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Bolesworth day 2: plenty of future promise

last updated on June 15, 2017 17:51

Bolesworth day 2: plenty of future promise

 Day two at the Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show dawned sunny again but a strong breeze arrived providing blustery conditions, less than ideal for dressage. First off was the Chruchill Retirement Prix St Georges Invitational with an entry list full of some of the best up and coming combinations in Britain.

The winner was Charlotte Dujardin with Emma Blundell’s Mount St John Freestyle. This is a mare who Charlotte rates extremely highly and is likely to be her next Grand Prix star but today was an unfamiliar test for the eight year old as she’s not encountered such windy conditions previously. Watching, you’d never have known and she took everything in her stride, despite boards, letters and flowers falling all around her. A few moments of inattentiveness were all that marred an otherwise fault free performance which the judges awarded 77.93%

“Every time I aimed at a marker, it fell down as I headed toward it!” exclaimed Charlotte. “She was so good – small looks in places and I think it [the wind] affected one change but I’m really happy with her. To contend with the wind so well and still come out with 77% was great. In the arena her attention wandered a bit, then she’d come back to me but kept giving throughout the test. I’ll count today as ‘another box ticked’ as she can now cope with the wind!”

It was the on to young horse classes to showcase the exciting youngsters we have today in Britain.

The Churchill Retirement five year old went to another former Carl Hester stable star, Amy Woodhead. She was riding another Mount St John mare, this time Zonetta, by Glock Zonik. Amy started riding a few horses at Mount St John when she headed home up north to help out and she found this mare ‘interesting’. “Emma didn’t have big plans for her but I immediately could feel how trainable she was. She was then happy for me to take her out to a competition and it’s gone from there. The more times I ride her, the more I like her and she was amazing today, she really let me ride her in there.”

In the Knowsley Safari Park six year old class, the honours went to Emile Faurie’s stable jockey Tom Goode with Ulla Smirnova’s Saint Julian who the judges (Paul Hayler and David Trott) awarded 82.2%. The Sandro Hit gelding sounds like it’s a case of ‘saint by name, saint by nature’; “He’s such a gentleman. So lovely to ride and he looks the part, an amazing temperament and easy to do,” said Tom. He was pleased with today’s test; “He was really relaxed and gave me a great feeling,” he explained. The team is hoping that today’s performance will have caught the selectors’ interest for a place at the FEI World Breeding Championships in Ermelo.

Young horse seven year old classes are a rare thing in Britain but a scan of the BD database gave a few names scoring well at Advanced Medium who were invited to compete in the Bluemantle sponsored class. One such name was reigning TopSpec national champion, Florentina owned and ridden by Charlotte Dujardin. The grey mare is certainly an eye catcher and although clearly unnerved by the wind, still gave a ‘wow’ performance to score 79.97%.

Charlotte said; “The wind really affected me in there – I didn’t feel properly balanced it was so strong. But she was great; I’ve not ridden this test on her before but she’s done a few Advanced Mediums for experience so it was good to ride something different.”

With the horses Charlotte has here, the crowd were essentially given an insight into the next decade of Charlotte’s career. Mount St John Freestyle (2009), Florentina (2010) and Gio (2011) plus a string of others at home including En Vogue and Mount St John VIP are proof that Charlotte’s no ‘one trick pony’. “I was asked many times when Valegro was retired ‘was I worried about the future’ and I could confidently say no. I knew then, and now, that I have a strong stable and every one of them could be a Grand Prix horse. It was my plan to take this year out of British team selection so I could focus on these up and coming horses this year. For me, it’s all about getting them to Grand Prix. Winning these classes is great but it’s not all about that, it’s all part of the experience they need to get to Grand Prix level. It’s been a great show here at Bolesworth and I’m happy with every single horse.”

Later this afternoon we go back into CDI mode for the Berkeley Group GP Special and then the dressage finale, the Equitop Myoplast GP Freestyle.

Full results – click here

Event website – click here



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