Carl Hester took the top two places in the grand prix at the premier league event at Soley in Gloucestershire.
Competing for the first time in five months with Morocco, Carl headed the class by a narrow margin and managed the rare feat of beating himself, as he also gained second place with Donnersong, who was competing in just his third test at this level.
The established combination of Emile Faurie and Reuters Rascher Hopes took third just nine marks adrift of top place.
It was only the second grand prix for Carl and Morocco. The 12 year old Westphalian now owned by his rider in partnership with Hazel Barrett, was previously ridden last year by Ferdi Eilberg. In contrast, Donnersong, Kate Carter’s homebred son of Donnerhall, has only ever been competed by Carl, who broke him in as a three year old.
“I just love riding him – as yet the mistakes are immaterial – it is just so wonderful to have a horse who has so much enthusiasm for his work,” said Carl.
Dr Wilfried Bechtolsheimer and his German bred mare Winniza took the inter II from Tricia Gardiner and her striking grey Moon Tiger. Dr B, who is on a roll of fortune with his horses, also took third place with the impressive Douglas Dorcey, who is by top German grand prix sire Donnerhall.
Held in sweltering temperatures, the prix St Georges was won by Nicola Jourdain and the Dutch bred K Beautie, who enjoyed their first premier league win. Hot on her heels was former young rider Daniel Timson and Moskino. Both riders have spent time training in Germany.
David Hunt and Sarah and Tony Pidgley’s Hannoverian entire Art Gallery headed off these two in the inter I. The attractive black son of Argentinus was only competed lightly before coming to England and this was only his fourth show.
Selectors took the opportunity to assess potential for the world Breeding championships to be held in Verden next month. Sarah Pidgley took command of the five year old section with the impressive Donnerman, yet another son of Donnerhall. The combination also gained high marks to take the national Shearwater qualifier.
Last year’s Equilibra champions Hannah Esberger-Shepherd and Noblesse gained a more closely contested six year old selection trial ahead of Hofnar Navarone, who was fractionally ahead of former team member Fiona Bigwood and her Swedish bred stallion Masterpiece.
German-based Fiona bought the son of Master, whose full brother Maestro was the Swedish young horse champion, unseen as a two year old.