13-year-old beats the adults as her dad is selected for Tokyo, plus farrier pulls off juggling act to win at Winter Dressage Championships *H&H Plus*

  • Thirteen-year-old Ruby Hughes defied her young age to beat adult company in the Spillers medium freestyle silver championship at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships today (1 July).

    Riding Nancy Scott’s 15-year-old Classic Bee Gee (pictured), Ruby impressed the judges to win on a score of 71.55%.

    “That was actually my first time riding through that test, so it was very interesting but he was such a good boy,” said Ruby, whose father Gareth was selected to represent Britain at the Tokyo Olympics today too. “Bee Gee helped me throughout the whole test – I was a bit early for my music so I popped in an extra simple change but then that made me a bit late for the end, but apart from that I was so happy with how it went and he was such an amazing boy.”

    Ruby’s music was an homage to her mount’s name being a Bee Gee’s medley and was very well-suited to the horse she has been riding for a year.

    “I went with mum [grand prix rider Rebecca Hughes] to look at some horses for her clients and we found Bee Gee and I couldn’t leave him – he’s such an amazing boy, he never stops giving – I can’t even explain how good he is.”

    Chrissie Havis was second on Beckhouse Piano Blue on 71.44%, while Demi Howard-Cartwrit was third with Fin C We on 70.27%.


    Meanwhile, in the outdoor arena, farrier Matthew Crompton smashed the opposition to win by nearly 2% in the Petplan Equine preliminary silver area festival championship.

    Riding his own five-year-old mare Spring Song (pictured), the pair posted an impressive score of 76.11%.

    “We started at the bottom of the leaderboard at the qualifiers, but she’s just kept on improving and we thought we’d see how today went and she’s just gone and pulled that out of the bag,” Matthew said afterwards. “I bought ‘Spring’ as an unbroken three-year-old and she’s very easy – she comes out and carries on where we left off every time.”

    Matthew, who is from Staffordshire had a very busy day, as he was shoeing horses for clients this morning.

    “I have a good team at home and good trainers – my family pull together to help each other out — and my customers have to work with me.”

    Rafaella Bailey was second with Kalosca on 74.44%, while Tamsyn Hammond was third with Chelveston Lass on 73.26%.

    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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