It was a tortuous five hours for the eventual winner of the TopSpec Medium Silver Championship at the Lemieux National Dressage Championships.
Carl Hester’s pupil Jade Clark performed her test and went into the lead at 11am but had to wait until just past 4pm to find out if she’d held onto the top spot, with a score of 69.757%.
Jade was riding her own and Sue Brennan’s home-bred mare Jemimah HH, a Lord Leatherdale seven-year-old out Sheepcote Compliment, who was a Royal International (RIHS) finalist this year in in-hand veteran ranks and is also the dam of Leander Walton’s 2021 Price Family in-hand finalist Cosette’s Prospect.
Jade has produced Jemimah up the ranks herself :
“She’s always been a bit sharp and with her it’s all about containing it, even just for five minutes, at the right time,” said Jade. “Today we did, even though the warm-up was awful. She was really spooky and I couldn’t use the whole arena. When I went in she just settled, thank god! She was very obedient. Normally, when I get inside those white boards she is a lot better.”
Jemimah was broken as a four-year-old.
“She was quite weak as a three-year-old so we decided to wait,” added West Midlands-based trainer Jade, of the mare who is working advanced medium at home. “Today, her test highlights included her trot work; she’s starting to get some more swing and suspension in the trot.”
Jade says that while 90% of the time the mare is in the zone, she has a tendency to explode. Consequently, she rides her with a neck strap:
“I take it off for tests and then at any other time I have it on; when she explodes she’s very exuberant,” she laughed. “Today, I was fourth to ride so it’s been a long day waiting around to find out if we’d held onto the top spot. I’m lost for words. This is my first National Dressage Championships win and to do it on a home-bred is amazing.”
Second place went to Rhiannon Hinton who scored 69.568% with Quaikin Horatio.
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