German and Dutch riders vie for top placings on freestyle day at Dressage at Hickstead’s international meeting

Berkeley Group FEI Grand Prix Freestyle

Germany’s Wolfram Wittig and Breitling W was the judges’ clear favourite in the Berkeley Group FEI Grand Prix Freestyle, winning on a good score of 75.76%.

The combination performed a creative and pleasing pattern which scored well on artistic marks, as well as technical difficulty [75.76%].

Bretling W, a 10 year-old breeding stallion, by Bismark is the full brother to third placed Meggies Biagiotti W, ridden by Marcus Gribbe, who performed a calm and obedient test to finish on a score of 66.71%.

Canada’s Ashley Holzer and Imperioso, a Dutch-bred stallion owned by Tess Guilder, scored 66.79% to finish in second place.

Judge at C, Dieter Schule said of the winner: “Breitling showed very good engagement, especially in the passage/piaffe and good extensions in the trot and canter. There were no real weaknesses or mistakes.”

RSW PLC FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle

Marcus Gribbe and Meggles Rubino continued their winning form performing a precise and correct test withthe easy-going 11-year-old chesnut gelding to claim first place on a score of 71.44%.

His sparring partner during this Hickstead international meeting – Marie- Jose Hulman Tinnermans and Le Montrachet – were first to go and held the lead with a good score of 71.27% for most of the class.

Once again, Carl Hester and Nereide Goodman’s Wellington Laska proved a crowd-pleaser when he pulled out the stops to finish best of the Brits in third place on a score of 68.38%.

Shearwater Young Dressage Horse six-year-old

Tracy Woodhead and Kate Elliott’s smart dark brown Trakhener gelding DHI Nastros were the outright winners of the Shearwater six-year-old class on a giant score of 86%.

Kate, who works full-time for Ian and Tracy Woodhead, was a member of the British pony team from 1994 – 96 and the junior team in 1997. Nastros has qualified for novice, elementary and medium regional championships in this, his first year of competition.

This combination were clear leaders ahead of Maximus,owned and ridden by Nicola Cooper. Trained by Carl Hester, Maximus is a Holstein gelding by Contender and was bought with the help of Leida Strijk in Holland three months ago.

In third place was Claire Gordon’s Resolut – a Dutch Warmblood gelding by Ekstein who was imported as a gelding.

Michel Assouline, who judged the class with Dr Volker Moritz, said: “The winner showed three very good paces, together with submission, elasticity and good hindleg action. Both judges were unanimous with the final order and believe the horse has the quality to go all the way.”

See full report and pictures in Horse & Hound (issue dated Thursday 30 August )