Richard Davison has withdrawn the horse (pictured above), who is bred in the purple by the grand prix stallion Lingh out of Richard’s former Olympic mount Ballaseyr Royale, from the competition. He will not be replaced, so there will be 12 combinations in the grand prix, all of whom will progress to the freestyle on Friday 15 May. These include Carl Hester riding Nip Tuck.
“Last week I ran through the grand prix to find out how he would cope in a bigger atmosphere with flags and tents flapping, kids running around and all the usual distractions,” explained Richard.
“He was a bit shaky at the start and did droppings the entire way through first extended trot, broke into canter when he shouldn’t have, missed out the halt before the rein-back; the usual baby things in a scary atmosphere. But just before the serious part of the test started — the piaffe and passage — he became totally chilled as though he’d done it forever.”
The horse is only nine and Richard has decided not to expose him to Windsor’s big atmosphere so early in his grand prix career.
“I’m really excited about him and love riding and training him. I hope he’s the real deal and if we develop him carefully, by next year he could be a Rio contender.”
Advanced medium freestyle line-up
Nine combinations are expected to contest the advanced medium freestyle class on Wednesday 13 May.
Alice Oppenheimer will present Georgina Pole-Carew’s dual winter championships and international small tour winner Tantoni Sir Soccrates, who is by Sir Donnerhall, in this invitational class.
Lucy Cartwright and Kate Cowell — both of whom used to work for Carl Hester and still train with him — are also on the start-list. Lucy partners her long-time ride, Carole Felton’s Fergana, while Kate Cowell is to bring Jo Hamilton’s Corchapin. She has the ride on the Negro son while Jo recovers from a serious riding accident in which she fell from the horse just before Christmas.
Olivia Oakeley – another to train with Carl — rides Anne and Steve Keen’s Don Carissimo. This is a relatively new ride for the 21-year-old, who turns 22 the day after the class.
Lucy Pincus brings her family’s home-bred Don Schufro son Sheepcote Don Calisto. They are fresh from scoring a personal best of 71% in the prix st georges at Hartpury last weekend.
The experienced grand prix competitor Nikki Crisp rides Anne King’s Flovino gelding, Forever Young, while the prolific amateur rider Claire Abel partners her own Roh Magic gelding, Rowan Magic. Both horses are eight-year-olds.
National advanced medium starters:
Nikki Crisp on Forever Young
Olivia Oakeley on Don Carissimo
Lucy Pincus on Sheepcote Don Calisto
Alice Hurley on Deseado CCV
Claire Abel on Rowan Magic
Alice Oppenheimer on Tantoni Sir Soccrates
Julie Hugo-Ross on Alivia II
Kate Cowell on Corchapin
Lucy Cartwright on Fergana
International grand prix starters:
Abdulredha Abdulhadi Alafoo on Tout De Suite
Anders Dahl on Wie-Atlantico De Ymas
Sune Hansen on Charmeur
Ulrik Moelgaard on Michigan
Henriette Andersen on Warlocks Charm
Fiona Bigwood on Atterupgaards Orthilia
Lara Griffith on Rubin Al Asad
Carl Hester on Nip Tuck
Alice Oppenheimer on Headmore Delegate
Hayley Watson-Greaves on Rubins Nite
Katja Gevers on Thriller
Katherine Bateson-Chandler on Alcazar