Young stallion Fire Kracka proved he is a name to watch by scooping his second 2023 NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships title.
Clare Wyatt’s six-year-old added today’s Prestige novice silver prize to his Equi-Trek elementary silver championship victory from earlier this week, under rider Virginie De Senneville.
It is his third national title, having won the In The Centre Line prelim silver trophy at the LeMieux British Dressage National Championships last year.
Virginie told H&H that the Fidertanz son, who is out of Diamond Hit mare Diva, improves every time he goes out.
“He was brilliant in the warm up and so focused in the arena – the connection is amazing and I just can’t wait for the future,” said Virginie, adding he combined breeding duties with competition last year, and is focusing on sport in 2023.
“He loves to learn and he takes in information really well. We get on so well, which makes the journey very enjoyable.”
Their score of 74.44% gave them a comfortable winning margin over second-placed Manon Roberts and Gilinda (72.41%). It’s been a successful day for Manon, who was the opening winner on Saturday morning, taking the HorseHage preliminary silver crown with her boss Stena Hoerner’s stunning black mare.
Manon, 17, an apprentice groom for Greg Sims and Stena, topped the leaderboard on 74.48% with the 12-year-old Sorento daughter, who she has been riding since September.
“Stena competed her previously and asked me if I wanted to ride her, so I wasn’t going to pass up on that opportunity!” said Manon, chatting as she gives the affectionate mare a post-prize giving cuddle.
“I didn’t really go in with any expectations, I don’t think you ever can, and she was just brilliant.
“She’s gorgeous and is really sweet most of the time – she has her moments and is quite sensitive, but on the whole, she’s very good. She’s a bit sassy, but when you get her on a good day, she’s just mega.”
Winter Dressage Championships: ice-cream, carrots and break-through talent
Teenager Kizzie Lucas was enjoying a toffee ice-cream when she found out she had won her first Petplan Equine Area Festival final title with her own Candito.
“I’m so pleased, I’ve only had him seven months, so this is a big achievement,” said the 17-year-old Hartpury student, who scored 72.11% with the gelding they affectionately call “the dragon” because of his love for snorting.
“I was elated, had butterflies, just felt shivers everywhere when I found out I’d won!
“I’m part of the Harptury Equine Academy, so I’ve had a lot of support from Nick Burton, Lizzel Winter, Islay Auty, and my trainer at home, Levi Hunt, as well as the horse’s previous owners, my family and friends.”
Kizzie hails from a showing background and finds her experience in that world crosses over into dressage, from presenting your horse the best you can, to the dedication of putting the work in at home.
“It’s not just about in the competition arena, it’s about all the behind the scenes work, all the hours you put in training – being here is just showcasing that, saying, ’here’s what I’ve done’,” she said.
Pippa Reed, 16, scored the Area Festival elementary bronze under-21 final on her mother Heidi Reed’s cheeky, carrot-loving Welsh section D Ilar Vincent.
The 14.2hh gelding, who is the same age as his young jockey, is multi-talented, excelling in grassroots eventing as well as between the white boards.
“He’s a very good boy at home and has a very big personality,” said Pippa, who bagged victory on a score of 68.33%. “It’s really nice to win today, he was a good boy and the test went really well.”
Davy Harvy added his second Winter Dressage Championships national title to his CV in winning the Equitex advanced medium gold with Judy Peploe’s Diamond Blue.
Davy, who enjoyed his first national win in yesterday’s inter I Superflex inter I gold with Judys Hawtins Rossana, claimed his spot at the top of the advanced medium leaderboard on a score of 72.85%.
He said that the nine-year-old Don Frederico gelding is now “really knuckling down and enjoying his work” – a breakthrough that has come through patience and encouragement.
“He has probably the most amazing trot I’ve ever dealt with. He loves it and has a lot of natural cadence,” said Davy, adding the two wins this week “haven’t really sunk in”.
“It’s something I never thought I’d ever achieve, so it’s a bit surreal.”
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