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KBIS Young Horse Semi-Finals: Northallerton showcases incredible talent

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Mon, 07 Aug 2023 15:31 GMT

The second KBIS Young Horse semi-finals were held at Northallerton Equestrian Centre (21 – 24 July 2023) where there was hot competition to join those who qualified at Hartpury to contest the title at the LeMieux National Championships in September.  

Becky Moody & Lancelot BS

7-Year-Old Semi-Final

Becky Moody rode her own Lancelot BS (Dreamboy x Lancet) pictured above to the win in the 7-year-old semi-final with a score of 76.54%. The gorgeous chestnut gelding has buckets full of personality, known for having been “occasionally exuberant in his youth!” Becky describes Lance’s enthusiasm on the day, “he loves a show! He was super giddy” talking us through how she warmed him up on the day, “I actually stretched him in the morning when we got there as he had a long wait, but he came out bouncing in the afternoon.” You will know Becky and Lance are warming up, the 16.3hh lets everyone know how much he is enjoying himself, “he squealed his way through all the changes as he still finds them so exciting!”

Lance is British Bred, by Julie Lockey, his recognizable presence and clear talent is an amazing representation of the incredible breeding here in the UK. When training the young horses at home Becky explains to us how important it is to keep the horses, “fit, happy and healthy” each horse requires a different training program to suit them, “the water treadmill really helps him strengthen.” 

Becky is ultimately producing him to be a Grand Prix horse and therefore when training “his sensitivity to aids and developing the right balance is important even when doing the basic work.”  

Becky Moody & Magic Dream

6-Year-Old Semi-Final  

The highest score for the 6-year-olds came from Magic Dream, also ridden by Becky Moody, with a total mark of 7.92. The beautiful chestnut mare “Shroom” excelled in between the white boards with another competitive young horse class, reflecting on her test Becky highlighted what stood out to her, “Magic Dream did a good test. She has a really super trot which as she is getting stronger is really developing good adjustability.” 

Even after being awarded the highest score in the class Becky explains the small improvements that will make those scores even more excellent, “her canter is super correct but needs a little more elasticity and suppleness, but a work in progress to try and get more marks at Nationals” which she's set her eyes on. Becky and Magic Dream also sought out success at the Summer Regional Championships also hosted at Northallerton Equestrian Centre, winning the TopSpec Medium Gold with a score of 73.15% gaining themselves a double appearance at the LeMieux National Championships in September! 

Becky tells us Shroom is a “super lovely horse” at home and while Lance spends some time going to the water treadmill she has a different training program as “shroom is enough of a unit already.” "Shroom is fairly chill in most situations and shows lots of promise for the collected work,” Becky is aiming on working towards Grand Prix level with her too. 

When talking about the importance of the KBIS Young Dressage Horse Championships Becky emphasizes, “this is a great series that we need to keep really building on, we need to showcase our young horses and the excellent breeding programs we have now in the UK as well.”  

Kirstie Clarke & Nureno

5-Year-Old Semi-Final  

An outstanding performance by Nureno ridden by Kirstie Clarke lead to the win in the 5-year-old semi-final, with a fantastic score of 8.42. Kirstie gave us an insight into how she felt their test went, “the test at Northallerton went really well! Being a stallion he can sometimes get a little shy and behind me in the arena, but with my trainer Becky Moody, we have been working on his confidence within the area which is allowing him to show off his natural ability much more.” The hard work put in at home clearly showed at Northallerton, “he felt relaxed in the test, and his walk is always a highlight. The trot was great but there is still so much more to come and his cater felt really good.”  

The handsome bay showcased his mature attitude, “he is a pretty cool dude, not much seems to phase him when he’s in the arena. He can get a little shy sometimes but his confidence is developing with each test and I’m super exciting for when we can get what we get in the warm up in the test.” Kirstie has high hopes for Nureno’s future, with his talent and his workable personality, “we hope that he will train all the way through the levels. He’s very kind and trainable and has the natural ability so fingers crossed everything works in our favourite and one day we may have a very successful top-level horse, who I can have a lot of enjoyment with along the way.”  

Known at home as Boris he enjoys a variety of work, Kirstie explains her process when training the young horses, “he does three schooling sessions a week, and the rest of the time he hacks, does pole work and generally looks pretty! In our sessions we work on a variety of different things, lots of lateral work and transitions to keep him supple.” He is also the class clown of the yard and earns all of the attention, “Boris is basically a big Labrador, he’s very loving and cuddling and loves wasting the girls time getting a fuss when they’re mucking him out. He’s very funny and always pulling a funny face!”  

Boris’ performance at the semi-finals has given the Kirstie a clear vision of where she would like to go with the young star, “there is still a lot more to come from this horse, we want to keep for the future so I am just enjoying the journey with him and the success we get along the way is just a massive bonus for me.” Focusing on the National Championships, “I am looking forward to the finals with him, where he will hopefully have another good experience in a big competition atmosphere!”  

Luis Vilhena & Secret Secret

Four-Year-Old Semi-Final

Luis Vilhena presented the incredible stallion Secret Secret (Secret x Fenja x Hochemeister) to not only win the youngest category at the semi-finals, the 4-year-olds but also achieved the highest score across all the age categories with an outstanding 8.46. 

The amazingly talented young stallion already stands at 17.0hh and is demonstrating how talented he is at such a young age! Luis spoke to us about how his test went, “I was pleased and that I remembered the test as I have forgotten due to nerves before. His attitude was what I was most proud of as there was a lot going on around the ring during my test.” Secret Secret's calm personality helped him rise to the occasion on the day, “he seems to really enjoy the atmosphere and is very well behaved. Although he is a stallion, he is very calm in his stable. I have never seen him stressed.”

His relaxed persona can be related back to how Luis trains his young horses, “a lot of my focus training young horses is making sure they are relaxed and using their back correctly. I work on transitions and always start them off on the ground,” which is an essential part of their work at home. “I can activate their hindlegs, so they use their back and not as much their front as too much pressure on the front, in my opinion is not good. Each horse is very individual, so I tailor their program accordingly.”  

Luis believes Secret Secret has an exciting career ahead of him, “I really do think he is very special as he has such talent and trainability and is one to watch for the future. You only have to look at his current competition record to see his scores, his highest being 9.56!” His personality at home only makes him even more special, “he is a true family horse and loved by all. I can put my three-year-old on him or equally an eighty-four-year-old, he is a dream to have on the yard.”  

After suffering with nerves at a previous competition Luis reflected on what made the combination the ones to watch at the semi-finals, “I had previously frozen in the Hartpury semi-final and really messed the test up. I was so proud of Secret Secret and myself for remembering the test and winning the class.” With support during preparations Luis and Secret Secret were able to make it count between the white boards on the day, “in the lead up to the semi-final I stayed with Paul Gill and Bobby Hayler. They really helped relax and prepare me for class as I have very limited miles in the ring.”   

Results:

Seven-Year-Old Semi-Final  
1. Becky Moody & Lancelot B.S, 76.54% 
2. Anne Marie Cowan, Lumiere L, 75.97% 
3. Gillian Davison, Llorente, 74.27% 
4. Toby Hewlett & Woodcroft Lambougini. 71.07% 
5. Jade Whitelaw & Late Night, 70.89% 
 
Six-Year-Old Semi-Final 
1. Becky Moody & Magic Dream, 7.92 
2. Lucinda Elliot & Hawtins Sarocco, 7.88 
3. Robyn Smith & Gentle Caledonia, 7.84 
4. Melissa Chapman & TCE Godietas Mind Over Matter, 7.74 
5. Katie Owens & For Alondra, 7.46 
 
Five-Year-Old Semi-Finals  
1. Kirstie Clarke & Nureno 8.42 
2. Amy Woodhead & MSJ Secretly, 8.36 
3. Lucinda Elliot & Hawtins Quintessenza, 8.22 
4. Greg Sims & Walnuts Zebadee, 8.20 
5. Ryan Shannon & Neverland MFS, 8.04 
 
Four-Year-Old Semi-Finals 
1. Luis Vilhena & Secret Secret, 8.46 
2. Greg Sims & First Dance T, 8.28 
3. Anna Burns & Don Galahad, 8.14  
4. Greg Sims & Entourage, 7.94 
5. Kerry Machin & Javiano, 7.92

Photo © Paul Dobson Photography