A talented mare claims a hat-trick, several horses are back in the ring after an absence and a junior rider strengthens her partnership with an exciting horse at Vale View Equestrian High Profile show in Leicestershire
SARA-JANE LANNING wasn’t sure if 2022 could live up to the successful 2021 she enjoyed with Nicola Seale’s rising eight-year-old mare Hawtins Lirica, but she got the new year off to an ideal start with a hat-trick at Vale View High Profile dressage show.
It was a weekend of ups and downs for the pair, though, as Sara-Jane emerged from what she described as the best prix st georges (PSG) she’d ever ridden on Friday to find the Lemony’s Nicket x Dimaggio mare had bitten her lip, meaning the pair were eliminated. However, two victories at advanced medium and a win in the final day’s PSG made up for the disappointment.
“It hasn’t sunk in; we had such an amazing year last year that I thought it would be hard to keep going at that level,” said Sara-Jane. “She is so new to PSG, so to get plus-70% scores was thrilling. She can be hot and spooky, but she gave me the best feeling. Nicola approached me about riding her in September 2020 and we started last year at elementary – now here we are at PSG. She’s a credit to the Hawtins Stud and I’m very lucky.”
Friday’s PSG title went to Harriette Williams and Creto, on the 12-year-old Conteur x Falkenstern II mare’s first trip between the white boards in 18 months.
“Both of us definitely held our breath which resulted in some mistakes, but my queen showed she’s back and ready to shine once more,” said Harriette.
Sarah Higgins took PSG glory on the opening day of the show, riding nine-year-old Samuel.
Vale View High Profile dressage show: “It was fun to be back out again”
INTERNATIONAL grand prix horse San Royal 3 made a return to competition under Germany’s Kathleen Kröncke, winning at top level at Vale View High Profile dressage show with 73.51%. Kathleen and the 15-year-old San Remo son competed on Nations Cup teams up to five-star level between 2016 and 2019, but with the Covid pandemic coinciding with Kathleen’s move to England with husband Nikolas, and then her first baby in 2021, competing has been off the agenda.
“It was really so much fun to be back out again and also a relief,” said Kathleen, who is based at the Cotswold Club in Gloucestershire and trains with Spencer Wilton. “The grand prix went well generally – we can improve a lot, but for the first test [in a long time] I was really grateful.
“We’re now aiming for the Premier Leagues and maybe one or two international shows in France or Germany.”
Grand prix second went to Theodora Livanos with Dono Di Maggio, while Anna Ross followed up her inter II victory on Habouche with third in the grand prix.
MSJ Top Secret overcame her excitement from early on Thursday to win the inter I with a performance that rider Amy Woodhead felt was much more reflective of what the partnership can do.
“She’s a cool horse and she feels good and strong this year after having pulled a muscle in her side last year,” said Amy, who rides the Totilas 11-year-old for Emma Blundell at Mount St John stud.
“I have had the ride on her for a while, but we have only done a handful of shows so we’re still a relatively new partnership in the arena, “added Amy. “She’s a pocket rocket but in the inter I, she found a lid to her excitement at being out at a party. There were a couple of moments that didn’t quite go to plan, but I was thrilled.”
The following day’s inter I went to Emma Jablonski with Higgens Van De Uilenhoek.
Sophie Wallace recently made the switch from showjumping to dressage and the 15-year-old has already made an impact in her new discipline. She topped both junior classes with the 16-year-old Rubin Royal mare Rosalie B, former international grand prix ride of Laura Tomlinson and more recently Sarah Rogers.
“Our main goal was to get scores over 68% to be eligible for internationals. The first test was mistake-free, but I knew there were a few areas where I could have asked for more, like expression, and my trainer Carl Cuypers agreed. So the next day we asked a little more,” said Sophie, who posted 70.1% in the team test, improving in the individual for 73.58%.
The pair have only been together since the autumn, when Laura gave Sophie a lesson on “Rosie” and subsequently offered her the ride.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said Sophie, who is focusing solely on dressage for now. “Rosie is the best teacher I could wish for. It’s all new to me, but I’m learning more with every test.”
“Everything is a bonus”
ANNA JESTY’S plus-74% Vale View High Profile dressage show advanced medium winner Commodore Platinum had a rocky start to life, but it hasn’t stopped Anna being excited for “Olly’s” grand prix prospects.
“I have owned him since he was six months old, but he got wobbler syndrome at eight months. He couldn’t stand or walk, but thankfully he pulled through. Everything in his life was a question after that, though; whether he’d be ridden, how much work he would cope with. But he’s doing well, and is training all the grand prix work at home,” said Anna, 23, who was also second in the final PSG of the show on Olly, as well as winning the under-25 grand prix on her top ride Flow Motion.
“He can be nervous; he tries hard and doesn’t like it when he gets something wrong,” she added of Olly, who is rising eight. “The real goal with him is grand prix – that’s where he’ll stand out. But everything with him is a bonus.”
- This report can also be read in Horse & Hound magazine, on sale Thursday 20 January
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