Grand Prix victory for Anna Ross and Habouche at Addington Premier League

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Fri, 10 May 2024 03:00

Anna Ross returns from surgery with Grand Prix win at Addington Premier League (26 - 28 April 2024) while talented five-year-old Game On II scores a perfect 10.

Eight weeks out of the saddle after knee surgery hasn’t affected Anna Ross’s ability to ride a cracking Grand Prix with her talented partner, Habouche (Ampere x Sydney), pictured above. A 71.16% score demonstrated that the pair weren’t any worse off for their enforced rest – in fact the opposite, according to Anna. “I did loads of rehab so I’ve got really fit which makes me feel better and ‘Holly’ has come back happy,” she said. “The break has done us both good. The test felt really easy and enjoyable to ride - I was having a lovely, lovely time.”

While Anna was recovering and rehabbing from knee surgery, the 12-year-old was kept fit with light schooling and hacking. There are internationals in the pair’s 2024 calendar next, with the first outing being the CDI in Exloo in the Netherlands (where they came second in the freestyle with a personal best score).

Ashley Jenkins and Game On II were the show’s highest scorers with 95% in the 5YO Young Horse class, indicating that their National Championships win in the KBIS 4YO class last year was no flash in the pan. The Governor x Sir Donnerhall gelding scored a perfect 10 for his canter.

“I always knew he could do it when he got his balance,” said Ashley who rides him for owner/breeder Nichola Mahoney. “He’s an amazing horse with no weaknesses – I can’t praise him enough. He’s very sensitive but he was born to be a dressage horse.”

Grand Prix Freestyle honours went to Louise Bell and Into the Blue (Ublesco x Calvaro Z) at their second show of 2023. “It was not mistake-free – he was wild,” laughed Louise. “He needed a run out before Windsor. He always needs a few shows to get the freshness out of his system. He’s still full of it even at his age (18).”

Covid robbed Into the Blue of two of his competitive years but he is still delivering great scores and giving Louise great rides. “He’s a freak of nature. He’s been tricky to train but I knew he would excel when he had enough to do.”

Louise also won the International Young Horse 7YO class with her own and Denise Reynolds’ Peaky Blinder. The gelding is by Uthopia out of a working hunter champion mare and Louise has great hopes for his future.

“He’s so trainable and already shows a talent for Grand Prix work. This was a warm-up for Royal Windsor to see how he would cope in the atmosphere. His behaviour was superb – he’s going to be another horse of a lifetime. Carl (Hester) says ‘he’s been here before’. Good looks, talent and ability – he’s got it all.”

Emerging talent

Despite only riding Sam Geddes’ Dior III (Gribaldi x Goodtimes) since early March, Jessica McConkey, pictured below, made it three wins in a row when she aced the Under 25 Grand Prix on 72.17%. She acknowledged the help she has had from Dior’s former rider Tom Goode and trainer Emile Faurie. “Emile said I had to do our first Inter II within two weeks of having him!” said Jessie. “Actually, it worked in our favour as I’m better under pressure. Dior knows everything and I call him ‘the Professor’. I’m so grateful to Tom and Emile for the opportunity.

“I’m just happy I got the piaffe and passage – it’s the first time doing the bigger scarier stuff for me. I was just going for a clear round.” Mission accomplished, Jessie.

Nikki Barker took home two red rosettes on her own and Becky Harrow’s Dan Icarus (Durable x Negro) and he now has his international qualification at Inter I and PSG.

“I didn’t campaign him over the winter as I have three at the same level. At home we’ve been trying the Grand Prix work and it has really helped strengthen him and keep a more uphill balance,” explained Nikki. “He felt so secure at the level at Addington. I was so thrilled with him I didn’t do the last day. I love Addington as a venue. The permanent stables are fab and got room for a big horse. There are so many arenas and it feels like a big show.”

Saturday’s Inter I was won by Becky Edwards and Dita von Teese (Dimaggio x Conteur) with a great score of 73.62%. Becky has been training the 13-year-old since she was four and admits she has been tricky. “She has big movement in the passage and changes and finds the movements easy,” commented Becky. “She needs me to be confident and guide her all the way. She looks to me for trust in different environments.

“She was really on form and up for it [at Addington]. It all came together. Our next goal is Inter II and Grand Prix by the end of the year.”

Sunday’s Inter I was claimed by Tahley Reeve-Smith and Woodcroft Valentino (Vitalis x Hotline) following a second place to Elizabeth Allen and Heraldik in the Inter I Freestyle. She was flying solo as her usual companion, her mum Sue, was recovering from surgery.

“He’s very consistent. The training you do at home comes out in the ring,” said Tahley. He wants to help you. He’s such a lovely horse to deal with, just so big! He’s a big and bouncy 18hh – it’s another weather zone up there!”

International ambitions

Sunday’s PSG was won by Amanda Petts on Lukien von Tespe (Londonderry x Rubinstein), a horse originally backed and produced by Dan Greenwood. She has owned Lukie, pictured below, for 18 months and bought him from Holland after she was alerted to him by her trainer Nicky Barrett.

“When he arrived, he was a bit backward-thinking so we went hacking and did lots of polework to get him a bit more forward and happy. I’m really blessed to have him. I didn’t think it was the best test we’d ever done but I’m on cloud nine to have won. He’s the nicest horse. My two-year-old picks out his feet and swings on his legs.”

Amanda will give Lukie a break in the field as he has a direct qualification to the Nationals now. They will step up to Inter II and her dream is go international together.

Matt Frost won the Advanced Medium 96 and Friday’s Prix St Georges (PSG) Freestyle on Kerouac (Sezuan x Sorrento). In the two years he’s owned him, Matt has been on a mission to encourage the former stallion to relax. “As a stallion he found life a little bit too exciting!” recalled Matt who bought him from his breeder Gavin Mackinson after Gavin had sent him to be sold.

“He got a bit frazzled at the Winters but was brilliant at Addington. He felt really confident in the Advanced Medium. He was a bit exuberant in the Freestyle and I had to contain him. He’s got most of the Grand Prix work at home but he’s only nine and it’s important that he only goes out competing at a level he feels confident at.”

The Eilberg’s homebred 12-year-old Figlio fought off closest rival, Lewis Carrier’s Tophojs Zackira to win the Inter II. Michael reported on Facebook that he was “over the moon” with the win and that Figlio “felt great”.

In the youth classes, 15-year-old Isla Sully stood out with wins in both Junior classes with her Lusitano 15-year-old, Vagabond de Massa (Rieto x Xaquiro). The pair have had a stellar year so far with a win at the Addington CDI and they haven’t scored below 70% all year.

Her mum Cassandra credited trainer Alex Harrison-West for helping to create this success. “They wouldn’t be doing it without him,” she said. ‘V’ lives with Alex and Isla travels to ride him four times a week. Next stop for the pair was a trip to Compiègne CDI where they had good results, including a Freestyle win.

Ella-Grace Dovey has only been riding David Pincus’s Sheepcote Jackson for a few weeks but rode two confident tests to win both Children on Horses classes convincingly. They have now achieved their international qualifying score so have made a great start together.

Ella-Grace’s trainer Katie Bailey was also in the ribbons with Escomond in Advanced Medium 98. Escomond is owned by her mother with Katie and Verity Jenner.

It was three days of high quality competition. Congratulations to all riders and trainers and thanks to the Addington Equestrian team, judges, stewards and scorers for another successful show.

Results (top three)

Friday 26 April

Brett Willson Dressage International Advanced Medium 96
1. Matt Frost and Kerouac, 72.93%
2. Amy Woodhead and Keep In Mind, 71.70%
3. Sarah Wilkinson and Koko, 69.07%

Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I
1. Nikki Barker and Dan Icarus, 70.78%
2. Jezz Palmer and Honey D’Or, 69.01%
3. Andrew Gould and Active Solaris, 67.74%

BD International Young Horse 5YO
1. Fiona Bigwood and Newton Sylvanite, 82.20
2. Owen Cooper and On Point, 76.80
3. Naomi Maxted Massey and MM Ferro’s Finest, 75.20

BD International Young Horse 6YO
1. Louise Bell and Peaky Blinder, 67.60
2. Kirsten Mayne and Habano GR, 66.60
3. Rachel Dowley and Nava, 63.60

Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges
1. Dan Sherriff and Fred Astaire WD, 72.06%
2. Amy Woodhead and Mount St John Furstin Fugger, 72.01%
3. Jezz Palmer and Honey D’Or, 71.61%

FEI Grand Prix
1. Anna Ross and Habouche, 71.15%
2. Caroline Chew and Blue Hors Zatchmo, 71.01%
3. Sarah Millis and Impressive VDC, 69.05%

FEI Grand Prix 16-25
1. Jessica McConkey and Dior III, 72.17%
2. Teghan Cantrell-Bennett and Woodlander Donna Summer, 68.24%
3. Angus Corrie-Deane and Jack Johnson, 67.69%

Saturday 27 April

Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges
1. Nikki Barker and Dan Icarus, 70.34%
2. Sara-Jane Lanning and Hawtins Lirica, 69.55%
3. Sarah Millis and Le Zorro, 69.21%

KBIS Young Horse National 7YO
1. Jayne Turney and Penhaligon Freigeist, 73.83%
2. Holly Bates and Hillgrounds Feinline, 71.61%
3. Elizabeth Richards and Dante’s Seret, 68.98%

FEI Pony Individual Test
1. Violet Hawkins and Cruz III, 68.51%
2. Evie Head and WS Jackson, 68.06%
3. Madi Haerr and Machno Excalibur, 67.61%

Children On Horses Individual Test
1. Ella-Grace Dovey and Sheepcote Jackson, 69.28%
2. Martha Jones and Don Dimaro van het Gildeland, 67.01%
3. Rocky Leahy and Damocles LL, 66.04%

Junior Individual Test
1. Isla Sully and Vagabond de Massa, 72.20%
2. Myles Graham and Nibeley Black Pearl, 69.85%
3. Demi Howard-Cartwright and Newton Astro Nascente, 69.7%

Young Riders Individual Test
1. Isobel Lickley and Katniss, 70.04%
2. Hermione Tottman and Exquisite, 69.7%
3. Morgan Haerr and Behroez, 69.06%

Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I
1. Rebecca Edwards and Dita von Teese, 73.62%
2. Sara-Jane Lanning and Hawtins Lirica, 72.69%
3. Greg Sims and Waverley Fellini, 71.96%

Advanced Medium Freestyle
1. Jessica Knowles and Durable, 73.11%
2. Maria Griffin and Satin 6, 72.83%
3. Matt Frost and Lemmo, 72.55%

Prix St Georges Freestyle
1. Matt Frost and Kerouac, 69.33%
2. Megan Turner and Plains Timeless, 67.12%
3. Charlotte Drakeley and Florisco, 65.04%

Intermediate I Freestyle
1. Elizabeth Allen and Heraldik, 71.41%
2. Tahley Reeve-Smith and Woodcroft Valentino, 70.04%
3. Belinda Brereton and Galaxy Moone, 67.16%

Grand Prix Freestyle
1. Louise Bell and Into the Blue, 70.95%
2. Sara-Jane Lanning and Sigurd, 68.2%
3. Belinda Brereton and Deco II, 67.87%

Sunday 28 April

Children on Horses Team Test
1. Ella-Grace Dovey and Sheepcote Jackson, 76.87%
2. Melissa Hargreaves and Harmony Lox, 68.77%
3. Rocky Leahy and Damocles LL, 65.92%

Brett Willson Dressage International Advanced Medium 98
1. Katie Bailey and Escomond, 70.21%
2. Matt Frost and Kerouac, 69.07%
3. Anna Wilson and Ivano II, 69.07%

KBIS Young Horse 4YO
1. Abbi Jackson and Polaris II NVDW, 74.40
2. William Roberts and Diarella, 72.60
3. Max Campbell and Porsche VS, 72.00

KBIS Young Horse 5YO
1. Ashley Jenkins and Game On II, 95.00
2. Jayne Turney and Vienna WD, 74.20
3. Imogen Swann and SJL Bueno, 74.00

KBIS Young Horse 6YO
1. Alexander Harrison and Ventura, 80.60
2. Jayne Turney and In Time, 77.60
3. Daniel Sherriff and Nothing Compares 2U, 76.20

KBIS Young Pony 4YO
1. Melissa Richardson and Dinky Daredevil NF, 76.40
2. Leanne Bailey and Hej Sassy So Soon, 70.00
3. Michelle Wakefield and MM Sweet Sensation, 59.00

KBIS Young Pony 5YO
1. Imogen Smith and Bonito CL, 77.60

KBIS Young Pony 6YO
1. Clare Yetton and Sloot’s Sir Victoria, 66.00

Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges
1. Amanda Petts and Lukien von Tespe, 68.23%
2. Sarah Millis and Le Zorro, 68.03%
3. Sara-Jane Lanning and Hawtins Lirica, 67.64%

FEI Pony Team Test
1. Darcey Blaze Marcus and Tackmann’s Dark Deluxe, 70.19%
2. Daisy Bullman and Godrics Dionysus, 69.90%
3. Sofia Games and Steendieks Cadillac, 69.85%

FEI Junior Team Test
1. Isla Sully and Vagabond de Massa, 70.80%
2. Sofia Games and Boccelli 6, 69.50%
3. Morgan Haerr and Floran, 69.14%

Stübben Intermediate II
1. Michael Eilberg and Figlio, 70.83%
2. Lewis Carrier and Tophojs Zackira, 69.90%
3. Angus Corrie-Deane and Jack Johnson 2, 68.43%

FEI Young Riders Team Test
1. Oliver Gould and Rockwood Virtue, 68.92%
2. India Durman-Mills and Escade, 68.48%
3. Jessie Kirby and As Well de la Roche CMF, 68.23%

Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I
1. Tahley Reeve-Smith and Woodcroft Valentino, 69.6%
=2. Sara-Jane Lanning and Hawtins Lirica, 68.87%
=2. Daniel Sherriff and Fred Astaire WD, 68.87%


Photo © Spidge Event Photography