Charlotte Dujardin silenced the crowds with her fluent performance on Fernandez, claiming the British Horse Feeds advanced medium open championship at Hartpury’s winter dressage championships (16-20 April).
“He’s always so well behaved and tries his hardest,” said Charlotte. “We have a great partnership now, I know him so well having had him since he was three and having Carl to help us at the show made a real difference.”
Charlotte went on to win the Imenex Elementary Open with Carl Hester’s Valegro (pictured top), beating eventer Ruth Edge on Shadowfax who went on to take two titles — the Biotal Equine Gold medium open and the Equissage Elementary open music.
Nicky Golding’s seven-year-old Herman TG won the Blue Chip novice open under Ulrik Molgaard, who said: “He’s a fabulous horse and such a character.”
Lara Griffith topped the music classes when taking the Event Insurance Services FEI intermediaire freestyle on 16-year-old Warlock. Lara, who trains with Emile Faurie, rode a positive test on her former young rider partner.
“Our music was only finalised this week and I only had the chance to run trough it once at home,” she said.
Rebecca Hughes took the NAF Prix St Georges freestyle on Friday night riding judge Felicity Scott’s Shining Light.
Hannah Biggs made up for some spooking in the evening music performance to win the Nupafeed advanced medium freestyle on Sunday.
“He’d relaxed in the arena by then and was nowhere near as electric,” said Hannah.
Hannah Esberger-Shepherd led the Kieffer medium freestyle on Divine, the chestnut mare she has had from a foal.
“It’s taken a long time for Divine to find her strength, but when she’s working really through like today she’s the most amazing horse — she makes me smile every time I ride her,” said Hannah.
Another big horse, Rebecca Ewart’s 17.2hh De Georgio, won the Equissage elementary restricted freestyle. The combination has qualified for the nationals every year.
“I’d like to qualify him at medium level, but he is still quite a lot of horse to organise,” she said.
Jo Barry won the Baileys novice open freestyle on Waratah IV after a horrific journey to the show from Scotland.
“We broke down on the way — poor boy, he spent eleven hours on the lorry,” said Jo.
Stephanie Kelly and her part Connemara The Silver won the Baileys Horse Feeds novice restricted equivalent.
Tom Goode and Twingo who qualified for these championships on a wild card won the British Horse Feeds advanced medium restricted on 67%.
Emma Openshaw ended her partnership with Nicky Callam’s High Hoes Dajana by winning the Biotal Equine Gold medium restricted from the front.
Catherston Stud working pupil Sonnar Murray-Brown celebrated his 20th birthday with a win in the Imenex elementary restricted riding his own Tornado, while world gold para medallist Simon Laurens took the Blue Chip Feed Balancer novice restricted title riding Ocean Don Jon.
The Elevator prelim went to Wayne Rodwell riding his trainer Paul Friday’s seven-year-old Christoph Himself.
“I’ve been riding him for about a year and he’s quietly improved and is now more arena confident,” said Wayne.
Eventer Caroline Moore won the Spillers prelim combined training, leading throughout with Jane Kirkland’s Newmiln Dakota. The British-bred mare has evented to pre-novice level and will carry on eventing this year.
The novice equivalent went to last year’s prelim winners, Felicity Wells and Rockspring. Gill Pollard took the open with part-Shire Gambarda who show jumps in 1.30m classes “for a bit of fun” and has competed up to prix st georges dressage.
For all the news from Hartpury, plus pictures from the inaugural Hartpury winter dressage championships, see Horse&Hound 24 April issue