Nationals first-timer dominates at NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships *H&H Plus*

  • The prelim champion scoops victory by a considerable margin at the Winter Dressage Championships

    Owen Davies and Bali SD trounced the opposition in the KBIS prelim silver at the NAF Five Star Winter Championships 2020 at Hartpury.

    They posted 76.43% to leave them over 30 marks ahead of runner-up Emily Dove and Epetry (72.70%).

    “I can’t believe it; I’m so happy,” said Owen. “It’s our first time at the Winter Dressage Championships so I really wasn’t expecting to do so well. I wasn’t sure how she would react to the atmosphere as sometimes she can become a bit star struck. But she stayed the sweet mare that she is and took it all in her stride.”

    Owen bought the six-year-old Westfalian mare, a Belissimo M daughter, from Dannie Morgan last year.

    “She has a good brain and is very trainable. We’ve been working hard on her suppleness at home and she was nice and loose and elastic in her test today. I’m thrilled with her,” added Owen who has recently set up on his own near Winchester after a period working for Jezz Palmer and Lucy Pye.

    ‘She’s come so far in such a short amount of time’

    Emily Dove, 18, admitted to being “very nervous” ahead of her prelim test aboard 11-year-old Epetry. She has owned the Tuschinski x Jetset-D mare for four years.

    “She only started serious work last August as before then I was doing GCSEs and A levels. Then in September she suffered a splint injury and was out of action till January. Since then we’ve been working hard at home and she’s getting better and better,” explained Emily.

    “She was great in the warm-up, but wasn’t listening to me in the canter so I was a bit disappointed with that. But she’s come so far in such a short amount of time. I’m really pleased with her.”

    Emily, whose family run East Soley Equestrian Centre, is no stranger to Hartpury as she is currently studying for a degree in bio-veterinary science at the university.

    Ensuring the prelim podium was an all-mare affair was Sunshine’s Dream, a 13-year-old daughter of Sandro Hit. She and Amanda Troniseck occupied third place with a score of 71.89%. Their result was made all the more impressive as Amanda was stung on the face by a hornet moments before she entered the arena, which caused her left cheek and eye to swell up.

    Keep up with all of the action from the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships 2020 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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