12 riders who wowed the judges at the National Dressage Championships

  • Charlotte Dujardin may have dominated the British Dressage national championships (14-17 September 2017), but she wasn’t the only rider who blew away the judges across the four days. We pick out 12 other combinations who proved they have the wow factor

    1. Abigail Unwin and Arleys Dun Deal

    They may have been wild card entrants, but eventer Abigail and the six-year-old “Drummer”, by Burnock Unique, held their lead from first draw to take the prelim silver title.

    2. Ashley Jenkins and His Highness

    He may have been the only person to take a gold win other than Charlotte Dujardin, but this is Ashley’s third national title. It is, however, his first with Jamie Reynolds and Cherry Elvin’s five-year-old, who is by Wynton.

    3. Izzy Palmer and Touchdown M

    Sixteen-year-old Izzy not only retained her grade IV para title from 2016, but was also the highest scorer across all five para divisions, riding Sophie Wells’ 17-year-old Touchdown M.

    4. Rob Barker and Hamlet

    Rob dominated the novice silver championship, with two of horses tying at the top of the leaderboard. The five-year-old “powerhouse” Hamlet crept ahead of Fidelius by just one collective mark.

    5. Annabella Pidgley and Farnbenfroh

    Twelve-year-old Annabella belied her age to beat her older rivals to the medium silver championship, riding the former Danish international team pony Farbenfroh.

    6. Bridget Tate and Hawtins Werona

    Not content with finishing third in the advanced medium silver championship, Bridget also rode her own eight-year-old Wolkentanz II mare to a close second in the medium silver.

    7. Lara Butler and Rubin Al Asad

    This pair proved why they were reserves for both the Rio Olympics in 2016 and the Gothenburg Europeans in 2017 when they topped a competitive grand prix. Lara and the Rubin Royal son scored 73.78% with a beautifully accurate, powerful test.

    8. Carl Hester and Alcazar

    Carl was the centre of attention as he claimed the grand prix freestyle on a horse he has never competed before. The stunning Dutch-bred Alcazar is the usual ride of Carl’s American pupil Katherine Bateson, but he and Carl looked as though they had been partners all their lives when posting a huge 78.75%.

    9. Jess Dunn and LG Alicante Valley and Helga (pictured)

    Hot on Charlotte Dujardin’s heels throughout this show was Jess who, incredibly, was riding with a broken leg. She and the five-year-old Helga pipped Charlotte’s Hawtins San Floriana to win the preliminary round of young horse judging, and Jess also claimed advanced medium gold third with Jenny Whittaker’s talented Cariello son, LG Alicante Valley.

    Continued below…

    10. Greg Sims and Waverley Dante

    Greg proved he has a potential star for the future when his own four-year-old Waverley Dante took young horse honours. Greg bought the British-bred Dimaggio x Furst Heinrich gelding from the Waverley stud as a six-month-old foal.

    11. Calum Whitworth and Faydirmie ZH

    Calum was another chasing the tail of Charlotte Dujardin, when he and his own Faydirmine ZH finished third behind her two rides in the elementary gold championship. The diminutive gelding is a Dutch-bred seven-year-old, by Zordando x Peron.

    Don’t miss our full report from the National Dressage Championships in today’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine (21 September 2017)

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