‘The first time I sat on him I fell off’: former ‘wild child’ springs surprise nationals win

  • Kathleen Kroenke made her first competitive visit to the LeMieux National Dressage Championships one to remember with a win in the LeMieux National Dressage Championships grand prix riding San Royal 3 on a mark of 74.5%.

    All five of the judges had her to win albeit that judge at M, Richard Baldwin had her equal with eventual second Lara Butler riding Kristjan.

    This time last year Kathleen was a spectator as she’d just given birth. This week had already produced a third and a fifth at inter II level prior to her win in the National Dressage Championships grand prix.

    “It’s lovely to be riding this year; it’s a great arena here and what an amazing audience,” she said. “I didn’t expect to win as I made a couple of mistakes, one in the transition from passage to canter and then in the one tempis. I could see the drop in the mark on the screen so the pressure was on. I was really thrilled to get that mark despite those errors.”

    San Royal 3, a San Remo/Grand Royal M 15-year-old, originally came to Kathleen as a five-year-old with a bit of a wild child tag.

    “We got him because no one could ride; in fact the first time I sat on him I fell off,” said Kathleen. “My father worked him in hand so we knew he’d got the potential for a really good piaffe and passage. He was always such a gentle soul in the stable and we bought him.”

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