Meet the rider dominating on day one of the 2024 Winter Dressage Championships

  • Jezz Palmer continued his dominant start to the 2024 NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships. After winning the Bailey’s Horse Feeds Novice Freestyle Gold Championship earlier in the day, he added the Magic Prix St Georges (PSG) Gold Championship to his collection aboard the nine-year-old Anglo European Studbook licensed stallion Ketcher B, who is owned by Emily Ivnis.

    The combination scored 69.7%, narrowly seeing off Tahley Reeve-Smith and Woodcroft Valentio who were second on 69.6%. Jezz was also third in the novice freestyle gold aboard Imogen Byers’ Hawtins Fiorucci II and fourth in the PSG on Janet Oliver’s Honey D’Or.

    “It’s not many days you have like this,” said Jezz, following his win in the PSG. “Ketcher B did a great test, he’s Mr. Consistent. There were bits I could work on but when isn’t there?

    “He’s got three good paces and he’s really good in the collection. The changes were a little flatter today than normal because I wanted a clear round but we’ll try to rev it up for the end of the week.”

    The combination will be back in action on Friday (12 April) in the Superflex Intermediate I Gold Winter Championship.

    Amy Hose, who won the Equi-Trek Elementary Silver Winter Championship earlier in the day and manages Yew Tree Stud from whom Jezz is the main rider, describes him as “one of the most dedicated people I’ve ever met – he pushes me to better on a daily basis.”

    She adds: “We’ve got so many horses coming through and it’s an exciting future ahead of us.”

    2024 Winter Dressage Championships: “I’m always thrilled to get around a PSG mistake-free”

    Fiona Newall and Fendy VCG at the 2024 Petplan Winter Area Festival Championships.

    Fiona Newall and her 14-year-old mare Fendy VCG (Don Schufro x Ferro) won the Petplan PSG Bronze Winter Area Festival Championship on 67.45%.

    “I’ve had her since she was a just-backed four-year-old,” said Fiona. “I was really pleased with the test, we were mistake-free even though she was quite lit up because of the wind and the rain.

    “I’m always thrilled to get around a PSG, both lines of changes were clean – they’re her highlight, she has lovely, big expressive changes.”

    Fiona juggles working full-time as an accountant with her string of five horses and being a mother to her two young sons.

    “Life’s chaos,” she jokes, “I’m up at six – so not too bad – and I ride some before work and some during my lunch break. Luckily I work at home and I have my mum and dad at home who are a massive help with all of the kid’s activities and the horses.”

    Jenny Ainscough and the 14-year-old mare Florence PFB won the Petplan PSG Silver Area Festival Championship, in another tightly fought class, on 67.64%.

    “It was nervewracking but everything came together on the day which is the important thing,” said Jenny, who will be hoping to make it a double when she contests the Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Silver Winter Championship tomorrow (11 April).

    “We were aiming for the top six, so I’m made up to win. I’ve been leasing her from her owner James Boulton, who was here today, since my other horse who got to a similar level got a career-ending injury.

    “She’s very different to my other horse – she has more of an engine and a few more opinions, but she’s amazing. I’ve been training with Laura Rowe and Becky Moody who have both been a massive help.”

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