Rubin-Esque leads at NAF Five Star BD Winter Championships

  • Day three of the NAF Five Star British Dressage Winter Championships saw Kim Seaby and Rubin-Esque (pictured), maintain their lead from first slot throughout the British Horse Feeds advanced medium restricted class to win on 67.02%.

    “I thought the judges might save their marks before they relaxed into the class, but we obviously set the standard,” said Kim, who bought the Rubin-Royale daughter, now nine, as a two-year old.

    Kim, an assistant rider and trainer for James Burtwell, revealed that “Robin” is the epitome of a chestnut mare. “We’re kicking on now for top hat and tails,” she added.

    Isobel Wessels and the lofty Contendro son Chagall rose to the occasion in the Magic Prix St Georges freestyle championship, winning in front of a packed audience with an impressive 75.54%.

    “He has only just started at the level and that was the biggest atmosphere he has competed in,” said Isobel, who co-owns the 17.2hh gelding with Brigit Powell. “But he listened.”

    Hot on Isobel’s heels were Laura Fry and Remming, completing a bold, powerful test to score 75.21%.

    “Everything worked to plan — he was fabulous,” said Laura. “If anyone had to beat us, I’m glad it was Isobel.”

    Sadie Smith picked up her second winter championship title with the elegant black gelding Fascinato. After a convincing win in yesterday’s novice open music, the pair scored 75.14% to take the GFS elementary restricted music class.

    “He moved up a gear today,” said Sadie, who works for Roland Tong and Ben St John James and rides the “hot” 17hh Furst Heinrich son for Lindsey Leggett. “I love his attitude — he’s so ‘game on’ for everything.”

    In the Blue Chip novice open, Hayley Colwell scored a one-two with Furst Kiss and Zidaane. Six-year-old Furst Kiss, by Furst Piccolo, scored 73.68% to pip Zidaane, on 72.3% at the post.

    “I’m delighted that the baby won,” said Hayley, who explained that, character-wise, the two are at opposite ends of the spectrum. “Zidaane is very hot, but Furst Kiss is such a cool dude — especially for a breeding stallion.”

    Just two collective marks separated the top three in the Petplan Equine novice open. Elizabeth Allen took the honours with Don Dellero, her Dimaggio-sired 10-year-old gelding. “He’s very sensitive, so I was delighted with how he coped,” said Elizabeth, who shared a 68.06% score with runners-up Amy Knight and Emmalene Holden. “He was taking confidence from me.”

    Pippa Clifton and 14.1hh Welsh Cob Reno headed the Petplan Equine medium restricted class on 68.03%. Pippa bought Reno 18 years ago as a foal.

    “He has been a complete joy,” said Pippa, who works full-time as a surgical nurse and is mum to six-year-old daughter Rowan. “I keep saying I should retire him at the end of the year, but my trainer [Lorna George] says no! He’ll tell me when he’s ready.”

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    Full report on the NAF Five Star British Dressage Winter Championships will be published in Horse & Hound (26 April, 2012)

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