Female riders once again dominated the scoreboards on day two of the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships at Hartpury Arena (15-19 April). No man has yet taken a national title in 2015.
A partnership nine years in the making made Beth Barnett’s victory in the Petplan Equine prix st georges Area Festival championship all the more special.
Beth has owned 10-year-old Sheepcote Delight, a 16hh British-bred bay gelding by Dr Doolittle, since he was 18 months old. They scored 71.01% – the only combination to break the 70% barrier.
“We’ve grown and learnt a lot together,” said 24-year-old Beth. “It’s really nice when it’s all your own hard work.”
Deborah Doyles’ hard work also paid off when she and Dandy III beat the competition in the Petplan Equine elementary restricted Area Festival championship with 70.34%.
Seven-year-old ‘Dandy’ events and has been on a winning streak, having also won his last four novices.
“He loves jumping too and usually leads in the dressage,” she said of the 16.2hh Dutch gelding by Wup.
NAF Five Star Arena
In the indoor NAF Five Star Arena Lisa Megginson claimed the first title, the Albion medium restricted winter championship.
She rode her own German gelding, Breit Crusader, a nine-year-old by Breitling W who took first place by just 0.09% to claim her first national title with 67.84%.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” beamed the East Yorkshire-based rider, who bought the “cheeky” horse as a foal.
Seven-year-old DHI Cleverboy lived up to his name, topping the Equitop Myoplast elementary open winter championship for Nathalie Kayal.
The Dutch gelding, who is is by Sandreo and out of a Dutch jumping mare by Kettall, scored 73.02%.
Cleverboy jinked in the prize-giving, nearly unseating the Hertfordshire-based rider.
“He doesn’t like flowers!” she said of the 17hh bay who had not been out since the regionals.
Sadie Smith stormed to victory in the final class of the day, the Baileys Horse Feeds novice open freestyle championship with an exquisite test on River Rise Escarla.
The six-year-old is a British bred-mare by Lord Leatherdale, who is owned by her breeder Sarah Tyler-Evans. Sadie was also placed on her other ride, Serrano.