Winter Dressage Championships: Promising British hope, who utilises hacking to help boost performance, comes out on top

  • Becky Moody and Jagerbomb (pictured) were the convincing winners of the inter I gold class on day three of the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships. The reigning seven-year-old national champions scored 74.31% to secure victory over Alice Oppenheimer and Headmore Dionysus, who were second on 72.01%.

    “Overall I was pleased with him, but I probably didn’t have as much energy today as I had in the class on Wednesday, so that was probably his weak link,” explained Becky of her home-bred eight-year-old by Dante Weltino, out of Udysee, a Jazz mare that Becky had ready to go grand prix when a field injury retired her to the paddocks. “Maybe I timed my warm-up wrong and five minutes less would have been a good thing.”

    “He is not a naturally ‘goey’ horse, but as he’s getting stronger, he is getting sharper and sharper – almost day by day. I probably only school him three times a week, which isn’t much for a horse at his level. He does a lot of hacking and as we live in very hilly countryside, he does quite a lot of hill work. I’m really conscious that I don’t overwork him but at the same time, we have to really work on his fitness.”

    Lucinda Elliot was third on another British home-bred, Hawkins Bellegra, on 70%.

    ‘He tried his heart out – I cried as I came down the last centre line’

    Nicola Morris and the British-bred Headmore Bugatti won the novice freestyle silver class at the Winter Dressage Championships. They scored an impressive 76.75%, with Jessica Griffiths and RF Fürst Love finishing in second on 75.46%.

    “He couldn’t have give me any more in there.,” said Nicola afterwards. “He he hasn’t seen anything like this before and he tried his heart out – I cried as I came down the last centre line.”

    Nicola credited Alice Oppenheimer for helping get them to this point.

    “Alice has helped us loads and I couldn’t have done it without her.”

    Nicola purposefully decided to not have classically themed music for her test today.

    “He’s a fun little horse, so the classical music wouldn’t have suited him ,” said Nicola. “Since we’ve been here, he’s stolen other people’s hay and he’s also stolen a broom over his stable door – it was in his stable with a few bits missing!”

    Nicola juggles riding with working full-time.

    “I’m an accountant, but I’m trying very hard to retire to spend more time with the horses. I’ve been really busy with work the past six months so it’s been really difficult juggling horses and work, but work is starting to quieten down now,  so I can concentrate more on horses. But this one is such a nice horse, I don’t think I’ll find another one like him – he’s got everything and is one in a million.”

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