The best was left to last on the second day of the NAF Five Star Winter Championships. A top quality high-scoring Equissage Elementary Open Music Freestyle was won with a score of 80.42% by first time champion, Sara Gallop.

Sara was riding Summerhouse Zelham, a seven-year-old by Sir Sinclair from Holland, who showed off his power and energy to a rock music compilation put together by Tricia Hammond.

“He was straight and fluid to the rein and powered forward so I could just sit and steer!” said Sara, who is the centre manager at the family equestrian centre.

Esther Taylor and Sue Brennan’s Uno Diamond were given a wild card for the Bailey’s Horse Feeds Novice Restricted Music Freestyle and at their first visit to the Nationals won the class on 71.39%.

Esther, 20, has ridden the Dutch-bred Diamond Hit nine-year-old for 18 months and this is their first affiliated season.

“We’ve taken it steady as he can be nervous but once he trusts you, he gives you everything,” said Esther. “The more he does, the more he chills out. He was a bit awestruck in the arena but he held it together.”

Lara Dyson and Cyden Perplex were clear winners in the Albion Medium Restricted Winter Championships, two percent ahead of their nearest rival, and also celebrated their first championship win.

“We were here last year, but I felt starstruck,” said Lara, who kept her cool and was praised by the judges for her accomplished test riding. Lara, from Grimsby, works as a sales manager in the family business and has also just established an equine coaching business. She has owned the 10-year-old since importing him from Germany four years ago.

Thursday results

Albion Medium Restricted (L Whetstone, I Auty & R Herbert).– 1, Cyden Perplex (L Dyson) 67.48; 2, Velocity IV (J Jensen) 65.86; 3 eq Pioneer Ruby (R Jones) & Wiseguy V (A Gibson) 65.59. Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Restricted Music Freestyle (H Bradley, J Firmston-Williams & J Harris)– 1, Uno Diamond ( E Taylor) 71.39; 2, Centarco (E Harding) 70.83; 3, Revellation (A Nye-Warden) 69.72. Equissage Elementary Open Freestyle (A Darken, S Petty & F Scott).– 1, Summerhouse Zelham (S Gallop) 80.42; 2, El Zorro (M Hicks) 78.82; 3, Luciano Pavarotti (J Stolper) 74.79.

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