Delilah’s a dream at Brendon Stud, plus other dressage highlights *H&H Plus*

  • Having a foal proves the turning point for a home-bred mare, while another mare scores a 10 on her prix st georges debut. Read H&H’s dressage highlights from shows at Brendon Stud, Burrows Court Farm, Foxes Riding School, Crow Wood Equestrian and Keysoe from 7 to 13 September...

    Brendon Stud, West Sussex

    SARAH RIDD and her home-bred mare Weymarsh Delilah excelled at prix st georges (PSG), winning on day two and also claiming an advanced medium. “Bunny”, a 14-year-old Diamond Hit daughter, has become a “dream ride” since giving birth to a colt foal two years ago.

    “She was quite hormonal and constantly in season, so I put her to Uthopia and brought her back into work just over a year ago,” explained Sarah, who is part-way through a four-year degree in veterinary physiotherapy.

    “We started with polework exercises and plenty of hacking over the Surrey Hills, which is great for that ‘off the surface’ strength and the extra gear you want at the higher levels.

    “It’s an amazing feeling to train my own home-bred,” she added. “I could have been a bit braver in the canter pirouettes and Bunny is still quite hot in the changes, but we got eights for our half-passes and extended trot.”

    Anders Dahl scored a 74% inter II win with Fame XX, on the stallion’s debut outing.

    “He was an up-an-coming young horse in Sweden,” said Fiona Bigwood, who explained she and Anders were impressed by his character, expression and an talent for piaffe and passage when they viewed him to buy just before lockdown. “We’ve been consolidating his grand prix work at home since then and hope to aim for internationals next year.”

    Fiona also enjoyed a PSG win with her seven-year-old home-bred gelding Casper XX.

    “I’ve done all his schooling work since he was backed and it’s now about getting him out and about, as the ones born and bred at home tend not to have seen the world,” she said. “He can be spooky but he tried very hard, considering he’s a bit of a baby.”

    Burrows Court Farm, Gloucestershire

    IN a week of firsts, Lucinda Elliott captured a plus-75% PSG win with Hawtins Duchessa – securing a 10 in the process, for an extended canter.

    It was Duchessa’s first attempt at PSG and only Lucinda’s second. Three days previously, at Hunters Equestrian, Glos, the Hawtins Stud rider had piloted Hawtins Bellegra on the mare’s debut at the level, scoring a 72% win.

    “Bellegra is a big, powerful ride while Duchessa is more compact, with athletic movement – like a rubber ball,” said Lucinda, who has reached the level at last after many years of bringing the stud’s home-bred youngsters through the early stages. “They’re both green at PSG but quite brave. I’m really excited about them.”

    The double victory came after a tricky 12 months, as Lucinda was out of action until February when a horse she was hand-walking at home kicked out and broke her arm.

    “We then spent time training at home during lockdown,” she said. “Duchessa is quite a character and likes a party, but she has really knuckled down to focus on the work at the higher levels.”

    Joanne McGregor headed the silver sections in two competitive novice classes with Hugo Boss MFS.

    The eight-year-old Belstaff gelding, owned by Nicky Hodge, made easy work of his first competitive outing for more than two years.

    “He felt pretty confident,” said Joanne, who works for Sonnar Murray-Brown and started riding Hugo two months ago. “There were a few things to improve upon, but he took everything in his stride and scored a nine for a walk.”

    Foxes Riding School, Cheshire

    CLAIRE DUTTON was happy to find that Highvalley hadn’t forgotten last winter’s training. The eventer nailed both novices on his first outing since February.

    “He always seems to remember what we’ve worked on,” said Claire of eight-year-old “Archie”, who belongs to the Walker-Tait family. “He must do homework in the field; it’s like he’s never been away.”

    Claire has been competing the eye-catching iron grey gelding for two years and recently started training with Matt Frost.

    “We’ve been working on Archie’s suppleness and reactions, and encouraging him to find a little more collection,” she said.

    “It’s like riding on springs”

    WARMBLOOD mare Idyllic has established an impeccable record, winning her first four prelim classes (three outright) with steadily rising percentages.

    The Lord Leatherdale daughter’s latest victory comprised a double victory at Crow Wood Equestrian, Lancashire, with scores well into the mid-70% range.

    “She does take a bit of motivating, but once she is out and performing she loves it,” said freelance coach and groom Laura Walkden, who is riding “Dilly” for the mare’s breeders and owners, Peter and Caroline Belshaw.

    “She enjoys a big atmosphere and has such super paces; it’s like riding on springs.”

    Female focus for PRE breeder

    GRADED Pura Raza Espanola (PRE) mare Risa De Susaeta is flying the flag for Yasmin Jaouane’s Seven Hills Spanish Horses.

    “As a breeder, I decided to focus on backing and competing our mares, which is a little different to some traditional PRE breeders” Yasmin said. “Risa was bred by Yeguada Susaeta in Madrid, sired by Doblon-TR and out of the Decreto mare Malta Su. I imported her four years ago.”

    Now six, Risa is the only PRE in the UK – male or female – approved with the Oldenburg studbook. She is trained and ridden by Kirsten Mayne and recently followed an elementary win at Keysoe, Beds, by becoming a young horse national champion at the same venue’s Masters Du Cheval Ibérique (MCI) national show.

    “Risa finds the work easy,” said Kirsten, who is positive about her potential for grand prix. “She is still developing, so we’re careful not to do too much. In the past three months she has grown in strength in the topline and really improved in the contact.”


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