Spencer Wilton (pictured) was crowned national dressage champion at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, (16 September), riding his trainer Carl Hester and Ann Corey’s Dolendo.
Spencer finished second in the freestyle where Dolendo was a little tense, but his previous day’s grand prix win was enough for him to take the overall title.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet that we’re national champions,” said Spencer. “People kept saying ‘you’re going to win this weekend’, but I wasn’t going to take it for granted with Dolendo.”
Maria Eilberg won the Blue Waters Grand Prix Freestyle with a mistake-free and complicated floorplan on Two Sox.
“I can’t quite believe it,” said Maria. “I was pleased with Two Sox yesterday in the grand prix, but we did have a couple of expensive mistakes. I wanted to ride a personal best in the freestyle but I’d put any thoughts of beating Spencer out of my head because I knew he was the favourite.”
Jo Barry and Lady Hope’s five-year-old Vivaldi became the overall NuuMed Potential International Dressage Horse champion, beating last year’s reserve, Carl Hester’s five-year-old Valegro. Jo Swain’s Fantango won the four-year-old category under Roland Tong.
Deborah Childs won the Biotal Equine Gold Medium Restricted on Berrifield Spetter, a son of Anky van Grunsven’s grand prix stallion, Krack C, while the NFU Mutual Prelim went to Sondra Darnborough on Jane McGarel-Groves and Mette and Michel Assouline’s five-year-old Demi-Jour. Sondra moved to Britain five years ago from Canada and was the Assouline’s head girl for two years.
For the full report plus pictures from the national dressage championships, don’t miss next week’s Horse&Hound (20 September)