Winter champions impress at Solihull

  • Gareth Hughes secured a rare hat-trick of titles at the Horse & Hound Winter Championships including the two showcase classes, and also collected one reserve champion’s place.

    Riding Margaret Baxter’s Nurejev, Gareth produced a confident, flowing test to head the Grange Hotels Intermediaire I Music Freestyle ahead of Spencer Wilton and Dolendo, who made an expensive mistake in the two-time changes.

    In the Nirvana Spa Young Horse Prix St Georges, Gareth and Nurejev carried out an established and focused test to stand clear of the competition and claim the title from Markus Bauer and his Donnerhall gelding, Donascona.

    “This has been an amazing few days — I’m just living my dream,” said Gareth, who has produced Nurejev through the grades, earning a fistful of championships on the way.

    “His brain and ability have allowed him to progress quickly and we’re now just waiting for his strength to catch up before we start competing in big tour.”

    Gareth also won the novice open title with Ramazotti, a full 3% clear of second placed Roland Tong and Fitcerraldo.

    “The novice open championship is a tough class, and it keeps getting tougher,” said Gareth. “At least half a dozen riders could have won the title.”

  • Read the full report from the Winter Championships in the current issue of Horse & Hound (1 April)

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