A stellar start to the KBIS Young Dressage Horse series

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Thu, 19 May 2022 15:06 GMT

The KBIS Young Dressage Horse series and championships is a popular pathway for riders to give their stars of the future a solid foundation and education for the next steps in their careers.

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Myerscough College

Myerscough College in Lancashire hosted the first of the KBIS Young Dressage Horse qualifiers, kicking off the season on 8 – 13 March.

Kate Cowell took the win in the KBIS Young Dressage Horse six year old class with Angie Rutherford’s Blue Hors Zack mare Zia Zara on 85.6. “I got the ride last year through Carl Hester and I really get on with her,” said Kate. “She’s a gorgeous six year old and gained confidence from having another horse in the arena with her. It was only her fourth show.”

Becky Moody’s Magic Dream enjoyed a successful season in 2021 with Anna Burns in the saddle claiming the Preliminary Silver National Championship title as well as qualifying for the NAF Five Star Winter Championships at Novice Silver level. Becky had her first competitive ride on the five year old Dutch-bred mare at Myercsough and secured a solid win in the five year old qualifier with an impressive score of 86.8. Becky owns the Governor x Swarovski mare with Jo Cooper and is the first ridden horse she's bought without sitting on first. The then three year old was sourced during the Covid-19 lockdown from a video. “She’s a really special horse and was really cool in the test,” recalled Becky.

The KBIS four year old class was won by Katie Owens with Sarah and Pete Edmondson’s Quattro II (Quaterhall x Lauries Crusader) with a creditable 81.8 to mark a successful debut BD show. Quattro II is aptly nicknamed ‘Ron Weasley’ as a fellow bright redhead. Katie found him for the Edmondson’s at Gamblethorpe Hanoverians as a promsing three year, “in the stable he looked plain and geeky but once I saw him with the tack on, he looked completely different. I immediately contacted Sarah and said "I’ve found your next horse’,” said Katie.

“It’s my first win at a Premier League, it’s a dream come true. He had to go in on his own and he was so grown up. Once he hit the centre line he felt like an older horse.”

After taking third place at last year’s six year old Young Horse Championships, Greg Sims and the now seven year old Waverley Fellini are back for more. With a successful young horse career from four years old to date, the talented combination combintue their journey with a step up to the next age category and a win at Myerscough with 76.70%.

Myerscough College winners and runners up


Katie Owens and Quattro II, 81.8

Ricardo Montalvo Sanchez and Naverde, 79.4


Becky Moody and Magic Dream, 86.8

Amy Woodhead and MSJ Valentia Roma, 81.2


Kate Cowell and Zia Zara, 85.6

Anna Burns and Lancelot B.S., 85.0


Gregory Sims and Waverley Fellini, 76.70%

Dylan Deutrom and King Boy, 74.53%


Parwood Equestrian Centre

Sarah Millis enjoyed a fantastic trip to Parwood Equestrian on 19 March securing the wins across three KBIS Young Horse classes.

With an already impressive record with young horses, Sarah Millis secured qualification tickets for all three horses in the five, six and seven year old KBIS Young Horse classes “it was a long busy day, back to back riding but it was so nice to take a lovely bunch of horses.”

Le Zorro (Hero X Florencio), a six year old gelding owned by Sarah was competed lightly as a five year old and is now coming into his stride. “I’ve owned him since a four year old and I am super exciting for his future,” Sarah told us, who took the win with 88.2. “He’s a big horse who has a lot of sensitivity, but he always feels like he’s carrying you and offering you more. He didn’t do much as a five year old as he wasn’t so strong but he’s got so much potential.”

Five year old Macklin, owned by Katja Kuistila, made Parwood his debut show topping the class with an impressive 87.4. “He’s only been under saddle since Christmas” Sarah says, “but he’s so well behaved, he trotted round with his knees up showing off his natural frame and really nice balance.” Deciding not to take him out as a four year old as Sarah wanted him to grow into himself and just be a horse for a while, “he’s got the rideability with enough movement there for the future. I was so proud of him; he always has that ‘let’s go’ attitude.”

Kissingdale, a seven year old stallion by Lord Leatherdale, owned by Sarah and Lilah Gibbs just missed out on a spot at the 2021 Young Horse Championships but achieved over 85.0 at one of his Young Horse classes last year. “He has a super character, a sensitive soul who tries his heart out, always wanting to give more,” Sarah proudly tells us.

Having owned him for five years Sarah has given Kissingdale the time to mature and show his talent, “he was playful in the arena but he was very happy and he showed a lot of quality. He’s very fun and soft. He was extremely sharp when he was younger but if you can channel his energy it’s amazing to see what he can do.” Showing the ability to do it all she is primed ready to take him out when he’s ready, “I want to continue with his training, maybe take him to his first Prix St Georges at the end of the summer or early next year. I just want him to strengthen some more and make him really confident.”

The KBIS Young Horse Classes are a favourite of hers, Sarah told us, “I like to use the classes as experience and you train them based on their individuality and if they are ready they are, if they’re not, they’re not. Sometimes if they are willing and easy enough it is a great experience for them as you go in a pair, it gives the horses confidence.”

Producing young horses is clearly a passion of Sarah’s who loves seeing them grow up, “I do love taking them from scratch or just from saddle, it’s fun! They learn new things every single time and when they understand something they get so pleased with themselves.” With an fantastic string of horses you can see why Sarah loves her job, “when they build, grow and strengthen they turn into something beautiful and impressive it’s exciting. It’s a joy to work with them.”

Parwood Equestrian Centre winners and runners up


Kerry Mackin and Neil Diamond E, 77.8

Rowan Collins and Zebellini, 76.8


Sarah Millis and Macklin, 87.4    

Ulrik Molgaard and Mont-Sainte Odile SPB, 85.8%             


Sarah Millis and Le Zorro, 88.2

Nicola Buchanan and St Giles Flamboyant, 86.8%


Sarah Millis and Kissingdale, 77.15%

Emma Jamieson and Catherston Tiffany, 72.51%


Kingswood Equestrian Centre

The Mount St John Stud team were out in full force at Kingswood Equestrian Centre on 26 April with Amy and Holly Woodhead taking four qualifying spots for the British bred horses in the KBIS four, six and seven year old classes.

In the four year old qualifier, MSJ Secret Lady (Secret X Donnerhall) presented by Amy Woodhead shone at her first ever BD show with 84.0. With not so secret bloodlines, MSJ Secret Lady’s famous father Secret hails from the well-known bloodlines of triple World Champion of Young Dressage Horses Sezuan, and is a proven stallion producing world classes horses across the world including this youngster.

Melissa Chapman made the trip from her home in North Yorkshire hoping it would be worth it, “both boys have been feeling amazing but it was either going to be a good drive back home or a very long one. When worked out how far away Kingswood was from us I did wonder if it was worth going.” Arriving just twenty minutes before needing to get on her first horse, she pulled it out of the bag gaining two qualifications in the five year old class.

Five year old winner Godieta's Mind Over Matter owned by Tracy Elliott had a quiet start to his career Melissa tells us, “we bought him as a foal, he had a quiet year last year as he kept growing so spent more time in the field than competing as he is by Dream Boy out of a Johnson mother.” Going on to say, “he has an amazing walk and is now very trainable. I have mainly taken on the ride of him and we are building a great relationship, I am really enjoying training him. Ian Woodhead, who I train with said I would end up loving him… and he was right.”

Melissa proudly talks about her other ride Majesteit TCE (In Style x Tango), who came fourth in the four year old class at the LeMieux National Championships last year, “he was meant to be sold last year but mum and dad bought him for me as a birthday present so I couldn’t sell him! He is one of my favourites, he has the most incredible kind temperament and tries so hard. He gives me the feeling that he could be a really top horse. He felt a bit tired down at Kingswood after a busy week so I felt I rode his trot a bit quick but he still felt fab.”

Excited about what’s to come, Melissa tells us her plans with them for the future, “I was totally thrilled with them both to finish first and second in a really good class! The plan this year for them both is to hopefully make it to the KBIS Young Horse Finals and continue training and enjoying them. I feel very lucky to have two such super five year olds in my yard.”

Kingswood Equestrian Centre Winners


Amy Woodhead and MSJ Secret Lady, 84.0

Holly Woodhead and MSJ Viva Dannebrog, 81.4


Melissa Chapman and Godieta's Mind Over Matter, 80.2

Melissa Chapman and Majesteit TCE, 78.6          


Michael Eilberg and De La Hoyde, 79.2  

Holly Woodhead and MSJ Gold Standard, 74.8


Michael Eilberg and MSJ Encore, 76.22%

Amy Woodhead and Katniss, 74.96%

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The second Premier League show of the year hosted Keysoe International (29 April – 01 May) saw some exciting young horses power through the 80% mark.

Dannie Morgan’s Fever Tree (Foundation x Dayano) impressed the judges who rewarded 87.4 in the KBIS Young Dressage Horse four year old qualifier. “I’m very lucky to have him,” said Dannie. “He was bred by David Stone and Colin Hicks of Bowlake Equestrian where I’m based, so I’ve known him since a foal. I backed him in November last year and bought him in January.”

“Gordon is the most special horse I’ve ever had with three amazing paces. He’s been one of the most straightforward from the beginning and has so much scope. It’s nice to know he’s mine for the future.”

Dannie plans to use the young horse classes to introduce Gordon to the bigger shows where he can experience the atmosphere without feeling any pressure.

Another high scorer was Dan Henson’s Saint Tropez (Sand Brink x Fürst Romancier) ridden by Will Roberts in the KBIS Young Dressage Horse six year old class. This was the first show for the combination who have only been together for a month.

“He’s a really big moving horse with really correct paces,” commented Dan, “he was a bit green when we got him. He’s quite a cheeky chap but has a lovely character. As his first show, you never know what to expect, so it was nice to be rewarded with such high marks (83.2). We’ll carry on campaigning him in six year old classes and start straight BD classes at the start of the winter.”

Holly Bates’ Hillgrounds Feinline was a bit unnerved in the warm-up by the sound of flapping flags but put it behind him to take a resounding win with 85.60 in the five year old qualifier. “We only had a tiny blip in the medium canter,” said a delighted Holly, who bought ‘Basil’ from breeder Claire Skinner as a foal.

“I saw a clip of him as a foal on Facebook and bought him straight away as there was a lot of interest. Last year we got to the Nexgen young horse finals but he was still a bit immature. This year he’s much more ready to see the world.”

“He got 9.8 for his trot – nearly a 10! I’m really lucky to have him.”

Keysoe Winners


Dannie Morgan and Fever Tree, 87.4

Jennifer Martell and MSJ Secretly, 86.8 


Holly Bates and Hillgrounds Feinline, 85.6

Sarah Khairallah and FireKracker / Bryony Goodwin and Ferdinand X, 79.2                 


William Roberts and Saint Tropez, 83.2

Amy Woodhead and MSJ Diamonds Are Forever, 82.2             


Michael Eilberg and MSJ Encore, 76.89%

Find out more about the KBIS Young Dressage Horse qualifiers below.