Hickstead CDIO/CDI - day four
- Written By:
Victory in the CDIO FEI Dressage Nations Cupfinal leg was emphatically claimed by the all-male quartet each riding Lusitano stallion today when their two Freestyle riders got the necessary results today at Hickstead. Rodrigo Torres posted 74.62% with the grey Fogoso to a grand Pink Floyd routine but the class victory went to Britain. It was Lara Butler who posted a career best with the Bechtolsheimer’s Rubin Al Asad of 78.26% who took the spoils.
‘Rufus’ may be 17 this year but the enforced break while Lara took a few weeks out when baby Jack arrived has invigorated both of them and he looked better than ever. Their trademark Dire Straits routine was executed perfectly – mistake free and some great passage and truly impressive canter pirouettes. “He was awesome!” declared Lara. “The power was there, the concentration was there and he’s the best condition wise I’ve ever had him. He tried so hard and today we really showed our partnership.”
Hayley Watson-Greaves completed the podium with a spritely Rubins Nite. They didn’t get off to the best start when their music didn’t start and then ‘Squeaks’ had a shy at a speaker which put them off their first tricky line but then the gorgeous black gelding switch off to the surroundings and on to his pilot and the marks began to flow for a final score of 73.24%. “Once I got him back there was some really good quality work and I was happy with the mark. That’s just him…that’s just horses.”
This is the first season for some time that Hayley has competed him in acoustic ears following an incident at Doha which saw them miss a few months and today maybe was a case to try them again. “I’m keeping the ears off. He has much more about him without them, I just need to learn how to ride him without,” she explained.
So after the three stages, Portugal reigned supreme on a score of 17, Britain finished on an overall score of 23, the Netherlands completed the podium on 36 while Ireland scored 51. With this final result in, Sweden are the overall winners of the series.
The day ended on a massive high with a popular victory for Louise Bell in the CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle. If her inaugural win on Friday wasn’t enough emotion, today she scored a new PB with the eternally cheeky Into the Blue of 76.05% much to the delight of the crowd and supporters. They danced to their now trademark country routine featuring Sweet Home Alabama and Desposito and it was the cleanest performance of the floor plan so far.
“He’s really busy – so very saucy normally – but today I went in and he almost felt tired so I thought to myself, let’s just go through it and enjoy it, we know exactly what we’re doing. I just wanted to ride him nicely and the judges obviously liked what they saw. He gave me such a harmonious feel. I’m so proud; he’s got to be the happiest horse in dressage!” she exclaimed.
Second went to Vicky Thompson Winfield and reigning MCI champion Mango Jacaro, owned by Samantha Francis who were super in their James Bond/Mission Impossible routine which showed high levels of difficulty to demonstrate the stallion’s great manouverability. They scored 74.05%.
Third was British resident Dane Ulrik Moelgaard and Michigan, another veteran horse showing you’re never too old, with 71.1%
Amy Schiessel and Mr Mercury completed an U25 CDI double by taking today’s Grand Prix by a two percent margin and showed that age is no barrier with the 18 year old looking fresh as a daisy to score 67.38%. “It was pretty much mistake free and his changes were good. The sun came out just as we were about to go in and it got hot but I couldn’t have asked for more. He’ll have a little break now and I’m hoping for a Nationals invite but he’ll resume his grandpa duties on the yard to my three year olds!” she joked.
Kaja Tharaldsen Olsen was another rider to top a great week with a win in the Freestyle, this time in the Young Rider division for Norway. Riding Solhoej’s Lord Falcor, she posted 70.34% to take the spoils in her first ever CDI. The duo have been together for three and a half years and have moved up the levels together before travelling to Britain to spend time with the Eilbergs training.
Kaja said; “It’s been an amazing week! It’s my first international and the atmosphere here is really good. My horse has been fresh and had great energy – he’s been so fun to ride. This year he’s really grown up so next year is exciting.”
Kaja and Falcor will journey home to Norway for their National Championships before coming back to resume her training with the Eilbergs.
In second was World Class Podium Pathway rider Angus Corrie-Dean riding Tiny Tempur to…you guessed it…Tiny Tempur music put together by Ros Emery-Kay. Afterwards Angus said; “He was quite physically tired today – it’s a long week and with the heat of Thursday – but he really tried,” said Angus.
German 17 year old Emely Van Loon made it a Junior hat-trick with a resounding win the CDIJ Freestyle on her first trip to British shores. Riding FBW Desperaux, a ten year old the Van Loon family have owned from a two and half year old, Emely posted her third 70% plus score of the week when last to go. The judges all had her to win with a final score of 75.96%, a new personal best for the duo.
Emely said; “He did a super good job today! He has a very good trot and we focus on that in my floorplan and also his extended canter is like flying! I was happy with my test and I expected a good score.”
The duo have been part of a winning German Junior Nations Cup team but this week is her first individual international win – and she’s achieved three in one week! Emily and Deseraux are considering competing at Exloo this seadson before the move up to Young Riders next year and the young talent has progressing on to the German u25 squad in her sights.
Emely is hoping to make riding her career and is current looking for a professional stable to join when she finishes school.
Second and best of the Brits was Catlin Burgess from Devon with her Dutch bred Chocotof, by Lord Leatherdale. They scored 71.26% with a revised Inter I floorplan borrowed from the Huttons at Talland where she trains. “Charlie did the music, Pippa the floorplan and Pammy is my trainer,” declared Catlin. “I’m really happy with him today; it’s only our third Freestyle and this our third International together, I couldn’t have asked any more of him today,” she concluded.
In the Hickstead British Five Year Old International Young Horse class it was a win for Mark Forest and Sandy Senior’s GF Sezuki with a score of 80.6%. The elegant Sezuan mare competed in the National class yesterday but upped her performance to overtake Sara Lucas’s SJL Baks Zacco ridden by Dan Greenwood for the top honours.
“She was much better than yesterday, the work really came off,” explained Mark. “We had a small error in the counter canter section but we corrected quickly and she was so brave. She’s very consistent and seems to get better the mores he does; she’s as cool as anything and is a real trier.”
Sandy, who runs Glossoms Farm Stud just north of Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire bought the mare as a foal from breeder Christian Heinrich as she wanted to get Sezuan’s bloodlines into her breeding programme. Indeed GF Sezuki has an ET foal due next season.
The Hickstead British Six Year Old International Young Horse title went to Olivia Oakeley and Rock Diva but it was again a tight battle with yesterday’s winners, Jezz Palmer and WGS Inanda with the winning margin just 0.2%. Olivia has produced ‘Rocky’, by Rock Forever, from an unbroken youngster and was delighted with today’s win on 75.6%.
“Today she was on good form. She’s really noise sensitive and when I saw there were Freestyle competitions in the other ring I was worried but she was great. I got my changes, the walk wasn’t great but I could really feel the strength in her. I really feel she’ll be a Grand Prix horse in the future,” she said. “It’s so exciting to have a horse that enjoys her job so much; she just loves to work and is the most trainable horse I’ve ever had.”
Congratulations to the Dressage at Hickstead team who've put on a great week with a typical mix of British weather but they always kept smiling and friendly to make sure the competitors and their horses were never left wanting. There's been to top competition, worthy winners and a great spirit throughout the show - so thank you to all involved.