Rewarding victory for ‘Big Friendly Giant’ at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships 2020 *H&H Plus*

  • A productive lockdown leads to advanced medium silver glory for a long-standing partnership at the Winter Dressage Championships 2020

    Georgia Davis triumphed in the Charles Owen advanced medium silver at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships 2020, after a productive lockdown.

    The 24-year-old professional rider and trainer rode her nine-year-old Dimaggio gelding Keystone Diego (Dougie) to triumph with 69.34%.

    “We bought Dougie as a foal and he has grown into a bit of a Big Friendly Giant as he is now 18.2hh. But because I have ridden him for so long I’m used to his size,” said Georgia, who competed for Britain at the junior Europeans in 2013 on Richmans Manta, while working as yard rider for Gareth and Rebecca Hughes.

    “Dougie is the sort of horse who needs to go out and about. He can get a bit stale with too much time at home, so we kept his routine over lockdown varied. It’s so nice to finally be out, and putting into practice everything we have learnt at home.

    “We’re moving up to compete at small tour now. I’d like to do a senior international next year,” added Georgia, who is based with the Oppenheimers at Headmore Stud in Hampshire, and trains with Erik Theilgaard.

    Georgia made good use of the down time this year to launch an online training platform, Dressage with Georgia.

    “The whole world went virtual and so I thought I should too!” she said.

    ‘It was probably the best test he’s done’

    Sarah Heath and Feuertanz finished a close second in the advanced medium silver with 68.99%. Sarah competed the nine-year-old Fidertanz son in the medium silver earlier in the day, but “had a couple of quite big mistakes”.

    “But then my sister told me to, ‘Just sit down and ride’ in the next class, so I really went for it. And it was probably the best test he’s done,” she said.

    “Feuertanz has such a wonderful temperament. He is very genuine and he always tries, and I was especially pleased that all our changes came off today,” added Sarah.

    Katharine Lewis and Albertho B slotted into third in the advanced medium silver. They finished less than 0.5% behind Sarah and Feuertanz, with 68.95%.

    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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