The NAF Five Star winter dressage championships finished with Spencer Wilton winning his first national title in four years with stallion Zamboucca.
The pair scored 71.17% in the very competitive Albion Medium Open Championship to beat the overnight favourites Isobel Wessels and Chagall.
“There were lots of good horses — I would have been happy to be in the top five,” said Spencer. “He went the best he could go at the moment. I could feel him thinking ‘oh my god’ when we went in, but he focussed and trusted me. He relaxed in the walk and trusted me in the transitions.”
Zamboucca is owned by Spencer and Jen Goodman and the handsome son of Stedinger has already been used for breeding.
Cartoon-themed music clinched the Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle for Derbyshire rider, Jane Green riding Terry and Teresa Stokes’ Valentime.
Nudging Bobby Hayler and Half Moon Wilroy into second place by 0.06%, Jane described the eight-year-old by Rubiquel as her ‘best friend’.
“He’s very enthusiastic and quick to learn,” said freelance rider Jane. “Yesterday he threw marks away through over-enthusiasm, but today he was more chilled. This was our first National win. I’ve just missed out loads of times but I always thought he would be the one to do it for me.”
Claire Allmett was first to go in the Equitop Myoplast Elementary Restricted but her score of 68.65% was good enough for her to win the class at her first championship.
Claire who has a full-time job in equestrian PR, as well as two young children, has owned Soloyst since he was an un-backed two year old and done all the work herself.
“I chose him for his laid-back attitude and I know everyone says it, but he is very trainable,” said Claire. “We made a couple of small mistakes but he felt good and active.”
Claire had help from her trainer Anna Ross-Davies in the warm-up. “She has really helped me to improve the connection and lengthen his neck,” explained Claire.
Equitop Myoplast Elementary Restricted Championship (F Turner, A Bennie & S Leitch).⎯ 1, Soloyst (C Allmett) 68.65; 2, Richmans Manta (G Davis) 68.02; 3, Freddy (K Walters) 67.71. Nupafeed Advanced Medium Music Freestyle (A Fransen Jacobaeus, S Petty & K Myhre).⎯ 1, Valentime (J Green) 71.06; 2, Half Moon Wilroy (R Hayler) 71; 3, Rossgold Rubina 70. Albion Medium Open (M Robins, C Halsall & I Auty).⎯ 1, Zamboucca (S Wilton) 71.17; 2, Chagall (I Wessels) 69.73; 3, Lennox (D Greenwood) 69.64.
Don’t miss H&H’s full report from the NAF Five Star Winter Championships, on sale Thursday 21 April, 2011