Horses with show jumping bloodlines came to the fore on the first day of the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships.

Zingar and The Grafter tied for first place on 69.05% in the Blue Chip novice restricted. Both have showjumping pedigrees but have converted their owners to dressage.

Zingar is owned and ridden by Jac Cowley from Dorset and was picked out as a potential showjumper by Jac’s partner, Mike Lockyear. Now seven, the 17.2hh Dutch-bred has been given time to grow. “The first time I sat on him I told Mike he wasn’t having him back,” said Jac. “I’ve had lessons with Roland Tong in preparation for today and he’s really sharpened up my test riding.

The Grafter is owned and ridden by Anthony Readman from North Yorkshire. “I bought him three years ago as a five-year-old showjumper just imported from Germany,” said Anthony. “Originally I planned to event him but now I’ve got the dressage bug and haven’t jumped for two years.”

Julie Hugo’s fears that she had ruined her chances with a mistake in the give and retake of the reins after the medium canter were unfounded when she and Welcome O headed the Equitop Myoplast elementary open. “He’s like sitting on a Rolls Royce and I’m still only riding him on half power,” she said. Welcome O is by the showjumping stallion, Come On, the former ride of Princess Haya of Jordan.

Ben Martin had an anxious afternoon after being first to go in the Bailey’s Horse Feeds novice open freestyle to music. He and his six-year-old mare Dimaggik were finally declared winners over Michael Bates and Samphire II who had the same score but lower artistic marks. This was the Banbury rider’s first championship win and his music was put together by Anna Ross Davies.

Wednesday 13 April results

Blue Chip nov rest (J Firmston-Williams, Sue McMahon & T Downes). – 1eq, Zingar (J Cowley) & The Grafter (A Readman) 69.05; 3, Zakopane (J Stockley) 67.38. Equitop Myoplast elem open (D Mason, J Ward & M Brown). – 1, Welcome O (J Hugo) 68.96; 2, Diamond Jubilee (R Hayler); 3, Champagne Bubbles (C Gammie) 67.71. Baileys Horse Feeds nov open fsm (R Herbert, N Goodman & A Smith). – 1, Dimaggik (B Martin) 73.24; 2, Samphire II (M Bates) 73.24; 3, D-J (M Griffin) 72.3

Don’t miss H&H’s full report from the NAF Five Star Winter Championships, on sale Thursday 21 April, 2011