The British-bred mare produced some stunning work, bar a couple of expensive mistakes in the changes and the first pirouette, to score 74.11%, knocking Michael’s sister Maria into second on Royal Concert.
“Farouche got a bit nervous today; it’s gutting to have mistakes when the rest of the work is so good,” said Michael of the Fürst Heinrich x Dimaggio nine-year-old. “We’ve been focusing a lot on the grand prix work at home and sometimes there’s a bit of confusion. But there were so many highlights – with a mistake-free test she could be close to 80%.”
The TopSpec medium restricted title went to Jayne Turney riding Charlotte Dujardin’s six-year-old pony Cruz III, who is by the prolific pony stallion Caesar 171. The pair posted 72.22%, achieving three aims in one for Jayne.
“My ambitions were to qualify for the nationals, get a score over 70% and to win. And I’ve done all three; I can’t believe it,” she said.
Jess Dunn claimed a very hot Dodson & Horrell novice open championship with the five-year-old Fyona. The black mare by Sorento x Ferro produced a powerful, consistent performance to achieve the highest score of the day, 76.24%.
“For a while I wasn’t sure if I would even make it here,” said Jess, who also filled third place with MFS French Noir in the class. “ I got trampled in the truck and was in hospital for two days.
“Fyona is super sensitive but I was thrilled with her work today. If we get the first halt right, I feel as though we can do anything.”
Another young horse took the honours in the novice restricted, Lucinda Elliott and the five-year-old Mount St John Best Of All scoring 74.14% to top the leaderboard.
“I’ve really worked on my test riding with Emile Faurie in the run up to today as I haven’t ridden that many dressage tests,” said Lucinda, who was riding at the nationals for the first time.
Winner of the KBIS para title was Natasha Adkinson and the Scottish-bred Sweet Caledonia, a seven-year-old by San Remo. The grade Ib rider scored 73.68% for a personal best.
“I’ve had Sweet Caledonia since she was six weeks old so we have a tremendous bond. We’ve learnt everything together,” said Natasha.