Hindle and Howard triumphant at Middle Tour Festival
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The British Dressage Middle Tour Festival is a celebratory way to end the year for combinations competing at Inter A, B and II levels. The 2022 Gold title was claimed in decisive style by Emma Hindle with Rosmarin, while Georgina Howard and Lovely Illusion secured the second Middle Tour Silver Championship win of their career.
Taking place this year at Arena UK High Profile Show in Lincolnshire, the British Dressage Middle Tour Festival, introduced in 2020, incorporates Inter II, Inter B and Intermediate A/B Freestyle classes with sections for both Gold and Silver combinations. The winner of each is determined by the highest overall combined score across two of the tests.
British Olympian, Emma Hindle and her talented mare Rosmarin (Blue Hors Romanov x Solos Landtinus) - pictured above - enjoyed a 71%+ victory in Thursday’s Inter II, taking the class ahead of runner-up Anne-Marie Rawlins with Dane Rawlins’ Etoile 11.
The 14-year-old Danish-born Rosmarin was skilfully piloted by Emma to also win Friday’s Inter A/B Freestyle Gold. Presenting an expressive performance to a Lady Gaga-inspired freestyle soundtrack, they were awarded 73.83% from the judges panel of Andrea Smith (C), Alison Duck (M) and Gwyneth Lewis (H) to take the Freestyle win and collect the overall Middle Tour Gold title.
Rosmarin is known at home as Kate, after The Princess of Wales, as Emma explains; “She’s beautiful, smart, elegant but has a quiet steely determination to be perfect in every way. “I’ve had her six years now, and we have had ups and downs, but every time I have the privilege to ride her, she makes me smile. She is my sunshine on days where only rain was forecast. Thank you, Kate and friends, you have made my year.”
Emma was quick to credit Arena UK, the venue hosting its first ever British Dressage High Profile Show and Middle Tour Festival. “What great surfaces,” she commented. “We are lucky to have such a venue.”
Georgina Howard and Lovely Illusion (by Quite Easy) - pictured above, winners of the 2021 Middle Tour Silver Championship, secured back-to-back wins with a victory here at Arena UK. The duo took Thursday’s Inter II Silver on a score of 65.15% before presenting a super freestyle programme to conclude their show. Riding to a selection of tracks from the animated films Charlotte’s Web and Epic, they were awarded a score of 69.08% to win the Inter A/B Freestyle Silver and secure the Middle Tour Silver title.
Danish-bred Lovely Illusion, or Archie as he is known to friends, is in great shape for his nineteen years of age. “He’s getting on, but feeling more and more like a 12-year-old,” said Georgina who made her Grand Prix debut with Archie in April of this year. “He had a lot of time off between the ages of 14 and 17 so it’s amazing that he’s come back the way he has. I train with Michael Eilberg and have a great team around me and a very supportive husband, which makes it all possible.
“Julie Geraghty of Equivisions put the music together for me – she did a fantastic job. It gives me so much joy when I hear it, and I just thought ‘let’s have a dance with Archie’. I was pleased with his passage because it was quite regular, and his transition into the piaffe, which has been a work in progress, is getting much better.
“He seems to be really enjoying himself and getting more and more personality as he’s getting older,” continued Georgina. “I think, having stuck with him through his injuries, he feels that he’s repaying my commitment. He’ll be 20 next year, but he’ll be out again. He’d be distraught if he wasn’t going out to play - he loves competing, and he’s an absolute joy to have.”
Congratulations to Emma and Georgina and to all who took part. Thanks go to organiser Lauren Fogg and the entire team at Arena UK for hosting the event. A full report on Arena UK High Profile Show will follow soon.
Middle Tour Festival results
Class 11b: Intermediate B Gold
1. Joseph Bright and JBD Wodan, 64.14%
2. Holly Colgate-Cooke and Dalvangs Lorenzo, 57.93%
Class 16b: Intermediate II Silver
1. Georgina Howard and Lovely Illusion, 65.15%
2. Sally Walker and Wilton, 59.31%
Class 16c: Intermediate II Gold
1. Emma Hindle and Rosmarin, 71.22%
2. Anne-Marie Rawlins and Etoile 11, 67.50%
3. Steph Croxford and Mr Jurist, 67.35%
4. Joseph Bright and JBD Wodan, 65.83%
5. Francesca Bradley and Captain Negro C, 64.22%
6. Lindsay Hancock and Barachiel, 64.07%
7. Tyler Bradshaw and Gijsbert, 63.78%
8. Kirsty Mepham and Minain, 63.73%
9. Holly Colgate-Cooke and Dalvangs Lorenzo, 60.00%
Class 32a: Intermediate A/B Freestyle Silver
1. Georgina Howard and Lovely Illusion, 69.08%
Class 32b: Intermediate A/B Freestyle Gold
1. Emma Hindle and Rosmarin, 73.83%
2. Lindsay Hancock and Barachiel, 67.04%
3. Francesca Bradley and Captain Negro C, 66.71%
4. Anne-Marie Rawlins and Etoile 11, 66.42%
5. Steph Croxford and Mr Jurist, 66.25%
6. Kirsty Mepham and Minain, 66.00%
7. Joseph Bright and JBD Wodan, 65.79%
1. Emma Hindle and Rosmarin (71.23, 73.83, Total: 145.06)
2. Anne-Marie Rawlins and Etoile 11 (67.50, 66.42, Total: 133.92)
3. Steph Croxford and Mr Jurist (67.35, 66.25, Total: 133.60)
4. Joseph Bright and JBD Wodan (65.83, 65.79, Total: 131.62)
5. Lindsay Hancock and Barachiel (64.07, 67.04, Total: 131.11)
6. Francesca Bradley and Captain Negro C (64.22, 66.71, Total: 130.93)
7. Kirsty Mepham and Minain (63.73, 66.00, Total: 129.73)
1. Georgina Howard and Lovely Illusion (65.15, 69.08, Total: 134.23)
Photo © A.T.G Photography