Competition ran to form at the Wellington Riding Premier League with European long-listed riders claiming the top places in the grand prix classes.
Organisers accommodated an overflow of entries after the drought of competitions due to FMD – the 46 entries for the grand prix were split into two sections.
Just a handful of marks separated the top three combinations in the main grand prix with Richard Davison and Hiscox Askari taking the verdict by three marks from Nicky Barrett and Giorgio S, marginally ahead of Peter Storr and Gambrinus, all three scoring more than 69%.
Richard rode a mistake-free test capitalising on Askari’s penchant for the high scoring passage and piaffe and while two slight errors were expensive for Gambrinus, Pinkie Heintz’s 10-year-old Hanoverian stallion produced an active, eye-catching test.
Richard also claimed the grand prix freestyle with his accomplished routine set to a compilation of Rodgers and Hammerstein music. The degree of difficulty gave him the edge over Peter and Gambrinus.
Richard and Peter are both part of the team competing in Aachen later this week. Richard said, “I was really happy with the way my horse has gone – I was wondering how it would feel to compete again as we last competed six months ago. This was a good preparation for Aachen and we can go with confidence and a good feeling for the team.”
Jane Bredin and Goya claimed the second grand prix the first test at the level for the 13-year-old gelding, while Carl Hester standing in for Pammy Hutton won the Inter II with Calendo.
Peter Storr had the winning edge in the highly competitive small tour classes winning both the prix st georges and the freestyle with Jaqui Sui’s attractive grey Jamiro.Jane Bredin and Lucky Star, small tour winners in Le Touquet recently had to settle for second place in the prix st georges and Jane continued her run of form winning the second section with Aram Gregory’s Dutch bred gelding Icterus.
Organiser Nereide Goodmans Dutch-bred gelding Wellington Laska took the spoils in the inter I in the capable hands of Olympic rider Carl Hester who was handed the ride from Nereide six months ago.
Lizzie Murray steered home-bred Catherston Liberator into second place while junior team contenders Polly Hodges (Enfant) and Sarah Carter (Lebensman) shared third place.
Favoured continental bloodlines came to the on the first day which was dedicated to young horse classes.
More than 20 horses were vying for the one qualifying place in the Prevac Pro four-year-old class won by the Weltmeyer stallion Weltkaiser ridden by Kate Smith. Kate bought the stallion from Suzanne Davies who was second with Waterford a grandson of Weltmeyer, by Wolkenstein II.
For full results visit http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/results/dressage/article/0,,56330,00.html