1. Carl Hester crowned National dressage champion
Carl Hester and En Vogue were crowned British national champions at the Lemieux National Dressage Championships. It’s the 11th time Carl has taken this title during his career, however it wasn’t all plain sailing this year. The title is determined by total marks from the grand prix and grand prix freestyle. Vogue won the grand prix with a test Carl described as, “One of the nicest grands prix I’ve ridden”, but he was pipped to the freestyle title by Becky Moody and her home-bred Jagerbomb.
“Congratulations to Becky,” Carl said. “She was travelling reserve for the Europeans, which is a hard thing to do, but she played her part brilliantly and she deserved that win today.”
Vogue scored 77.1% in the freestyle despite a few fiery moments during his complex programme.
“He had one eye on A all the time and I wouldn’t say music is his favourite thing,” added Carl. “To be fair he’d not been ridden for eight days whilst I was at the European Dressage Championships and that’s a difficult floorplan, but he’s so talented at the more difficult movements that he needs a more challenging test.”
2. Close fight for Blenheim title
The Blenheim Horse Trials title also went down to the wire, with world number one Ros Canter and Izilot DHI adding the trophy to their impressive collection of silverware with a flawless showjumping round sealing their place at the top of the CCI4*-L results.
Ros and the 10-year-old gelding cantered into the showjumping on their two-phase score of 22. They produced a textbook round to pile pressure on world champions Yasmin Ingham and Banzai Du Loir, who led from the first phase.
3. Sage advice from John Whitaker’s groom Kerry Finch
Showjumping groom Kerry Finch has one of the most coveted jobs in the sport having been John Whitaker’s travelling groom for the past five years. Catching up with Kerry on the some of the secrets to John’s success, she told H&H: “It is really easy working for John; everything is really old school and simple. If you find a bridle that works for a horse, you do not change it. My horse has had the same bridle for the past three-and-a-half years – that is how it works. Things are simple, and if there is a problem we just deal with it. We are not into having horses treated every six weeks, but if they need treatment, they will receive it.”
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