Laura Bechtolsheimer is on track to take her second national championship this weekend at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire.
Laura produced an energetic consistent test riding 15-year-old Andretti H for plus-73%. Her closest rival was Michael Eilberg in second riding Marakov with plus-69%.
“I was really pleased with the test, just his second piaffe was a bit crooked. He’s so consistent in his contact and outline now,” said Laura, who was not counting her chickens for the title as the overall champion will be decided after tomorrow’s grand prix kür. In 2008, Laura was winning after the grand prix then got stuck in traffic on the M5 and didn’t make the freestyle.
“I’m not allowed to stable Andretti here as he’s the reserve for the World Equestrian Games, but surely I can’t be that unlucky twice?!” she said.
Gareth Hughes and Duvie, second to Valegro over the past two days, got his victory in the intermediate freestyle, becoming supreme small tour champion.
“He’s just a dream to ride,” said Gareth. “He’s so laid back and so talented. He’s had a fantastic year — it’s great to be back here winning titles again.”
Vicki Thompson-Winfield topped the Haygain medium open aboard Toni Terry’s young horse champion Beltoni. It was a tough class, with the top three all finishing within 0.8% of each other.
For full report and pictures don’t miss Horse & Hound out next Thursday