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Arena UK High Profile Show finishes season in style

  • Written By: Helen Triggs | British Dressage
  • Published: Thu, 21 Dec 2023 13:32 GMT

Arena UK High Profile Show in Lincolnshire (07 – 10 December 2023) had a brilliant festive atmosphere, despite the weather doing its best to dampen spirits. Classic Goldstrike had a father and daughter win, Anna Ross and Beth Bainbridge made a successful raid up to Lincolnshire from the depths of Devon and Sarah Higgins had multiple wins.

Gareth Hughes And Classic Goldstrike

In the past three months Classic Goldstrike (Tango x Krack C), pictured above, has competed at Grand Prix for Gareth Hughes, wife Rebecca and daughter Ruby – not quite your normal ‘family pony’! At Arena UK, Gareth took the reins in the Grand Prix and achieved Goldstrike’s highest GP score to date, before Ruby won the Young Rider Team Test.

“I wanted to get one more Grand Prix in on Goldy before the end of the year and Ruby needed to get her Young Rider qualifying score,” explained Gareth. “We’ve owned him with Julia Hornig since he was a young horse and Rebecca has had great success bringing him up the grades. To be honest I never thought he’d step up to do Grand Prix, but he’s grown up and just been a star. There aren’t many horses who can do this job and do it really well. I did a few Grands Prix on him at the beginning of the year and he’s come on a lot – at Arena UK he really felt like a GP horse.

“He’ll mainly be ridden by Ruby and Rebecca and it’ll be my job to tune him up occasionally.”

After getting rather over-excited in the Grand Prix, Dior VIII turned it round to win the GP Special with his owner, Elder Klatzko - pictured below. “The first day we had a five-hour drive to get to the show and there was heavy rain, a lot of noise and we hadn’t done a big show for a while. He’s still only young and in his first year of Grand Prix. He felt amazing but made a lot of mistakes.

Elder Klatzko and Dior VIII

“The next day I discussed it with my trainer Carl Hester and we changed my warm-up routine into three shorter sessions throughout the day. It’s been a steep learning curve with him as he’s very clever and I’ve had to find exercises to use so he doesn’t learn the test.”

This was only the second time Elder had ridden the Special test, so her winning result, beating Danish team rider Anders Dahl into second place, was a wonderful way to end the season.

Anna Ross’s GP Freestyle winner, Habouche (Ampere x Sydney) is always full of energy and lights up the arena. It was the pair’s second ever GP Freestyle and ‘Holly’ had a new Equidance music programme, featuring Michael Jackson tracks. “We did our first Freestyle at Aintree High Profile – two judges liked the music and one hated it so I changed it for Arena UK,” explained Anna. “It seemed to work really well.”

Holly had to be withdrawn from the Nationals as she was suffering from hives but this is now under control and Anna is planning a full programme of competition for her next year. She keeps her fit and happy with lots of hacking in her Devon home. “She’s so enthusiastic in the school I have to find ways of keeping her occupied without putting her under strain.”

Beth Bainbridge who rides for Anna’s Elite Dressage was successful with three of the team’s younger horses. Five-year-old WHD Elton (Blue Hors Emilio x Diamond Hit), owned by Lauren Taylor, won Medium 73 and Medium Freestyle with 70%+ scores.

“Elton’s a real rock star,” commented Beth. “He finds the work really easy and is absolutely awesome. He was bred by the Blue Hors Stud – I just wish he was a mare!”

“He’s got a big future,” commented Anna, “so we’re trying to give him experience of big atmospheres.”

Fürst Encore (Fürstenball x Rubin Royal) and his full sister, Felicia, were both bred by the late Judith Walker and owned by John Hellens. Felicia won the Advanced Medium 92, then came second to Encore in the Freestyle and Advanced Medium 98.

“Encore was bought as a three-year-old and has been produced by our team,” explained Beth. “He danced his socks off! It was lovely to win and it was really good for the horses’ education to be able to do so many tests at one show. Felicia is coming on in leaps and bounds and I hope to progress to Prix St Georges with both of them next year.”

Sarah Higgins and Samuel IV

Successful Sarah

Nikki Barker won Friday’s Inter I with Durable-sired Iwan but then had to settle for placing behind a very in-form Sarah Higgins. Sarah won an Inter I and two PSGs with Bella Lao’s Jolene (Chippendale x Ferro) and an Inter I and Inter II with Sarah Rao’s Samuel IV, pictured above.

“Bella bought Jolene from Ruth Edge two months ago and she’s the loveliest, sweetest horse. She didn’t put a foot wrong. I’m getting to know what she’s like in the arena while Bella who is 16 is still at school in China. We’re hoping she’ll be a future horse for the Asian Games,” explained Sarah.

“This was only Samuel’s second Inter II so there were loads of mistakes but he felt more confident in the arena this time. He’s quite an introvert but once he’s onside and confident he feels pretty amazing. We’ll do Middle Tour next year in preparation for moving up to Grand Prix.”

Sarah was also second in the Grand Prix Freestyle with Sarah Rao’s King Ron P. The 13-year-old missed a year of work after colic surgery so lacks mileage in the arena. However, Sarah thinks he’s a really talented horse and is developing him while his owner finishes university.

Jane Green’s Hacendado XVI divided the judges in Sunday’s Inter I Silver with two out of three scoring the PRE stallion (by Zensli) over 68%. Jane has had her Ibiza-born partner since he was four, training him up the grades. In 2022 he was the PRE PSG winner at the Associated Championships and the PRE Advanced Medium Champion in 2021.

“We haven’t been out for a couple of months and we had a terrible journey to get to Arena UK from Derbyshire. I trained for years with Carl and everything I know I learned from him. Now I train on my own and we’ve just started at Inter II and I’m hoping to do a Grand Prix next year.”

Prix St Georges is the goal of Medium Silver 76 and Advanced Medium 96 winners, Laura Hill and Lord Leatherdale-sired Jobarde-E. Laura has had the nine-year-old since he was rising three and has trained him with the help of Gareth Hughes. She has recently opened a new livery yard and training centre, Green Lane Equestrian in Leicestershire, as well as having children so Jobarde has sometimes had to take a back seat.

“He’s just a dude and is going really well. He didn’t spook at all despite a lot of tinselly flowers around the arena!”

Pony riders show their mettle

The High Profile Show was also a showcase for young talent. Abigail Gray and 12-year-old George Clooney B.S scored over 70% in both the Pony Team and Individual tests. Abigail took over the ride from Mette Dahl just over a year ago and has had a very exciting year with wins at Hickstead, Wellington and the Nationals and top 10 placings at the Pony European Championships, including fifth in the Individual and fourth in the Freestyle.

“I was very proud of him,” said Abigail who made the long journey south from Aberdeen. “He had a competition break after the Nationals so was very excited to be out again – sometimes a bit too happy! Two wins is a great end to the year.”

Daisy Bullman won the Pony Freestyle with her seven-year-old stallion Godrics Dionysus who they have owned since he was four. Daisy trains with Becky Moody who helped with the floorplan for her programme which she rode to a Harry Styles compilation. “Daisy was very pleased with all his work,” said her mum Claire.

Olivia Luscombe and Rosewater Chamonix

Palomino mare Rosewater Chamonix, pictured above, won both Children on Horses tests with Olivia Luscombe. “I bought her when she was three and Olivia was two!” recalled Olivia’s mum, Alison. “I produced her under saddle and then she went on loan for a while.”

Olivia is now 13 and enjoying the ride, although she admits “Friday” can get quite strong at times. She trains with Beth Bainbridge and was lucky enough to have Anna Ross warming her up for her second test, after Beth left the show. “I’m really happy with my scores and she felt really off my aids. This is our first-ever High Profile Show,” said Olivia.

“We owe it all to Beth who goes above and beyond for us. We have Friday’s mum and I ride her brother – we’d love a Friday baby too!” said Alison.

Double Junior European medal winner Myles Graham showcased two exciting horses at Arena UK – Jon Bon Jovi (by Johnson) and Nibeley Black Pearl (by Nibeley Union Jack) who each won one of the Junior tests.

Known as Whitney, it was Nibeley Black Pearl’s first stay-away show and first High Profile with Myles who has taken over the ride from Matthew Burnett. “At home she’s easy to ride but wants to party at shows! I’ve been riding her since October and she trusts me now and I trust her,” commented Myles. “I aim to go international with her next year.”

Jon Bon Jovi (Yogi) is owned by Myles’ mum, Caron Roberts, and he has been riding him for two years. “He’s still a bit green and nervous of the world. I let him hold my hand going in between the boards. He’s not been out much. This was only his third stay-away show and there were a lot of amazing decorations and tinsel! The first day he was a bit nervous but the second day he had much more confidence in the arena and won that day.”

Marie-Ayesha Barilits-Gupta and Rob Roy II

The Junior Freestyle was won by seasoned campaigner Rob Roy II and Marie-Ayesha Barilits-Gupta, pictured above, who has had the ride since March 2022. “I was really happy with him in the Team Test and Freestyle. I felt I could get a nice flow through the test while keeping the energy going. I feel we have a good connection now so I can let him go a bit and have more fluency. He’s getting on a bit now so I’m getting as much experience as possible with him.”

Congratulations to all the winners and indeed all the competitors who braved the elements. Thanks to all the organisers, judges, stewards and scorers for mounting such a friendly and welcoming show.

Results (top three)
Thursday 7 December
HorseLight Medium 73 Gold
1. Beth Bainbridge and WHD Elton, 72.69%
2. Fiona Wilson and Finest Hour, 71.86%
3. Toby Hewlett and Woodcroft Lamborghini, 65.39%

HorseLight Medium 73 Silver
1. Bracken Parkhouse and Bathley Hills Vue Parfaite, 64.16%
2. Cat Dalton and Derrentigue Bruce, 63.18%
3. Jodie Frost and Lord Jim, 58.43%

Equitex Advanced Medium 92 Gold
1. Beth Bainbridge and BKS Felicia, 67.25%
2. Toby Hewlett and Woodcroft Lamborghini, 66.62%
3. Beth Bainbridge and BKS Furst Encore, 64.08%

Equitex Advanced Medium 92 Silver
1. Jessie Kirby and As Well de la Roche CMF, 68.28%
2. Jessica Parr and Juvat FCS, 68.19%
3. Jessica Parr and Gabber D, 66.71%

Magic Prix St Georges Gold
1. Anders Dahl and Kokkedals Herzog, 69.80%
2. Nikki Barker and Shareholder II, 69.16%
3. Nikki Barker and Iwan 68.52%

Magic Prix St Georges Silver
1. Jessie Kirby and As Well de la Roche CMF, 68.28%
2. Jessica Parr and Juvat FCS, 68.19%
3. Jessica Parr and Gabber D, 66.71%

Superflex Intermediate I Gold
1. Nikki Barker and Iwan, 68.97%
2. Nikki Barker and Shareholder II, 66.47%
3. Emily Perry and Dondersteen, 65.19%

Superflex Intermediate I Silver
1. Alex Chick and Giovanni BM, 65.04%
2. Lucinda Bellis and Windhover II, 63.085
3. Tracy Rabone and San Serino, 60.44%

LeMieux Grand Prix
1. Gareth Hughes and Classic Goldstrike, 72.27%
2. Henriette Andersen and Zackery, 68.22%
3. Calum Whitworth and Damaris S, 68.11%

Friday 8 December
HorseLight Medium 76 Gold
1. Anna Wilson and Finest Hour, 71.21%
2. Ann Staines and Kartouche V, 66.26%
3. Louise Clark and Dimaggio’s Hit, 59.04%

HorseLight Medium 76 Silver
1. Laura Hill and Jobarde-E, 68.18%
2. Heidi Hutchinson and Florida of Westoak, 66.11%
3. Bracken Parkhouse and Bathleyhills Vue Parfaite, 66.06%

Equitex Advanced Medium 96 Gold
1. Ann Staines and Kartouche V, 67.63%

Equitex Advanced Medium Silver
1. Laura Hill and Jobarde-E, 67.67%
2. Jessie Kirby and As Well de la Roche, 67.23%
3. Poppy Burner and Cillnabradden Evo, 66.14%

Magic Prix St Georges Gold
=1. Sarah Higgins and Jolene, 68.82%
=1. Anders Dahl ad Kokkedals Herzog, 68.82%
3. Sarah Higgins and Samuel, 68.08%

Magic Prix St Georges Silver
1. Heidi Hutchinson and Ellison, 63.13%
2. Alison Timmins and Johnny Fletch, 62.40%

Superflex Gold Intermediate I
1. Sarah Higgins and Jolene, 69.80%
2. Nikki Barker and Iwan, 68.18%
3. Nikki Barker and Shareholder II, 67.01%

Superflex Silver Intermediate I
1. Heidi Hutchinson and Ellison, 65.83%
2. Sarah Fitton and Florenciana 4, 62.16%
3. Anya Kolleth and Frings 2, 60.73%

LeMieux Grand Prix Special
1. Elder Klatzko and Dior VIII, 66.98%
2. Anders Dahl and Esquire, 66.02%
3. Susan Dunlop and Dancer RV, 65.81%

FEI U25 Grand Prix
1. Anna Jesty and Grolschstar, 64.82%

Saturday 9 December
Magic Prix St Georges Gold
1. Sarah Higgins and Jolene, 69.70%
2. Ben Martin and Jacko B, 63.87%

Magic Prix St Georges Silver
1. Heidi Hutchinson and Ellison, 66.56%

Superflex Intermediate I Gold
1. Sarah Higgins and Samuel, 69.26%
2. Mia Mordecai-Smith and Innocent, 68.08%
3. Ben McClumpha and Harald, 64.90%

Superflex Intermediate I Silver
1. Jane Green and Hacendado XVI, 66.52%
2. Heidi Hutchinson and Ellison, 66.27%
3. Belinda Spence and Sonnen Prinz 3, 59.16%

FEI Children on Horses Individual Test
1. Olivia Luscombe and Rosewater Chamonix, 69.93%
2. Annabelle Wesley and Vanir Kamira, 69.81%
3. Olivia Luscombe and Caederwen Lady Elinor, 67.15%

FEI Pony Individual Test
1. Abigail Gray and George Clooney B.S, 72.02%
2. Darcey Marcus and Tackmann’s Dark Deluxe, 68.64%
3. Sasha Reid and Godrics Decoy, 66.71%

FEI Junior Individual Test
1. Myles Graham and Nibeley Black Pearl, 69.65%
2. Myles Graham and Jon Bon Jovi, 68.57%
3. Megan Field and Bright Time, 65.41%

FEI Young Rider Individual Test
1. Gracie Catling and Tsjebe Fan e Vesta Hoeve, 65.93%
2. Morgan Haerr and Behroez, 64.70%
3. Emma Horgan and Hennessey T, 60.53%

Medium Freestyle Gold
1. Beth Bainbridge and WHD Elton, 70.27%
2. Madison Eagle and Winston, 65.83%

Advanced Medium Freestyle Gold
1. Beth Bainbridge and BKS Furst Encore, 69.50%
2. Beth Bainbridge and BKS Felicia, 68.44%

Advanced Medium Freestyle Silver
1. Emma Hobbs and Fermillion, 66.77%

FEI Grand Prix Freestyle
1. Anna Ross and Habouche, 74.37%
2. Sarah Higgins and King Ron P, 69.23%
3. Tyler Bradshaw and Igor VIII, 66.70%

Sunday 10 December
HorseLight Medium 75 Silver
1. Bracken Parkhouse and Bathleyhills Vue Parfaite, 66.30%

Equitex Advanced Medium 98 Gold
1. Beth Bainbridge and BKS Furst Encore, 69.29%
2. Beth Bainbridge and BKS Felicia, 67.23%

Equitex Advanced Medium 98 Silver
1. Jessica Parr and Juvet FCS, 68.64%
2. Jessica Parr and Gabber D, 68.46%
3. Charlotte Donovan and Just Its Mie, 68.07%

FEI Intermediate II Gold
1. Sarah Higgins and Samuel, 68.28%
2. Steph Croxford and Mr Jurist, 68.13%
3. Charlotte Lutener and Full Fusion BS, 67.45%

FEI Junior Team Test
1. Myles Graham and Jon Bon Jovi, 70.10%
2. Megan Field and Bright Time, 69.19%
3. Poppy Burner and Cillnabradden Evo, 68.58%

FEI Junior Freestyle
1. Marie-Ayesha Barilits Gupta and Rob Roy, 71.66%
2. Megan Field and Bright Time, 70.54%

FEI Children on Horses Team Test
1. Olivia Luscombe and Rosewater Chamonix, 72.60%
2. Olivia Luscombe and Caederwen Lady Elinor, 68.42%
3. Annabelle Wesley and Vanir Kamira, 64.82%

FEI Pony Team Test
1. Abigail Gray and George Clooney B.S. 70.85%
2. Violet Hawkins and Cruz III, 68.71%
3. Darcey Marcus and Tackmann’s Dark Deluxe, 67.33%

FEI Young Rider Team Test
1. Ruby Hughes and Classic Goldstrike, 71.71%
2. Emma Horgan and Hennessey T, 67.45%
3. Morgan Haerr and Behroez, 66.81%

FEI Pony Freestyle
1. Daisy Bullman and Godrics Dionysus, 72.00%
2. Fi Brabham and Hilkens Showgirl, 70.54%

FEI Young Rider Freestyle
1. Josephine Clewlow, 66.54%

VIEW FULL RESULTS

Photo © ATG Photography