Hartpury Premier League: Hester and Harvey lead the way

  • Written By: Barbara Young | British Dressage
  • Published: Wed, 19 Jul 2023 10:19 GMT

Top combinations and emerging talent delighted spectators and visitors to Gloucestershire’s premier venue, all enjoying one of the largest dressage spectacles of the summer at the NAF Five Star Hartpury Festival of Dressage (04 - 09 July 2023). Here, the Premier League event took place alongside the CDI and CPEDI classes for a glorious week of inspiring competition.

Davy Harvey and Hawtins Rossana (1)

Wednesday saw 28 combinations contesting the Stübben Intermediate II, with Michael Eilberg and Figlio storming into the lead with 70.686%, before being pipped at the post by impressive in-form partnership, Davy Harvey and Judy Peploe’s Hawtins Rossana - pictured above, who won the class with 71.274%, before going on to complete a double by also winning Sunday’s Inter II, also sponsored by Stübben, on 70.14%.

Davy, who trains with Carl Hester and was a former student at Talland, has enjoyed a remarkable season to date, winning three titles at the NAF Five Star Winter Championships in April, including Inter I Gold with Hawtins Rossana, who was bred by Judith Davis at Hawtins Stud.

Davy finished off a truly memorable day by winning the Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges with Judy Peploe’s 10-year-old Don Frederic gelding Diamond Blue, who was bred by Rosie Moreton-Deakin, on 72.549%. They then concluded their week with a decisive win in Friday’s PSG with a score of 74.804%

Davy shared his delight on social media: “Surreal week at Hartpury Equine International Events with Judy Peploe’s Hawtins Rossana and Diamond Blue winning both PSGs and both the Inter IIs - the dream continues!

“Thank you to everyone who makes this possible, everyone goes on about teamwork and how important it is but really teamwork is at the core of all of this and I couldn’t do it without everyone in our team!”

Grand Prix glory
On the third day of competition, Carl Hester continued to impress with a win in the Premier League Grand Prix with Rio teammate Fiona Bigwood’s big moving stallion Fame XX (Bordeaux x Rhodium) - pictured below.
This combination clearly demonstrated their strengthening partnership, scoring 77.391%, and along with his other international Grand Prix winner En Vogue, Carl has two possible contenders for the European Dressage Championships later this summer.

Carl Hester and Fame

Michael Eilberg and MSJ Encore (Escolar x Caprimond) snatched victory in a nail-biting finish in the Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I scoring 72.745%, ahead of Nikki Barker and Iwan (71.128%).

Thursday also saw 17 combinations entered for the popular Elite Stallions Young Horse Prix St Georges Qualifier, which has traditionally been a showcase for emerging international talent. Sadie Smith, another in-form rider this season, claimed the winning spot with her eight-year-old British-bred mare Swanmore Dantina (Dante Weltino), pictured below, topping the leaderboard with 77.451%. Runner up was former Hartpury student Robert Barker with Christine Kirk’s Herbstrot on 72.451%, with Spencer Wilton and Samantha Britton’s Woodcroft Django Mon Ami a close third on 72.304%.

Sadie Smith and Swanmore Dantina

Sadie, described her “amazing” week at Hartpury with her “one in a million superstar” Dia on social media: “We contested the Elite Stallions Young horse PSG and won the first round on Thursday with a personal best of 77.4%, then Saturday night gala evening Dia was amazing to top that with a score of 80%. To achieve a score like that is what I’ve always dreamed of. She always tries her heart out for me, and I couldn’t have a more perfect partner. So excited for the future with her.”

Showcasing future talent
On Friday, the BD International Young Horse FEI Preliminary kicked off the day in the Hartpury Arena with the five-year-olds providing an outstanding win for Sara Lucas’s Dutch Warmblood SJL Niko (Bordeaux) ridden by Nikki Barker scoring an impressive 79.60%.

Tyler Bradshaw and Mexx

The six year old class was won by Tyler Bradshaw and her own Mexx (Impresario/Dijkslag), pictured above, on a score of 77.00%, with runners up Zoe Florence and Sweet Madness scoring 65.60%. Tyler, who bought the Dutch-bred gelding, (known as Midoriya at home), unseen via Facebook for £2,000, said the win came as a “huge shock”: “He’s been off since January to allow him time to grow as he’s a lofty 18.1hh and I felt he needed some downtime to allow some maturing.

“He’s only been back in work for a couple of months and I thought I’d pop him in the class as my other horse Gijsbert was competing in the CDI. I was over the moon with Midoriya, not only his score, but also his can do attitude; he’s a real team player!”

Tyler backed Midoriya herself and she describes him as “a complete dude”. “He’s my best friend and a heartfelt reminder of his late brother whom I had a very deep connection with too – regardless of where he ends up in his career, he will always have a home with me and I hope for a happy long career and partnership together.”

In the seven year olds, two quality horses entered the arena, both performing well with Gillian Davison and her own Dutch gelding Llorente (Glamourdale) winning with 70.400%, and Toby Hewitt with Woodcroft Stud’s Woodcroft Lambourgini runners up on a score of 67.865%.

Youth on song
Young talent shone brightly over the weekend in the FEI Pony, Junior, Young Rider and Children on Horses classes with many combinations impressing with high scores.

Daisy Bullman and Godrics Dionysus

Fourteen-year-old Daisy Bullman contested her first Premier League with her seven-year old stallion Godrics Dionysus (by Danger 36 out of Donnerwetter), pictured above, winning both the FEI Pony Team and Individual competitions and clocking up a personal best of 71%. Daisy also celebrated winning the KBIS 5yo Pony Championship with Godrics Chemin de Vie (Le Chiffre), completing a hat trick of wins.

Bred by co-owners Beverley and Samantha Brown of Godrics Stud, who describe Godrics Dionysus as a “very chilled and kind stallion with a trainable attitude”, ‘Haymitch’ was originally bought by Elly Darling as a four year old.

“Elly soon realised what an amazing temperament he had and advertised to find a child rider to compete him. Daisy was the first one to try him and they very soon formed a perfect partnership.

“Although Elly agreed to sell the majority share of Haymitch to Daisy’s family, she loved him so much that she kept a share herself and still trains and supports them, alongside Becky Moody who has been invaluable in helping them at the major shows.”

Twelve-year-old Avah Heath, who has been riding since she was just six and her stunning nine year old New Forest stallion Koningshoek Jackpot also scored a personal best (73.025%) in the Children on Horses Team test.

This was only Ava’s second time competing at a Premier League show and the rider says she has learnt much from Jack since last August when the combination, who train with Daniel and Lucy Bremner, first came together. “Jack has certainly tested me and my seat at times, but I keep him and my other pony WFD Just Dillon with Daniel and Lucy at their Cotswolds yard, which has become a second home for me. They do an outstanding job of looking after them and helping me – I am only the rider I am today through their hard work.

“My dream is to become a professional dressage rider, so competing at Hartpury against such talented riders was a dream come true.”

Congratulations to all the winners and supporters, as well as the team at Hartpury for organising a highly successful Premier League competition.

Results – top three
Tuesday 4 July
Equitex Advanced Medium 92, supported by NAF
1. Sadie Smith and Jaguar I, 70.676%
2. Hannah Luesley and Rihanna, 69.459%
3. Jessica Thompson and Midgaards Gijon, 69.054%

Equitex Advanced Medium 98, sponsored by Equitex
1. Lucinda Elliot and Hawtins Quattro, 70.658%
2. Sadie Smith and Jaguar I, 69.649%
3. Jessica Thompson and Midgaards Gijon, 69.430%

Wednesday 5 July
Advanced 105, sponsored by Baileys Horse Feeds
1. Charlotte Drakeley and Florisco, 67.500%
2. Chloe Dawes and Danibelle Delicious, 63.611%
3. Louise Hutchinson and Donnarella, 60.139%

Stübben Intermediate II
1. Davy Harvey and Hawtins Rossana, 71.274%
2. Michael Eilberg and Figlio, 70.686%
3. Jess Bennett and JB Dukaat, 69.853%

Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges
1. Charlotte Mcdowall and M Obarma, 71.961%
2. Katie Bailey and Elinda, 69.853%
3. Mark Forrest and Fidel Von Singing, 68.382%

Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges
1. Davy Harvey and Diamond Blue, 72.549%
2. Ruby Hughes and World Exclusive, 70.490%
3. Spencer Wilton and Woodcroft Django Mon Ami, 70.294%

Thursday 6 July
Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I
1. Michael Eilberg and MSJ Encore, 72.745%
2. Nikki Barker and Iwan, 71.128%
3. Jessica Dunn and Hokita 70.784%

Elite Stallions Young Horse Prix St Georges Qualifier
1. Sadie Smith and Swanmore Dantina, 77.451%
2. Robert Barker and Herbstrot, 72.451%
3. Spencer Wilton and Woodcroft Django Mon Ami, 72.304%

LeMieux Grand Prix
1. Carl Hester and Fame XX, 77.391%
2. Andrew Gould and Indigro, 73.630%
3. Tom Goode and Dior III, 70.478%

Friday 7 July
FEI Int. British Young Dressage Horse 5yo
1. Nikki Barker and SJL Niko, 79.600%
2. Zoe Sleigh and Don Zello, 74.800%
3. Carol Wagstaff and Narocko, 72.899%

FEI Int. British Young Dressage Horse 6yo
1. Tyler Bradshaw and Mexx, 77.00%
2. Zoe Florence and Sweet Madness, 65.60%

FEI Int. British Young Dressage Horse 7yo
1. Gillian Davison and Llorente, 70.400%
2. Toby Hewlett and Woodcroft Lambourgini, 67.865%

Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges
1. Davy Harvey and Diamond Blue, 74.804%
2. Tahley Reeve-Smith and Woodcroft Valentino, 71.226%
3. Greg Sims and Waverley Fellini, 70.392%

Saturday 8 July
FEI Pony Team Test
1. Daisy Bullman and Godrics Dionysus, 71.000%
2. Tara Faulds and Godrics Decoy, 67.047%
3. Evie Head and Brouweshaven’s Leonie, 66.72%

FEI Junior Team Test
1. Hannah Luesley and Rihanna, 67.076%
2. Crystal Robinson Long and High Quality, 66.364%
3. India Hamilton-Burnet and Kissingdale 65.454%

FEI Young Rider Team Test
1. Jessie Kirby and Windy de la Roche CMF, 68.382%
2. Lucy Marshall and Casse-Cou, 65.441%
3. Alice Knight and SJL Dom Perignon, 65.196%

FEI Children on Horses Team Test
1. Avah Heath and Koningshoek Jackpot, 73.025%
2. Abigail Hallett and St Nazaire C, 69.525%
3. Avah Heath and WFD Just Dillion, 69.42%

Elite Stallion Young Horse Prix St Georges
1. Sadie Smith and Swanmore Dantina, 80.000%
2. Robert Barker and Herbstrot, 72.745%
3. Spencer Wilton and Woodcroft Django Mon Ami, 72.010%

Sunday 9 July
FEI Pony Individual Test
1. Daisy Bullman and Godrics Dionysus, 69.324%
2. Tara Faulds and Godrics Decoy, 68.243%
3. Meg Morgan and Pencwarre Butty Bach, 66.847%

FEI Junior Individual Test
1. India Hamilton-Burnet and Kissingdale, 68.285%
2. Shona Davies and Bocelli, 68.235%
3. Crystal Robinson Long and High Quality, 67.010%

FEI Young Rider Individual Test
1. Jessie Kirby and Windy de la Roche CMF, 67.304%
2. Isobel Knight and Alivia, 66.716%

FEI Children on Horses Individual Test
1. Abigail Hallett and St Nazaire C, 65.880%

Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I
1. Kate Cowell and Rayban, 73.186%
2. Mark Forrest and Flavio B, 72.647%
3. Caitlin Burgess and Chocotof, 72.402%

Stübben Intermediate II
1. Davy Harvey and Hawtins Rossana, 70.147%
2. Jess Bennett and JB Dukaat, 69.412%
3. Michael Eilberg and Figlio 68.726%


Photo © Kevin Sparrow Photography