and making the weekend a great experience for everyone.” Individual honours Riders from north of the border featured highly on the winners’ roster of the individual championship titles. Matilda Haley and Go, an eight year old son of Carosso VDL, took the Elementary with a score average of 71.42%, and Carmen Gammie with the evergreen Champagne Bubbles (17) made the Medium honours theirs with 70.22%. The Novice belonged to North West’s Sophia Marston with her British bred mare Solitaire II (San Amour x Hotline). The combination which is trained by Michael Eilberg won on a percentage average of 71.19 over the two days of competition. Sophia who’s from Meriden, a stone’s throw from BDHQ, also claimed Saturday’s Children on Horses class. Jessica Whitehead did the Southern region proud with a win in the FEI Junior Championship partnered by her 12 year old German son of Samarant, The Amazing Spiderman, and the FEI Pony Championship went the Northern Region, thanks to two solid performances by Meghan Anderson. Meghan, from County Durham, and 16 year old Berlioz (by Benetton S) who is owned by Sean Anderson, achieved an average of 63.34% over the two days. British Dressage thanks the team at Arena UK for putting on a fantastic event. Congratulations to all the prize-winning teams and individuals and to everyone who took part. BD Youth is open to every young person under the age of 25 who would like to be involved in regional training, competitions and camps. It is also a great way to meet new friends and learn more about the sport. To find out more visit www.britishdressage.co.uk/under_25s Team results 1st - Scotland Macbeth – 425.16 Rose Foley with Cordici K (Elem) Carmen Gammie with Champagne Bubbles (Med) Matilda Haley with Go. (Elem) Eilidh Roberts with Flashy Rocko (Nov) 2nd - South West Donald Ducks – 421.35 Chloe Dawes with Femme Lijbra (Med) Florence Human with Flugencio (Med) Tom O’Bryan with DHI de Rouet (Elem) Alexa Palmer with Global Super Nova (Nov) 3rd – North West Guinevere – 413.77 Amy Charlton with Vanabyt van het Kleuterhof (Nov) Danielle Marshall with Galant IV (Elem) Sophia Marston with Solitaire II (Nov) Overall individual winners Novice – Sophia Marston with Solitaire II (North West), 71.19% Elementary – Matilda Haley with Go. (Scotland), 71.42% Medium – Carmen Gammie with Champagne Bubbles (Scotland), 70.22% FEI Test winners Pony - Meghan Anderson with Berlioz (Northern), 63.34% Junior – Jessica Whitehead with The Amazing Spiderman (Southern), 66.53% Young Riders - awaiting results Children on Horses – Sophia Marston with Solitaire II (North West), 68.63% Photo left to right: Carmen Gammie, Matilda Haley, Rose Foley, Eilidh Roberts
Thursday, August 1

Chosen four for Rotterdam Euros

The British Equestrian Federation and British Dressage have today, 1 August 2019, announced the UK Sport National Lottery funded dressage squad which will compete at the FEI Longines European Championships in Rotterdam, Holland (21–25 August 2019). Team GBR stalwarts Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester will be looking to build on the team and individual bronze medals they earned in Tryon at last year’s World Equestrian Games, while Gareth Hughes and Charlotte (Lottie) Fry are capitalising on some successful Nations Cups results this season. This will be Lottie’s first senior championships, although she and Dark Legend achieved Individual silver and Freestyle gold at the European Under 25 Championships in 2018. In alphabetical order, the selected squad has been named by the British Dressage selectors as: • Charlotte Dujardin CBE with Emma and Jill Blundell’s Mount St John Freestyle   (bay, mare, 10yo, 16.2hh, Fidermark x Donnerhall. Grooms – Alan Davies and Lucy Scudamore) Charlotte commented:  “It’s a real privilege to be riding on the team – and such an exciting team too! I’m really looking forward to returning to Rotterdam where I first rode for Britain at the European Championships in 2011 with Valegro, it’ll feel special to be back there.” • Charlotte Fry with van Olst Horses and her own Dark Legend   (bay, gelding, 11yo, 17hh, Zucchero x Tango . Groom – Claire James) Charlotte commented; “I am super excited and so thankful for the whole team around me and my horses for making this possible. And I'm honoured that in my first year of competing at seniors, I've been given this amazing opportunity.” • Carl Hester MBE with Lady Anne Evans, Ann Cory and his own Hawtins Delicato (bay, gelding, 11yo, 16.2hh, Diamond Hit x Regazzoni - Grooms – Alan Davies and Lucy Scudamore). Carl commented;  “I’m delighted to be part of such an exciting team heading to Rotterdam for the European Championships. It’s wonderful that we’ve got our Olympic qualification secured so that we can just enjoy it and ride to our best in search of a medal.” • Gareth Hughes with Rebecca Hughes, Julia Hornig and his own Classic Briolinca (bay, mare, 13yo, 16.2hh, Trento B x Royal Dance. Groom – Steph Sharples) Gareth commented:  “There is no greater honour than to represent your country. I’m very proud to be riding Classic Briolinca because Rebecca and myself, along with our long-time friend and supporter Julia Hornig, have owned her since she was three or four years old. Steph Sharples, my travelling groom and Head Girl, has looked after Briolinca throughout her career, so it will be exciting and emotional for all of us to be there. It’s great to be back on the team with Charlotte and Carl, and to have Lottie with us – she has been one of the most exciting stars this year. We have a very strong team and it will be an exciting championship.” Charlotte Dujardin has also been selected with a direct reserve horse, Sonnar Murray-Brown’s Erlentanz. In addition, two reserve combinations have been selected: First reserve: Richard Davison with Gwendolyn Meyer and his own Bubblingh Second reserve: Lara Butler with Wilfred and Ursula Bechtolsheimer’s Rubin Al Asad Performance Manager Caroline Griffith said “I am absolutely thrilled to be working with such a fantastic team this year. All the combinations have had phenomenal results in preparation including several personal bests and scores which evidence they are amongst the best in the world. The selectors have included young horses, older horses, young riders and more experienced riders, combined it has all the ingredients of an amazing recipe for success. I feel honoured and privileged to be working with the riders, owners and grooms all of whom play such a major part in making this happen and I have absolutely no doubt that we head to the Championships excited by the opportunity to show our capabilities to the full. The riders have asked me to thank everyone for their support, they are keen now to get on with the job and make Team GBR proud.” Jason Brautigam, British Dressage Chief Executive, commented; “It’s great to have a new addition to the team in Lottie Fry and, with the experience of Carl, Charlotte and Gareth, it makes for a very strong squad. Lottie has made such a strong impression in the last 12 months since winning gold at the European U25 Championships, while Carl and Charlotte obviously impressed us all with their exciting young horses last year at the World Equestrian Games. All four riders can use Rotterdam as an important stepping stone towards the Olympics in 2020, so hopefully Team GBR will be able to make a strong statement of intent a yearout from Tokyo.” The British senior teams are supported by the BEF’s UK Sport National Lottery-funded World Class Programme.  
Wednesday, July 31

Italian adventure for Team NAF Juniors and YRs

The British contingent of Youth riders rode with professionalism and cool in the heat of the FEI Junior and Young Rider European Championships at San Giovanni in Marignano, near Rimini in Italy (24 – 28 July 2019). The Team NAF Young Riders gained invaluable championship experience and showed much potential in the face of soaring temperatures at the fabulous Horses Riviera Resort, whilst our Juniors, competing as individuals, each admirably achieved placings amongst the top ranked riders. Young Riders gain valuable mileage Team NAF’s Young Rider trio showed much promise despite not quite achieving the ‘clear rounds’ they’d hoped for. Team pathfinder Rebecca Bell and the gorgeous British bred Nibeley Union Hit delivered a solid 66.61% on day one of the Team competition, even though they had some costly mistakes. They went on to score 66.08% in their Individual test which showed more power in the trot but with a couple of miscommunications in the canter section keeping their score in check. Alex Hellings and Uvender V had a challenging start to the week with an uncharacteristic 64.38% in the Team competition. The warm up went well for Alex and ‘Uvi’ but tension crept into their test, affecting the way of going. Alex and the evergreen Uvi (18) showed what a great team they are by bouncing back with a super 67.58% to finish 41st in the Individual and best of the Brits. Hellings and Bell have a collection of Pony Europeans medals between them and were on the same silver medal-winning team in 2014, so are championship riders who will only build on this experience. Championship debutant Rebecca Swain presented strong highlights with Bon Jovi. Mistakes in the Team competition were expensive, resulting in an uncharacteristic 63.11%. However they showed character to come back with a 67.41%-earning Individual. Rebecca and ‘Bobby’, who this year achieved wins at Compiègne and Keysoe CDIs, have heaps of ability which, combined with this championship experience, gives them a very bright future to look forward to. Germany headed the team competition, spearheaded by Semmieke Rothenberger and the black 12 year old mare Dissertation (Don Crusador x Glückspilz) who earned a phenomenal 77.55%. The German star was unbeatable all week, winning the Individual with 78.94% and the Freestyle on 78.05%. Juniors make their mark Great Britain’s Junior representatives for Team NAF, Jessica McConkey and Charlotte McDowall, enjoyed an awesome European Championships at San Giovanni in Marignano. Jessica rode the test of her career so far with the beautiful mare Lady Gaga (Quaterback x Solos Landwind) for a personal best score of 71.587% and 13th out of 78 in the Team competition. They then scored an admirable 68.08% in the Individual. Charlotte McDowall and Alivia meanwhile, scaled the ranks from 57th in the Team test due to a couple of mistakes, to 16th in in the Individual with plus-70% securing them a coveted place in the Freestyle final. The elegant partnership of just 12 months posted a victory at Keysoe CDIJ earlier this year with their tried and tested freestyle routine, and this time, under Italian skies, impressed again. The panel of Oliver Smeets (BEL) at E, Elke Ebert (GER) at H, Barbara Ardu (ITA) at C, Clive Halsall (GBR) at M and Hans-Christian Matthieson (DEN) at B awarded the Brit 70.425% to finish in the top 15. “I have had the most incredible time at the Europeans here in Italy,” said Charlotte. “‘Liv’ has been an absolute star all week and after a couple of mistakes on my part in the team test, I am still in complete shock that we managed to score 70.3% in the individual yesterday to place 16th (out of 77!) and qualify for the freestyle. It was a dream come true to be able to ride it here and despite a pretty tired Liv, we managed to score 70.4% to finish 15th.” It was a clean sweep for Germany as they added the Junior team title to their haul, with Jana Schrödter claiming Individual and Freestyle Gold with Der Erbe, an 11 year old Oldenburg stallion son of Dimaggio. Looking forward The 2019 FEI Junior and Young Rider Europeans has been another great Championship for Team NAF, both for some promising individual achievements and also the opportunity it’s given riders to compete against the very best in Europe. British Dressage thanks team supporters NAF, equestrian kit suppliers LeMieux, and all the support teams behind our Championship representatives including Team Trainer Paul Fielder, Team Vet Robert Oulton, Stable Manager Liz Walsh, Chef d’Equipe Nina Boex and the panel of selectors. Congratulations to the team at Horses Riviera Resort for delivering a world class championships for Juniors, Young Riders, U25s and Children on Horses. Results Young Rider Team 1st Semmieke Rothenberger with Dissertation, 77.559% (GER) 30th Rebecca Bell with Nibeley Union Hit, 66.618% (GBR) 45th Alexandra Hellings with Uvender V, 64.382% (GBR) 52nd Rebecca Swain with Bon Jovi, 63.118% (GBR) Team rankings 1st Germany, 74.745 2nd The Netherlands, 73.030 3rd Sweden, 69.687 Young Rider Individual 1st Semmieke Rothenberger with Dissertation, 78.941% (GER) 41st Alexandra Hellings with Uvender V, 67.588% (GBR) 43rd Rebecca Swain with Bon Jovi, 67.412% (GBR) 49th Rebecca Bell with Nibeley Union Hit, 66.088% (GBR) Junior Team 1st Valentina Pistner with Flamboyant OLD, 76.940% (GER) 13th Jessica McConkey with Lady Gaga, 71.576% (GBR) 57th Charlotte McDowall with Alivia, 66.879% (GBR) Team rankings 1st Germany, 76.081 2nd The Netherlands, 73.485 3rd Denmark, 71.959 Junior Individual 1st Jana Schrödter with Der Erbe, 77.971% (GER) 16th Charlotte McDowall with Alivia, 70.353% (GBR) 39th Jessica McConkey with Lady Gaga, 68.088% (GBR) Junior Freestyle 1st Jana Schrödter with Der Erbe, 78.440% (GER) 15th Charlotte McDowall with Alivia, 70.425% (GBR) For full results click here . Visit the BD Youth page for daily photos and stories from the event, click here .
Wednesday, July 31

Applications invted for BD BEF Board Director

In line with the British Equestrian Federation Articles of Association, British Dressage is entitled to nominate a Director to sit on the BEF Board. The current Nominated Director, Lotte Olsen, completes her first term at the end of this year and has indicated that she would like to stand for a second term. However, we are also opening this up to other nominations from the British Dressage membership, for anyone who would like to put their name forward to work with the BEF Board to help develop the future direction of the Federation and implement the new five-year strategic plan. All applicants will need to meet the specified knowledge, experience and competencies required for a Board Director, in accordance with the defined Terms of Reference . Anyone wishing to submit a nomination should download and complete a nomination paper and declaration of interests form (see links below). In addition, candidates will need to provide a full curriculum vitae, together with a supporting statement detailing how they meet the role requirements by midday on Friday 30 August. All applications will then be reviewed by the BD Nominations Committee in September, before a recommendation is put forward to the BEF Nominations Committee for final ratification. Download: • BEF Board Director Terms of Reference • Nomination form • Declaration of Interests form For further information, please contact Angela Green, HR & Office Manager, by email or call 0247 669 8844.
Tuesday, July 30

Exciting mix for Para Euros 2019

The British Equestrian Federation and British Dressage have today, 30 July 2019, announced the UK Sport National Lottery funded para-equestrian dressage squad which will compete at the FEI Longines European Championships in Rotterdam, Holland (21–25 August 2019). This year’s team includes three combinations who will be contesting their first senior championships, while Sophie Wells and C Fatal Attraction will be out to defend their Freestyle gold medal from the European Championships in 2017. In alphabetical order, the selected squad has been named by British Dressage selectors as: • Mari Durward-Akhurst (Grade I) with Glesni Owen’s Sky O’Hara (brown, gelding, 16.2hh, 20yo, Welt Hit II x Lector) . Mari commented; “I am really excited to be competing at my first Senior Championships. It’s so nice to be recognised by the selectors after our hard work over the last couple of years – dreams do come true. Thank you to everyone who has supported me, my amazing home team and my trainer Rob Waine. I also have to thank my wonderful equine partner, Sky O’Hara, who continues to improve with age, and his owner, Glesni Owen, who has given me the opportunity to build such a special partnership with him. I hope that Sky and I will do everyone proud.” • Nicky Greenhill (Grade IV) with her own and Gary Greenhill’s Betty Boo (black, mare, 16.3hh, 10yo, Benetton Dream x Londonderry) . Nicky commented;  “I was obviously incredibly shocked to receive the news, but now feel very proud and honoured to be able to represent my country.” • Sophie Wells (Grade V) with Charlotte Hogg’s C Fatal Attraction (dark brown, gelding, 16.1hh, 12yo, Fidertanz x Olivi) . Sophie commented;  “It’s a massive honour to be selected to represent Team GBR again with C Fatal Attraction, and I’m also really pleased to have my pupil, Georgia Wilson, on the squad with me. This is an exciting time for British Dressage ahead of the Paralympic Games in Tokyo next year, with such a broad range of talented horses and riders for the selectors to call upon. I’d like to thank C Fatal Attraction’s owner, Charlotte Hogg, for her support and my home team for all their hard work – without them, this selection wouldn’t have been possible.” • Georgia Wilson (Grade II) with her own and Geoff and Julie Wilson’s Midnight (brown, mare, 15.3hh, 10yo, Hilkens Black Delight x Cassander) . Georgia commented;  “I’m excited but nervous at the same time because this is my first major championships but I’m really looking forward to it.” Nicky and Sophie have also been selected with direct reserve horses, Nicky with Gary Greenhill and her own King Edward I and Sophie with her own Diadeem. Performance Manager Georgina Sharples said “Many congratulations to all the selected combinations, their owners and support teams. It is wonderful to see three first-time championship athletes included in this selection – they’ll have the chance to experience a championship environment as part of the build up to Tokyo 2020. Also representing Great Britain in her eleventh major championships, Paralympic, World and European multi-medallist Sophie Wells, will bring a wealth of experience as will a highly committed and knowledgeable support Team.” Jason Brautigam, British Dressage Chief Executive, commented; “It’s fantastic to see three new names getting the call-up to the team this year, alongside the extensive Championship experience of Sophie Wells. With qualification for next year’s Paralympics already assured, it’s great to provide opportunities for new combinations to make their mark on the international stage. Competition for places has been fierce this year, with a number of riders in line for selection, which shows the fantastic depth we have in the programme just one year out from Tokyo. Congratulations to the chosen four and we look forward to cheering you on in Rotterdam.” The British senior teams are supported by the BEF’s UK Sport National Lottery funded World Class Programme.    
Sunday, July 28

Hickstead CDIO/CDI - day four

Victory in the CDIO FEI Dressage Nations Cup final leg was emphatically claimed by the all-male quartet each riding Lusitano stallion today when their two Freestyle riders got the necessary results today at Hickstead. Rodrigo Torres posted 74.62% with the grey Fogoso to a grand Pink Floyd routine but the class victory went to Britain. It was Lara Butler who posted a career best with the Bechtolsheimer’s Rubin Al Asad of 78.26% who took the spoils. ‘Rufus’ may be 17 this year but the enforced break while Lara took a few weeks out when baby Jack arrived has invigorated both of them and he looked better than ever. Their trademark Dire Straits routine was executed perfectly – mistake free and some great passage and truly impressive canter pirouettes. “He was awesome!” declared Lara. “The power was there, the concentration was there and he’s the best condition wise I’ve ever had him. He tried so hard and today we really showed our partnership.” Hayley Watson-Greaves completed the podium with a spritely Rubins Nite. They didn’t get off to the best start when their music didn’t start and then ‘Squeaks’ had a shy at a speaker which put them off their first tricky line but then the gorgeous black gelding switch off to the surroundings and on to his pilot and the marks began to flow for a final score of 73.24%. “Once I got him back there was some really good quality work and I was happy with the mark. That’s just him…that’s just horses.” This is the first season for some time that Hayley has competed him in acoustic ears following an incident at Doha which saw them miss a few months and today maybe was a case to try them again. “I’m keeping the ears off. He has much more about him without them, I just need to learn how to ride him without,” she explained. So after the three stages, Portugal reigned supreme on a score of 17, Britain finished on an overall score of 23, the Netherlands completed the podium on 36 while Ireland scored 51. With this final result in, Sweden are the overall winners of the series. The day ended on a massive high with a popular victory for Louise Bell in the CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle . If her inaugural win on Friday wasn’t enough emotion, today she scored a new PB with the eternally cheeky Into the Blue of 76.05% much to the delight of the crowd and supporters. They danced to their now trademark country routine featuring Sweet Home Alabama and Desposito and it was the cleanest performance of the floor plan so far. “He’s really busy – so very saucy normally – but today I went in and he almost felt tired so I thought to myself, let’s just go through it and enjoy it, we know exactly what we’re doing. I just wanted to ride him nicely and the judges obviously liked what they saw. He gave me such a harmonious feel. I’m so proud; he’s got to be the happiest horse in dressage!” she exclaimed. Second went to Vicky Thompson Winfield and reigning MCI champion Mango Jacaro, owned by Samantha Francis who were super in their James Bond/Mission Impossible routine which showed high levels of difficulty to demonstrate the stallion’s great manouverability. They scored 74.05%. Third was British resident Dane Ulrik Moelgaard and Michigan, another veteran horse showing you’re never too old, with 71.1% Amy Schiessel and Mr Mercury completed an U25 CDI double by taking today’s Grand Prix by a two percent margin and showed that age is no barrier with the 18 year old looking fresh as a daisy to score 67.38%. “It was pretty much mistake free and his changes were good. The sun came out just as we were about to go in and it got hot but I couldn’t have asked for more. He’ll have a little break now and I’m hoping for a Nationals invite but he’ll resume his grandpa duties on the yard to my three year olds!” she joked. Kaja Tharaldsen Olsen was another rider to top a great week with a win in the Freestyle, this time in the Young Rider division for Norway. Riding Solhoej’s Lord Falcor, she posted 70.34% to take the spoils in her first ever CDI. The duo have been together for three and a half years and have moved up the levels together before travelling to Britain to spend time with the Eilbergs training. Kaja said; “It’s been an amazing week! It’s my first international and the atmosphere here is really good. My horse has been fresh and had great energy – he’s been so fun to ride. This year he’s really grown up so next year is exciting.” Kaja and Falcor will journey home to Norway for their National Championships before coming back to resume her training with the Eilbergs. In second was World Class Podium Pathway rider Angus Corrie-Dean riding Tiny Tempur to…you guessed it…Tiny Tempur music put together by Ros Emery-Kay. Afterwards Angus said; “He was quite physically tired today – it’s a long week and with the heat of Thursday – but he really tried,” said Angus. German 17 year old Emely Van Loon made it a Junior hat-trick with a resounding win the CDIJ Freestyle on her first trip to British shores. Riding FBW Desperaux, a ten year old the Van Loon family have owned from a two and half year old, Emely posted her third 70% plus score of the week when last to go. The judges all had her to win with a final score of 75.96%, a new personal best for the duo. Emely said; “He did a super good job today! He has a very good trot and we focus on that in my floorplan and also his extended canter is like flying! I was happy with my test and I expected a good score.” The duo have been part of a winning German Junior Nations Cup team but this week is her first individual international win – and she’s achieved three in one week! Emily and Deseraux are considering competing at Exloo this seadson before the move up to Young Riders next year and the young talent has progressing on to the German u25 squad in her sights. Emely is hoping to make riding her career and is current looking for a professional stable to join when she finishes school. Second and best of the Brits was Catlin Burgess from Devon with her Dutch bred Chocotof, by Lord Leatherdale. They scored 71.26% with a revised Inter I floorplan borrowed from the Huttons at Talland where she trains. “Charlie did the music, Pippa the floorplan and Pammy is my trainer,” declared Catlin. “I’m really happy with him today; it’s only our third Freestyle and this our third International together, I couldn’t have asked any more of him today,” she concluded. In the Hickstead British Five Year Old International Young Horse class it was a win for Mark Forest and Sandy Senior’s GF Sezuki with a score of 80.6%. The elegant Sezuan mare competed in the National class yesterday but upped her performance to overtake Sara Lucas’s SJL Baks Zacco ridden by Dan Greenwood for the top honours. “She was much better than yesterday, the work really came off,” explained Mark. “We had a small error in the counter canter section but we corrected quickly and she was so brave. She’s very consistent and seems to get better the mores he does; she’s as cool as anything and is a real trier.” Sandy, who runs Glossoms Farm Stud just north of Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire bought the mare as a foal from breeder Christian Heinrich as she wanted to get Sezuan’s bloodlines into her breeding programme. Indeed GF Sezuki has an ET foal due next season. The  Hickstead British Six Year Old International Young Horse  title went to Olivia Oakeley and Rock Diva but it was again a tight battle with yesterday’s winners, Jezz Palmer and WGS Inanda with the winning margin just 0.2%. Olivia has produced ‘Rocky’, by Rock Forever, from an unbroken youngster and was delighted with today’s win on 75.6%. “Today she was on good form. She’s really noise sensitive and when I saw there were Freestyle competitions in the other ring I was worried but she was great. I got my changes, the walk wasn’t great but I could really feel the strength in her. I really feel she’ll be a Grand Prix horse in the future,” she said. “It’s so exciting to have a horse that enjoys her job so much; she just loves to work and is the most trainable horse I’ve ever had.” Congratulations to the Dressage at Hickstead team who've put on a great week with a typical mix of British weather but they always kept smiling and friendly to make sure the competitors and their horses were never left wanting. There's been to top competition, worthy winners and a great spirit throughout the show - so thank you to all involved. Full results - click here Photo c www.kevinsparrow.co.uk  
Saturday, July 27

Hickstead CDIO/CDI - day three

It was Grand Prix Special day for the FEI Nations Cup competitors and a one-two for the Portugese further extended their lead ahead over the home team in the standings. Joao Miguel Torrao and Coudelaria Monte Velho’s Equador have won a legion of fans in the six weeks they’ve been based in Britain with Carl Hester and today they won their first Grand Prix level competition and with a personal best score of 75.78% to boot when last to go. Compatriot Durate Nogueira was second some four marks adrift on Beirao on 72.85%. It was a picture in the prize giving with the two bay Lusitano stallions proudly representing their breed and country. 26 year old João was emotional after his win as he’s trained the horse for the last five years and they’ve worked up the grades together. They’ve been impressive in their first year at Grand Prix and, on their first Nations Cup appearance for their country, today they cemented their credentials for a place on the Portuguese team for Rotterdam. “It’s all been a dream come true. I always said one day I’d score 75% in a Grand Prix and today I’ve done it. Equador is amazing, he always tries is hardest and today I had a really good feeling. His frame was good and he was in front of my leg – a small mistake in the half pass was our only problem. He has such a kind heart and is such a fighter; he’s frightened of nothing. He makes me emotional as he’s my teacher – I’ve learned everything with him, he’s amazing.” The Brits were competitive but off the pace a little today. Sara Gallop rode a strong test with Bandreo who’s ever improving – today’s piaffe passage tour and final centre line was one of the best we’ve seen from ‘Chippy’ for a 68.12%. Emile Faurie was first to go with Hof Kasselmann’s Café’s Caletta and they had a tricky ride. Their start was delayed by an AWOL when they were ready to start and then a restless crowd caused the mare to spook during her extended walk so the score 66.8%. So our Freestyle riders have a bit to do tomorrow to take the top honours but Hayley and Lara are two very capable riders sat on two of the best dancing horses around. British based Finnish rider Mikaela Soratie showed that no matter how low things may feel, never give up. Just weeks ago she finished on 60% at Hartpury and didn’t qualify for the Special, today she backed up her Grand Prix fourth place from yesterday with a close win in the CDI3* Grand Prix Special riding her own Dacor on 68.51%. Just 0.02% behind was Emile Faurie with Niina Nilosaari’s  Quentano 2   who rode a test full of promise on the impressive nine year old contesting his first Special. Emile has high hopes for him. “He’s world class but just needs more competition exposure,” he said. A job with Katja Kustila lured Mikaela to British shores after a two year stint in Germany and she now makes West Sussex her home. She’s had Dacor since he was four and this is their first year at Grand Prix. She was delighted with today’s performance, her first international win; “The Special really suits him as there’s plenty of extended trot which is his highlight. I’ve really struggled with him this season, it’s been up and down but it was great today to show what I know he can do. I only hope we can keep this level of work and the scores!” Mikaela trains with Gareth Hughes and is currently longlisted for the Finnish team for a place at the Rotterdam Euros. She and Dacor travel to the Netherlands this week for team training and will shortly find out their selection fate. The win today will certainly have brought that coveted team place a step closer. In the Hickstead five year old Young Horse Championship , it was a resounding with for Dan Greenwood and the Danish-bred SJL Backs Zacco ( Zack x Don Romantic ) on 82.4% from a masterfully presented test. Runner up was Jayne Turney with Lindsey Roberts’s Fred Astaire (s. Fiderbach) on 79.6%. Owner Sara Lucas purchased him as a three year old from Brightwells and regular rider Antonia Brown has produced him at home where he’s gone from strength to strength. Dan partnered him to third place last year as a four year old in the Shearwater Young Horse Championships and this year as well as qualifying for the Hickstead final, he’s Stoneleigh bound once again as he and Dan won their Shearwater semi-final at Port Royal.   “I’d say that’s his best test to date and really showed his ability to close and open. He has an outstanding temperament and just gets on with it; he has an amazing hind leg. He’s tall at 18hh but has amazing balance and while he’s not flash, he’s a slow burner and with time will really come on. We’ve had a bespoke saddle for him as he may be leggy but he’s very short in the back and it’s made such a difference. “Toni has done a great job; she does the hard work and qualifying and I just get to ride the nice bits! She’ll be sad to have missed it as she’s laid up at home with back trouble but this will be news to cheer her up!” said Dan. It’s a busy few weeks ahead for Dan and Zacco as they are set to contest the Summer Regionals at Novice and Elementary in search of more tickets for Stoneleigh. Jezz Palmer kept up his winning Hickstead Young Horse record with victory in the six year old class riding Steph Taylor’s classy mare WGS Inanda by Rock for Ever with a score of 82.4%. Just 0.4% behind was Hannah Biggs with David Johnson’s Freeman in second. A happy Jezz said; “You never really know what young horses are going to do here, it’s such a big atmosphere. Today, she really rose to the occasion; I was pleased with her walk and canter but her trot wasn’t quite what I can get at home. Plus, I did my walks the wrong way round so got a two mark deduction – I’d have been cross with myself if I’d have lost because of that!” ‘Indy’ was purchased from Holland via Rebecca Dudley of RD Sport Horses and Jezz says the mare ‘has been everything Rebecca said she was’. Jezz, who runs JLP Dressage with partner Lucy Pye, paid tribute to his trainer Paul Fielder. “He’s great, he’s really my mentor and is always at the end of the phone and has helped me so much. Jezz faces the agonising wait to see if he has a wild card with Indy for the Nationals having just missed out at their recent Regional. Almost exactly a year to the day Nottinghamshire’s Olivia Whitelaw once again found herself in the winner’s position in the CDIP Freestyle class. Last year it was on her International debut with Brouwershaves’s Viceroy but a year on and the duo have progressed leaps and bounds to the point they were long listed for this year’s Team NAF Pony squad for the Europeans. Sadly they weren’t selected as one of the four but today’s win, on the back of victory yesterday in the Individual test, will go some way as a consolation. Olivia has had the Dutch bred ‘Leo’ since he was five and has taken him from a novice right up to producing him as an international winner with help from trainers Andrew Fletcher, Daryl Thickitt and Clive Halsall. Their performance was magical today with great music which grabs the attention and a brave start in walk to the spine tingling theme of the hit TV show Victoria. A mistake strike off into canter instead of trot was quickly left behind them for a polished test to score 71.61%. Afterwards, Olivia said; “He has a bit heart and tries so hard! Julie Geraghty from Equivisions did the music but I wanted to do my own floorplan. My friend Maddie Frewin helped me. We wanted something regal to match Leo and I thought it’d be different to start in walk and we enter to the theme from Victoria my trot music is Road to Victory and canter is Empire of Angels. Sadly, this is their final year together and Leo is now looking for a new owner and once he’s sold, she’ll be looking for a horse and plans to buy a youngster to produced up the levels as she’s so successfully done. Olivia has had a tricky summer combining her training with Leo and taking her GCSEs as she has her sights firmly set on becoming a doctor in the Army. This is one focused and determined young lady so there’s no doubting she’ll achieve just that. It was all change on the podium today from yesterday’s Inter A with three new names rising to the top in the Inter B . It was a combination which have been together for a while now and have been one of the most consistent at small tour both nationally and internationally who shone through. Nathalie Kayal and Homerun, or Jojo as he’s known, are using the Medium Tour classes to their best advantage as they’re climbing the ladder together and today they posted 68% to take the win. “It’s a bit like the blind leading the blind at the moment!” she exclaimed. “At Small Tour we’re established and I can anticipate and quickly correct things in the test, at this level it’s still new. In the Inter A I was pleased with his way of going but there were too many mistakes. Today, my normal International groom Casey Marsh didn’t make it for the test – she was stuck in traffic but gave me a good piece of advice over the phone, ‘don’t ride for a nine, just aim for correct’ and I did just that. It was one of those tests where as a rider you come out and say ‘I don’t care what the mark is’, I knew it was the best we could do today,” she explained. Nathalie was quick to praise the Dressage at Hickstead team and leader Dane Rawlins. “I used to come here with my mum as a teenager and it was a dream to compete. I’m just grateful to Hickstead for offering the Middle Tour classes for riders like me. I’m sure they don’t make any money for the show but they give us chance to put everything we work on at home into practice; it’s hugely appreciated.” And her final comment was something which will resonate with any rider; “I never thought I’d have the chance to ride with the British flag on my saddle cloth but Jojo has made it possible; I just owe him everything!” Jess Dunn crowned a great week, and amazing season overall, with a win in the Inter I Freestyle with Jennifer Whitaker’s Alicante Valley. Things didn’t start well when she raised her arm to start her music and someone else’s tunes bellowed from the tannoy.   A momentary silence from the commentary box and then they tried again…but that music was for the previous competitor. More silence…but eventually the CD played and Jess and Chello were underway to their uplifting Greatest Showman music. It was a demanding and technical floorplan with plenty of opportunity to show all the compulsory moves and the judges. It was well rewarded by the judges with 77.4% which overtook Alice Oppenheimer and Headmore Davina who’d previously lead on 74.32%. Duthc rider Lynne Maas, who’s impressed all week, snuck into second when last to go with Fantastiqe on 76.43%. Jess told us; “The start was slightly annoying…I’ve never had that happen before. One of my CDs is scratched so I don’t have a backup and I just hoped it would play. It didn’t bother us; I’m ready as soon as I enter the white boards. I was really pleased today as it was the first time I felt we were exactly in the right place with the music. We’ve been working toward this all year and he’s proved himself now. He’ll have a well-earned break now and then it’s time to press on to Big Tour.” The CDIU25 got underway this afternoon with the Inter II for the five all female British line up. It was Gloucestershire rider Amy Schiessel, who runs her own yard in Cirencester, who took the spoils with the evergreen Mr Mercury in a tight battle on 66.97%. A fraction behind was Megan Ingham on Coral Ingham’s Wanadoo on 66.55% with Ellie Mccarthy and Belafonte just .35% adrift in third on 66.2%. Amy and Mr Mercury have been together for 12 years so know each other well. He started as mum Gina’s hunter but the eye catching skewbald (Mars x Demonstrator) then went to Amy and she’s taken him from novice up to Grand Prix including representing their country at the 2016 Young Rider European Championships. “We had a slight saddle malfunction in the warm up and he also felt a bit fresh today but I’d rather have him forward really. There were plenty of good parts with some mistakes but I’m thrilled – I wasn’t expecting it! It’s our first international under 25 win so really special.” For full results and start times – click here Photo c www.kevinsparrow.co.uk
Friday, July 26

Hickstead CDIO/CDI - day two

After yesterday’s competitive Prix St Georges, it was Jess Dunn who triumphed today in the Inter I with Jennifer Whittaker’s Alicante Valley. Drawn early at fifth to go at 8:30 this morning, Jess put together a polished test with ‘Chello’ to set the early pace 73.23% in their sixth international of 2019 together. They went in the peak of the heat yesterday but thankfully it clouded over to give a bit of relief. Jess admitted to being a bit worried what yesterday may have taken out of the big moving Caricello 14 year old but she needn’t have as, in her words, ‘he came out fresh as a daisy’. Her biggest threat was yesterday’s winner, Luis Principe but R.S. Raphael was a bit on the spooky side today to pin their marks back to 71.42%, normally enough to win many a class, but today it was Jess and Chello’s day. “He was awesome!” proudly declared Jess who’s had a remarkable season internationally so far. “I struggle with his power at times so I’ve made a few changes at home. He was wild at Hartpury…and I heard a comment on the livestream which said he was a bit fat so he’s been on a strict diet. I’ve forced myself to work more on the trot too as I admit I avoided it. But 101 transitions later and we’re improving! He’s been super this week, really on it, and I’m dead proud of him today." The CDI3* got underway with a strong Grand Prix class which was hard to call a favourite for the win from the long list of entries. Vicky Thompson Winfield set the early pace with the ever popular Mango Jacaro, owned by Samantha Francis, on a strong 68.89% with some fabulous piaffe/passage. The next contender was Laura Tomlinson with the powerful black Rhodium sired stallion Duval’s Capri Sonne Jr. ‘Cas’ as Laura calls him at home put up an impressive performance at Hartpury but a lapse in concentration marred a high score but today, with the help of trainer Klaus Balkenhol, he looked focussed and excelled in what went wrong at Hartpury but it was the tempi changes which eluded him today. Such is his the power of each change that he just doesn’t have enough room. Laura was brave as ever to ride a powerful extended canter but again, there was so much power, he changed before asked as she couldn’t collect in time. The quality was there to merit 70.15% so when it all comes right for the duo, the scores will be impressive. However, the top honours went to a rider who earned her senior flag here at Hickstead exactly a year ago and what a 12 months it’s been for the show rider turned dressage star. Fresh from a crowd pleasing performance at Aachen last weekend, Louise Bell and Tonya Wood’s Into the Blue just oozed quality today – in fact if anything, ‘Dynamo’ was a bit on his toes – cheeky really. It was relatively mistake free, just a few unrequired one time changes at the end of the line of twos were the only blips. The final aggregate score was 70.3% and it wasn’t a unanimous win – two of the five judges had the duo first and others ranged down to fifth. It will take a while for her first international win to sink in; after hearing the final result, Louise chatted and told us; “He was totally full of energy in the warm up which was NOT what I expected after Aachen. I was extremely lucky to have Carl [Hester] here to help me warm up this morning and we kept him very entertained! He gave me exercises to help with the flying changes as I had trouble in Aachen including changes on a circle. It helped as they felt great but in the two I had nine perfect ones and then he took matters into his own hands and slipped in a couple ones! His piaffe and passage felt epic today! He’s certainly not the finished article either which is so exciting. We’re get the reward for what he does well and the rest we’ll carry on working on. It just makes me so happy to have a horse so happy in his work!” Amazing to think the bubbly roan gelding last won here as a six year old when he and Louise galloped round the main ring iconic Hicstead jumping arena as supreme working hunter champions. What a journey they’ve had in seven years. The finale of the FEI Dressage Nations Cup series started with the Grand Prix and on the eve of selection, new mum Lara Butler made a last minute case for her inclusion in the Rotterdam team with a win with the Bechtolsheimer’s Rubin al Asad. They rode a strong ‘clear round’ and ‘Rufus’ belied his 17 years, looking as fresh as ever. 73.76% was the score with the judges largely agreeing on his score although there were two 75% plus marks amongst the five. Hayley Watson-Greaves and Rubins Nite were next best Brits in fifth on 71.17%. ‘Squeaks’ looked a picture as ever today but he had his mind set on a gremlin he decided was living in the K marker which caused him to miss a one time change on the diagonal headed to K which was followed by a loss of rhythm at the end of the line. Ever the professional, Hayley got him back and rode her final extended trot towards the dreaded K marker on full power with Squeaks showing his trademark trot with controlled power to everyone’s delight. Sara Gallop was the team pathfinder with Bandreo and they showed some great work today but he was another feeling fresh for some momentary concentration lapses for some errors. They posted 68.5% which left them ninth overall. Emile Faurie and Hof Kasselmann’s Café’s Caletta are continuing to develop their partnership and the mare is really developing into a strong Grand Prix contenders but today wasn’t their top performance. There was some inconsistencies in the piaffe and an unfortunate loss of canter in the first pirouette which then impacted the centre line flying change. But the changes are much stronger and her work more secure, 65.67% was their final score. The strongest showing of the day was from the Portugese team with all four riders partnering Lusitanos. Lara may have won but their counting riders finished in second, third and seventh which leaves them on a score of 12 and leaders overnight. Britain is second 15, the Netherlands third with 23 and Ireland are fourth with 30. So it’s close at the top with the Grand Prix Special to come tomorrow. Emile and Sara are our nominated riders with Lara and Hayley in the Freestyle on Sunday. After the prize giving Lara said; “Finally…a mistake free test! He was super but he still tests me. I seem to leave it to the last minute to peak as it was all right today. He just keeps carrying on getting better and better but with that extra sparkle. It’s great to do well at a ‘home’ international and even though it only my third show since coming back, our average is better this year. I feel the break gave me time to refresh and refocus which has made me more determined than ever.” In the u21 sections it was Individual test day. In the Young Rider ranks it was a rise from the third of yesterday to a win today for Norway’s Kaja Tharaldsen Olsen with Solhoej’s Lord Falcor on 68.67% and Ruth Hole was the best Brit in second with Easy VZ, who events for fun, with 67.69%. Emely van Loon continued her winning streak for Germany in the Juniors with FBW Despereaux with all three judges declaring her the winner on an overall score of 71.37%. Jessie Kriby was second and best of the home side with Belle Amie on 69.6%. Olivia Whitelaw topped the podium for Britain with Brouwershavens’s Viceroy on 69.14% in the Pony ranks. For full results and start times – click here The action continues with a full day tomorrow and r emember you can watch the International arena live via   Horse & Country TV on subscription   – just £5.99 per month which give you access to lots of great content and live streams. Photo copyright  www.kevinsparrow.co.uk
Thursday, July 25

Hickstead CDIO/CDI - day one

It’s been nothing short of scorching on day one at this year’s Hickstead International. With temperatures forecasted break the highest ever recorded, plenty of provision was made on the show ground to keep horses, riders, officials and supporters well watered and cool and everyone rode appropriately for the conditions. The FEI Pony Team test which got the action underway this morning and two of the Dutch riders lead the way. Nina Van Bakel was the only rider to break the 70% barrier with Mastro’s Night and Day to claim the class on 70.14%. Compatriot Syrah van de Rovaart was just behind on 69.28% with Donna Daria 8 while the Best Brit accolade went to South Yorkshire rider Mollie Witham with DZL Royal Sunrise with a score of 68.42%. Germany lead the way in the Junior ranks with Emely van Loon and FBW Depereaux putting up a stylish performance to go 72.42% but Clare Hole with Rachel Murray’s Winnetou G.E.P. gave them a close run with 70.65% for second. Maddy Frewin completed the podium for Britain with Christine Kirk’s Woodlander Rhythm n Blues, just shy of 70% on 69.78%. In the Young Rider section there was an emphatic win for Jasmine Harding-Heitzman with her own Valeron sired Deco with a great 68.18%. Just behind were Angus Corrie-Dean and Tiny Tempur on 67.5% and Norwegian visitor Kaja Tharaldsen Olsen was just .45% adrift in third with Solhoej’s Lord Falcor. British based Aussie Warwick McLean (pictured) was the winner in the first test of the Middle Tour competition, the Inter A, with Hendrix II on 67.73. In her first international competition for over four years, Pammy Hutton was a popular second with her loyal partner Belmondo on 66.82% and she was also fourth with Armagnac – quite a day for a rider in her ‘fifth decade’ of competing. Alice Oppenheimer was third with Caroline Dibden’s impressive dun Headmore Diffinity; a mistake in the twos just held the score to 66.32% in his first start at the level. A sizable Prix St Georges got the CDI Small Tour under way and it was a familiar name at the top of the leaderboard. Luis Principe and R.S. Raphael are enjoying a great run of form having taken the Inter I and Freestyle at Hartpury earlier this month and today they showed that winning way with a convincing victory scoring 73.47%, the highest mark of the day. Dutch rider Lynne Maas, who sported a stunning hat/tail coat combo featuring rose gold accents, occupied second with Fantastiqe on 72% even. Katie Bailey made sure the Union flag appeared on the podium with a polished performance on Leslie Forlee’s Boccelli 6 to score 71.23%. It was a mammoth performance by everyone involved – riders, grooms, owners, spectators, officials, judges - at Hickstead to battle the conditions but congratulations to all who kept their cool, put horse welfare to the fore and worked to keep everything on track in tough temperatures. It’s set to cool down tomorrow so it promises to be a great day – and with two Grand Prix classes, the action will be as hot as the weather! For times and results – click here Remember you can watch the International arena live via Horse & Country TV on subscription – just £5.99 per month which give you access to lots of great content and live streams. Photo copyright www.kevinsparrow.co.uk
Wednesday, July 24

Hickstead here we come!

For the next four days, all eyes will be on Hickstead for their feature competition which incorporates a CDIO3* which is the finale of the FEI Dressage Nations Cup Series, a CDI3*, CDI2* with Medium and Small Tour classes and CDI sections for u25, Young Rider, Junior and Ponies, 25 – 28 July. The iconic dressage event shares the showground with the Royal International Horse Show which features an array of show jumping and showing classes but the dressage side has plenty to watch with a range of food and shopping outlets. Tickets are available on the gate and are £25 per head each day with a £10 car park charge. Entrance tickets also include a seat in the British Dressage Covered Grandstand so you can shelter from the sun or rain – whatever the weather decides to do! There’s a huge British contingent entered to support as detailed below alongside riders from The Netherlands, Australia, Germany, China, Italy, Norway, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Thailand, Czech Republic, Singapore and Slovenia. So there’ll be a great international flavour to the four days of top flight competition. For the first time ever, the event will be live streamed via Horse and Country for subscribers only – you can join for just £5.99 a month which gives you access to the live stream and plenty of other great content. Keep up to date via the Dressage at Hickstead website and their scoring pages – plus the Facebook page. BD will be onsite with social media coverage across our channels and daily reports. Daily programme Thursday 25 July • 2* Small Tour PSG • Juniors • Young Riders • Ponies • Inter A Friday 26 July • CDIO Nations Cup Grand Prix 3* • CDI3*Grand Prix • Small Tour Inter I • Young Riders • Juniors • Ponies Saturday 27 July • CDI3* GP Special • CDIO Nations Cup Grand Prix Special • Inter I Freestyle • Inter B • U25s Inter II • Pony Freestyle • Hickstead British Young Horse • Dressage at Hickstead Summer BBQ Party Sunday 28 July • Nations Cup Grand Prix Freestyle • CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle • Young Riders Freestyle • Junior Freestyle • U25s Grand Prix • Hickstead British Young Horse British entries:  CDIO3* Nations Cup Team Lara Butler from Gloucestershire with Wilfried Bechtolsheimer’s Rubin Al Asad (bay gelding, 17yrs, s. Rubin Royal ds. Wanderbursch II). Emile Faurie from Oxfordshire with Hof Kasselmann’s Café’s Caletta (bay mare, 10yrs, s. Café au Lait ds. Calato). Sara Gallop from Gloucestershire with her own Bandreo (bay stallion, 13yrs, s. Sandreo). Hayley Watson-Greaves Gloucestershire with her own Rubins Nite (black gelding, 15yrs, s. Rubin Royal, ds. Limbo). CDI3* Big Tour Henriette Andersen from Oxfordshire with her own Flavio (bay gelding, 14yrs, s. Florencio ds. Glueckspilz). Louise Bell from Oxfordshire with her own and Tonya Wood and her own Into the Blue (roan gelding, 16.2hh, 13yrs, Ublesco x Calvaro Z) Lara Butler with Wilfried Bechtolsheimer’s Kristjan (bay gelding, 14yrs, s. Polarion ds. Napoleon Quatre). Liz Diegutis from Hampshire with her own Saskia Hit (bay mare, 14yrs, s. Sandro Hit). Maria Eilberg with her own and Hermione Black’s Royal Concert (grey gelding, 16yrs, s. Royal Diamond, ds. Continue). Emile Faurie from Oxfordshire with Niina Nilosaari’s Quentano 2 (brown mare, 11yrs, s. Quaterback ds. Dartagnan). Tom Goode from Oxfordshire with Samantha Geddes’ Dior III (chestnut stallion, 11yrs, s. Gribaldi ds. Goodtimes). Daniel Greenwood from Gloucestershire with Juliet Leighton’s Chevalier-O (bay gelding, 12yrs, s. Lord Leatherdale). Willow Kemp from London with her own Dragon Heart (chestnut gelding, 16yrs, s. Dresemann). Keith Robertson from Hertfordshire with Boheme Af Sulstead (chestnut gelding, 15yrs, s, Bernstein). Vicky Thompson-Winfield from West Sussex with Samantha Francis’s Artist (palomino gelding, 11yrs, s. Abanos) and Samantha Francis’s Mango Jacaro (bay stallion, 14yrs, s. Rondeño IX). Laura Tomlinson from Gloucestershire with her own and Wilfried Bechtolsheimer’s Duval’s Capri Sonne Jr (black stallion, 12yrs, s. Rhodium ds. San Remo). CDI2* Small Tour Katie Bailey with Leslie Forlee’s Boccelli 6 (liver chestnut gelding, 12yrs, s. Belissimo M ds. Riccione). Immogen Chant from Hampshire with Susan Chant’s Dirty Dancing 29 (dark bay gelding, 13yrs, s. Don Frederico ds. Rodgau). Kate Cowell from Worcestershire with Helen Illes’ Sirocco (brown gelding, 13yrs, s. Sandro Hit). Dylan Deutrom from Berkshire with Matt Hicks and Sarah Warry’s Sunlit Uplands (chestnut gelding, 11yrs, s. Don Henrico). Jessica Dunn from Lancashire with Jennifer Whittaker’s Alicante Valley (liver chestnut gelding, 14yrs, s. Caricello). Paul Friday from Warwickshire with Sarah Overson’s Hawtins Horatio (bay gelding, 10yrs, s. Hotline). Andrew Gould from West Sussex with Terry and Joan Barnett-Knott’s Blue Hors Dexter (black gelding, 12yrs, s. Don Schufro ds. Blue Hors Cavan). Daniel Greenwood from Gloucestershire with Diana Louvain-Miller’s Exige M (grey gelding, 10yrs, s. Samarant). Pammy Hutton from Gloucestershire with her own Armagnac (bay gelding, 14yrs, s. Krack C) and her own Belmondo (bay gelding, 18yrs, s. Bernstein). Nathalie Kayal from Buckinghamshire with her own Cleverboy (bay gelding, 12yrs, s. Sandreo) and her own Homerun (bay gelding, 14yrs, s. Hochadel ds. Mooiman). Elder Klatzko from Somerset with Little Richard (bay gelding, 18yrs, s. Longchamp). Kate Lister from Warwickshire with her own World Exclusive (chestnut gelding, 13yrs, s. World of Dreams ds. Rohdiamant). Kirsty Mepham from East Sussex with Anne Baldock’s Minain (brown mare, 16yrs, s. Idocus ds. Michellino). Alice Oppenheimer from Hampshire with Sarah Oppenheimer’s Headmore Davina (chestnut mare, 9ys, s. Dimaggio ds. Rubinstein) and Caroline Dibden’s Headmore Difinnity (dun gelding, 9yrs, s. Dimaggio). Jezz Palmer from Hampshire with Samantha Dyer’s Dutch Class (chestnut gelding, 11yrs, s. Jazz). Tahley Reeve-Smith from Hertfordshire with her own Special (brown gelding, 17yrs, s. Sandro Hit). Cara Shardlow from North Yorkshire with her own Detonator (bay gelding, 13yrs, s. Demonstrator). Zoe Sleigh from Worcestershire with Christine Sleigh’s Finero (brown gelding, 10yrs, s. Fidertanz). Vicky Thompson-Winfield from West Sussex with Angela Jones’ Esquire (bay stallion, 10yrs, s. Valeron). CDIU25 Isabelle Chaplin from Kent with Coral Ingham’s Vincente II (dark bay stallion, 16.1hh, 17yrs, s. Gribaldi) Megan Ingham from Berkshire with Coral Ingham’s Wanadoo (chestnut gelding, 16.2hh, 18yrs, Wolkenstein II x Cavalier) Ellie Mccarthy from Hampshire with Bridget Mccarthy’s Belafonte (chestnut gelding, 17.1hh, 15yrs, Belissimo M x Wendekreis) Amy Schiessl from Wiltshire with her own Mr Mercury (skewbald gelding, 16.2hh, 18yrs, s. Mars) Tamsin Vaughan from Hampshire with her own Casse Cou (bay gelding, 16.1hh, 17yrs, s. Carpaccio) CDIYR Angus Corrie-Dean from Wiltshire with his own Tiny Tempur (bay gelding, 17.1hh, 14yrs, s. Raikano) Millie Gover from West Sussex with Phillip Gover’s Kamil T (bay gelding, 16hh, 9rs, s. Thunder van de Zuuthoveve) Jasmine Harding-Heitzmann from Berkshire with her own Deco (dark bay gelding, 17.1hh, 11yrs, s. Valeron) Ruth Hole from Suffolk with Dr Rachel Murray’s Easy VZ (dark bay gelding, 16.2hh, 10yrs, s. Maestro) Bethany-Rose Horobin from Suffolk with her own Cachet II (bay gelding, 16.3hh, 12yrs, Vivaldi x Nourejev) Lara Kuropatwa from Wiltshire with Sian Kuropatwa’s For Season (liver chestnut gelding, 16.2hh, 9yrs, Fifty Cent 2 x Voltaire) CDIJ Harriet Brick from Herefordshire with her own World Dancer (chestnut gelding, 16.1hh, 20yrs, s. Wolkentanz II) Caitlin Burgess from Devon with her own Chocotof (dark brown gelding, 16.1hh, 12yrs, s. Lord Leatherdale) Anna Dalrymple from West Sussex with Oliver Weston’s Ibis II (chestnut gelding, 16.2hh, 11yrs, s. Calderon) Maddy Frewin from Oxfordshire with Christine Kirk’s Woodlander Rhythm N Blues (dark bay gelding, 16.1hh, 12yrs, s. Woodlander Rockstar) Clare Hole from Suffolk with Dr Rachel Murray’s Winnetou G.E.P. (black gelding, 17hh, 16yrs, Gribaldi x Donnerhall) Jessie Kirby from Oxfordshire with her own Belle Amie (black mare, 17hh, 13yrs, s. Ronaldo) Avery Maude from Kent with her own Double Agent (chestnut mare, 16.1hh, 12yrs, s. Donnersohn) Sophie Morgan Rodda with her own Zanthos (bay gelding, 15yrs, s. Negro) Chloe Naylor from Derbyshire with her own Karisma (chestnut, gelding, 15.2hh, 12yrs, s. Holme Grove Prokofiev) Soraya Rogers from Surrey with Dr Deborah Kamal’s Evita I (black mare, 16.3hh, 10yrs, s. Jazz) Charlotte Snape from East Yorkshire with her own Camelot III (bay gelding, 16hh, 17yrs, s. Carbas) Samantha Willson from Hampshire with Jacqueline Willson’s Delhurens Sunshire (dark bay mare, 16hh, 10yrs, s. Deans San Ciro Hit) Olivia Wrennall from Buckinghamshire with Tessa Thorne’s Disneyland (liver chestnut gelding, 16.1hh, 10yrs, s. Diamond Hit) CDIP Caitlin Clancy from Somerset with Katy Price’s Browbank Jacob Black (black gelding, 14hh, 9yrs, Foryd Dafydd Ddu x Sydenham Dragon) Claudia Davis from Essex with her own Rubinia 37 (bay mare, 14.1hh, 13yrs, s.Constantin) Myles Graham from Wiltshire with Caron Roberts’ Harnells Erasmus (dun mare, 14hh, 9yrs) Scarlett John from Devon with her own BKS Grand Design (bay gelding, 14hh, 11yrs, s. FS Golden Moonlight) Olivia Langley from Leicestershire with Bathleyhills Sea Wurzel (grey gelding, 14hh, 12yrs, s. Caesar 171) Emilia Nelson from Berkshire with Sarah Steggall’s WFS Top Red (chestnut stallion, 14hh, 11yrs, Top Yellow x Pilgrims Red) Betsy Smetham from Kent with her own Amber V (palomino gelding, 14.2hh, 9rys, s. Orchard Limb-Lopper) Olivia Whitelaw from Nottinghamshire with Brouwershaven’s Vicerory (bay gelding, 14.2hh, 10yrs, s. Jurjen H) Mollie Whitham from South Yorkshire with her own DZL Royal Sunrise (chestnut gelding, 14hh, 8yrs, Domingos Golden Sunrise x Brockwell Prince Charming)  
Wednesday, July 24

Summer Regional Championships: Richmond EC

As the 2019 Summer Regional Championship season approaches the halfway marker, last week attention was on Richmond Equestrian Centre in North Yorkshire for Regional Championship number four (19 – 21 July 2019). The 29-strong Dodson & Horrell Novice Silver belonged to local lady Nicola Naprstek (pictured) with her 11 year old Don Henrico-sired gelding, Don Cru. Nicola, who runs a private yard in North Yorkshire, enjoyed considerable success as an under 21 rider and has kept her name in the game since. Now 41, she’s competed up to Inter I and qualified various horses for regional and national championships. Amy Woodhead headed two classes with her rides, Branduardi and Don Cara M. With Branduardi she won the Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I Gold and with Don Cara M, the TopSpec Medium Gold. Branduardi (Breitling W x Weltmeyer) and Amy, who are in the third year of their partnership, rode a test full of quality for owner Victoria Wright earning a mark of 68.29% to put them in front of Louise Davison with De Galles (67.89%) and Lisa Megginson on Breit Crusador (67.06%). Branduardi, whose career is balanced with life as a breeding stallion, is a reliable Small Tour partner for Amy who he’ll be appearing with at Stoneleigh for a third consecutive year. Don Cara M impressed too with his plus-69% winning round in the TopSpec Medium Gold. Owned by Rowland Kinch, the 10 year old Dutch bred son of Don Jovi has been a resident at the Woodhead family home, Weelsby Park in Grimsby, since 2017. Katie Owens, an apprentice rider at Moody Dressage, enjoyed a regionals to remember with a victory in the Equine Construction Advanced Medium Silver aboard her British bred mare Saffira (by Showmaker). Katie and ‘Stevie’, as Saffira is known at home, scored 69.43%. “It was the best feeling this morning to wake up and remember that my beautiful girl Stevie and I are regional Advanced Medium champions and have our ticket to the Nationals! Can’t describe the love I have for this girl she is a dream come true,” said Katie on Facebook . Becky Moody meanwhile took the Childéric Saddles Elementary Silver Gold with her six year old KWPN gelding Immerado BKO (by Desperado). Nicknamed Marvilicious in the famously inventive Moody style, Immerado is a gorgeous bay talent that many would wish to have in their stable. Seventy-three percent was the score on the board for the pair despite a blip in the rein back. British Dressage thanks the team at Richmond as well as the National class sponsors for their generous support. Congratulations to all competitors and good luck to those heading to the LeMieux National Championships at Stoneleigh Park. Buy your LeMieux National Championships tickets here . The winners: Friday 19 July Class 1: Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Gold Rebecca Hughes with Ibisco, 69.21% Class 2: Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I Gold Amy Woodhead with Branduardi, 68.29% Class 3: TopSpec Medium Silver Steffi Tomlinson with Vivassa, 69.28% Class 4: TopSpec Medium Gold Amy Woodhead with Don Cara M, 69.28% Class 5: Equine Construction Advanced Medium Silver Katie Owens with Saffira, 69.43% Class 6: Equine Construction Advanced Medium Gold Emma Blundell with Mount St John Furstin Fugger, 70.39% Saturday 20 July Class 7: Dodson & Horrell Novice Gold Victoria Maw with Benito Dorato, 74.14% Class 8: Childéric Saddles Elementary Gold Becky Moody with Immerado BKO, 73.49% Class 9: Childéric Saddles Elementary Silver Aimee Gascoigne with Mount St John Diva Dannebrog, 70.63% Sunday 21 July Class 10: Dodson & Horrell Novice Silver Nicola Naprstek with Don Cru, 69.81% Class 11: BackinAction Preliminary Silver Fiona Boddy with Krafty Saratoga, 71.09% Full results
Tuesday, July 23

Team fifth for bright British team in Aachen

A British team featuring new talent achieved fifth place in a close-fought Nations Cup team competition at the World Equestrian Festival CHIO Aachen in Germany (17 – 21 July 2019). Before the vet inspection, team member Susan Pape was unfortunately forced to withdraw the magnificent Don Noblesse, as the stallion had a small infection, so the team didn’t run on the full complement of four. This aside, the trio, spearheaded by Charlotte Dujardin with the inexperienced Erlentanz, showing-turned-dressage star Louise Bell with Into The Blue, and young gun Charlotte Fry with her U25 European Championship Individual silver and Freestyle gold partner Dark Legend rode with supreme professionalism to hold their own in world class company. Dujardin and Sonnar Murray-Brown’s Erlentanz (pictured), after only a handful of shows together, were so impressive. Trakehner gelding ‘Erly’ may not have many miles on the clock but this would be difficult to tell watching his Grand Prix on Thursday in the Deutsche Bank Stadium. Barring a little irregularity into the first piaffe and the final piaffe on the centre line, the test was beautiful – the pair earning 79.15% for third in the CDIO5* Grand Prix behind the home nation’s Isabell Werth and Bella Rose 2 (82.78%) and Dorothee Schneider and Showtime FRH (80.60%). In the Special, again the pair was superb, scoring a phenomenal 80% for third place with Werth and Schneider taking the two top spots. Louise Bell and Into The Blue, on their second Nations Cup appearance, realised a dream to make 70% in Aachen. Louise was visibly emotional as she left the arena following her super Grand Prix on Thursday. Louise and ‘Dynamo’, who come from a showing background and together won a working hunter title at HOYS, have made an incredible transformation into an effective international dressage partnership. To be at Aachen and to make such a strong contribution to the British campaign is simply testament to the talent and drive of this popular lady from Oxfordshire. In the Special, Louise and Dynamo had costly errors in the one-tempis but even so, they scored plus-68%. Everybody sat up to watch young star Charlotte Fry and Dark Legend. At only their fourth CDI Grand Prix appearance, 23-year-old Fry defied her youth with an intelligent and mature ride aboard 11-year-old Dark Legend who she co-owns with her employer Van Olst Horses. Seventy-four percent was their score putting them into twelfth place, and on Saturday their incredible Grand Prix Special was awarded with 75.12% to make the top ten – a very exciting achievement for any international rider, let alone someone so young. The combined scores from the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special decided the team standings, with Germany, Denmark and the United States making the top three, and a photo finish between Sweden and Great Britain for fourth and fifth. Glamourdale is glorious in Small Tour Charlotte Fry piloted Van Olst Horses’ Glamourdale to two emphatic Small Tour victories. Eleven months on from taking the seven year old title at the 2018 Longines FEI WBFSH World Breeding Championships, and in his first season at Small Tour, the Lord Leatherdale x Negro stallion and his British rider continue to show their undoubted potential. Unanimous winners of Wednesday’s Prix St Georges with 77.97% and Saturday’s Intermediate I with an astonishing 80.41%, they delivered two performances of unmatched class. Reminiscent of the 2016 performances of Michael Eilberg and Woodlander Farouche, they made an impression on the knowledgeable Aachen crowd as well as the jury. Results of the British riders: CDIO5* Grand Prix (Nations Cup) 1st Isabell Werth with Bella Rose 2, 82.783% (GER) 3rd Charlotte Dujardin with Erlentanz, 79.152% (GBR) 11th Charlotte Fry with Dark Legend, 74.435% (GBR) 23rd Louise Bell with Into The Blue, 70.043% (GBR) CDIO5* Grand Prix Special (Nations Cup) 1st Isabell Werth with Bella Rose 2, 84.447% (GER) 3rd Charlotte Dujardin with Erlentanz, 80.277% (GBR) 10th Charlotte Fry with Dark Legend, 75.128% (GBR) 25th Louise Bell with Into The Blue, 68.851% (GBR) Nations Cup - team result (CDIO5* Grand Prix and Special combined) 1st Germany, 489.477 2nd Denmark, 457.515 3rd United States of America, 450.775 4th Sweden, 447.953 5th Great Britain, 447.886 6th Ireland, 428.104 7th Spain, 423.588 CDIO5* Grand Prix Freestyle 1st Isabell Werth with Bella Rose 2, 90.450% (GER) 5th Charlotte Dujardin with Erlentanz, 83.995% (GBR) 15th Charlotte Fry with Dark Legend, 75.465% (GBR) CDI4* Grand Prix 1st Sönke Rothenberger with Cosmo 59, 81.370% (GER) 9th Charlotte Fry with Everdale, 71.913% (GBR) CDI4* Grand Prix Special 1st Sönke Rothenberger with Cosmo 59, 82.213% (GER) 7th Charlotte Fry with Everdale, 72.979% (GBR) Prix St Georges 1st Charlotte Fry with Glamourdale, 77.971% (GBR) Intermediate I 1st Charlotte Fry with Glamourdale, 80.412% (GBR) Full results Photo © DigiShots
Monday, July 22

Senior nominated entries for Rotterdam released

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) and British Dressage have today released the nominated entries for the FEI Dressage European Championships, taking place in Rotterdam from 18–24 August. In alphabetical order by athlete surname, the nominated entries are: Lara Butler with Wilfried and Ursula Bechtolsheimer’s 17-year-old bay gelding Rubin Al Asad Richard Davison with Gwendolyn Meyer and his own 13-year-old bay gelding Bubblingh Charlotte Dujardin with Sonnar Murray Brown’s 12-year-old bay gelding Erlentanz and Emma and Jill Blundell’s 10-year-old bay mare Mount St John Freestyle Charlotte Fry with van Olst Horses and her own 11-year-old bay gelding Dark Legend and van Olst Horses’ 10-year-old black stallion Everdale Carl Hester with his own, Lady Anne Evans and Ann Cory’s 11-year-old bay gelding Hawtins Delicato Gareth Hughes with his own, Rebecca Hughes and Julia Hornig’s 13-year-old bay mare Classic Briolinca From this list, up to four riders will be chosen to represent Great Britain in Rotterdam. World Class Performance Manager for Dressage, Caroline Griffith, commented: “We’re really excited about, and looking forward to, the European Championships at Rotterdam. It’s a showground we know well and one that’s been the setting for some fabulous performances from Team GBR dressage combinations in the past. As we build towards the Championships we have seen some fantastic results from all the combinations on the nominated list. I anticipate some tough decisions for the selectors when the final team is chosen. Achieving a place on this list will have been the aim of the owners, riders and their support teams and they have done a phenomenal job to get to this stage.”
Monday, July 22

BD Abroad: Deauville CDI3* results

British riders achieved exciting results at Deauville CDI3* in France (18 – 21 July 2019) last week. In the CDI2* Small Tour, both Lara Edwards and Emily Harris impressed; Lara with Laura Milner’s 10-year-old Jazzed Up (by Jazz) - pictured left, and Emily Harris with Fay Thomas’s nine year old mare Freya FST (by Fidertanz) - pictured right. Samantha Willson dominated the CDI Junior classes with Jacqueline Willson’s Delhurens Sunshine (by Deans San Ciro Hit), Annabella Pidgley claimed two second places with Sarah Pidgey’s Cognac IX, while Lindsay Hancock was on winning form in the CDI Amateur classes with her own Barachiel. Results of the British riders: CDI2* Prix St Georges 1st Thibault Vandenberghe with Santiago Song, 72.843% (BEL) 3rd Lara Edwards with Jazzed Up, 71.716% (GBR) 4th Emily Harris with Freya FST, 71.520% (GBR) CDI2* Intermediate I 1st Thibault Vandenberghe with Santiago Song, 74.020% (BEL) 5th Lara Edwards with Jazzed Up, 70.735% (GBR) 8th Emily Harris with Freya FST, 69.755% (GBR) CDI2* Intermediate I Freestyle 1st Maxime Collard with Happy Lady, 74.300% (FRA) 3rd Lara Edwards with Jazzed Up, 73.267% (GBR) 6th Emily Harris with Freya FST, 69.742% (GBR) CDIJ – Junior Team Test 1st Samantha Willson with Delhurens Sunshine, 69.091% (GBR) CDIJ – Junior Individual Test 1st Samantha Willson with Delhurens Sunshine, 70.098% (GBR) CDIJ – Junior Freestyle 1st Samantha Willson with Delhurens Sunshine, 72.558% (GBR) CDIP – Pony Team Test 1st Robin Heiden with Oosterbroek Fenix, 72.000% (NED) 2nd Annabella Pidgley with Cognac IX, 69.667% (GBR) CDIP – Pony Individual Test 1st Louise Brauwers with N-Constantino V/D Bolkerhoe, 71.802% (BEL) 2nd Annabella Pidgley with Cognac IX, 71.396% (GBR) CDIP – Pony Freestyle 1st Robin Heiden with Oosterbroek Fenix, 75.542% (NED) 6th Annabella Pidgley with Cognac IX, 71.883% (GBR) CDI Amateur - Prix St Georges 1st Lindsay Hancock with Barachiel, 68.529% (GBR) CDI Amateur – Intermediate I 1st Severine Vanhamme with Gio Van De Kokerij, 68.382% (BEL) 2nd Lindsay Hancock with Barachiel, 68.284% (GBR) CDI Amateur – Intermediate I Freestyle 1st Lindsay Hancock with Barachiel, 69.358% (GBR) For full results click here Photo from Lara Edwards Dressage  
Monday, July 22

Summer Regional Championships: Sparsholt College

BD Southern’s Summer Regional Championships took place last weekend at Sparsholt College, Winchester, and saw hot competition to brighten up the somewhat gloomy British weather (19 – 21 July 2019). The Equine Construction Advanced Medium Gold and Silver classes were a showcase of talented under 25s riders. In the Gold section Ellie McCarthy’s Donna Summer gave new rider Tarka Abraham a super ride to take the title on a super score of 69.78%. Seventeen year old Tarka is enjoying a stellar first BD season, having recently taken up the reins of experienced campaigner ‘Rio’, a former Youth European Championship team horse for both Ellie and Olivia Oakeley. Speaking on social media, proud owner Ellie commented “So unbelievably proud of Tarka and Rio today! They won the [Equine Construction] Advanced Medium Gold regionals and have qualified for the National Championships in September! After only six months of her riding him and having never competed BD before March - clearly your hack galloping round the forest yesterday with him was perfect preparation!” Fellow former European Championships representative, Georgia Davis (23) claimed the Equine Construction Advanced Medium Silver with rising star Keystone Diego, by Dimaggio. The duo were awarded 70% from the judges panel, Alison Duck, James Rooney and Sue Wood. Hampshire based Georgia (pictured) bought ‘Doogie’ as a foal and has produced him through the levels whilst working as a freelance rider and coach. Notching up another win for the U25s, Dylan Deutrom produced a strong performance in the Dodson & Horrell Novice Silver to take home the spoils with Matt Hicks and Sarah Warry’s six year old Identiek BH (Furst Heinrich x Florencio). Their winning score of 70.67% was enough to put them on the top step of the podium in a highly competitive class where only 4.5 marks split the top six combinations. Coming to Sparsholt off the back of a Petplan Equine Area Festivals win at Elementary level, Sam Mirehouse and Pauldarys Tiger Two Sox were convincing winners of the Dodson & Horrell Novice Silver. Sam and her 11 year old by Pauldarys Tiger Aspect placed first ahead of runners up Sam McEwan with Sunnystone The Highwayman and Childéric Saddles Elementary Silver winners Zoe Kiff and Platinum Barbarian who took third spot in their second class of the week. Andrew Gould booked his LeMieux National Championships ticket on board Terry and Joan Barnett-Knott’s Blue Hors Dexter in Friday’s Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges qualifier; the former breeding stallion by Don Schufro excelled in the Sparsholt arena to earn 69.86%. Whilst after taking second place in the Prix St Georges, Damian Hallam went one better in the Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I with Keith Miller’s Black Jack Sollenburg scoring an ace 68.68% to steal the top spot. Debbie Poynter and the British Hanoverian Keystone For Real placed second, with Lucy Amy and Extra Time claiming third. The highest score of the show belonged to Backinaction Preliminary Silver winner Sallie Snow, who earned a magnificent 75.11% with her own 17 year old Welsh Cob Winmark Jade. British Dressage thanks the team at Sparsholt College as well as the National class sponsors for their generous support. Congratulations to all competitors and good luck to those heading to the LeMieux National Championships at Stoneleigh Park. Buy your LeMieux National Championships tickets here . Regional champions: Backinaction Preliminary Silver Sallie Snow with Winmark Jade, 75.11% Dodson & Horrell Novice Silver Sam Mirehouse with Pauldarys Tiger Two Sox, 69.69% Dodson & Horrell Novice Gold Dylan Deutrom with Identiek BH, 70.67% Childéric Saddles Elementary Silver Zoe Kiff with Platinum Barbarian, 70.36% Childéric Saddles Elementary Gold Nicola Buchanan with St Giles Bon Bon, 71.51% TopSpec Medium Silver Lauren Ruffle with Freeman H, 68.28% TopSpec Medium Gold Alistair Ridyard with Golden Ray, 71.12% Equine Construction Advanced Medium Silver Georgia Davis with Keystone Diego, 70% Equine Construction Advanced Medium Gold Tarka Abraham with Donna Summer, 69.78% Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Gold Andrew Gould with Blue Hors Dexter, 69.86% Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I Gold Damian Hallam with Black Jack Sollenburg, 68.68% Full results Photo by Kevin Sparrow . 
Friday, July 19

Para long list for Rotterdam Euros announced

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) and British Dressage have today confirmed the combinations which have been long-listed for the FEI Para-equestrian Dressage European Championships 2019. The championships are this year being held in Rotterdam from 21–25 August. In alphabetical order by athlete surname, the nominated entries are:  Mari Durward-Akhurst (Grade I) with Glesni Owen’s 20-year-old gelding Sky O'Hara Nicky Greenhill (Grade IV) with her own and Gary Greenhill’s 10-year-old mare Betty Boo and 11-year-old gelding King Edward I Erin Orford (Grade III) with Annabel Whittet’s 16-year-old mare Dior Julie Payne (Grade II) with her own 18-year-old mare Pandora Sophie Wells (Grade V) with Charlotte Hogg’s 12-year-old gelding C Fatal Attraction and her own 11-year-old mare Diadeem Georgia Wilson (Grade II) with her own, Geoff and Julie Wilson’s 10-year-old mare Midnight World Class Para-equestrian Dressage Performance Manager, Georgina Sharples, commented: “Great Britain’s nominated para-dressage list is comprised of a mix of potentially first-time championship partnerships alongside Paralympic, World and European medal-winning expertise – it’s a great reflection of the strength and depth of the riders within the Equestrian Team GBR pathway. I’m thrilled for the nominated athletes, their support teams, and the horse owners who invest so much into the sport, that their passion and commitment has resulted in performances worthy of inclusion on the European Championship nominated list.” More information on the FEI Para-equestrian Dressage European Championships 2019 in Rotterdam can be found here .
Thursday, July 18

BEF update: Chief Executive

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) is today announcing that its CEO Nick Fellows is to step down from the organization. BEF Chair, Mohamed Elsarky commented “On behalf of the Board I would like to thank Nick for the work he has undertaken since he joined the BEF, and I wish him well for the future”. The BEF is pleased to announce that Iain Graham, CEO of British Showjumping, has agreed to act as Interim CEO, effective immediately. The BEF Board was keen to make the transition as smooth as possible and to maintain continuity so approached Iain, who has years of experience working across the equestrian industry. He joined British Showjumping in 2009 as Head of Sport and Performance and also worked closely with the committees that preside over the sport from grassroots to championship level. He then took the role of CEO in May 2010. Before his time at British Showjumping he was Regional Director for Scotland and the North of England at British Eventing. Mohamed Elsarky commented “Since the Independent Review in 2018, and during my time as Chair of the Board, we have established a strong collaborative culture across the Federation and its Member Bodies. Iain brings a wealth of experience as a leader with a proven track record in equestrian both within the UK and internationally. We thank British Showjumping for releasing Iain to support British equestrianism in this capacity”. Iain Graham added “I am really excited about taking up this opportunity, working with the BEF and its member bodies as we head into the final qualifying period for Tokyo.” Further information regarding the recruitment process to appoint a new CEO will be announced at a future date.
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 a