Winter Dressage Championships day two: first national title for Tahley Reeve Smith

  • Three titles were decided indoors at the NAF Five Star British Dressage Winter Championships yesterday (Thursday, 7 April).

    A Furst Heinrich son, Furst Impression, won the Albion medium restricted winter championship for his rider, former Household Cavalry equitation warrant officer Jamie Broom.

    “He’s got all the ability,” said Jamie, who runs a yard in Windsor. “We’ve been playing with the changes and hoping to try an advanced medium soon.”

    The pair scored 69.14%.

    Hertfordshire-based Tahley Reeve Smith took the day’s only freestyle on offer, the novice open.

    She and Sharola Show Star (pictured), a home-bred six-year-old by Showmaker, scored a whopping plus-77% to lead this hot class.

    As a youngster, Tahley reported that the horse was “the sharpest I’ve known”.

    This was Tahley’s first national title and her phone was “honking and barking all afternoon” with congratulatory messages.

    She was closely followed by Josh Hill, who is making a habit of coming second at these nationals.

    Another bred in Britain – this time in Scotland at Moray Firth Stud – was the best of the elementary open championship. Jess Dunn emulated her success at the summer nationals by topping the class on MFS French Noir, a black gelding by French Kiss.

    She credits time spent abroad with the Wittigs for improving her test riding.

    “I was nervous beforehand as I really wanted to give this horse a chance to shine,” said the 26-year-old, who scored 74.64%.

    An excited Sharon Lindop was the winner of the prix st georges Petplan Area Festival final with her own Sandhaven with a score of 66.45%.

    “He was bred as a showjumper, advertised as a working hunter and I bought him to event,” she said. “He is now officially a dressage horse!”

    The pair had made the 10-hour journey down from Scotland and collected their prize to whoops and cheers from supporters and other Scottish competitors.

    In second place was Liz Guy and Bernini on 65.35%, with Melanie Rowley and Undygo – who survived a torrential downpour during their test – in third on 64.78%.

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    Tyler Bradshaw and Dajano led from the front to secure her place at the top of the elementary restricted Area Festival final leaderboard with 71.03%.

    After winning their arena in the first round on 72.47%, no one could catch them in the final.

    It was a tie on collectives for Leanne Kerry on Royal Rival and Bonnie Bourne on the palomino Twyford Salamander – who both finished on 69.02%.

    For a full report from the British Dressage NAF Five Star Winter Championships and the Petplan Equine Area Festival Final pick up a copy of Horse & Hound on Thursday, 14 April.

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