Charlotte Dujardin did it again at the Dressage Deluxe national championships today, topping the intermediate I riding Carl Hester and Roly Luard’s Valegro to 73.37%.
Content with winning this and yesterday’s prix st georges, Carl isn’t running the horse in tomorrow’s intermediate freestyle, saying: “He’s done enough, I’m so pleased with him he doesn’t need to prove himself any more than that this week.”
Rachel Taylor scored a point for the native breeds, heading the Dodson & Horrell novice restricted riding Ella-Louise Mayhead’s Welsh Section D Tirelyn Sportsman to 68.21%.
“Welshies are the best!” she said. “He tries so hard to please and was really consistent in the test today, but I can’t believe we won.”
In the novice open, Christian Landolt scored 74.71% riding his grandmother Nicole’s Don Jovi, who, “can be wild”, according to Christian, “but fortunately he does concentrate for the test”.
Donatello continued his unbeaten run at medium level taking the Haygain restricted under Scotland’s Stuart Walker with 67.51%. The pair benefited from training with Ferdi Eilberg for three days before the championship so arrived well prepared for victory.
Paralympic legend Lee Pearson once again topped the KBIS British Equestrian Para Dressage grade Ib class, this time riding six-year-old Zion. The pair scored 72.46%, but we wouldn’t expect any less from the man who has won 24 gold championship medals for Britain.
Newcomer Michael Murphy topped the grade Ia riding Brockholm Royal Vagabond. At 13, this is Michael’s first British Dressage national championship, though he has had much success at previous Riding For The Disabled national competitions.
World Equestrian Games reserve Natasha Baker took the grade II riding Polish-bred Cabral to 71.11%.
“I’ve been riding him for a year and we’ve developed a great partnership now,” said Natasha, who has London 2012 in her sights.
Debbie Criddle feels she has turned a corner with the sometimes-challenging Pavaroti and won the grade III here with plus-69%.
“It’s not always been easy with him but he felt fantastic the whole way today,” she explained.
And finally, Sophie Wells, who made history as the first para rider to contest an able-bodied championship at the young rider Europeans in Germany last month, scored victory in the grade IV with WEG reserve Valerius.
She said: “It means a lot to win with this horse as I have produced him from the beginning. I’m really hopeful he’ll make the team next year.”
For full report, and pictures from the national dressage championships don’t miss next Thursday’s Horse & Hound