Hickstead CDI: British Youth riders progress on spring tour
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With Hickstead the next stop on a busy tour of spring internationals, a host of high-flying British youth riders made the most of a fantastic opportunity to gain selection scores and valuable arena time at a top-drawer event.
Warwickshire-based starlet Ruby Hughes made it a clean sweep of victories in the Young Rider tour, with Kate Lister’s conscientious gelding World Exclusive putting his best foot forward for his youthful pilot. In the team competition, the combination scored 69.853% in front of Anne Prain (FRA), Alexandra Lecarda Leão (BRA) and Mary Robins (NZL) to place them ahead of Lily Laughton and the 18 year old Skovborgs Romadinov (Blue Hors Romanov x Mago xx). Third placed rider Lilah Gibbs stepped up to second in the Individual competition with her own Hannoverian Dude III, as Ruby took home her second win of the week, this time the score was a convincing 70.588%. The teen looks set to follow in her father’s footsteps, and enjoyed a busy week with three rides across two age categories; speaking on social media, a delighted Ruby commented, “what a week to remember! We took four horses to Hickstead CDI, and I was competing three of them so it was 110% an extremely busy busy week! I feel like we have to start of with the champion [World Exclusive], I’m the luckiest girl in the world to ride such an amazing horse. This was only our third international together and we made it a double. Wex is incredible and the experience I'm gaining from riding him is invaluable!” The school pupil concluded by thanking Wex’s owner Kate Lister for her valued support and opportunity.
Mett Dahl also completed a Hickstead double on her international debut appearance with new dancing partner Caporal de Massa. Formerly campaigned by France’s Mathilde Juglaret, the 11 year old purebred Lusitano has excelled in the FEI Junior category, achieving a bronze medal at the 2022 FEI Junior European Championships; now in the hands of Mette, his impressive record looks set to continue as the Surrey-based teen did a stellar job in producing the gelding to 71.818% (Team test) and 70.049% (Individual test).
In the Pony competition, the top spots were split between Sofia Games, who claimed the Team test, and Individual test winner Abigail Gray. 2022 Pony European Championships team member Sofia presented new ride Lauren Geraghty’s WS Jackson at Hickstead; the chestnut gelding also has a team appearance under his belt, having represented Great Britain alongside Sofia at last year’s Strzegom championship fixture. The new combination performed in sync to be rewarded 70.191% by Eduard De Wolff Van Westerrode (NED), Magnus Ringmark (SWE) and Juan Carlos Campos Escribano (ESP).
Aberdeenshire rider Abigail Gray made the long journey to the South Downs more than worthwhile, achieving an international with the striking George Clooney B.S, former ride of fellow Hickstead winner Mette Dahl. The duo scored 72.162% for an assured trip around the Individual test, achieving high marks for lateral work in trot, extended walk and a well-presented final centre line and half from medium trot.
In the Children on Horses age group, Violet Hawkins added two more international wins to her name, on board her mother Alex’s 12 year old gelding DZL Royal Sunrise. The youngster, trained by Jayne Turney, rode to 74.725% in the Team test, before posting 70.218% in Saturday’s Individual competition. Izabel Worthington was hot on Violet’s heels, riding to a dyad of second placings with Clare Worthington’s 13 year old mare Machno Gabrielle (Relmo x Tylan Danny), bred in Wales by Meirion Jones.
Results: top three
CDICH Children on Horses Team Test
1. Violet Hawkins and DZL Royal Sunrise, 74.725% (GBR)
2. Izabel Worthington and Machno Gabrielle, 70.025% (GBR)
3. Mimi Kempster and Che Bello, 67.150% (GBR)
CDIP Pony Team Test
1. Sofia Games and WS Jackson, 70.191% (GBR)
2. Abigail Gray and George Clooney B.S, 70.143% (GBR)
3. Isla Sully and Reitland’s Don Totilas, 69.000% (GBR)
CDIJ Junior Team Test
1. Mette Dahl and Caporal de Massa, 71.818% (GBR)
2. Sophia Marston and E-Mail, 70.960% (GBR)
3. Gracie Morgan and First Pitch, 69.899% (GBR)
CDIY Young Rider Team Test
1. Ruby Hughes and World Exclusive, 69.853% (GBR)
2. Lily Laughton and Skovborgs Romadinov, 68.088% (GBR)
3. Lilah Gibbs and Dude III, 68.039% (GBR)
CDICH Children on Horses Individual Test
1. Violet Hawkins and DZL Royal Sunrise, 70.218% (GBR)
2. Izabel Worthington and Machno Gabrielle, 70.125% (GBR)
3. Maeve Deverell and Annaharvey Dunowen, 68.449% (IRE)
CDIP Pony Individual Test
1. Abigail Gray and George Clooney B.S, 72.162% (GBR)
2. Demi Howard-Cartwright and Fin C WE, 70.406%
3. Sofia Games and WS Jackson, 70.225% (GBR)
CDIJ Junior Individual Test
1. Mette Dahl and Caporal de Massa, 70.049% (GBR)
2. Sophia Marston and E-Mail, 69.020% (GBR)
3. Isabella Caldwell and Don Geniro, 68.039% (GBR)
CDIY Young Rider Individual Test
1. Ruby Hughes and World Exclusive, 70.588% (GBR)
2. Lilah Gibbs and Dude III, 69.069% (GBR)
3. Claudia Davis and Fergus RT, 68.921% (GBR)
Photo: Kevin Sparrow Photography