Super Sophie bags gala double

Playlist 19 Videos Super Sophie bags gala double 01:27 Tales from Hartpury: Five horses and 13 tests — but did this rider remember where to go? 01:04 Winter Dressage Championships day four: one-two for Dujardin 03:43 Tales from Hartpury: the nine-year-old rising star with an Olympic dream 02:35 Sophie Wells' rising star impresses on prix st georges gala night 01:22 Tales from Hartpury: the horse with a rare skin condition that travelled in first gear for six miles 02:02 Winter Dressage Championships day three: former runaway horse shows what she's made of for championship first-timer 03:30 Tales from Hartpury: the event horse making waves in her new career 01:56 Winter Dressage Championships day two: Dujardin wants her rising star's foal for Easter 03:35 Tales from Hartpury: meet the family pony rubbing shoulders with dressage's big guns 01:08 Winter Dressage Championships day one: a shock victory and a horse defies the odds to do a double 04:43 H&H dressage editor’s Area Festival video diary: Disbelieving the results of my small and fairly average horse 05:03 H&H dressage editor’s Area Festival video diary: Playing with the 'proper' horses 04:42 H&H dressage editor’s Area Festival video diary: Interrupted by the Olympic champion 03:36 H&H dressage editor’s Area Festival video diary: A weighbridge, ice cream and escaping 03:55 H&H dressage editor’s Area Festival video diary: Dead sheep and lazy swans 02:35 H&H dressage editor's video diary 2015: the bloopers and the out-takes 01:48 H&H dressage editor’s Area Festival video diary 2015: time for Tubby bye-bye 02:21 H&H dressage editor's Area Festival video diary 2015: 'the championship chop' 03:03

  • Sophie Wells collected her second gala title in as many nights as she danced to victory aboard Valerius in the inter I freestyle at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships.

    The Rio 2016 Paralympic gold medal-winning combination rode to the same Tom Hunt soundtrack as last year’s Games, but with a more technical floorplan on this occasion.

    The pair scored 75.83% – a clear three percent above second placed Lara Griffith and Kristjan.

    “I almost cried when I found out I had won,” said Sophie, who won yesterday’s PSG freestyle with C Fatal Attraction.

    “I didn’t expect to win last night either. It is so nice to win and prove that para is no different to able bodied dressage.”

    Lara and the Bechtolsheimer’s talented 12-year-old gelding treated the audience to a flowing routine accompanied by a J-Lo compilation set to a Latin best.

    A highlight was the two-time flying changes, which were exactly in time.

    He loves a party, which makes him a fun horse to ride,” said Lara.

    Taking third was Nathalie Kayal with her own DHI Homerun (“Jojo”) on a score of 72%.

    “I’m really surprised,” said Nathalie. “It was a really hot class tonight — I followed Sophie in and I could see she was going to do a lovely test.

    “The horses have really felt the atmosphere tonight.”

    Article continues below…

    You might also be interested in:

    Nathalie, who trains with Roland Tong, Carl Hester and Debbie Childs, said she worked with several people to put together the dramatic soundtrack for her test.

    “He has been here twice before, so it was third time lucky,” she laughed.

    She added Jojo “absolutely loves” people and gets so excited when getting ready for a show he does what is affectionately known as his “Disney dance” – likening his enthusiasm to that of a child going to Disneyland.

    “If there was an award for cuddliest horse, he would beat Valegro,” she added.

    “He really wanted to show everybody his moves tonight.”

    Don’t miss this week’s issue of Horse & Hound – out Thursday (20 April) for a full report from the Winter Dressage Championships and Area Festival finals

    You may like...