Korenbloem Segnoir S, the top-priced black stallion at last year’s summer sale, returned as a gelding, with Darryl Thickitt on board, to head the Korenbloem Challenge for horses bought from Brightwells’ sales.

After the first round, the impressive five-year-old Go Dutch and owner/rider Jacqui Siu stood at the top of the leaderboard, although only a few marks divided the top six combinations.

The second freestyle test was run in reverse order. Peter Storr and the Badminton Young Horse and Panacur Four-Year-Old champion Fellini Rio improved their score to set the standard, but Darryl and the five-year-old Segnoir S kept their cool to move ahead.

Sadly, it was not to be for the final pair. Go Dutch refused to settle and lost too many marks to keep his earlier lead, so Segnoir S carried off the £5,000 prize.

“We’ve always known that he was very capable, but he just became too distracted and interested in other horses. We had him cut in September, which produced an instant result. He has so much ability and energy and I’m really looking forward to next season,” said Darryl.

Despite meticulous planning before the start of the class, Darryl found himself having to make last-minute changes to his floor plan.

“There seemed to be a spooky corner in the arena, so I decided to turn the test around to avoid it,” he explained.

International judges Jan Peeters and Ghislain Fouarge judged the challenge for the third time.

“Go Dutch was really the best horse in the class. He has good movement and conformation and a lot of quality, but he was just too tense and not obedient enough today,” said Jan Peeters. “But the winner, Segnoir S, is an impressive horse — good-looking, like his father, with a good front leg.”

  • This report was first published in Horse & Hound (2 December, ’04) alongside a full review of Brightwells’ elite auctions of dressage horses and show jumpers


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