Find out just what makes the Winter Dressage Champinships 2020 novice gold freestyle champion so special
Jezz Palmer partnered the “perfect” five-year-old King IV to a narrow victory in the Baileys Horse Feeds novice gold freestyle at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships 2020.
Jezz finished on the same score – a chunky 76.85% – as second-placed Lucy Amy and Jaliva, but claimed the win on collective marks.
The striking black stallion King is by the Dutch stallion Governor, a son of Totilas x Jazz. The pair were third in Monday’s straight novice gold, but “today was in a different league”.
“I decided to go for it today, and he gave me the best ride yet,” said Jezz, who rode to a catchy Lion King soundtrack.
“His canter in particular felt unbelievable. The trot maybe needs a bit more push but I just tried to keep him in a nice rhythm. But in the second medium canter I was going for a 10,” said Jezz, who has ridden King, owned by Richard Burge, since the stallion was three.
“Over the past few months we have done a lot of online training with Charlotte Dujardin,” he added. “She has been amazing and kept us on top of everything. She has helped us work on King’s collected canter, which I might not have done so much of otherwise.”
Jezz admits that his goal for King would be to compete at the World Breeding Championships.
“He is definitely good enough to get there, I think.”
Beach break benefits runner-up
Second-placed Lucy Amy reported that her horses have benefited from spending time on her home island of Jersey during lockdown. The 22-year-old is based with Richard Barrett in Hampshire but took her horses home when the coronavirus pandemic hit.
“We actually had such a nice time, hacking and taking the horses to the beach,” said Lucy. “It was great for them. Jaliva loved it, and went straight in the sea.”
Lucy now plans to move the six-year-old Jaliva up to medium.
Dannie Morgan added another podium finish to his growing Winter Dressage Championships 2020 tally. He finished third in the novice gold freestyle with Breit Fantastic, the six-year-old son of Fantastic with whom he was second in the elementary gold freestyle.
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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With the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships due to have started today (8 April) before the coronavirus pandemic forced