Brits shine bright at CDI Aachen Festival 4 Dressage
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The three young Brits who travelled to Germany to contest the Youth classes at CDI Aachen Festival 4 Dressage (29 March – 02 April 2023) achieved exciting results in strong company, with Jessie McConkey and Myles Graham taking top-five spots all three days.
Jessie McConkey and Wilson Stensvang’s 2023 campaign got off to a convincing start at Lier CDI last month, where they finished on the podium all three days. Continuing their good form here in Aachen, the talented duo (pictured) took fourth place in the Team Test with a combination PB of 72.06%, and fifth in the Individual (71.176%) before rounding off their week as Freestyle runners-up on another personal best score of 74.175%.
“I was really happy, he (Wilson Stensvang) went better as the week went on,” commented a delighted Jessie after returning home to her base near Grimsby where she works for her trainer, Amy Woodhead. “Competing over three days at a CDI can be taxing for a horse - they all feel it - but on the last day he gets hotter and more excited, which is just what you want.
“In the freestyle, I made a mistake in the threes - probably because I was enjoying it so much," admitted Jessie. "So I had to repeat them on the last centre line, but he felt amazing. He felt amazing all week, and it was a dream come true to compete in that arena - it was a real pinch me moment!”
Jessie (20), who was fourth in the Individual and fifth in the Freestyle at the 2022 FEI Young Rider European Championships partnered by Lady Gaga, is relishing bringing the less experienced Wilson Stensvang into the frame. The Wilkens x Blue Hors Don Schufro 13-year-old, Team Test winner at last October’s Keysoe CDI, stepped up to the FEI levels last year and is showing great aptitude on the international stage.
‘Wilson’ was sourced in Denmark from Klaus Munkedal in 2019. “I trained with Wilson in Holland with Anne Van Olst, then with Paul Fielder back in the UK and now with Amy Woodhead,” explained Jessica. “From doing the national shows he’s really come into his own. It’s his first season of the bigger CDIs. He did so well in Lier and has built on it coming into Aachen, so I’m very happy.”
Fresh from a double win at Addington CDI, the Junior combination of Myles Graham (15) and Caroline Bell’s Nibeley Union Hit (Nibeley Union Jack x Sandro Hit) performed well for fifth place in the Junior Team Test (69.495%) and fifth in the Individual (68.578%). Striding into Aachen’s iconic Deutsche Bank Stadium for Sunday’s Freestyle, Myles and ‘Una’, powered to fourth place in what was a confident way to finish their week.
The pair, who were part of the 2022 FEI Junior European Championship team bronze medal quartet, delivered a classy performance, riding to their Johnny English and Formula 1-themed freestyle programme, for a cracking 75.133% from the judging panel of Janine van Twist (NED), Jean-Michel Roudier (FRA) and Olivier Smeets (BEL).
Contesting the Pony classes, Myles Graham and Caron Roberts’ Dresscode Cocktail finished top-ten in the Team Test with an impressive score of 71.333%, though some costly tension dropped them down the leader board for the Individual.
The British Pony combination of Demi Howard-Cartwright (15) and Fin C WE (Famos x Eiger III) acquitted themselves well, achieving 15th place in the Team Test (68.381%) and ninth in the Individual (69.009%). On the final day of competition, a polished freestyle programme in the Deutsche Bank Stadium, to music from the soundtracks of The Lady in the Van and The King’s Speech, was awarded 71.675% for 12th place.
Results – top three and British placings
Young Rider Team Test
1. Jette de Jong and Heavenly Charming, 73.726% (BEL)
2. Valentina Pistner and Flamboyant OLD, 73.039% (GER)
3. Jette de Jong and Indini, 72.794% (BEL)
4. Jessica McConkey and Wilson Stensvang, 72.206% (GBR)
Young Rider Individual Test
1. Jette de Jong and Heavenly Charming, 73.284% (BEL)
2. Jette de Jong and Indini, 72.402% (BEL)
3. Meilin Ngovan and Dreamdancer THD, 71.961% (SUI)
5. Jessica McConkey and Wilson Stensvang, 71.176% (GBR)
Young Rider Freestyle
1. Valentina Pistner and Flamboyant OLD, 75.350% (GER)
2. Jessica McConkey and Wilson Stensvang, 74.175% (GBR)
3. Valentin Munkedal and Severis Jody, 72.492% (DEN)
Junior Team Test
1. Carolina Miesner and Exclusiv, 74.091% (GER)
2. Yasmin Westerink and Dibert L, 71.212% (NED)
3. Esmee Boers and Kiki G, 71.010% (NED)
5. Myles Graham and Nibeley Union Hit, 69.495% (GBR)
Junior Individual Test
1. Clara Paschertz and Danubio OLD, 73.039% (GER)
2. Anna Peeters and Harlekin, 69.461% (BEL)
3. Inès de Koninck and Feuerdorn VB, 69.167% (FRA)
5. Myles Graham and Nibeley Union Hit, 68.578% (GBR)
1. Clara Paschertz and Danubio OLD, 76.442% (GER)
2. Anna Peeters and Harlekin, 75.942% (BEL)
3. Inès de Koninck and Feuerdorn VB, 75.242% (FRA)
4. Myles Graham and Nibeley Union Hit, 75.133% (GBR)
Pony Team Test
1. Mia Allegra Lohe and Tovdal’s Golden Future Imperial, 75.143% (GER)
2. Lilly Marie Collin and Cosmo Callidus NRW, 75.095% (GER)
3. Liezel Everars and FS Capelli de Niro, 74.286% (BEL)
8. Myles Graham and Dresscode Cocktail, 71.333% (GBR)
15. Demi Howard-Cartwright and Fin C WE, 68.381% (GBR)
Pony Individual Test
1. Lilly Marie Collin and Cosmo Callidus NRW, 76.261% (GER)
2. Liezel Everars and FS Capelli de Niro, 75.135% (BEL)
3. Maria Teresa Pohl and Der Kleine Sunnyboy WE, 72.928% (GER)
9. Demi Howard-Cartwright and Fin C WE, 69.009% (GBR)
21. Myles Graham and Dresscode Cocktail, 65.361% (GBR)
1. Liezel Everars and FS Capelli de Niro, 79.417% (BEL)
2. Lilly Marie Collin and Cosmo Callidus NRW, 78.917% (GER)
3. Maria Teresa Pohl and Der Kleine Sunnyboy WE, 76.317% (GER)
12. Demi Howard-Cartwright and Fin C WE, 71.675% (GBR)
Photo © Łukasz Kowalski