Charlotte Dujardin and Sadie Smith (pictured above) both made trainer Carl Hester proud when they each claimed titles on day three of the 2018 NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships (13 April).
Charlotte continued her winning ways in the Magic Prix St Georges (PSG) Freestyle Gold championship, aboard Sarah Tyler-Evans’ River Rise Escala, with a score of 74.04%.
“I was so pleased with her,” she said. “She has only done three PSG tests before, and this was her first freestyle.” Charlotte also admitted that she performed an improvised floor plan: “I just made it up really, and I was very impressed with how this mare coped with the atmosphere, considering she is very low mileage.”
Second was Nikki Barker and Durable on 70.71%.
Earlier in the day, Charlotte claimed the Blue Chip Novice Gold class with 74.37% riding yesterday’s Equi-Trek elementary gold class victor Hawtins San Floriana, a six-year-old mare.
“She’s an incredible mare,” said Charlotte. “She is such a hot, elastic horse and is just so naturally gifted. She actually performs better at the higher levels as she is always looking for the next move – sometimes, there isn’t enough for her brain to do.
“She handled the atmosphere very well. There is a lot of movement around the stands which is hard for the young horses to cope with. This has been a great experience for her.”
Second to the unstoppable duo was Bryony Goodwin and Hawtins Soave with 72.47%.
Sadie Smith, groom and rider at Carl’s base, came out with her own Keystone Dynamite (Mambo) to clinch the winning sash in the Superflex Inter I Gold championship.
“I feel so happy, I think I might cry,” said an emotional Sadie as she left the arena following the prize giving.
“The last time I was here with ‘Mambo’ was about five years ago when we competed in the novice, and we could barely finish the test. He has been such a difficult horse and at one point I wondered if I was going to be able to do it with him — so this really means the world.
“At Carl’s, he has a very set routine which has made a real difference to him. He is a nervous, sensitive horse and when he gets scared he has no self-preservation.
With a score of 71.84%, Sadie said the 11-year-old felt ‘lovely’ throughout his test.
“After this event I will be working on getting him working at grand prix level and perhaps enter some internationals,” she added.
Behind Sadie was Jayden Brown and the charismatic Mount St John De La Beaute who totalled 69.21%.
In the Albion Medium Silver Winter championship, victory went to Jodie Pharaon and Bear, who won with 72.02%. The duo are on tremendous form as they also won their advanced medium silver championship yesterday. On this occasion, they stood in front of Sunlit Uplands and Dylan Deutrom.
Southern Cross Braemar and Dannie Morgan, who also events, landed a score of 72.50% to win the Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Silver final.
“I’ve trained him myself and he’s so consistent — he’s had so many placings at regionals and nationals — so he really deserved this. I go in there and feel like I have to do a good job as he just tries so hard for me,” said Dannie of the eight-year-old.
Their nearest rivals were Sarah Alderman and Zendy.
For a full report from the British Dressage Winter Championships and Area Festival final – as well as news, views and expert comment – don’t miss Thursday’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine (19 April 2018)