BD Youth Inter Regionals: North & East keeps the cup

  • Written By: Helen Triggs | British Dressage
  • Published: Wed, 12 Jul 2023 13:22 GMT

At the BD Youth Inter Regionals, hosted by Vale View Equestrian in Leicestershire (01-02 July 2023), North & East region took the honours for the second year running, with the Buckingham team triumphing over North & West Sapphire and their regional teammates, North & East Sandringham. Anna Burns’ individual A Squad victory won her a coveted trophy and there was fierce competition in all the individual contests with close results at the top.

The Winning North & East Buckingham Team

With 37 teams in contention, there was all to play for and an eclectic mix of horses and ponies danced their way around the arenas. In between the riding, there was the chance to renew friendships and make new ones.

“North and East Region is extremely proud of all our riders who retained the cup with an entirely different team of riders this year which shows the depth of talent, commitment and progression coming through,” commented the region’s Development Officer, Jo Byrne. “We had four teams in the top 10, three individual champions and many placings. Such a great weekend with everyone supporting each other and Chef d’Equipe Charlotte Clark and Youth Rep Jess Griffiths keeping everyone focused and engaged in the fun.”

North & East Buckingham, the team which took the title, was made up of Grace Smith, Eve Corrigan, Darci Ward and Catherine Chalkly, pictured left to right. Darci was also the Individual D Squad Champion with her six-year-old pony Emluar Dare To Dream, pictured below. Darci first saw Dream when she went to look at another pony. “It had always been my dream to have a chestnut, show-pony type mare,” said Darci whose next goal is to progress to C Squad. When she bought her, Dream was unbroken and had spent her life in a field.

Darci Ward and Emluar Dare to Dream

Darci enrolled in BD Youth before Christmas, so this was her first experience of Inter Regionals. She warded off challenges from Delilah Esberger-Hancock and Sophie Mansell to take the Individual D Squad title. “She can be bit stressful and has to have someone hold her hand. I gave her quite a long warm-up and she was really good in the tests.”

Team member 15-year-old Eve Corrigan was equal fourth in the Individual C+ Squad competition with 17-year-old Humphrey (Clontumpher Dream) who she has had since October 2020. “He’s the friendliest pony ever and loves all the attention,” said Eve, who trains with Paralympian Sophie Wells. “He was a bit nervous in the warm-up and in the warm-up test I was nervous and made some mistakes. But in the team test he was such a good boy and we got 93%. I couldn’t believe it!

“It was such a lovely weekend. I’ve known Catherine for a long time but it was the first time I’d met Darci and Grace. We all got along and there was such a good team spirit which made it nice as we all worked so hard.”

It was a busy week for Eve who went straight off to Hartpury to groom for Sophie Wells in the CPEDI and on her return discovered that she had been selected to ride for England for the first time in the Youth Home Nations.

B Squad was a new team level for Catherine Chalkly (16) and Bradwell Dun Deal, explained her mum, Hannah. Seventeen-year-old Dun Deal is a part-bred traditional cob and is not the easiest horse to ride. “Catherine loved the weekend,” said Hannah. “Winning was great and the team spirit was great. The girls all supported each other and everyone was very friendly.”

C Squad rider Grace Smith and her 20-year-old 13.2hh pony Mochaccino II have had a number of BD wins at Prelim and Novice freestyle under their belts this year. In 2022, they were the highest placed under-21 combination at Prelim Freestyle at the Summer Area Festival Championships.

It was Grace and Boysie’s second outing at the Inter Regionals. The dun and white gelding belongs to Steph Robson and is known at home as the ‘little turbo cob’. “Boysie’s quite cheeky and does make me work hard,” said Grace, who scored an exciting 92% in her first test. “I’m looking forward to doing my Novice freestyle at the Area Festival and going to regionals at Prelim.

Individual success
C Squad winner, Abigail Hallett (South & West) was competing at the Inter Regionals for the first time and rode her own St Nazaire C. A tremendous score of 95.5% on day two enabled the pair, pictured below, to pip Nina Gribben and Keellogues Beauty (Scotland) for the win by a margin of .08%. “It was an interesting warm-up with a helicopter flying low and pigeons flying by but by the time it came to his second test he was really calm and chilled,” said Abigail who lives in Gloucestershire and trains with Flo Dawes. She is 13 and has been part of BD Youth for three years. “He can be lazy but he was really active and off my leg. I was very pleased with his way of going.”

Abigail Hallett and St Nazaire C

The C+ Squad winner was 17-year-old Izzy Ineson (North & East) and her KWPN nine-year-old, Jack Morka (Davino VOD x Jetset D), pictured below. Jack is a real family horse, normally competed by her mum and dad and he’s been part of the family since he was three. “I stole him off mum,” commented Izzy. “He’s perfect in every way. The tests went really well – he’s really cool. I went on holiday with friends and left him to mum and only flew back the day before the show!” It was Izzy’s first Inter Regionals, an experience she would love to repeat.

Izzy Ineson and Jack Morka

Daisy Willmott and Diamond Sun II (South & East) triumphed in the B Squad section. Daisy and the Diamond Hit 15-year-old, pictured below, have had a string of wins at Medium and Advanced Medium this year and have been unbeaten in their last six tests.

Daisy Willmott and Diamond Sun II

B+ Squad winner Elizabeth Jeffers (North & West) was taking part in the Inter Regionals for the first time now she has a competitive horse. She has had 17-year-old Florencio gelding Belcanto Des Anges, pictured below, who she describes as ‘awesome’ for just over a year and worked seven days a week to raise the money to buy him. Elizabeth, who is 18, hopes to combine her love of riding with a singing and music production career.

“When he goes within the white boards, he says ‘Mum I’ve got this’,” commented Elizabeth. “My trainer Tori Peters gave me a kick up the backside recently and told me I should be competing Advanced Medium by the end of the year.” The pair have also been selected to ride for England in the up-coming Home Nations Championship.

Elizabeth Jeffers and Belcanto des Anges

Zoe Florence (Scotland) and her Negro six-year-old Sweet Madness, pictured below, took the lead in the A Squad Young Horse contest. They have an impressive number of wins on their BD record. Zoe recently qualified as an equine sports massage therapist.

Zoe Florence and Sweet Madness

Special prize
The worthy A Squad winner was Anna Burns (North & East), who rides for Moody Dressage and was at the Youth Inter Regionals for the second time with Jo Cooper and Anne Moody’s Lancelot BS (Dreamboy x Lancet), pictured below. Anna produced Lancelot as a four to six-year-old for Becky Moody to ride up the levels. “I rode my first ever dressage test on him,” said Anna who was new to dressage when she joined the Moodys. “Becky is riding him now but I got back on two weeks ago and had some lessons. He was really good – he can get giddy and enjoy himself too much. I have to be careful how I ride him and keep his balance. He’s improved so much since last year (when he won the A Squad Young Horse Individual) and is in much better balance.”

Anna Burns and Lancelot BS

BD Youth Director Claire Moir presented the overall A Squad winner with the Dawson Maxwell perpetual trophy on behalf of Islay Auty and Penny Manning. The salver kindly donated by Islay and Penny has been previously presented to the Young Professional Award winner and recognises the dedication and commitment to the sport that young riders make. This award recognises the accomplishment of a young rider to have successfully achieved the overall highest score in the top squad level within BD Youth.

Rosette sponsor was Kevin Sparrow Photography (who was also the show photographer) and there were generous prizes from: Nags Essentials at Vale View; Vale View Equestrian; Sue Carson Saddles; Equine Products Ltd and Uvex UK.

Congratulations to all the competitors. Julie Hyslop and her team at Vale View Equestrian hosted a fabulous, well organised event and a big thank you to all the assessors, writers, stewards, scorers, and sheet collectors. Also thanks to the Signature Café at Vale View and to George for commentating all day and DJ-ing Saturday night (Wales won the Conga prize!).

Results (top three)
1. North & East Buckingham, 553.20
Darci Ward and Emluar Dare To Dream; Catherine Chalkley and Bradwell Dun Deal; Grace Smith and Mochaccino; Eve Corrigan and Clontumpher Dream.
2. North & West Sapphire, 549.20
Amelia Dovey and Jilly; Connie Strutt and Bakeburn Bayleaf; Lydia Holmes an Mountelliot Murray; Elizabeth Jeffers and Belcanto Des Anges
3. North & East Sandringham, 545.50
Anna Burns and Lancelot BS; Holly Scott and Lincoln LDS; Abigail Hird and Dark Storm; Eva Herbert and Glyncoch Red Rascal.

D Squad
1. Darci Ward and Emluar Dare To Dream (North& East) 191.30
2. Delilah Esberger-Hancock and Stan Three (North & East) 188.80
3. Sophie Mansell and Bravo Freckles (Wales) 188.30

C Squad
1. Abigail Hallett and St Nazaire C (South & West) 186.60
2. Nina Gribben and Keellogues Beauty (Scotland) 186.00
3. Rose Punchard and Spot Awole (North & West) 183.90

C+ Squad
1. Izzy Ineson and Jack Morka (North & East) 188.40
2. Lydia Holmes and Mountelliot Murray (North & West) 184.50
3. Alexa Woods and Maesmynach Perlen (South & East) 181.90

B Squad
1. Daisy Willmott and Diamond Sun 11 (South & East) 184.20
2. Holly Scott and Lincoln LDS (North & East) 184.10
3. Bryley Llewelyn and Cwmtysswg Will (Wales) 180.80

B+ Squad
1. Elizabeth Jeffers and Belcanto Des Anges (North & West) 178.40
2. Isabela Gheorghiu and Gwallwy Gwawr (Wales) 172.10
3. Philippa Williams and Pocahontas IV (South & West) 166.10

A Young Horse Squad
1. Sweet Madness and Zoe Florence (Scotland) 171.20
2. Tegan Ball and Woodcroft Magic Jewell (South & West) 165.00

A Squad
1. Anna Burns and Lancelot BS (North & West) 178.40
2. Jersey Garrett and Denwyn Seren Ddu (Wales) 172.10
3. Joshua Mellor and Cascavell II (South & West) 166.10


Photo © Kevin Sparrow