A horse with a very topical name claims the medium gold freestyle at the Winter Dressage Championships 2020 at Hartpury.
Claire Knowles rode the appropriately-named Corona S to Spillers medium gold freestyle victory at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships 2020.
Claire and the 13-year-old grey mare posted 73.83%, but the Essex-based rider said she was most pleased with the Tuschinski daughter’s attitude in the test.
“I’m just so thrilled that she walked! She isn’t always good at relaxing,” said Claire. “She’s the bravest horse in the world, but she doesn’t always let me ride her and put my leg on. I often feel like I’m just having to ‘manage’ her.
“We competed at the summer and winter national championships in 2019 and finished last at both. We always laugh that she is either first or last!”
Corona is owned by Louise Darlington, and Claire has had the ride on her for six years.
“We always joke that only Louise could own a horse with the same name as a killer virus. When we filled in the entry form for the Winter Dressage Championships I felt we had to write, ‘She’s not contagious’! But Corona obviously thinks she’s famous now.”
Scottish sun-seekers finish second
Nicky Heale claimed a welcome podium position in the medium gold freestyle after a 10.5 hour journey from Aberdeenshire. She and the eight-year-old Furstenball x Caprimond mare Furstinclaire scored 72.39% to finish second, despite not having competed since the regionals in February.
“It’s great that the Winter Dressage Championships have been able to go ahead,” said Nicky. “It feels very safe, but it doesn’t feel like a ‘lesser’ championship.
“I was so pleased with my test. Last year here she was a bit worried but today she really settled. She loves the sunshine, which we don’t get a lot of in Aberdeenshire, so it’s nice for her to come down south.”
Sara-Jane Lanning rode Dreamcatcher III to finish third in the medium gold freestyle, after posting 71.56%.
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
Equestrians returning from major French events after 4am Saturday (15 August) must fulfil certain criteria or quarantine for 14 days