BD Winter Regionals: Morris EC
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Scotland’s Winter Regional Championships took place at Morris Equestrian Centre in East Ayrshire (22 – 24 February) where 118 competitors went down the centre line over the three days of competition.
Nine senior listed judges officiated over 19 championship classes which saw several combinations taking home multiple titles.
Popular West Lothian rider Jo Barry, who is no stranger to winning a succession of regional titles over the years, swept the board in impressive style once again claiming each of the four titles contested over three days with her two rides; her own and Lady Hope’s seven-year-old Hidalgo II (by Rousseau) and Gordon Grainger’s KWPN eight-year-old Goofy La Perle (by Belissimo).
In the Suregrow Elementary Freestyle Gold Jo delivered the highest winning score of the regional championships (77.37%) with Hidalgo II, who she also rode to victory in the Equi-Trek Elementary Gold (75.36%) (podium picture) taking the lead with a massive margin.
Stable-mate Goofy La Perl, winner of the Childéric Saddles Elementary Gold Championships at last year’s LeMieux National Dressage Championships and the PDS Saddles Elementary Freestyle Gold champion at Hartpury in 2018, also rose to the challenge in the TheraPlate UK Medium Gold impressing judges Helen Bradley, Andrea Hessay and Jane Peberdy who awarded this talented combination 72.66%.
This year has already got off to an exciting start for Jo. Having won HorseScotland’s Performer of the Year Award in 2016, she has once again been nominated this year, while owner Gordon Granger is nominated as Owner of the Year.
The award winners will be announced at a special dinner in Dunblane on Friday 1 March with guest speaker Peter Scudamore MBE.
Jade Struthers, runner-up in the Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Gold Freestyle at last year’s NAF Five Star Winter Championships, also proved on top form taking home four tickets to Hartpury and is keeping fingers crossed for two wild cards in the Elementary Gold and Freestyle championships where she was placed second and third.
Jade, who is studying Rural Business Management at SRUC Edinburgh, partnered Lindsay Moffatt’s stunning seven-year-old coloured mare EV Amore Mia (by Amour G), to win the TheraPlate UK Medium Silver and Spillers Medium Freestyle Silver.
She also claimed the Blue Chip Novice Gold (69.32%) and Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Freestyle Gold (72.78%) with six-year-old gelding Dalriada (by Dancier).
Sharon Lindop, Acting Chairman for the Scottish region, pulled off an impressive double winning both the Charles Owen Advanced Medium Gold and Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Gold regional titles with her own 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding Spielbanker (by Spielberg) who she bought in Germany as a six-year-old and trained on through the levels.
Having recently celebrated her 50th birthday, this successful regional result was the icing on the cake for Sharon who trains with Paul Hayler and now plans to “crack on with PSG”.
“Spiel is so much fun to ride, I absolutely adore him,” said Sharon. “In the freestyle, we rode to music I compiled from the movie The Mask of Zorro, which suits him really well as he reminds me a lot of Antonio Banderas – good looking and cheeky!”
Liz Somerville, Practice Manager and Managing Director of Loch Leven Equine Practice in Kinross where she works with vet husband Hugh, made a memorable regional debut.
Liz was the clear winner of the KBIS Preliminary Silver (73.51%) with her own Splash and Dash, a good-looking seven-year-old gelding by Dignified van't Zorgvliet, who was bred in Ireland and bought locally three years ago as an unbacked four-year-old.
This well-matched duo, who train with Sarah and James Oakden, remain virtually unbeaten in Prelim and Novice classes since making their affiliated debut in 2017.
“This was my first time at a regional and riding in front of more than one judge, so I didn’t really know what to expect. I did feel a bit of pressure before our first test, but just told myself to breathe and stay as relaxed as possible as we left the warm-up for our test,” said Liz, who travelled to the venue two days before competing in order to make the most of the arena walks. “Splash is the most kind, genuine person and an absolute pleasure to ride. He can be a bit of a worrier, but he tries so hard and has such a good temperament that even my eight-year-old son can lead him.
“Spiel is the first horse I’ve had who’s been good at dressage and I’m looking forward to learning together and enjoying our journey up the levels.”
Thanks go to the dedicated team at Morris Equestrian Centre, the Winter Championships class sponsors and all involved with another exciting Regional Championships.
Congratulations to all qualified combinations and to everyone who took part.
KBIS Preliminary Silver
Liz Somerville with Splash and Dash 73.51%
Blue Chip Novice Silver
Carla Milne with Hey Good Looking GK 70.74%
Blue Chip Novice Gold
Jade Struthers with Dalriada 69.32%
Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Freestyle Silver
Carla Milne with Hey Good Looking GK 72.59%
Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Freestyle Gold
Jade Struthers with Dalriada 72.78%
Equi-Trek Elementary Silver
Chloe Milne with Cremdalla Crem 69.69%
Equi-Trek Elementary Gold
Jo Barry with Hidalgo II, 75.36%
Suregrow Elementary Freestyle Silver
Chloe Milne with Cremdalla Crem 71.41%
Suregrow Elementary Freestyle Gold
Jo Barry with Hidalgo II 77.37%
TheraPlate UK Medium Silver
Jade Struthers with EV Amore Mia, 69.64%
TheraPlate UK Medium Gold
Jo Barry with Goofy La Perle, 72.66%
Spillers Medium Freestyle Silver
Jade Struthers with EV Amore Mia, 73.06%
Spillers Medium Freestyle Gold
Jo Barry with Hidalgo II, 72.00%
Charles Owen Advanced Medium Silver
Susan Dunlop with Dancer RV, 67.98%
Charles Owen Advanced Medium Gold
Sharon Lindop with Spielbanker 69.78%
Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Silver
Nicky Heale with Retanach Request 72.06%
Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Gold
Sharon Lindop with Spielbanker 71.44%
Magic Prix St Georges Gold
Eilidh Grant with Eranda Retto 69.43%
Superflex Intermediate I Gold
Eilidh Grant with Eranda Retto, 69.17%