Clean sweep for Youth riders, Pidgley, Burgess and Dahl at Wellington CDI
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Established combinations and new partnerships alike impressed in the Youth classes at the inaugural Wellington CDI in Heckfield, Hampshire (11 – 16 May 2021).
The brand new combination of Annabella Pidgley (16) and Sultan des Paluds FRH (pictured above) were clear victors on all three days of the Junior competition. Wellington was the first international appearance of the four-month-long partnership that already looks strong in its foundations and an exciting prospect for British youth dressage.
On Friday, they scored 74.091% to win the Junior Team Test, sponsored by Highfield Park, ahead of Gemma Owen and Sirius Black (70.505%) – another combination to show consistent form all week. Annabella’s former Pony Team compatriot, Holly Kerslake, with Extasia, completed the top three (69.798%). The podium top-three remained the same for the Junior Individual, sponsored by Lister, this time the winning pair scoring 74.951%.
“[I’m] So proud of our Sultan at our international debut. He has been outstanding every single day and has taken me to new international PBs,” said Annabella on Instagram. “I feel so lucky to have this special boy and I can’t wait for what’s to come. Thank you so much to Cathrine [Dufour] for your ongoing training and to Charlotte [Dujardin] for warming me up and the support over the last two days. So humbled to have these two riders in my corner.”
Annabella and Sultan later aced Sunday’s Junior Freestyle, sponsored by LeMieux, for 77.567% to once again top the podium, this time with Mette Dahl and Florina 146 second (73.358%) and Gemma Owen with Sirius Black, third (72.708%).
Annabella has enjoyed success through her Pony years representing Great Britain at three FEI Pony European Championships and with talented horses coming through has already begun to make her mark in Juniors.
Eleven-year-old Sultan des Paluds (Soliman de Hus x De Niro), bought by Sarah Pidgley earlier this year, won a silver medal at the FEI World Young Horse Championships as a seven-year-old. The gelding has competed international Small Tour with his former rider, the Netherlands’ Kirsten Brouwer, and has much ability to partner Annabella through her future Young Rider and U25 career.
Mette Dahl led the charge in the CDIP Pony classes, winning all three with Fiona Bigwood’s talented grey gelding, George Clooney BS (pictured). She claimed the Pony Team test, sponsored by Voltaire Design UK, on 72.809% ahead of 13-year-old Ruby Hughes aboard Shirley Rixon’s stunning palomino, Hilkens Showgirl (71.095%). Gracie Morgan with Ella, a grey mare who shares the same Caesar 171 x Santano bloodlines as the winner – both ponies bred by Julie Lockey – was awarded 70.238% to complete the podium.
Mette, whose mum Fiona Bigwood was contesting the Wellington CDI3* with Hawtins Delicato, continued her command by winning the BedSoft-sponsored Pony Individual test ahead of Demi Howard-Cartwright and the evergreen 18-year-old gelding, Fin C WE, with Lauren Geraghty and WS Jackson achieving 68.829% for third.
Sunday’s Pony Freestyle, sponsored by Lottie-Elizabeth Photography, was another competitive affair once again headed by 14-year-old Mette and ‘George’. The pair scored 74.150% to take the class ahead of Derbyshire-based Lauren Geraghty and WS Jackson on 73.125% and Gracie Morgan with Ella on 72.017%.
Caitlin Burgess, reigning Young Rider National Champion, headed the closely-fought Young Rider team test, sponsored by Bloomfields Horseboxes, on a score of 70.980% with her long-time ride, Chocotof. The pair know each other well and make a harmonious impression. Second went to Ireland’s Vicky Campbell with the expressive grey, Habouche – a nine-year-old Ampere-sired mare owned by Anna Ross. The Irish duo was awarded 70.735%.
Caitlin and ‘Stanley’ continued their winning ways into the weekend to claim both the Young Rider Individual, sponsored by Berkshire Equine, on PB of 72.010% and the Young Rider Freestyle, sponsored by EC Pro, on another PB of 75.892%. Great Britain’s Lara Kuropatwa with For Season, a handsome liver chestnut son of Fifty Cent 2 finished behind Caitlin in the Individual on a super score of 70.294%, with Maddy Frewin and Woodlander Rhythm ‘N Blues on their heels with 70.049% for third.
Young Rider Freestyle runners up were Anna Dalrymple and the athletic French-bred Lusitano, Vagabond de Massa, owned by Maxine Vainio. A new combination with only a handful of competition starts, they rose from fifth to second place over the three days showing much promise for the future.
“It was a perfect finish to a perfect week today!” proclaimed Caitlin on Facebook. “Another PB in the Freestyle with just under 76% to win again!
“Four years ago today, Stan had just started his rehab from a sacroiliac injury and we had only competed to Elementary. What a story we have made together and what a journey we are on… just a massive thank you to everyone involved. Stanley, you are the most incredible horse, I owe you everything.”
Another to reach the podium on day three of the CDIY was Charlotte McDowall with her 2019 FEI Junior European Championship partner, Alivia. Charlotte and the Olivi-sired KWPN black mare, now 16, produced a super test awarded 72.625% by the judging panel of Trond Asmyr (NOR) at E, Anne Prain (FRA) at C and Mary Robins (NZL) at M.
The Ch-A Children classes showcased the talent of riders aged 12 – 14 years. Friday’s Children Team test, sponsored by FMBs Therapy Systems, was won in style by Ruby Hughes, daughter of Gareth and Rebecca, both also competing at Wellington. Ruby partnered Nancy Scott’s Bee Gee 8, with whom she won the 2020 National U21 title, to post a cracking score of 72.225%.
Saturday, it was the turn of Demi Howard-Cartwright to raise the flag following a winning 69.005% in the Children Individual, sponsored by Equine Rebalance Therapy Centre, with Nathalie Kayal’s successful Small Tour horse – the 14-year-old Dutch gelding, Cleverboy.
Demi took to Facebook to say; “[I] Had an amazing time and learnt so much at Wellington CDI. I couldn’t be more happy with some of my results as this was only my second international. Highlights being winning the Children Individual test on Nathalie Kayal’s stunning Cleverboy and coming second in the Pony Individual on Fin!”
Both days, Darcey Blaze Marcus (11) achieved the runners-up position with Yorkie Jobling-Purser’s experienced international and team pony, Valido's Starlight. Darcey rode two super tests, giving her an international debut to be proud of.
CDIY Young Rider Team Test, sponsored by Bloomfields Horseboxes
1. Caitlin Burgess and Chocotof, 70.980% (GBR)
2. Vicky Campbell and Habouche, 70.735% (IRL)
3. Lara Kuropatwa and For Season, 69.804% (GBR)
CDIY Young Rider Individual Test, sponsored by Berkshire Equine
1. Caitlin Burgess and Chocotof, 72.010% (GBR)
2. Lara Kuropatwa and For Season, 70.294% (GBR)
3. Maddy Frewin and Woodlander Rhythm ‘N Blues, 70.049% (GBR)
CDIY Young Rider Freestyle, sponsored by EC Pro
1. Caitlin Burgess and Chocotof, 75.892% (GBR)
2. Anna Dalrymple and Vagabond de Massa, 72.983% (GBR)
3. Charlotte McDowall and Alivia, 72.625% (GBR)
CDIJ Junior Team Test, sponsored by Highfield Park
1. Annabella Pidgley and Sultan des Paluds FRH, 74.091% (GBR)
2. Gemma Owen and Sirius Black, 70.505% (GBR)
3. Holly Kerslake and Extasia, 69.798% (GBR)
CDIJ Junior Individual Test, sponsored by Lister
1. Annabella Pidgley and Sultan des Paluds FRH, 74.951% (GBR)
2. Gemma Owen and Sirius Black, 69.313% (GBR)
3. Holly Kerslake and Extasia, 69.265% (GBR)
CDIJ Junior Freestyle, sponsored by LeMieux
1. Annabella Pidgley and Sultan des Paludes, 77.567% (GBR)
2. Mette Dahl and Florina 146, 73.358% (GBR)
3. Gemma Owen and Sirius Black, 72.708% (GBR)
CDIP Pony Team Test, sponsored by Voltaire Design UK
1. Mette Dahl and George Clooney BS, 72.809% (GBR)
2. Ruby Hughes and Hilkens Showgirl, 71.095% (GBR)
3. Gracie Morgan and Ella, 70.238% (GBR)
CDIP Pony Individual Test, sponsored by BedSoft
1. Mette Dahl and George Clooney BS, 70.766% (GBR)
2. Demi Howard-Cartwight and Fin C WE, 69.414% (GBR)
3. Lauren Geraghty and WS Jackson, 68.829% (GBR)
CDIP Pony Freestyle, sponsored by Lottie-Elizabeth Photography
1. Mette Dahl and George Clooney BS, 74.150% (GBR)
2. Lauren Geraghty and WS Jackson, 73.125% (GBR)
3. Gracie Morgan and Ella, 72.017% (GBR)
Ch-A Children Team Test, sponsored by FMBs Therapy Systems
1. Ruby Hughes and Bee Gee 8, 72.225% (GBR)
2. Darcey Blaze Marcus and Valido’s Starlight, 71.350% (GBR)
3. Demi Howard-Cartwright and Cleverboy, 69.375% (GBR)
Ch-A Children Individual Test, sponsored by Equine Rebalance Therapy Centre
1. Demi Howard-Cartwright and Cleverboy, 69.005% (GBR)
2. Darcey Blaze Marcus and Valido’s Starlight, 67.246% (GBR)
3. Ruby Hughes and Bee Gee 8, 64.232% (GBR)
Photo © Kevin Sparrow
Words: British Dressage/Joanna Bowns