Surprise grand prix dressage champion

  • Following a dramatic climb up the rankings Emma Hindle has finished the year as the winner of the Woof Wear Grand Prix Rankings 2003, having first moved into the top 10 in July.

    Emma has won 330 points at international events with Wie Weltmeyer, beating Richard Davison and Ballaseyr Royale into second place with 327 points. Nicola McGivern took third place in the rankings with 290 points on Active Walero.

    Emma, who is based at Conrad Schumacher’s yard in Germany, told HHO yesterday: “I first saw I was in the lead last month and my father said there must have been some miscalculation.

    “I didn’t really think about it much until we got the press release this morning. Richard has always been so consistent that I didn’t expect to win at all. It’ll be nice to go home and sit down in this evening after a day riding the young horses and think maybe I’m not so bad.”

    Speaking of Wie Weltmeyer, the 16.1hh chestnut stallion she has been riding four years, Emma says: “I’m just so happy and proud to ride him. He is a breeding stallion as well as a competition horse, but he’s very uncomplicated.

    “He’s very laid back; he likes to sleep and eat, and although he carries out stud duties alongside competing, he’s completely cool. He has improved a lot in the last two years. He’s always been very talented but now he’s so willing, he really wants to do his work. He goes into the arena and really fights for you.

    “To win the rankings is an indication of how consistent he’s become as he’s got more experienced and now I make less silly mistakes too. His best test this year was when he got 73% in the special at the European Championships.”

    Emma based herself in Sweden with Kyra Kyrkland for five years, before moving to Germany where she is trained by Ellen Bontje, Juergen Koschels and Conrad Schumacher.

    “When I was 18 my dream was to go abroad for six months, a dream which my trainer, Steven Clarke, supported,” says the 28-year-old rider. “I really enjoyed myself in Sweden, there was a great group and atmosphere, and with the backing of my parents I stayed five years.

    “When Kyra decided to move back to England I didn’t really want to go. I was at the end of young riders, which is always a pausing point anyway and Kyra recommended that I go to Germany.

    “It’s not easy living in a foreign country to start with, especially if you don’t speak German, but here you have access to the best training and the best horses.

    “The riders are inspirational and so down to earth. If you can get placed at a national competition that’s amazing and going to an international competition is like a break because there are less Germans there.

    “Now I have lots of friends here and speak the language so it’s easier. The Germans have a different outlook and they expect definite achievement from every horse. They may not work the horse for so long but they expect the horse to work properly even if it’s only for 20min.”

  • The top spot in the Woof Wear Small Tour Rankings went to Carl Hester with 260 points on Donner Rhapsody, Escapado, Celestial King and Benvenuto Arminius, followed by Sarah Millis with 157 points on Korenbloem Lothar and Spencer Wilton, who won 156 points on Dolendo, Flamenco VI and Santas.

    To see the full rankings visit: www.britishdressage.co.uk and click on news.

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