BD Winter Regionals: Wellington Riding
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Headmore Stud enjoyed an outstanding week at the hotly contested final winter regionals of the year at Wellington Riding, Hants, (26-February – 2 March) which proved popular with substantial entries and high scoring winners.
Following their success at Merrist Wood’s regionals, Alice Oppenheimer got the Headmore team off to a flying start with a talented trio of home-breds winning the Suregrow Elementary Freestyle Gold on 78.59% with her stunning seven-year-old liver chesnut mare Headmore Bella Ruby (by Belissimo M) - pictured.
Riding to a musical theme from Les Miserables, compiled by Sara Green, they scored 9s for choreography and music earning them a personal best at this level.
“’Princess Bella’ felt amazing; supple and very rideable, I came out of the arena buzzing,” said Alice. “She’s quite a hot horse, a real alpha mare, but we have a good rapport and a great relationship and together it felt like we could really go for it on the day.”
This combination also finished a close second (by 2.5 marks) just behind Calum Whitworth and seven-year-old 16.1hh gelding Hennessy T (by Vivaldi) who took the title with 74.42% in the Equi-Trek Elementary Gold.
Alice also triumphed with Amanda Radford’s Headmore Dionysus (Dillon) winning the Blue Chip Novice Gold (75.67%) and was close runner up in the Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Freestyle Gold (75.37%) won by Laura Wollen with Anne Seifert-Cohn’s striking Dutch six-year-old by Ampere, Ivan Carlos (77.40%).
The final day provided more reasons for Headmore to celebrate. Riding her mother Sarah’s exciting nine-year-old chestnut mare Headmore Davina (by Dimaggio and full sister to Dionysus) in their first outing since competing in the Dressage Future Elite Championship at HOYS last year, Alice claimed both the Magic Prix St Georges Gold and Superflex Intermediate I Gold on plus 70% scores.
“We played it a bit safe in the Inter I as we hadn’t been out since last year, but she felt so good that I asked for a bit more in the PSG and she was pure class,” said Alice, who trains with Erik Theilgaard. “Davina’s a horse with a very good brain that only makes mistakes if I do!”
Also flying the flag for Headmore were Alice’s sister Kate, a small animal vet, and her own 15.3hh eight-year-old dun mare SOS Sealpoint (by Georgia Stokes’ Dutch New Forest Pony SOS Kantje’s Unicolor) winning the Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Freestyle Silver with 72.40%.
Riding to Sara Green’s clever compilation from Jesus Christ Superstar, this combination who also successfully event and are aiming for the Badminton Grassroots Championships, made the family justifiably proud producing tears of joy from watching connections.
Topping off a memorable week, Alice also celebrated several of her pupils’ successes at Wellington, including freelance groom/nanny Andrea Kirby’s win with her eight-year-old chestnut mare Headmore Dramatica (by Dimaggio) in the Prelim Silver, which Alice described as a “special moment”.
“Andrea, who bought ‘Drama’ 18 months ago, works so hard to have her horse; she’s a real grafter and deserves this so much,” said Alice. “They were first in and produced a lovely, flowing, accurate test but the nervous wait for us all to find out the final placings was unbearable!
“What an amazing way to end what has been the most amazing couple of weeks. Horses qualified at every level from Prelim to Inter I, we’re all really proud – it’s a huge achievement for a small stud like ours.”
Also celebrating was Katie Bailey, who won the TheraPlate UK Medium Gold with her own eight-year-old 17hh gelding Hillgrounds Wolkenhall (by Wolkenderry) on 76.53%.
Bought as a foal from breeder Claire Skinner, “Harry” produced a soft, flowing test with “a good amount of energy” which impressed the judges and earning 9s for the simple changes.
“It was a hot class and I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but he felt amazing in the warm up and it felt like we kept that through the test,” said Katie, who was formerly based with Carl Hester and now runs her own competition and training yard in Newent, Glos. “Harry’s been a pleasure to train and ride through the levels and I’m excited at how well he’s turned out as it feels like there’s more to come. He’s the type of horse who is very confident in himself and just walks into the arena with a real ‘look at me’ quality, which really helps at competitions.”
Following her success at Summerhouse regionals, Katie, who trains with Charlotte Dujardin, now heads to Hartpury with five horses qualified.
Thanks go to the team at Wellington Riding, the Winter Championship class sponsors and all involved for an exciting Regional Championships. Congratulations to all qualified combinations and to those who took part.
KBIS Preliminary Silver
Andrea Kirby with Headmore Dramatica 71.89%
Blue Chip Novice Silver
Femke Mailand with Marvel 73.58 %
Blue Chip Novice Gold
Alice Oppenheimer with Headmore Dionysus 75.67%
Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Freestyle Silver
Kate Oppenheimer with SOS Sealpoint 72.40%
Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Freestyle Gold
Laura Wollen with Ivan Carlos 77.40%
Equi-Trek Elementary Silver
Melissa Joannides with Silken Crème 72.44%
Equi-Trek Elementary Gold
Calum Whitworth with Hennessy T 74.42%
Suregrow Elementary Freestyle Silver
Debra Fews with Fabizio 73.52%
Suregrow Elementary Freestyle Gold
Alice Oppenheimer with Headmore Bella Ruby 78.59%
TheraPlate UK Medium Silver
Annabella Pidgley with Cognac IX 71.12%
TheraPlate UK Medium Gold
Katie Bailey with Hillgrounds Wolkenhall 76.53%
Spillers Medium Freestyle Silver
Katie Radzik with C’est La Vie 69.66%
Spillers Medium Freestyle Gold
Nick Lawson with Fandango V 69.16%
Charles Owen Advanced Medium Silver
Kate Rowland with Erasmus 1 67.67%
Charles Owen Advanced Medium Gold
Tom Goode with Davranche 71.57%
Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Silver
Lucy Pye with Superstar III 70.88%
Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Gold
Dannie Morgan with Knoxxs Figaro 74.77
Magic Prix St Georges Gold
Alice Oppenheimer with Headmore Davina 74.29%
Superflex Intermediate I Gold
Alice Oppenheimer with Headmore Davina 70.263%