Hardwick takes Grand Prix at Keysoe High Profile

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Tue, 11 Dec 2018 12:28 GMT

Young Hertfordshire rider Alex Hardwick has wrapped up a highly successful 2018 by winning the Grand Prix last Thursday at Keysoe High Profile Show in Bedfordshire (6 – 9 December 2018).

With long-term ride Royal Chester (Royal Highness x Weltmeyer), a 13-year-old gelding owned by her mother Sally, she won the class with a pleasing 68.60%, ahead of Joanna Thurman-Baker with Highcliffe Apollo on 67.70% for second and Tamsin Vaughan with Casse-Cou third (67.33%).

Royal Chester (pictured last year), trained by Alex from three-year-old, has really come into his own at the level since making his Grand Prix debut two years ago. During their time as a partnership the pair has competed in numerous CDIs and made a British team appearance at the 2016 FEI U25 European Championships held at Hagen in Germany. Most recently, they claimed a Grand Prix win at Bury Farm High Profile Show back in August.

Clearly very happy with the horse she affectionately calls ‘Big Cheese’, Alex took to Facebook to say, “Big Cheese only went and won the Grand Prix at Keysoe High Profile. [I’m] So so proud of him! He really tried his hardest. Ten years of hard work we have put in together, and to have the feeling of him being so much more confident, relaxed and willing meant everything. Big big thank you to my mum and dad for helping in so many many ways, to my super sponsors who are so supportive and especially to Cheesy.”

Another combination to come to the fore at Keysoe was Maria Eilberg with her own and Hermione Black’s grey gelding, Royal Concert (Royal Diamond x Continue). Maria, who almost a decade ago was on the silver medal-winning British team at the FEI European Championships at Windsor, is being rewarded for her patience with the gorgeous ‘Rico’ - a 15-year-old Oldenburg who although has always shown much talent, has occasionally struggled with competition day nerves. The pair won Thursday’s Inter II before taking a resounding victory in Friday’s Grand Prix Freestyle with a super score of 75.17%.

In the Small Tour divisions, the Fairfax Saddles PSG classes were claimed by Abigail Hutton, Kate Cowell, Lizzie Murray and Rebecca Swain. Abi with Fenella Ross’s seven-year-old Farrell (Fabregas x Davignon), Kate with her Royal Duruto-sired nine-year-old Ray-Ban, Lizzie with Ian McRobbie’s seven-year-old Uthopia daughter Ulyssa, and Rebecca with her UB40 son Bon Jovi, a former ride of Dutch Olympic rider Diederik Van Silfhout.

The winners: 
Class 1: TopSpec Medium 75 - Emma Woolley with Hancock V, 70.95%
Class 2: Equine Construction Advanced Medium 96 - Lucy Pye with Superstar III, 68.51%
Class 3: Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges - Kate Cowell with Ray-Ban, 71.75%
Class 4: Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I - Charlotte Dicker with Sabatini, 71.01%
Class 5: Intermediate A – Sune Hansen with Chazz, 67.27%
Class 6: Intermediate II – Maria Eilberg with Royal Concert, 69.74%
Class 7: Grand Prix – Alex Hardwick with Royal Chester, 68.60%

Class 8: TopSpec Medium 76 – Tor Fenwick with Gucci III, 69.24%
Class 9: Equine Construction Advanced Medium 98, Jezz Palmer with Obsessions Quickstep, 69.91%
Class 10: Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges – Abigail Hutton with Farrell, 71.54%
Class 11: Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I - Sarah Turner with Eduardo, 69.96%
Class 12: Intermediate B – Tamsin Vaughan with Casse-Cou, 68.41%
Class 13: Intermediate I Freestyle – Louise Davidson with De Galles, 69.50%
Class 14: Grand Prix Freestyle – Maria Eilberg with Royal Concert, 75.17%

Class 21: Medium 61 – Jessica Thompson with Grevens Tosca, 72.59%
Class 22: TopSpec Medium 73 – Laura Woodcock with Salvator, 68.24%
Class 24: Pony Team Test – Lavinia Johnson with Dublin, 67.09%
Class 25: Equine Construction Advanced Medium 92 – Tyler Bradshaw with Gijsbert, 69.73%
Class 26: Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges – Rebecca Swain with Bon Jovi, 72.85%

Class 32: Medium 69 – Margaret Phizacklea with Good Guy, 70.61%
Class 36: TopSpec Medium 75 – Sarah Millis with Roxy III, 71.08%
Class 38: Pony Individual Test – Lavinia Johnson with Dublin, 68.13%
Class 39: Equine Construction Advanced Medium – Tyler Bradshaw with Gijsbert, 68.01%
Class40: Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges – Lizzie Murray with Ulyssa, 70.13%