‘You have to be confident to make those split-second decisions’: Quick thinking by inter I champion leads to hat-trick

  • Becky Moody completed her NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships hat-trick with Superflex inter I freestyle glory riding Jagerbomb. Becky and the Dante Weltino x Jazz gelding have been on flying form all week, with the Magic PSG and Superflex inter I titles already under their belt, and with their 76.37% freestyle score lifting them clear of second-placed Michael Eilberg and Figlio, they made it a clean three out of three.

    Their test didn’t entirely go to plan though. Eight-year-old “Bomber” decided he fancied showing off a bit of his grand prix potential during his two-time changes, breaking into ones by mistake. Becky had to think fast, and substitute her final extended trot up the centre line for an extra line of twos, which were executed beautifully.

    “He wanted to go skipping!” laughed Becky afterwards. “You do have to be confident to make those split second decisions, to weigh up the pros and cons. I probably lost some artistic marks, but gained a bit of technical.

    “I have always loved doing the music, but I’m a terrible mother because I still haven’t got Bomber his own music. He has only done two freestyles – at the National Dressage Championships in 2021 and here – and that music and floorplan was borrowed from a horse I used to ride, Full Fusion, when she was a bit more established at the level, so it is quite difficult but he answers every question.”

    It was certainly an attractive routine, with plenty of changes of bend, from shoulder-in to 10m circle and back into half-pass forming one particularly pleasing sequence.

    “I try to stay away from what you would see in a normal test; it has to be different and exciting, not just for the spectators but for the judges as well,” said Becky, who added that Bomber has “taken a big step forward in his basic way of going this week”.

    Inter II and grand prix are on the cards for this talented horse – the 2021 national seven-year-old champion – with Becky saying that Bomber can already do everything for the top level, and just needs to get stronger.

    “He’s such a babe!” she said.

    ‘I’ve taken a week off lambing to come to Hartpury’

    Joining Becky Moody among the day four winners at the Winter Dressage Championships was Katherine Tullie and the Everdale daughter Joie A Vie, who topped the Spillers medium freestyle silver.

    They scored 71.78% riding to music from The Tourist, making the long journey from Katherine’s farm in south-east Scotland very worthwhile.

    “She was super nervous so I was just ride as best I could and it was the first time she has ever been here. I was pleased with her; she did some super trot work especially. I almost cried when I came down the centre line and halted – but then thought maybe I was being a bit dramatic!” said Katherine, who bought the eight-year-old chestnut mare as a three-year-old and trains with Paul Hayler.

    “I have taken a week off lambing to come down here – it has been manic recently.”

    Katherine went early in the class, and when she finished her test she unplaited and put the mare away, not imagining she might have to get ready again for a mounted prize-giving.

    “But then I went to check the scores and thought, ‘Well this is surprising!’” said Katherine. “She is really talented and I think she has a lot of potential and getting her head right for bigger competitions. she tends to go a bit introverted; we did the medium yesterday and she was absolutely terrified.”

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