Hickstead CDIO/CDI - day one
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It’s been nothing short of scorching on day one at this year’s Hickstead International. With temperatures forecasted break the highest ever recorded, plenty of provision was made on the show ground to keep horses, riders, officials and supporters well watered and cool and everyone rode appropriately for the conditions.
The FEI Pony Team test which got the action underway this morning and two of the Dutch riders lead the way. Nina Van Bakel was the only rider to break the 70% barrier with Mastro’s Night and Day to claim the class on 70.14%. Compatriot Syrah van de Rovaart was just behind on 69.28% with Donna Daria 8 while the Best Brit accolade went to South Yorkshire rider Mollie Witham with DZL Royal Sunrise with a score of 68.42%.
Germany lead the way in the Junior ranks with Emely van Loon and FBW Depereaux putting up a stylish performance to go 72.42% but Clare Hole with Rachel Murray’s Winnetou G.E.P. gave them a close run with 70.65% for second. Maddy Frewin completed the podium for Britain with Christine Kirk’s Woodlander Rhythm n Blues, just shy of 70% on 69.78%.
In the Young Rider section there was an emphatic win for Jasmine Harding-Heitzman with her own Valeron sired Deco with a great 68.18%. Just behind were Angus Corrie-Dean and Tiny Tempur on 67.5% and Norwegian visitor Kaja Tharaldsen Olsen was just .45% adrift in third with Solhoej’s Lord Falcor.
British based Aussie Warwick McLean (pictured) was the winner in the first test of the Middle Tour competition, the Inter A, with Hendrix II on 67.73. In her first international competition for over four years, Pammy Hutton was a popular second with her loyal partner Belmondo on 66.82% and she was also fourth with Armagnac – quite a day for a rider in her ‘fifth decade’ of competing. Alice Oppenheimer was third with Caroline Dibden’s impressive dun Headmore Diffinity; a mistake in the twos just held the score to 66.32% in his first start at the level.
A sizable Prix St Georges got the CDI Small Tour under way and it was a familiar name at the top of the leaderboard. Luis Principe and R.S. Raphael are enjoying a great run of form having taken the Inter I and Freestyle at Hartpury earlier this month and today they showed that winning way with a convincing victory scoring 73.47%, the highest mark of the day. Dutch rider Lynne Maas, who sported a stunning hat/tail coat combo featuring rose gold accents, occupied second with Fantastiqe on 72% even. Katie Bailey made sure the Union flag appeared on the podium with a polished performance on Leslie Forlee’s Boccelli 6 to score 71.23%.
It was a mammoth performance by everyone involved – riders, grooms, owners, spectators, officials, judges - at Hickstead to battle the conditions but congratulations to all who kept their cool, put horse welfare to the fore and worked to keep everything on track in tough temperatures. It’s set to cool down tomorrow so it promises to be a great day – and with two Grand Prix classes, the action will be as hot as the weather!
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