Five titles for Johnston-Harman at Morris Winter Regionals
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Jennifer Johnston-Harman took five regional titles while Claire Moore, Becky Moody, Nicky Heale and Jade Struthers were double winners at the Scottish winter regional (13 – 14 May 2021).
Jennifer has owned her two winning horses since they were foals and both were bred at the Moray Firth Stud. Three of her titles were won with the seven-year-old Scottish-bred Jazzman MFS (Wynton x Krack C) - pictured above.
Jazzman went to the LeMieux National Championships at Novice Gold level two years ago and this time, at the NAF Five Star Winter Championships, will be contesting the Elementary, both straight and freestyle, and Medium freestyle. “He has grown up a lot and knows his job a bit better,” commented Jennifer. “I was happy with a clear round in the Elementaries but in the Medium there were costly mistakes as he had done Advanced Medium 96 the day (before in the young horse class).”
Dance With Me Fürst MFS (Follow Me x Del Piero) won both Novice titles and won the six-year-old class at Morris’s young horse show which preceded the regionals. The mare has placed first at all her previous competitions apart from one. As well as her wins, which included the competition’s top score of 76+%, she had two good third places in the Elementary classes.
“She’s a phenomenally talented little mare but very sharp,” said Jennifer. “Confidence is the key to getting her on-side. This was her first time away from home since Keysoe in October and she’s now starting to show she can cope with a large venue and unknown arena. Once she trusts her environment, she’s really quite special.”
Jade Struthers and mum Debbie’s handsome seven-year-old black gelding Suarez (by Silvano) - pictured above - won both Elementary Silver classes at Morris with a particularly good win of 74.74% in the freestyle. They were reserve champions in the Novice Gold in last year’s NAF Five Star Winter Championships. “He’s only been lightly competed,” explained Jade who imported ’Shez’ from Holland as a foal. “He was really rideable and with me and everything felt like it does schooling at home.”
“He was the last of my young horses to back and at first everything went like a breeze but then when we went from walk to trot he binned me! I totally lost my confidence so he went to a friend for about a year.” Jade’s perseverance has obviously paid off as the pair has established a great partnership now. “I’ve never had a horse so cuddly and tactile, he’s like a Labrador.” Jade credited test practice sessions with Jill Grant for their winning performances.
Both Medium Silver titles were won by Claire Moore and EV Amore Mia (Amour G x Samber) - pictured below - with second and third placings in the Advanced Medium classes. Nine-year-old ‘Maria’ is owned by her breeder Lindsay Moffat and Claire has been riding her for 18 months.
“She was really good in the straight Novice,” recalled Claire who is a part-time schoolteacher and mum to two young boys. “She was a bit more tired in the freestyle but very rideable and listened to me. I think she enjoys the music. I’ve had a lot of Facetime lessons with Nichola Buchanan during lockdown which really helped.”
Nicky Heale dominated the Advanced Medium silver classes with Verity Jenner’s homebred Furstin Claire (Furstenball x Caprimond). “She’s a very pretty, sweet horse and is delightful to ride,” said Nicky who is a paramedic.” I did her music myself. I spend a lot of time listening to Spotify! I chose an unusual track for the trot work – a Piano Guys rendition of the Korean boy band BTS’ song Epiphany,”
Nicky was also reserve regional champion in the Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Silver with her own Welsh cob, Retanach Request (by Derwen Gentleman) who successfully competes at Inter I.
Another double title winner was top rider Jo Barry, winning the Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Gold with Hidalgo II (Rousseau x Donnerhall) and the Charles Owen Advanced Medium Gold on Gordon Grainger’s Goofy La Perle (Belissimo x Jazz).
Goofy was off games for most of last year with white line disease and lockdown and winter snow compounded his lack of work. “He loved being on box rest – he’s a couch potato in the stable. I think he took lockdown literally! He has had one competition before the regionals but he pulled his socks up and tried his hardest,” said Jo. “He did very well for not having a lot of mileage.
“With Hidalgo I feel I’m finally taming the power,” explained Jo who co-owns ‘Humphrey’ with Lady Hope. “He’s a huge horse and has problems with strength. He spent lockdown with Sara Gallop at Summerhouse getting his flying changes better. Humphrey is so eager to please he second guesses you. This anticipation will be wonderful in the future but when he’s learning he can get his knickers in a twist!”
“It was our first proper live run-through of his freestyle programme so I was really pleased with him.”
Claire Scott won the KBIS Preliminary Gold title with Jilly Ross’s Chief’s Quest. Claire is riding the nine-year-old gelding for a couple of years to give him some competition experience before Jilly takes over. “He was bred to event but is quite fine,” said Claire. “We only affiliated him last October. He a very rhythmic and natural mover. He’s already qualified for the summer regionals at Novice and I’d like to go for the Elementaries as well.” Claire is a freelance coach based in East Lothian and has had help with Chief’s Quest from Jill Grant.
In the KBIS Preliminary Silver, Linda Barnes’ Penhaligon Femme Fatale took the title under Niki Baxter. The six-year-old mare by Franklyn Sugar was bred in Wales and has been ridden by Niki for two years.
“She warmed up fantastically,” said Niki who has her own clipping and grooming business. “She was light and forward and felt confident in the test. She’ll be at her best when she’s about eight as she’s a big girl.” It will be a first time visit to the NAF Five Star Winter Championships for both horse and rider.
Coach Claire Marshall and Samuel II (by Puschkin) will also be making their championship debut, after winning the Prestige Italia Novice Silver title. ‘Pushy’, who evented up to novice level, has overcome a mystery condition which appeared in 2018. It caused him to lose power in his hindquarters and baffled the vet. After many different investigative procedures, Claire was advised to turn him away and see what happened.
“He managed nine months without being ridden but was a nightmare as he tormented the other horses,” said Claire who trains with Harry Payne. “We decided not to jump him and focus on dressage which he found easy. He’s hardly been beaten. I’m so glad we decided to turn him away – every day is a bonus.
“He sees the physio every month and is in the field as much as possible. He is getting stronger with pole work, hacking and slow work up hills.”
The Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Freestyle Silver went to Welsh Section D mare, Hillgarth Rachelion, a nine-year-old mare just 14hh high. Kate Sanderson has owned her since a just-backed four-year-old. She spotted her on her local Facebook page.
“The pic showed her huge trot on the lunge and she was only £650 so I thought ‘what do I have to lose?’,” recalled Kate. “I planned to sell her after three months but she’s very powerful, as bold as brass and just what I was looking for.
“She had to have surgery to remove bone fragments from both fetlocks which meant five months box rest. She’s never had a day lame since but we take each day as it comes. It was our first regionals so I was really nervous. Now we get to go to the scary Winter Championships!”
The Medium Gold title was won by Bobby Hayler with her homebred Showmaker mare, Suhara Jubilee. This was only the eight-year-old mare’s fourth ever Medium test, “I love riding her. It wasn’t foot perfect but she’s beginning to go into the arena and show off. She was incredibly rideable. She’s taken a long time to grow – she’s 17.3hh now. It’ll be a long journey but there’s no hurry.”
Team Hayler had a good show. Dad Paul won the Magic Prix St Georges Gold and took the reserve place in the Charles Owen Advanced Medium Gold on Jaraneiro MIB XIII and reserve Equi-Trek Elementary Gold title on Suhara Jubilee. Bobby’s fiancé Andrew Wright also had top three placings.
KBIS Preliminary Silver
1. Niki Baxter and Penhaligon Femme Fatale, 70.58%
2. Richard Telford and Ike Geuzenhof, 68.10%
3. Carole Wright and Chocolate Magnum, 67.41%
KBIS Preliminary Gold
1. Claire Scott and Chief’s Quest, 69.71%
2. Jade Whitelaw and White Night, 69.54%
3. Kate Sanderson and Cefn Coch Crusader, 68.33%
Prestige Italia Novice Silver
1. Claire Marshall and Samuel II, 71.3%
2. Jack Morris and Isabella Utopia MFS, 68.15%
3. Andrew Wright and Frenio, 68.02%
Prestige Italia Novice Gold
1. Jennifer Johnson-Harman and Dance With Me Fürst, 74.63%
2. Sarah Oakden and Splash And Dash, 70.8%
3. Jade Whitelaw and Late Night, 68.77%
Baileys Novice Freestyle Silver
1. Kate Sanderson and Hillgarth Rachelion, 71.76%
2. Jennifer Wilson and Bellindene Rhuaridh, 70.46%
3. Amanda Bowie and Wilhelm, 68.9%
Baileys Novice Freestyle Gold
1. Jennifer Johnson-Harman and Dance With Me Fürst MFS, 76.48%
2. Joanna McIntosh Sim and The Longhouse Floridonna, 60.65%
Equi-Trek Elementary Silver
1. Jade Struthers and Suarez, 72.71%
2. Jack Morris and Isabella Utopia MFS, 69.64%
3. Caitlin Galbraith and Lescadeur, 69.38%
Equi-Trek Elementary Gold
1. Jennifer Johnson-Harman and Jazzman MFS, 70.35%
2. Paul Hayler and Samurai Jubilee, 68.85%
3. Jennifer Johnson Harman and Dance With Me Fürst MFS, 68.07%
PDS Saddles Elementary Freestyle Silver
1. Jade Struthers and Suarez, 74.74%
2. Jade Whitelaw and Dauphin III, 70.26%
3. Jennifer Wilson and Bellindene Rhuaridh, 67.95%
PDS Saddles Elementary Freestyle Gold
1. Jennifer Johnson-Harman and Jazzman MFS, 74.17%
2. Katherine Tullie and Joie A Vie, 66.73%
3. Jennifer Johnson-Harman and Dance With Me Fürst MFS, 66.50%
1. Claire Moore and EV Amore Mia, 67.79%
2. Sarah Oakden and Kerrishall Zeus, 67.61%
3. Andrew Wright and Diamond Asscher, 66.62%
1. Bobby Hayler and Suhara Jubilee, 70.09%
2. Jennifer Johnson-Harman and Jazzman MFS, 68.15%
3. Jo Barry and Hidalgo II, 69.73%
Spillers Medium Freestyle Silver
1. Claire Moore and EV Amore Mia, 71.8%
2. Chrissie Harris and Beckhouse Piano Blue, 71.28%
3. Sarah Oakden and Kerrishil Zeus, 70.17%
Spillers Medium Freestyle Gold
1. Jennifer Johnson-Harman and Jazzman FMS, 73.11%
2. Jo Barry and Hidalgo II, 73.06%
3. Nicky Heale and Furstin Claire, 72.39%
Charles Owen Advanced Medium Silver
1. Nicky Heale and Furstin Claire, 69.47%
2. Claire Moore and EV Amore Mia, 69.29%
3. Sam Turpitt and Bali Dancer, 68.59%
Charles Owen Advanced Medium Gold
1. Jo Barry and Goofy La Perle, 72.96%
2. Paul Hayler and Jaraneiro MIB XIII, 70.20%
3. Jo Barry and Hidalgo II, 69.08%
Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Silver
1. Nicky Heale and Furstin Claire, 72.00%
2. Nicky Heale and Retanach Request, 70.78%
3. Claire Moore and EV Amore Mia, 67.38%
Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle Gold
1. Jo Barry and Hidalgo II, 71.06%
Magic Prix St Georges Gold
1. Paul Hayler and Jaraneiro MIB XIII, 65.18%
Photo © Equiscot Photography