‘I should have hung up my boots years ago’: international judge triumphs at NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships 2020 *H&H Plus*

An international judge claims elementary gold victory on day two of the Winter Dressage Championships 2020, while another rider returns to the podium for the second time this week

  • International judge and team selector Judy Harvey impressed between the white boards to claim the Equi-Trek elementary gold title on day two of the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships 2020.

    Judy rode the seven-year-old Benico gelding SP Bento, whom she co-owns with Jos Rosenberg, to claim her first national title since 2007.

    “I should have hung up my boots years ago, but Jos told me to go out and buy a horse,” laughed Judy. “SP Bento is such an easy horse. Here, I thought the lack of an area walk might actually pay to our advantage as he is not spooky at all. I was chuffed to pieces with his way of going in the test. But then he almost launched me into outer space when he spotted a cactus after coming out of the ring.”

    Judy posted 72.24% to lead the class of 16, commenting that the elementary 59 is a tough test for the level.

    “SP Bento struggled doing this test last summer, but he is more mature now and actually since lockdown he has become much more through and more established. He’s such a fun horse to ride.”

    ‘He always says yes’

    Tayley Reeve-Smith returned to the podium for the second time in as many days at the Winter Dressage Championships. She followed up her third place finish in the elementary gold freestyle yesterday with the runner-up spot in the straight elementary gold, riding Woodcroft Valentino to 71.67%.

    “He has such a lovely brain and always says yes,” she said of the seven-year-old who is known as Frankie. “What you get outside the ring with him, you also get in the ring, which is nice.

    “Jetta O’Cain, who owns half of him, can’t be here but she’s been watching the live stream on her phone and we’ve been sending all sorts of texts and silly pictures. It’s been really lovely.”

    Alejandro Farina completed the podium, finishing third aboard Walwin with 70.42%.

    Keep up with all of the action from the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships on the Horse & Hound website via our H&H Plus service with full reports from each winter championship class, plus a gallery of winners from the Petplan Equine Area Festival Championships.

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