Women reigned supreme on the first day of the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships at Hartpury College (15-19 April), picking up all seven titles on offer.
The show’s first title, the Charles Owen advanced medium restricted, kicked off the classes in the indoor NAF Five Star Arena. Daisy Coakley scored a one-two, winning on Cleopatra II (pictured) with an untouchable 69.56%. The prolific eight-year-old Dutch mare by Dayano is owned by Judy Firmston-Williams.
Daisy was second with 68.55% on the Irish gelding Affinity Bay, another owned Judy.
Two other riders who have also had success in the past at these winter championships picked up winners’ rugs.
The Spillers medium restricted music freestyle winter championship fell to Leominster-based Ellie Targett riding her own Ranazotti with 73.67%. The 11-year-old 16.2hh German gelding is by Rotspon out of a mare by Archipel. The pair won the elementary music class last year, but Ellie was “gobsmacked” to win again.
Lucy Pincus repeated her previous strong form at this show by leading the PDS Saddles elementary open music freestyle winter championship. She rode the home-bred Sheepcote Suncrest, a San Schufro son bred at the Pincus’ Herefordshire base. He is out of the same mare as Lucy’s well-known ride Sheepcote Don Calisto, whom she competes later in the week.
Both Lucy and Ellie Targett’s music was produced by Kim Warren.
Grace Johnston and another British-bred, Bathleyhills Sea Wurzel, took the Baileys Horse Feeds novice restricted music freestyle with 73.8%. The diminutive 13.2hh gelding by Caesar 171 is owned by Grace’s mother Claire, though may well be for sale shortly as he has been outgrown.
“I didn’t think I’d win but I did my best, which was all I wanted,” said the 13-year-old.
Petplan Equine Area Festival finals
In the Petplan Equine Area Festival finals, the top class of the festival, the Petplan Equine intermediate 1 final, was won by Gemma Maddocks and El Paso Van Overis with 68.55%.
Gemma will also be contesting the prix st georges tomorrow (Thursday, 16 April) with the 10-year-old 16.1hh Belgian warmblood by the showjumping sire Heartbreaker.
“We are both feeling more confident and our nerves have relaxed,” she said.
Hannah Jannaway and Coady Bays Gold Dust topped the Petplan advanced medium open with an impressive 73.14%.
“I’ve owned him since he was four — he’s just fantastic,” she said of the 12-year-old British-bred gelding by Del Piero.
At elementary open, Alice Wotton was the proud owner of a new Petplan winners’ rug and sash. The class featured two rounds due to the number of entries and Alice scored over 70% in both tests — 70.98% first and 72% in the second. She rode her own Belcanto Des Anges, a nine-year-old 15.2hh Dutch gelding by Florencio.
“This is our biggest show yet,” said Alice, who only recently started affiliated shows with ‘Billy’. “He’s been getting really good scores — nothing below 70%.” Lucy Pincus and Sheepcote Suncrest.
Winners in pictures