H&H Winter Dressage champions

  • The Nirvana Spa Young Horse Prix St Georges Championship

    Spectators had to wait for the final competitor to find its winner in Nicola Jourdain and her talented eight-year-old German-bred gelding, St Swithens.

    Nicola was the lucky recipient of the £1,000 first prize out of a total fund of £2,800. The combination continued its invincible prix st georges record. They already have two Premier League wins at the level to their credit.

    Jodie Lister with Nicky and Suzanne Davies and Keystone DiMaggio were joint-second.

    Grange Hotels Intermediaire I Freestyle

    Henriette Andersen deftly steered her striking black stallion, Astonish, to win the Grange Hotels Intermediaire I Freestyle.

    “It takes a long time to learn the music and the test well enough but it is a useful way to show off your horse at his best. I think it’s important to make it interesting to watch but not too complicated,” she said.

    Patey Hats Intermediaire l Pas de Deux

    Popular with spectators and promoted by the FEI, the Patey Hats Intermediaire l Pas de Deux was won by the Eastern region-based, well-matched duo of Tessa Fielder on Broadlands Wendeguard and Paul Hayler with Severiano.

    A polished performance gave them a comfortable lead over Henriette Andersen and David Hunt, and qualified them for the final to be held at the European Championships at Hickstead in August.

    Thealt Medium Open and Restricted Winter Championships

    Peter Storr and the outstanding chestnutgelding, Wild Dancer, claimed the medium open championship in confident style. There was nothing to touch the flamboyant combination, although the class was by no means a pushover, with several strong and established combinations forward.Irish event rider Marcus Reid, riding Pippa Drew’s Figaro XI, just held on to the lead in a competitive medium restricted class, where only three marks separated the first three places.

    Albion Medium Freestyle Championship

    Louise Spate and the elegant Remarque, owned by husband David, produced a flowing, seamless, technically correct but safe test to stand at the head of the medium freestyle class.

    However, there was little between the top three places, with each judge favouring a different combination.

    Last to go, Lucy Farrer and Burgess Homer’s home-bred six-year-old, Knight-Time, provided a strong challenge to finish a close second. Winner of the elementary freestyle Jo Barry, this time partnering G-West Nibby Bright, took third.

    NAF Medium Elite Championship

    In the popular medium elite championship, the results from the regular riders were close, with the spread of marks only 4% between all but one combination and Marcus Reid steering Figaro XI into first place.

    Elite rider Laura Fry maintained the advantage to keep Figaro in pole position to win the class.

    The elite rider who made the biggest improvement on the horse’s first-round score was Emile Faurie, who upped Jane Cockin’s Bold Venture Grenadier’s score by 6.4%, moving him up from seventh to fourth place.

    Blue Chip Pro Elementary Open and Restricted Winter Championships

    Dan Hammond rode a polished test on Gloria Robson’s attractive seven-year-old gelding, Florentin, by Florestan, to take the elementary open championship.

    There was a reversal of roles for second place, which was taken by Rhett Bird, who was only one mark adrift on Hilary Richardson’s Onassis II – the combination beat Dan into second place at the southern semi-finals at Hurstbourne.

    In the restricted section, Hayley Upton triumphed with Honeymoon – a horse she hopes will become her future four-star eventer.

    Hayley and Honeymoon (who was a wedding present from husband Martin) will continue their parallel dressage career and see how far they can go.Taking second in the restricted was Diane Smeaton and Aldham Mill Picobello, just pipped by the last to go.

    In third was another handycombination in Alexandra Kipping and the skewbald pony Colbinstown Tonto, who hunt, event and team chase, as well as doing dressage.

    Equissage Elementary Freestyle Championship

    Clare Harwood and Alley Kazam were the clear winners of the elementary freestyle, gaining the unanimous vote of the judges. The eight-year-old Latvian gelding, bought through an advertisement in Horse & Hound 18 months ago, had a busy week, having qualified for four classes.

    Blue Chip Feed Balancer Novice Open and AFH Brightwells Novice Freestyle

    Jo Barry and Don Noir won the fiercely competitive novice open, as well as the novice freestyle championship, with harmonious and touching performances.

    Jo received her freestyle tape only a few days before the class, but took the honours on a score of 72.31% – almost 3% ahead of the field.

    Spencer Wilton and Erica Watson’s Sunami were second in the novice open.

    Blue Chip Feed Balancer Novice Restricted Championship and Horsesense Preliminary Winter Championship

    The novice restricted result was a repeat of the preliminary championship, with first and second places secured by Laura Fry’s head girl, Caroline Princz, riding Leslie Connor’s Dutch-bred five-year-olds, Remming and Reising.

    In both classes, Remming had the edge over Reising, although in the novice class it was by only one mark.

    The horses were purchased from the VDL Stud as yearlings.Laura also took third place in the medium open on another of Leslie’s horses, Mozart.

    Read the full report in this week’s Horse & Hound (10 April), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.

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