Amy Stovold clinched her first national title since 2003 at Stoneleigh (17 September), heading the NFU Mutual intermediaire II riding her mother Maggi and Julia Jacob’s Macbrian.
Last year, the pair came second three times in the small tour to Carl Hester.
“I can’t believe it,” said Amy. “He was a little bit tense in the arena, but he also felt much stronger in the work than ever before. I’ve been training a lot with Richard White and that’s really made the difference.”
Amy has been riding the 12-year-old 17.2hh son of Jan Brink’s (SWE) Olympian Briar for four years.
“I love Macbrian’s energy,” she said. “He always wants to go forward and he’s so generous in his nature.”
Their nemesis Carl Hester finished out in front again in the Jeffries Saddlery prix st georges, this year riding Sasha Stewert’s eight-year-old Metall stallion Uthopia. So that’s national title number 47 for Carl Hester, who is on a mission to make it 50 this weekend. The eight-year-old with little competition experience looked completely at home in the arena and clearly finds the work a walk in the park. The pair intend to contest the Spanish sunshine tour next spring — after they’ve cleaned up in the small tour here that is.
Maria Eilberg, Carl’s team silver medal winning team mate at Windsor Europeans last month, topped the Biotal medium open riding Lynne Crowden and Mrs C John’s Woodlander Rockstar. The seven-year-old stallion by Rotspon is successfully combining studwork with his competition career.
“He actually feels better for having been off to stud,” said Maria. “He’s working well at prix st georges at home and is beginning to find this level of work too easy — I have to keep his mind occupied so he doesn’t try and entertain himself, but he has a fantastic temperament, traveled here with a mare and never notices them at a competition.”
Rachel Finnan took the first class of the day, the Stretch and Flex elementary restricted on Jodie Lister’s Coco Channel. Rachel, a former student of Jennie Loriston Clarke’s Catherston Stud in Hampshire, now works for former young rider Jodie, competing her young horses. Coco Channel is a seven-year-old German bred Sandro Hit mare.
For the full report, analysis and pictures from the BD national championships, don’t miss Horse & Hound 24 September issue.