‘It was a privilege to ride him today’: an army-inspired freestyle wins at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships *H&H Plus*

  • Find out who made their 3am start worthwhile with elementary silver freestyle victory at the Winter Dressage Championships, plus the championship first-timer who made the podium

    Lynn Wickes and Pauldarys Tiger Two Sox were the judges’ favourites in the Suregrow elementary silver freestyle championship at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships 2020 at Hartpury College. They recorded a score of 73.52% to head the 18-strong field.

    Former eventer Pauldarys Tiger Two Sox is owned by Sam Mirehouse, but based at Lynn’s yard near Alton in Hampshire. Lynn trains the pair and occasionally competes the 12-year-old son of Pauldarys Tiger Aspect.

    “I’m elated; it was a privilege riding him today. Everything went to plan, he was consistent, secure in the arena and performed really well; it was definitely his day and winning certainly made the 3am start worthwhile,” said Lynn.

    Lynn and Pauldarys Tiger Two Sox performed their test to military music inspired by Sam’s army days at Sandhurst. The marching songs included the Battle of Britain, Radetzky’s March and The Longest Day.

    “The music really suits him as it’s punchy but not overpowering, we didn’t want anything too dramatic as he’s not the biggest mover and it wouldn’t suit his way of going,” added Lynn.

    Pauldarys Tiger Two Sox will next be in action later in the week at the Winter Dressage Championships, when he and Sam contest the Petplan Equine elementary bronze Area Festival final on Friday.

    ‘I came here with no expectations’

    Elizabeth Killick finished just nine marks in arrears in the elementary silver freestyle with the Vitalis nine-year-old Galante’s VIP 18 who is owned by Elizabeth together with her godmother Gisele Galantes. The duo filled the runner-up spot with a personal best score of 72.37%.

    “It’s our first ever championship and I came here with no expectations. I just wanted to get a clear round,” said Elizabeth, who is a groom at Lisa Morgan’s small private yard in Hampshire where Dannie Morgan also keeps his horses.

    “Due to the restrictions, my trainer Nicky Barrett couldn’t be here, so Dannie kindly warmed us up. I’m shell-shocked to have done so well. I think having no pressure really helped as we could relax and just enjoy the experience.”

    Maeve Morris and the seven-year-old Florencio gelding Headmore Footloose recorded their second podium finish of the day when they took third with 72.30%. The combination had been crowned joint winners of the elementary silver class earlier in the day with Chelsea Tolhurst and Hermitage De Jeu.

    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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