At her home venue, the mare Catherston What A Dream became the highest scorer in this year’s SEIB/British Breeding Young Horse Evaluations.
By the German sire Wolkensdream out of Catherston Dream Machine, a winner at the 2002 evaluation, What A Dream — who took one of only two elite mare awards in the series — gained a total of 8.45. She is already graded with the British Warm Blood Society and is also an SHB (GB) head studbook mare.
“She’ll eventually compete in dressage, but she needs time to mature,” said owner/breeder Jennie Loriston-Clarke.
Another high-scoring horse was the stallion Uventos, ridden by Jodie Lister, who gained 8.27. Uventos, by Flemmingh out of a Wellington mare, was acquired unbacked in November through the contacts who also found Jodie’s big tour dressage horse, Nicky.
Kingswell Ballyhill, by Mayhill, headed the eventing section from the Liberator gelding Free Flow, owned by Catherston secretary Fiona Boyne in partnership with rider Pip Peters.
Ballyhill was bought from Devon breeder Judith Ireland in November by Andrew Collins for his twin brother, Nicholas, to ride. His dam, Kingswell Dancing Spirit, was a 2002 show jumping evaluation finalist.
“He has a lovely nature and plenty of natural ability. So far, so good,” said Nicholas, who took the award for the best handler at this venue.
At Heart of England, Checkleybank Monarch and Polish rider Paulina Ciechecka headed the dressage and show jumping sections. The bay gelding by the Dutch sire Monte Carlo is out of a mare by Dutch Gold. Paulina, who has worked for Paralympian Lee Pearson for three years, bought Monarch last July.
She said: “He was sent to me because he was quite naughty and his owner wanted to sell him. I took a chance and I’m really pleased with the way he’s come on.”
Lesley Peyton Gilbert qualified ZV Sandros for the dressage final. The German-bred stallion, by the Oldenburger Sunny Boy, gained 9.25 in the veterinary section.
West Wilts, the final venue, ran a day for potential eventers and Carl Hester’s former grand prix dressage ride Donnersong could be turning into a dual-purpose sire.
The highest-scoring horse, Kanga’s Song, is by Donnersong out of an Irish-bred intermediate event mare. Ridden by Gloucestershire-based Michael Jackson, Kanga’s Song was bred by Michael’s partner, Ellie Gaskell, and is owned by her father, Chris.
The following day, Michael and Joy Jones’s Dutch-bred stallion Ulster, by Burgraaf, gained high marks in the jumping as well as a place in the dressage final.
“I got the ride through Tessa Clark at West Kington Stud. I’ve only had him on my yard for about six weeks,” said Michael, winner of last year’s event horse section with the stallion Up With The Lark.
Daniel Henson took the best handler award for his own Lannis Lad, who was having his first outing. The good-looking grey is by Broadstone Landmark and was bred by Anne Kirk.
“I always wanted to own this horse — there’s something special about him. When he came on the market, I snapped him up,” said Daniel, who manages a small competition yard.
Another with a good veterinary score was the Accondy gelding Varston Ottoman Empire, bred by Mark Philpott and ridden by Mark Corbett.
The top dressage was Claudine Bichard and Niki Hare’s Dimaggio mare, Mezzanine. She is no stranger to success after being young stock champion and overall reserve at last year’s British Dressage Breeding Championships.
Sarah Ridd took the best handler award for the stallion Weymarsh Maximus, who scored highly in the jumping as well as gaining dressage qualification.
The British-bred son of Donnerschlag is the foundation stallion for the Surrey-based stud run by Sarah’s mother, Janice Cahill. He was bought as an eight-week-old foal with his dam through an advert in Horse & Hound.