‘As soon as I got on him, I knew he was back to his normal awesome self’: Alice Oppenheimer adds fourth 2021 Winter Dressage Championship title to her name *H&H Plus*

  • Alice Oppenheimer added a fourth 2021 NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships title to her name when topping the Nupafeed advanced medium freestyle gold this afternoon (2 July).

    Alice was riding the 15.3hh 10-year-old son of Dimaggio, Headmore Dionysus, and they scored an impressive 78%. Alice’s nearest rival was Elder Klatzko, who scored 72.33% on Dior VIII, while Kate Smith was third on 71.11% riding Last Love.

    “He was a really good boy again today,” Alice said afterwards of the gelding’s performance – he also won at the beginning of the week too. “I was a bit disappointed with my test yesterday in the advanced medium gold [the pair finished fourth on 73.72%] as I really wanted to try and chase Charlotte [Dujardin], because he’s a good enough horse that I felt like I could give her a run for her money. But he just wasn’t quite on top for me and I don’t really know why, maybe he got out of bed on the wrong side – they’re not machines, are they?

    “So I knew he could go a bit better than he went yesterday, and as soon as I got on him this morning I knew he was back to his normal awesome self – he gave me a lovely ride.”

    Known as ‘Dillon’ at home, Alice referred to her little horse as a “dude” and her Cats music suited his way of going and character.

    “I know he will go in there and he won’t let me down – he was cracking. He likes to show off and his personality makes up for his lack of size. He’s tiny but when he’s going he fills the arena – he’s got so much presence and scope and I love riding him. There wouldn’t be many horses that could take the bouncy Cats music I used, but for him it’s bang on and every time I ride to it, it puts a smile on my face.”

    Dillon will now compete in the small tour competition at Hartpury CDI next week and Alice has high hopes for him in the future.

    “He’s new to small tour level but it’s exciting to get him there. Ultimately the plan will be to train him to grand prix.”

    Read the full report from the Winter Dressage Championships in the 8 July 2021 issue of Horse & Hound magazine, and keep checking back to horseandhound.co.uk for more news and features.

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