BD Winter Regionals: Morris EC
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As Storm Ciara swept across the UK, East Ayrshire escaped the worst of the conditions allowing the Winter Regional Championships at Morris Equestrian Centre (7 – 9 February 2020) to go ahead as scheduled. Three days of competition saw 134 tests ridden and 24 direct qualifications for the NAF Five Star Winter Championships gained.
BD newcomer Hannah Gajczak won an incredible four titles over the weekend with her talented seven year old, Imarlo (pictured competing BE). They claimed the KBIS Preliminary Silver with 76.32% - the highest score of the weekend in a ‘straight’ class - the Prestige Italia Novice Silver with 73.21%, the Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Freestyle Silver with 74.07% and the Suregrow Elementary Freestyle Silver with 72.26%.
Hannah (39), who lives in the Scottish Borders with husband Ian and two young children was justifiably delighted with the results at her very first regional championships. “It feels completely surreal,” she told British Dressage. “I was hoping to creep into the top five and never did I think that we’d win four tests! I am completely overwhelmed.”
Eventing, Hannah admits, is her first love. She took up pure dressage as ‘winter homework’ for Dutch-bred Imarlo who she says finds the dressage element of eventing rather exciting and has been known to throw in a few bucks on the centre line. “He absolutely loves eventing but my trainer kept telling me how good he was at dressage. We’ve done seven shows so far and are loving it!”
He absolutely loves eventing but my trainer kept telling me how good he was at dressage. We’ve done seven shows so far and are loving it!
Show jumping bred Imarlo (Acolord x Indoctro), who’s known at home as Arlo, was bought by Hannah as an unbacked three year old. With the help of event rider Emily Parker, Hannah evented to Novice last year and dressage rider Jane Rutherford has helped to hone their dressage skills. “Both Emily and Jane have taken me under their wing, given me confidence and inspired me so much. It’s an absolute team effort.”
Talking about Arlo, Hannah who combines family life with working as a freelance rider and groom, said; “Every day, he comes out with his ears pricked and says ‘where are we going today?’. He just loves life.”
At the FEI levels, 26 year old Eilidh Grant dominated, winning the Magic Prix St Georges Gold and the Superflex Intermediate I Gold. Her winning PSG ride, on 67.11%, was her 11 year old mare Mount St John Doornroos II. Known at home as ‘Ella’, the Gribaldi daughter has made the step to Small Tour recently, winning on every start so far. Second place belonged to Jo Barry with Gordon Grainger’s young talent Goofy La Perle (65.88%) with Susan Dunlop and Dancer RV on their coat tails in third.
Eilidh’s Superflex Intermediate I Gold ride was her long-term teammate, the Dutch-bred mare Eranda Retto owned by Lorraine Grant. Eilidh and ‘Etta’ (pictured above) were the sole campaigners in the class, but a super score of 72.24% secured them a return visit to Hartpury where they were placed seventh in the Inter I Championship to reach the Inter I Freestyle finale last year.
In a Winter Regional Championships of multiple victories, Jade Struthers and her six year old KWPN gelding Suarez won both the Prestige Italia Novice Gold and Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Freestyle Gold with 73.64% and 76.30% respectively; Nicky Heale enjoyed a triple win with victories in the Suregrow Elementary Freestyle Gold (75.00%), the Spillers Medium Music Freestyle Gold (75.00%) and the Charles Owen Advanced Medium Silver (68.77%) aboard Verity Jenner’s Oldenburg mare Fürstinclaire (Fürstenball x Caprimond); whilst Jo Barry achieved two winning tickets to Hartpury by claiming the TheraPlate Ltd Medium Gold with her own and Lady Hope’s Hidalgo II (72.30%) and the Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Silver with the Belissimo M x Jazz nine year old, Goofy La Perle (72.17%).
British Dressage thanks the team at Morris Equestrian Centre, the class sponsors and all involved for a successful Winter Regional Championships. Congratulations to the winners listed below, to all qualified combinations and to everyone who took part.
KBIS Preliminary Silver
Hannah Gajczak and Imarlo, 76.32%
Prestige Italia Novice Silver
Hannah Gajczak and Imarlo, 73.21%
Prestige Italia Novice Gold
Jade Struthers and Suarez, 73.64%
Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Freestyle Silver
Hannah Gajczak and Imarlo, 74.07%
Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Freestyle Gold
Jade Struthers and Suarez, 76.30%
Equi-Trek Elementary Silver
Claire Moore and EV Amore Mia, 71.04%
Equi-Trek Elementary Gold
Jennifer Johnston Harman and Jazzman MFS, 73.44%
Suregrow Elementary Freestyle Silver
Hannah Gajczak and Imarlo, 72.26%
Suregrow Elementary Freestyle Gold
Nicky Heale and Furstinclaire, 75.00%
TheraPlate Ltd Medium Silver
Carla Milne and Hey Good Looking, 67.79%
TheraPlate Ltd Medium Gold
Jo Barry and Hidalgo II, 72.30%
Spillers Medium Music Freestyle Silver
Samantha Turpitt and Bali Dancer, 69.56%
Spillers Medium Music Freestyle Gold
Nicky Heale and Furstinclaire, 74.61%
Charles Owen Advanced Medium Silver
Nicky Heale and Furstinclaire, 68.77%
Charles Owen Advanced Medium Gold
Eilidh Grant and Mount St John Doornroos II, 68.33%
Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Silver
Matilda Haley and Go., 69.44%
Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Gold
Jo Barry and Goofy La Perle, 72.17%
Magic Prix St Georges Gold
Eilidh Grant and Mount St John Doornroos II, 67.11%
Superflex Intermediate I Gold
Eilidh Grant and Eranda Retto, 72.24%
Photo © Action Replay Photography Ltd