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Who’s a winner at the National Dressage Championships?

Nicky Barrett and Giorgio S claims her first national title, while Carl Hester cleans up in the small tour championship with Escapado

“This is what everyone wants to win,” declared Nicky Barrett after claiming her first national title with Giorgio S.

Nicky and Stephen Butt’s 13-year-old Giorgio came close last year winning the grand prix but losing out in the music. This year she successfully defended her grand prix title and determinedly won the freestyle to gain the Mercedes Benz national champion.

Butcher’s Pet Care Grand prix

Nicky Barrett and Giorgio S who had only returned four days earlier from asuccessful foray to the Saumur CDI where they gained the freestyle title, held a slender lead over the relatively new combination of Nicola McGivern and the impressive Active Walero ahead of British team members Emile Faurie and Dr Bechtolsheimer’s Insterburg though Emile could be forgiven for feeling hard done by when one judges marks had him at least 30 marks lower, in individual 14th place.

The Derby House Saddlery and Dressage Horse International prix st georges

With international titles all ready under their belt it was no surprise when favourites Carl Hester and Escapado headed the large prix st georges class to give Carl his 31st national title.

The combination had a comfortable win – scoring more than 72% and the only pair to gain over the 70% threshold.

Despite being the obvious contenders for the title, the partnership were also last years advanced medium champions, it is only nine months since the German bred nine year old gelding, owned in partnership by Carl and Roly Luard, performed his first prix st georges test.

Emile Faurie and the black Danish bred Racit came closest with Henriette Andersen and her Voltaire stallion Astonish just behind for third place.

Prevac Pro International young dressage horse

Judges faced a formidable task as 25 four-year-old horses came into the arena together. Darryl Thickett and Gill Smiths Dutch-bred Rex, an eyecatcher from the moment he stepped into the working arena, was pronounced the four-year-old champion. The chestnut gelding by Gribaldi was bought at last year’s Equilibra sale , also the source of Sarah Hayler’s second placed Ritsman ridden by husband Paul.

Emile Faurie and Lady Bamford’s home-bred stallion Wild At Heart won the five-year-old section and after both horses were ridden by Ferdi Eilberg was declared the champion with Rex in reserve. “We are still searching for the ideal judging system and at times the process can seem confusing and we maybe we need to introduce a pre judging class,” said Ferdi.

Horsehage Medium

Peter Storrrode his own striking chestnut gelding Wild Dancer to win the closely contested Horsehage Medium Open championship where less than 1% separated the first five combinations.

Wild Dancer who is still only six-years-old, at times showed his youth and inexperience by loosing concentration, which resulted in small mistakes.

However he achieved high marks for his walk and for his extended trot to maintain his unbroken record of wins.

“It is like driving a Rolls Royce, he is so fluent and balanced. Luckily he doesn’t take a lot of riding because I have been running a high temperature,” said Peter who was later sent home with suspected chicken pox.

Winner of last year’s national elementary restricted title, 15-year-old Anne-Marie Perry and Forrest Fire, stepped up a level to collect the restricted medium championship.

Click here for the full results.

Read the full report with pictures in this week’s issue of Horse & Hound (3 October), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.

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