Kirsty Mepham and her veteran grand prix partner Dikkiloo were popular winners of the big tour Derby at the Dressage at Hickstead Premier League meeting.
Having already won Saturday’s grand prix kr, Kirsty went on to clinch first place in the grand prix special with an accurate and pleasing test which put them clearly ahead on a score of 68.02%.
Finnish dressage supremo Kyra Kyrklund and the bay Danish-bred Asterix were placed second on 65.76% after performing a high quality test which lost marks after some costly mistakes in the canter changes.
“Dikkiloo loves performing at Hickstead,” said Kirsty. “We’ve been competing here since 1993 so it feels a bit like coming home.” Although now 17 years old, Kirsty says there are no plans to retire the striking chesnut Gelderlander quite yet.
“We know each other so well – sometimes that’s a good thing, sometimes it’s not because he knows how to take advantage. We’re planning to come back to Hickstead for the international meeting in August and are then aiming for the National Championships the following month.”
Kirsty and Dikkiloo are also movingyards this week – from their base with Dr Bechtolsheimer to Carl Hester’s former yard in Stow-on-the-Wold in Glos, owned by Hans and Marin Rieteveld, where she plans to set up her own training/livery yard.
Shearwater 6-year-old Championships
Kyra Kyrklund was the outright winner of the Shearwater International British Championships with her smart black Swedish Warmblood gelding owned jointly with Yvette Cohn on a score of 81.57%. Max XII, who is by the top Swedish stallion Master and bought as a four-year-old, qualified for the championships only a week ago at West Wilts.
Runner up was Nicola Cooper and her own Maximus, a big black Holstein gelding who was bought in Holland earlier this year. This was only the third outing for this combination who are trained by Carl Hester.
Full report and pictures see Horse & Hound (2 August)