Donna, a seven-year-old black KWPN mare (pictured), broke the UK auction record for a dressage horse as she sold to British clients for £120,000 on Saturday (21 March).

The mare, by Uptown x Donnerschwee, has a proven competition record.

H&H is not revealing who the purchaser is, as Donna was bought as a surprise birthday present for a lucky wife —who is as yet unaware of her generous gift.

The sale was a new venture by long-time auctioneers Brightwells and was staged during Addington’s international CDI show. It was held straight after the grand prix freestyle (won by Nikki Crisp and Passoa – see full report in H&H 26 March) on Saturday evening, swelling the audiences for both at the Buckinghamshire venue.

The auction got off to a shaky start, with the first horse through the ring, a four-year-old Wolkenstein II x Rotspon gelding, only achieving a top bid of £6,500 (and failing to reach his reserve). However, it quickly picked up.

Sixteen horses were offered. All bar one were selected from the continent, with Mount St John’s Emma Blundell’s mare Quiana II being the only exception. The hammer came down at £30,000 for the Quaterback x Samba Hit I daughter, but it wasn’t enough to secure her.

In the ring, 10 of the 16 horses forward found new homes — the remainder not reaching their reserve price.

One of those was lot three, a chestnut Westfalian gelding called For Season. Grand prix dressage rider Peter Storr picked up the Fifty Cent x Voltaire five-year-old For Season outside the ring after the gelding passed through for £20,000 unsold. For Season is now being ridden by Laura Wollen.

Auction regular Antonia Brown welcomed two new horses back to her SJL Sport Horses base in Northamptonshire. Lot 17, Giovanni B — a beautifully bred KWPN by Apache out of a Vivaldi x Cabochon mare — was bought by Annette Richter for £21,000.

Antonia also collected Flintstone, an uphill five-year-old gelding by Sir Oldenburg x Creool, who was knocked down for £17,000.

She suffered the misfortune of two blow-outs while taking the horses home, but both arrived unscathed.

Phone bidders snapped up lot four, Giovanni, a smart little bay approved stallion by Uphill x Welt Hit II for £23,500.

Lot nine, a Blue Hors Don Romantic x Laroche five-year-old, switched homes for £23,000.

Lot 15, a Dimaggio x Feininger six-year-old Hanoverian attracted bids up to £34,000, but failed to reach his reserve.

NB these results are subject to ratification by Brightwells