A horse originally purchased to star in the film Cinderella has been crowned European champion at the MCI (Iberian Horse Masters) championships in Paris (12-15 October).
Dressage rider Rob Waine posted a whopping 77% freestyle score with Steve and Maria Dent’s seven-year-old licensed Andalusian stallion Nazareno Vicon, to secure the level one title, and help the British team to the silver medal — Britain’s first podium finish at the annual event — behind Belgium.
“Steve and Maria are stunt coordinators, and have worked on films such as Gladiator and Robin Hood,” explained Rob, a regular on the British Dressage circuit.
“They bought ‘Nasa’ as a four-year-old to be Cinderella’s horse in the 2015 film — he looks like a rocking horse with his dapples.
“He spent about two weeks on set learning to go through smoke and other things, but once Steve and Maria realised how talented he was, they decided he needed to go off and have a dressage career instead, and asked me to ride him.
“I’d never ridden a Spanish horse before and I worked really hard, encouraging him to work out in the neck. He is so amenable to the training and such fun to ride — I never want to get off. You’d never know he was a stallion — he didn’t bat an eyelid with the mares in Paris.”
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Rob and Nasa claimed the level one title, riding a straight test and a freestyle at a mixture of elementary, medium and advanced medium, during which they scored 10s for their leg-yield.
“It’s such a good opportunity for him to compete internationally in front of five FEI judges at such a young age — usually that wouldn’t happen until small tour — and as a stallion, it’s great for him to have that sort of exposure in the Spanish horse world as well,” added Rob. “He’s working at prix st georges at home — he trots like Totilas!”
Britain also had winners in the level two division, with Rebecca Brennand piloting Albero LXXX to the top spot, followed by fellow Brit Sam Sargeant-Smith with Abocado.
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