Charlotte on form at Wellington Premier League

  • Written By: Helen Triggs
  • Published: Thu, 24 Jun 2021 16:01

At Wellington Premier League (09 - 13 June 2021) the competition was as fierce as the sun but Charlotte Dujardin kept her cool to win all her six classes.

Charlotte was on top form with a string of horses that ranged from four-year-old newbie Mon Amour to team hopeful, Gio. The icing on the cake was Imhotep’s win in the Nirvana Spa-sponsored Prix St Georges Freestyle with a prize of £2000 at the Gala Evening.

Gio (Pumpkin) is still relatively new to Grand Prix (GP). He and Charlotte had only done six previously so Charlotte is still viewing shows as schooling rounds. She owns the Apache gelding with Renee Hart.

“I’m over the moon with him,” commented Charlotte. “Pumpkin’s young and low mileage so it’s great to bring him to a quieter show like this.”

In second place was Florentina VI, who scored 75% in her first ever GP test. The Vivaldi 11-year-old hasn’t competed since December 2018. “I was thrilled with her,” said Charlotte who owns Flora with Paul and Wendy Dockley. “She’s come on so much in the last year. Her canter work felt amazing. She’s still green so we’ll keep doing some more shows.”

Carl Hester and Coral Ingham’s Imhotep (Everdale x Vivaldi) - pictured above - gave Charlotte three wins. Charlotte and Carl swapped rides on some of their horses and Charlotte has now been riding ‘Pete’ for a year. He won a PSG and an Inter I at only his second attempts at each. “This is his first real Premier League and he was hot at the beginning of the week,” said Charlotte. “It has been really good experience for him. At the moment I can’t ride him too forward as I want to keep his back up. When he is stronger and the connection is right, I will be able to put more power in.”

Pete scored an impressive 79.45% in the PSG Freestyle gala class –it was his first attempt at this test. Charlotte used an old music programme of Carl’s which is made up of Simon & Garfunkel melodies. Despite only practising it once (when it didn’t go well!), on the day it was fine. The music suited the powerful gelding really well and he was on the beat and foot perfect.

“Wellington was a last minute entry,” said Charlotte. “I’m so proud of him. He’s a really hot young horse which is what I love about him. As soon as he’s got his ones (tempis) we’ll do an Inter II and Grand Prix.”

Alice Oppenheimer was determined to give Charlotte a run for her money on the gala night and came a close second on Amanda Radford’s Headmore Dionysus (Dillon) on 77% to Charlotte’s 79.45%. “I took the hand brake off and tried!” said Alice. “Dillon tried his heart out. He was an absolute legend and gave me the best ride.”

On the last day, Alice and her horses dominated at small tour. Dillon (Dimaggio x Rubinstein) won the Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I – three days after his first test at the level. “I thought he might be tired after the freestyle the night before but he felt really fresh and raring to go. I think he enjoyed his gala performance because he liked being the centre of attention.”

The Fairfax Saddles PSG was won by Dillon’s half-sister, Headmore Bella Ruby (Belissimo M x Rubinstein). The pair are 2020 Winter Champions at Advanced Medium Freestyle Gold and have qualified at PSG and Inter I for this year’s NAF Five Star Winter Championships.

Under 25 rider Ellie McCarthy and GB Londero Von Worrenberg (pictured above) repeated their success at Somerford Park by winning the Haygain Inter II. “It’s our first year at the level and we’re still finding out how we like to do things,” said Ellie. “He was a bit taken aback by the flags on the judges’ tables but once he relaxed and took a breath, he was really with me.”

Saturday’s Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I was won by Kate Cowell and her and Jonny Clarke-West’s 12-year-old Royal Doruto gelding, Rayban (pictured below). “At the CDI here in May he lacked some confidence but today he felt ‘pingy’ and confident. There wasn’t a lot more I could ask of him. He’s building up his strength all the time.” Kate trains with Carl Hester. “Rayban’s not the easiest shape – he was like Bambi on ice when I got him, green and wobbly. Carl helps me get him in the right shape and then he can do everything.”

Friday’s PSG was won by the developing partnership of Lucinda Elliot and Hawtins Soave (Sir Donnerhall x Belissimo M), who also came second in Saturday’s Inter I.

“She felt quite confident,” said Lucinda. “I was able to ride [the test] and enjoy it. She has an effortless trot – elegant and graceful.” “She’s a very special person,” commented owner and breeder, Judith Davis. “When we entered the competition neither she nor Lucinda had done an Inter I. She’s doing so well because of Lucinda’s riding and the outstanding training we have from Serena Pincus.”

Another Hawtins horse was also in the ribbons – Nicola Seal’s Hawtin’s Lirica, ridden by Sara-Jane Lanning to victory in the international young horse 7 year old class. “She’d only done two straight Medium tests so I took her to The Croft on Monday to do an Advanced Medium. I was surprised when she won on 76% as it was the first time she’d done flying changes in the ring.”

“I think she thrives on having something to think about – it suits her hot brain. The seven-year-old test is like a baby PSG and she didn’t find it difficult. I feel like she’s born to do this and I’m trying to teach her something she’s done in a previous life.”

The Advanced Medium Freestyle was won by Spanish rider, Alejandro Fariña Rodriguez who rides for Elena Baturina. He was riding eight-year-old Wasryw (Gerard) - pictured below. Alejandro rode a programme of difficult lines to a music selection of film tunes put together with the help of Equidance. “Gerard is coming together step by step and is more consolidated this year,” said Alejandro who trains with Laura Tomlinson. He spent four years working for Dutch Olympian Bert Rutten before coming to England four years ago.

The young horse advanced medium class was won by Charlotte Dujardin, riding Ernst Bachinger of the Spanish Riding School’s seven-year-old Odette. “He rang me out of the blue and asked me to take her for training,” said Charlotte. “I’ve had her five months – she’s very exciting. She has a super temperament and is a very honest mare.”

There were some very exciting young horses forward for the Shearwater classes, with all winners scoring over 80%. An outstanding youngster was Mon Amour (Monet), owned by Charlotte Dujardin and Peter Belshaw who scored 85.20%. Charlotte bought him untried from a video. “He’s phenomenal considering this was his first show,” said Charlotte. “I’ve thrown him in at the deep end and he’s come out just like he does at home. He has unbelievable trainability and three fantastic paces.”

Lucy Straker’s Didjeridu was bought unseen in Germany last September on the recommendation of Lucy’s longtime friend and trainer Tiggie Lenherr. He has had some impressive scores in his few outings. In Wellington’s Shearwater six-year-old young horse class he scored 81.2%.

“It’s taken us a while to get to know each other,” said Lucy. “He has been brilliant all day and taken everything in his stride. He’s got a good head on him and three solid decent paces.”

Annabel Hunter Blair and the buckskin Champignon Sauvage had a great start to their career with a score of 85% in the four year old pony class. Gemma Moss and the black 13.3hh gelding Day Dream scored 84%, replicating their first place at Myerscough College Premier League in April.

The Wellington Premier League show was enhanced by the introduction of the Equipe scoring system which has an app which publishes results in real time. Spectators could watch the tests while following the marks awarded as they happened and riders knew their score as soon as they left the arena.

The Wellington team put on a polished, well-organised show despite the blistering heat – well done to the volunteers who had to learn new scoring skills.

Top-three results

Shearwater Young Horse 4yo
1. Charlotte Dujardin and Monet, 85.2%
2. Jezz Palmer and St Giles Dark Magic, 77.6%
=3. Matthew Burnett and Mackintosh I, 76.6%
=3. Ryan Shannon and Dragon Fire, 76.6%

Shearwater Young Horse 5yo
1. Luke Baber-Davies and Le Vie, 80%
2. Hannah Biggs and Lord Lennox D, 79.80%
3. Matt Frost and Donna Bella, 78.80%

Shearwater Young Horse 6yo
1. Lucy Straker and Didjeridu, 81.2%
2. Charlotte Dicker and Catherston Timeless, 78.20%
3. Jezz Palmer and Kingdom O, 75.60%

Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges
1. Lucinda Elliot and Hawtins Soave, 72.58%
2. Alice Oppenheimer and Headmore Dionysus, 71.97%
3. Lucinda Elliot and Hawtins Bellegra, 71.18%

BD International Young Horse 6yo sponsored by Berkshire Equine
1. Charlotte Dicker and Catherston Timeless, 76.00%
2. Martina Ott and September Song, 73.00%
3. Sarah Millis and Kissingdale, 70.00%

BD International Young Horse 7yo sponsored by Horse & Country
1. Sara-Jane Lanning and Hawtins Lirica, 76.42%
2. Lucinda Elliot and Hawtins Fianello, 73.34%
3. Andrew Gould and Active Solaris, 72.73%

BD International Young Horse 5yo sponsored by Bloomfields Horse Boxes
1. Alex Baker and Tiger, 78.20%
2. Paul Friday and Ferguson Himself, 77.20%
3. Tom Goode and Die Diva, 76.80%

BD Young Horse 7yo sponsored by Lottie-Elizabeth Photography
1. Charlotte Dujardin and Odette, 77.5%
2. Sara-Jane Lanning and Hawtins Lirica, 73.28%
3. Katie Bailey and DJoe Dimaggio 72.76%

Advancd Medium Junior Rider sponsored by Lottie-Elizabeth Photography
1. Annabella Pidgley and Sultan Des Paluds FRH, 74.67%
2. Mette Dahl and Sir Donato, 69.27%
3. Chloe Hill and Headmore Delegate, 68.48%

Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I
1. Charlotte Dujardin and Imhotep, 75.26%
2. Lucinda Elliott and Hawtins Soave, 73.99%
3. Lucinda Elliott and Hawtins Bellegra, 71.66%

Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges
1. Charlotte Dujardin and Imhotep, 76.57%
2. Michael Eilberg and Dante VX, 73.42%
3. Caitlin Burgess and Chocotof, 72.80%

Andrews Bowen Advanced Medium 98
1. Charlotte Dujardin and Odette, 74.73%
2. Michael Eilberg and MSJ Distinction, 73.59%
3. Katie Bailey and DJoe Dimaggio, 72.36%

Advanced Medium Freestyle sponsored by Lotus Romeo
1. Alejandro Fariña Rodriguez and Wasryw, 72.83%
2. Abbie Newbury and Seagry Firstamour, 71.83%
3. Annabella Pidgley and Hilus MHB, 69.33%

Haygain Intermediate II
1. Ellie McCarthy and GB Londero Von Worrenberg, 71.86%
2. Lewis Carrier and Diego V, 72.31%
3. Alicia Lee and Bonita VI, 70.52%

Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I
1. Kate Cowell and Rayban, 71.93%
2. Nathalie Kayal and DHI Cleverboy, 70.35%
3. Jackie Siu and Jockey Club Fuerst On Tour, 70.04%

BD Young Pony 4yo sponsored by Bedsoft
1. Gemma Moss and Day Dream, 84.00%
2. Vicky Pengilly and Cynheldrefawr Jane, 73.00%

BD Young Pony 5yo sponsored by EC Pro
1. Annabel Hunter Blair and Champignon Sauvage, 85.00%
2. Grace Wilson and WFD Sweet William, 77.20%
3. Ella Glennon and Amden Supreme Golden Dancer, 74.20%

Pony Team Test sponsored by Lister
1. Gracie Morgan and Ella, 69.16%
2. Demi Howard-Cartwright and Fin Ce We, 68.39%
3. Myles Graham and Dresscode Cocktail, 67.05%

LeMieux Grand Prix
1. Charlotte Dujardin and Gio, 79.46%
2. Charlotte Dujardin and Florentina VI, 75.03%
3. Tom Goode and Dior III, 72.56%

Nirvana Spa Prix St Georges Freestyle
1. Charlotte Dujardin and Imhotep, 79.45%
2. Alice Oppenheimer and Headmore Dionysus, 77.00%
3. Matt Frost and Helga, 76.41%

Pony Individual Test sponsored by Highfield Park
1. Lucy Thomas and Milano Holgard, 65.28%
2. Scarlett John and BKS Grand Design, 63.49%
3. Emma O’Connor and Elwell Master Craftsman, 61.05%

Andrews Bowen Advanced Medium 91
1. Michael Eilberg and MSJ Distinction, 74.18%
2. Annabella Pidgley and Dibert L, 72.90%
3. Annabella Pidgley and Hilus MHB, 71.75%

Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I
1. Alice Oppenheimer and Headmore Dionysus, 73.68%
2. Matt Frost and Helga, 72.14%
3. Beth Bainbridge and Habouche, 71.97%

Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges
1. Alice Oppenheimer and Headmore Bella Ruby, 72.76%
2. Beth Bainbridge and Habouche, 70.74%
3. Zoe Sleigh and For Rome, 68.99%

Full results

Photo © Kevin Sparrow