BD Winter Regionals: Myerscough College
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The fourth Winter Regional Championships of 2018 took place at Myerscough College in Lancashire last week (12 – 18 February 2018). The competition was hot as competitors at the North West venue battled it out to gain coveted tickets to the NAF Five Star Winter Championships in April.
Helen Dutton and Valdorama D (pictured) put a slightly tense performance behind them to win the Superflex Intermediare I. “I wasn’t expecting to win after he boiled over in the Prix St Georges,” said Helen, who has been putting hours in the gym to help her ride the son of Flemmingh x Good Times. “I’ve a much stronger core now and it’s given me the ability to let his head out and hold him with my body.”
Sarah Higgins had a brilliant week with a hand in no less than four winners. She herself rode Davidoff to win the Charles Owen Advanced Medium Silver, a second regional title for the Westpoint son following a summer Elementary success two years ago. Davidoff is owned by Sarah Rao who won the Magic Prix St Georges with Waldessarini (pictured below). The Wolkentanz II x Donnerhall gelding is being aimed at the Premier League circuit and hopefully a place at the Asian Games for the Chinese team in Jakarta later in the year.
The win certainly brought a broad smile to the face of Sarah who is studying business management at Manchester University. “I went out to do my best and I was really pleased but I didn’t expect to win,” she said. Sarah Rao keeps both horses at Sarah Higgins and Alex Hua Tian’s Cheshire base, training with Sarah and also Peter Storr.
Sarah Higgins also trained Pony team hopeful Sophie Williams to first and second in the Albion Medium Silver with Ella (bred by Julie Lockey) and Ferrari as well as eventer Ellis Morton who won section 2 of the KBIS Prelim with Elsinore ELS.
Section 1 of the KBIS Prelim class went to another eventer honing their dressage skills through the winter months, Erin Denney with her six-year-old Cairo gelding Rafferty.
It was also a fair week for homebreds with six scoring top honours. Of these Heavenly Kiss BS posted the highest percentage of the show with 75.68% in the Equi-Trek Elementary Gold. The imposing six-year-old is by Fürst Kiss from a Don Schufro mare and was bred by Julie Lockey who owns him in partnership with Becky. “I really love him,” said Becky, who has high hopes for the horse. “Although he’s big he’s got enough sharpness and he wants to learn.”
Becky’s second win of the week came with another homebred, Lucy Swindon’s Odwig’s Echo who won the Charles Owen Advanced Medium Gold. Echo is by Lucy’s Junior/Young Rider horse Stanhopes Odwig out of Spirit of Summer who she rode to Advanced Medium level before the mare picked up an injury. “It just goes to show they don’t have to be super flashy to do well,” said Becky. “He’s not a massive expressive mover, but what he is, is trainable and neat and tidy in a test so you don’t throw away marks.”
One of the biggest smiles of the week came from Sir Lee Pearson as he watched his other half Richard Wood claim the Equi-trek Elementary Silver with his homebred Breezer III. The seven-year-old is by Breitling son, Bacardi, and is a half-sister to one of his para rides Styletta.
For Richard himself, the win was a surreal experience. “We came hoping for a top ten finish,” he said. “When the horse went into the lead I dared hope for a top three finish and we won. I’m exceptionally proud of him, he’s a very, very nice horse!”
Dawn Grundy’s two wins, in the Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Silver and the Spillers Medium Freestyle Silver came with her other half Steve Barr’s homebred Rough Lee So Schufro by Don Shufro out of an It’s The Business mare. The eleven-year-old qualified for four classes during the week although the first two did not go quite so well. “Steve told me to let the reins go and trust the horse and it worked,” said Dawn.
A withdrawal in the Spillers Medium Freestyle Gold left Paul Friday only himself to beat but Christine Trendell’s Flemmingh mare Flamingo (pictured right) more than deserved her qualification. Christine bred the now ten-year-old out of Hawaii, a Harvard mare she bought from the Brightwells Sale. Flamingo is her second foal, the first, a Florencio half-brother named Fiji R is now Grand Prix and standing at stud in Australia with Heath Ryan and the younger half-sister has had two of Flamingo’s embryo transfer foals as the recipient mare. “Flamingo’s had eighteen months following an injury but she’s come back really well I’m delighted for Christine, she deserves the win,” said Paul.
Calum Whitworth rode Fernando II to win the Albion Medium Gold. The eight-year-old United x Special D gelding is owned by Rob and Sue Fearis and was bought from Ryan Shannon as a three-year-old. “I’m hoping he’s a future Grand Prix horse,” said Calum. “He’s all the talent but a complex character with it. He was really worried at the occasion but just held it together well.”
Myerscough ran a full week of dressage, the Regionals being combined with the Para Winter Championships, both organisers and helpers put in a lot of work to make it all run smoothly.
British Dressage thanks Myerscough College, the Winter Championships class sponsors and all involved for a successful Regional Championships. Congratulations to all qualified combinations and to everyone who took part.
KBIS Prelim - Section 1
Erin Denney with Rafferty I, 69.43%
KBIS Prelim - Section 2
Ellis Morton with Elsinore Els, 73.39%
Blue Chip Novice Silver
Lucy Taylor with Delfino, 69.51%
Blue Chip Novice Gold
Anna Brown with Midnight II, 73.64%
Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Freestyle Silver
Sarah Pickford with Flabbergasted, 71.2%
Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Freestyle Gold
Martin Schleicher with Diane, 72.96%
Equi-Trek Elementary Silver
Richard Wood with Breezer III, 70.73%
Equi-Trek Elementary Gold
Becky Moody with Heavenly Kiss BS, 75.68%
PDS Saddles Elementary Freestyle Silver
Annabel Marsden with Wellington Bay, 71.41%
PDS Saddles Elementary Freestyle Gold
Alex Calder with Bilbao Fluswiss, 74.17%
Albion Medium Silver
Sophie Williams with Ella, 69.86%
Albion Medium Gold
Calum Whitworth with Fernando, 70.63%
Spillers Medium Freestyle Silver
Dawn Grundy with Rough Lee So Schufro, 70.5%
Spillers Medium Freestyle Gold
Paul Friday with Flamingo, 70.33%
Charles Owen Advanced Medium Silver
Sarah Higgins with Davidoff, 69.04%
Charles Owen Advanced Medium Gold
Becky Moody with Odwig’s Echo, 70.61%
Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Silver
Dawn Grundy with Rough Lee So Schufro, 70.22%
Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Gold
Kate Cowell with Dramatic Conquest, 73.39%
Magic Prix St Georges Gold
Sarah Rao with Waldessarini, 67.5%
Superflex Intermediate I Gold
Helen Dutton with Valdorama D, 67.72%