Hickstead?s 2020 season cancelled

Friday, May 22

Member Information of British Showjumping Phased Return of Activity

Member Information of British Showjumping Phased Return of Activity

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’