First winter dressage championship win for Ben St John James

  • The top score of the opening day at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships at Hartpury came in the last class, the Baileys Novice Open, when Wolinder and Ben St John James achieved 78.61. The seven year old Welt Hit II mare is jointly owned by Ben and farrier Bruce King.

    “When I got her nine months ago, she had never competed but as soon as I sat on her I loved her,” said Ben, enjoying his first National Championship win. The pair rode to a Can-Can compilation put together by Sara-Jane Lanning.

    While Joanne Titterton waited at home for her second baby to arrive, her husband, Daniel, rode her horse Vision B into first place in the Spillers Response Novice Combined Training. It was the eight-year-old Dutch warmblood gelding’s third competitive show jumping round and Daniel hopes to qualify him for the summer regionals before Joanne takes the ride back.

    The other winners in the last Spillers Combined Training organised by British Dressage, were Izzie Laurence and Verdi Oakley Hill in the preliminary, while Gill Pollard and Gambarda repeated their success of the last two years to win the Open for the third time..

    Maria Griffin and DJ were the clear winners in the Blue Chip Novice Open, three per cent clear of the rest of the field with a score of 73.45. The eight-year-old Diamond Hit gelding is owned by Adrian Baker and Kathryn Thorpe of Aspire Dressage. They bought him for Maria, who runs their business, to ride.

    “I’m eternally grateful to them for buying him and having the faith in me,” said Maria, who trains with Adam Kemp, Damian Hallam and Henk Van Bergen. “Adam was the one who encouraged me to change from eventing to dressage and found DJ for me.”

    Amateur rider, Michaela Simpson won the British Horse Feeds Advanced Medium Restricted on Razz Jazz — the horse has qualified now at every Championships at every level except preliminary.

    Results: Day one of NAF Five Star Winter Championships

    British Horse Feeds Advanced Medium Restricted (L Whetstone, F Turner & J Harris): 1, Razz Jazz (M Simpson) 65.79; 2, Abbey Tiron (N Lawson) 65.7; 3, Andy Lykkegard (E Gallagher) 65. Blue Chip Novice Open (C Landolt, H Payne & S Leitch): 1, DJ (M Griffin) 73.45; 2, Calvin G (A Hardwick) 70.45; 3, High Hoes Sigismund (R Black) 68.57. Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Open Music Freestyle (S Petty, S Lidsey & S Bartholomew): 1, Wolinder (B St John James) 78.81; 2, Rameau II (J Barry) 75.19; 3, Coadys Bay Gold Dust (H Jannaway) 72.04. Spillers Response Preliminary Combined Training (S McMahon & C Porterfield): 1, Verdi Oakley Hill (I Laurence) 172.5; 2, Tirclyn Sportsman (R Taylor) 166.5; 3, Sheepcote Sandmartin (S Pincus) 160.5. Spillers Response Novice Combined Training (I Auty & A Bennie): 1, Vision B (D Titterton) 200; 2, Rocksport (S Hargreaves) 197; 3, Renkum Raphael (C Marston) 195. Spillers Response Open Combined Training (N Goodman & M Brown): 1, Gambarda (G Pollard) 246.5; 2, Simply the Best (V Turnbull) 234.5; 3, Pablo V (C Abel) 227.

    Stay in touch with all the action from the winter dressage championships on Horseandhound.co.uk and don’t miss our special eight-page report in next week’s magazine (on sale Thursday 15 April)

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