2021 Premier League series kicks off at Keysoe
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British riders flocked to Keysoe International for their High Profile Show (23 – 25 April 2021). Not only the first major domestic dressage fixture of the year but also the first big dressage fixture at the Bedfordshire venue since it came under the ownership of Sarah Stoute. High class facilities were matched by high class competition over three days.
Alice Oppenheimer enjoyed a successful show with her stable of Headmore-bred horses, all descended from the Hampshire stud’s matriarch mare, Rubinsteena. With mother Sarah’s Headmore Dirubinio (pictured above), a Dimaggio-sired son of ‘Ruby’, she started her campaign by claiming Friday’s LeMieux Grand Prix on a very pleasing score of 69.23%. Louise Bell and Into the Blue and Fiona Bigwood with new ride Fame shared the runners-up spot - both on 68.97% and with equal collectives, on the day there was nothing to divide them.
Twelve-year-old ‘Robin’, as he’s known at home, made his Grand Prix debut last December and has achieved consistent scores in the high sixties each time at the level, with much more to come as he develops. ”I was definitely not expecting this when we left this morning but I couldn’t be more proud of Robin. He is really starting to grow in confidence away from home and he tried so hard today,” said Alice.
She added a further win taking Sunday’s Andrews Bowen Advanced Medium aboard Amanda Radford’s ten-year-old Headmore Dionysus, a full brother to Dirubinio, on a fantastic 75.44% before fifth place in the Fairfax Saddles PSG with the Belissimo M daughter, Headmore Bella Ruby (70.48%).
The Grand Prix Freestyle went to Jess Dunn with Jennifer Whitaker’s 16-year-old Dutch gelding, LG Alicante Valley on 70.38%.
Andrew Gould, despite recovering from a tendon injury to his upper arm, had a super show with his KWPN stallion Genie I (pictured above), a handsome ten-year-old son of Zhivago. They travelled home to West Sussex with a brace of wins. The pair won Saturday’s Inter I Freestyle with 76% before heading Sunday’s Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges on a score of 73.64%.
The two further huge Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges classes were won by graduates of 2020’s inaugural BD 7YO Championships – Daniel Sherriff and I’m Bayford Hall Incognito (s. Glock’s Voice) triumphed on Friday scoring 72.54% whilst Sarah Millis and Impressive (s. Charmeur) claimed Saturday’s class with 72.28%.
The highest non-freestyle score of the show was earned by Amy Woodhead and Mount St John VIP (pictured above) who pulled out the stops in Saturday’s Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I to win with an impressive 76.40%. Amy shares the ride on 10-year-old VIP with owner Emma Blundell – a collaboration which clearly pays dividends as Emma also achieved a PSG PB of 71.59% on Saturday with the Vivaldi-sired mare.
Sundays’ Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I was won by Sarah Rogers with Ursula Bechtolsheimer and Laura Tomlinson’s home-bred Viva Lotta. Sarah and the 10-year-old mare, on only the horse’s second start at the level, scored 71.75%.
Lewis Carrier (23) started his 2021 campaign by winning both the U25 Grand Prix on Thursday and Sunday’s Haygain Intermediate II with scores of 68.29% and 68.55% respectively with his 2018/2020 FEI Youth European Championship partner, Diego V. A positive start to his 2021 campaign for Lewis who will no doubt have the FEI U25 Europeans firmly in his sights. “[We had] A few ring rusty mistakes in both tests after the winter break so lots of work still to be done,” says Lewis, “but a really positive start to the season.”
In the U21 divisions, reigning National Pony Champion Mette Dahl had an incredible start to her 2021 by winning both FEI Pony tests with the delightful grey George Clooney BS (pictured above). On Saturday she took the Pony Team Test on 73.50% and on Sunday the Pony Individual with 71.95%. Strategically making the transition to horses, Mette also achieved placings at Advanced Medium with mother Fiona Bigwood’s Florina.
Six horses earned places in the Shearwater Insurance Young Horse Semi-Finals with some impressive scores. Louise Bell headed the four year olds with Free State (s. Franklin) on a score of 8.00 while Thomas Bobis, who’s recent set up on his own after a long spell with the Eilbergs, was runner up with Maxwell TN with 7.72. It was a win for Holly Bates in the five year old division with Maxwell TN on 8.54 and again Thomas was in second spot, this time with Woodcroft Lanbourghini with 8.26. U25 rider Ruth Hole did the double in the six year old ranks, on horses both bred and owned by Carolyn Watson from Cleveland House Stud in Newmarket. Victory went to CHS Diplomat on 7.90 and just 0.02 behind was CHS Fonteyn.
British Dressage thanks all the class sponsors as well as Sarah Stoute and her team at Keysoe International for putting on a fantastic event. Congratulations to all the winners listed below and to all those who competed over the three days.
Class 1: Andrews Bowen Advanced Medium 96
Holly Kerslake and Extasia, 70.48%
Class 2: Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges
Daniel Sherriff and I’m Bayford Hall Incognito, 72.54%
Class 3: Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I
Kate Lister and Fiskus, 68.33%
Class 4: LeMieux Grand Prix
Alice Oppenheimer and Headmore Dirubinio, 69.23%
Class 5: U25 Grand Prix
Lewis Carrier and Diego V, 68.29%
Class 6: Intermediate A
Kim Seaby and Dutch Class, 65.79%
Class 7: British Dressage Young Horse FEI 5YO
Luke Baber-Davies and Vaudeville Carrus, 86.00
Class 8: British Dressage Young Horse FEI 6YO
Dylan Deutrom and King Boy, 75.20
Class 10: Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I
Amy Woodhead and Mount St John VIP, 76.40%
Class 11: Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges
Sarah Millis and Impressive, 72.28%
Class 12: Pony Team Test
Mette Dahl and George Clooney, 73.50%
Class 13a: British Dressage Young Horse 7YO (AM96)
Thomas Bobis and Woodcroft Jamais Noublais, 69.74
Class 13b: Advanced Medium 96
Annabella Pidgley and Hilus MHB, 72.57%
Class 14: Intermediate B
Mary Pritchard and Don Franko, 64.52%
Class 15: Advanced Medium Freestyle
Holly Kerslake and Extasia, 76.33%
Class 16: Prix St Georges Freestyle
Charlotte Lutener and Full Fusion BS, 69.75%
Class 17: Intermediate I Freestyle
Andrew Gould and Genie I, 76.00%
Class 18: Grand Prix Freestyle
Jessica Dun and LG Alicante Valley, 70.38%
Class 19: Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges
Andrew Gould and Genie I, 73.64%
Class 20: Haygain Intermediate II
Lewis Carrier and Diego V, 68.55%
Class 21: Pony Individual Test
Mette Dahl and George Clooney, 71.95%
Class 22: Andrews Bowen Advanced Medium 98
Alice Oppenheimer and Headmore Dionysus, 75.44%
Class 23: Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I
Sarah Rogers and Viva Lotta, 71.75%
Class 24: Shearwater Young Horse 4YO
Louise Bell and Free State 8.00
Class 25: Shearwater Young Horse 5YO
Holly Bates and Harvard JH, 8.54
Class 26: Shearwater Young Horse 6YO
Ruth Hole and CHS Diplomat, 7.90
Class 27: British Dressage Young Pony 4YO
Bryony Goodwin and Asterhof’s It’s Gino, 8.02
Class 28: British Dressage Young Pony 5YO
Daisy Bullman and Godrics Dionysus, 7.52
Class 29: British Dressage Young Pony 6YO
Elli Darling and Wadacre Fancy Pants, 7.80
Photo © Kevin Sparrow