Getting into the festive spirit at Keysoe

  • Written By: Helen Triggs
  • Published: Sat, 12 Dec 2020 13:21 GMT

The weather may have been foggy and cold but the competition (and festive decorations) shone bright in the Grand Prix at the last High Profile show of the year at Keysoe.

Only 0.37% separated winner Theodora Livanos and Robinvale (below) and Kate Cowell and Samba Dancer. A Greek national currently based with her trainer, Britain’s Emile Faurie, Theo and her own Robinvale (Robinero x Wittinger) rode their first grand prix together at Le Mans CDI3* in October last year and competed internationally until February this year. Then Theo had to take a six month break from riding, having developed osteomyelitis which required major surgery to remove infection.


Theo Livanos


“It was very challenging,” recalled Theo, who started riding again in the summer. “This is our second show since I started. We were a little ring rusty but he’s a very experienced horse and we’ve done a lot of competing together. He did a great test with a few little blips.”

Covid-willing, Theo hopes to continue campaigning in the World Cup series and for Olympic selection for Greece.

A rogue set of one-time changes which appeared between the canter pirouettes robbed Samba Dancer of the red rosette under Kate Cowell, but he came back strongly to win the Grand Prix Freestyle on 72.45%

“He was absolutely firing on all cylinders,” enthused Kate. “He did a really nice Grand Prix apart from the misplaced tempi changes! It was fabulous to get over 70% and be beaten by such a small margin.”

“The next day he came out very perky. He’s gaining in confidence in the grand prix and was up for doing it again. He enjoyed his Freestyle so much he was broncing around in the warm-up afterwards. Now he’s got the moves under his belt, he’s starting to show off. He hasn’t reached his peak yet and improves every time out.” The 14-year-old Samba Hit gelding has been owned by Chris Richards for 10 years.

The competition was livened up by Anna Ross attempting to sing her music when the transmission failed. Fortunately both she and Newton Domino kept their heads and were able to restart and come home in third place to Daniel Watson and Aster Butterfly in second.

The Inter 1 freestyle was won by Martin Schleicher and the Russell family’s 12-year-old Spielberg mare, Diane. “She’s a really fantastic horse but very hot,” said Martin. “It’s nice to come away [from a show] and feel she’s on the right track. She’s training piaffe and passage work at home so I’m hoping she’ll go all the way.”

Martin used an unusual classical violin/hip hop music programme created by Tony Hobden of Equidance. “She’s quite reactive so I wanted something a little bit quiet but still very hip.”

Katie Bailey had a good show with three wins. Hillgrounds Wolkenhall (by Wolkenderry) won Inter I and PSG classes with 70+% scores and River Rise Isabella won Advanced Medium 98 with a 74+% score.

Katie has owned ‘Harry’ since he was a foal and he has only done four PSG and two inter I classes. “He’s gained a lot of strength in training this year,” said Katie who now has qualifying scores to compete internationally next year. “He’s new to the level but the tests are beginning to come together a bit more. I was pleased with most of it - his canter pirouettes are always good.”

Harry was Medium Gold winter champion in 2019 and her other ride, River Rise Isabella, was Medium Silver champion under Rob Walker. Isabella is British-bred by Sarah Tyler-Evans and is by Don Frederico 3 out of an Amsterdam mare. She is owned by Charlotte Dujardin and has been with Katie for about six weeks. “She’s quite hot at shows so needs to go out a bit more,” said Katie. “She’s a really sweet mare. I’m still getting to know her and learning to ride her away from home.”

Beaconsfield-based Nathalie Kayal took first and third places in Saturday’s Prix St Georges (PSG) classes with DHI Cleverboy and Woodcroft St Emilion. “What’s interesting is that although Cleverboy always excelled at Inter I and was second at the Winter Championships, he never showed his full capability in PSG tests. I think that he is now much stronger and more established and can keep his balance throughout the whole test. He’s like driving a Rolls Royce – unlike St Emilion who is like driving a Formula 1 racing car with too many buttons!”

“Cleverboy was totally unfazed by the inflatable snowmen and Santas – the more atmosphere there is, the more he likes it.” Now Cleverboy is proving competitive at small tour, Nathalie is hoping to take him abroad to some international shows next year.

Jessica Dunn and Jennifer Whittaker’s nine-year-old Dreamboy gelding, Hokita (below), redeemed themselves after a shaky start at the beginning of the show to achieve the highest mark of the show of 75.88% in medium 73. “He’s very hot and we had to retire the first day as he was so wild,” said Jess. “He hasn’t had a huge amount of competition experience and really needs to go out about twice a month. He’s got a newfound confidence and is starting to understand he can do the movements and stay engaged. He’s the most trainable horse I’ve ever ridden and is picking up the grand prix movements at home.”


Jess Dunn


Jess also debuted her other ride, LG Alicante Valley, at Grand Prix and had a very creditable score to place eighth.

Another high scorer was Zoe Sopp and Vilan, with over 73% in medium 76. The Al Shira’aa UK-owned Vivaldi nine-year-old is over 18.1hh – a big horse for the petite Zoe. “I’ve had the ride since July and he hasn’t done a lot of competing,” explained Zoe. “He didn’t like it at Keysoe and had to be led into the arena. He was spooky and a bit intense on the first day then settled better. He needs more confidence. He’s a very elegant, attractive horse so when he gets it right, he gets good marks.”

Jack Johnson (Johnson x Scandic) is Angus Corrie-Deane’s ‘horse of a lifetime’. The pair scored over 74% to win Medium 61. ‘Jacob’ is now seven and Angus has owned him for four years. “He’s a really cool horse,” said Angus, who is studying at Bristol University. “He rises to the occasion so you can ride every movement. He’ll match your effort and wants to show himself off. Nikki Barker has helped me transform him from a horse with amazing potential to becoming quite established.”

Sam Duckworth was another rider with three wins. His mare Florida 147 (Franziskus x Munschausen) was only registered with BD the week before the show. Now six, Sam bought her from Germany as a five year old and despite lack of competitive experience, they won a Medium and Advanced Medium class.

His PSG winner, LHH Harley was bought at the end of last year and it was his first test at the level. ‘He’s got a lot of potential,” commented Sam. “He needs to get more settled in the arena. He was better indoors where he was more relaxed. He did some nice pirouettes and changes and got good marks for his extensions.”

The Children on Horses classes were won by 13-year-old Hannah Wilson, riding Furst Diamantino who is on loan from her trainer, Emma Corbett. ”I was only doing Prelims in March so I’ve been having lots of training,“ said Hannah, who also has two competitive dressage ponies. “He was a bit hot to trot as he hasn’t competed for a few years.”

The Pidgley sisters both upped their game from second places in their first tests to victory on the next day. Annabella won Sunday’s Advanced Medium 96 on her Junior ride, the Belissimo M 14-year-old, Belafonte. “He was much fresher in the cold but he used the extra power in a positive way,” commented Annabella. “His trot and canter extensions were a highlight.”

Jessica’s FB Gangster has been in the family for 11 years, since he was three. Jessica started competing him 18 months ago. “He’s really sweet and never lets you down in the ring,” she said. “He’s always on my side and dances with me. He’s medium trots were really good, especially the last one down the centre line.”


Class 1: Medium 75
1. Sam Duckworth on Florida 147 66.62%
2. Ida Ohrmano on Rica 82 65.27%
3. Alex Baker on Highlight 64.46%

Class 2: PSG
1. Katie Bailey on Hillgrounds Wolkenhall 72.15%
2. Laura Jarlquist on Dornier 69.96%
3. Sarah Rao on Faydirime zh 69.69%

Class 3: Advanced Medium 96
1. Sam Duckworth on Florida 147 68.82%
2. Mia Mordecai-Smith on Innocent 68.11
3. Sam Duckworth on LHH Harley 67.81%

Class 4: Inter A
1. Sharon Lindop on Speilbanker 68.46%
2. Kirsty Imm on Barnebie 67.81%
3. Sarah Rao on Faydirime zh 65.66%

Class 6: Inter II
1. Ellie McCarthy on GB Londero Von Worrenberg 67.72%
2. Beth Bainbridge on Diggo 67.59%
3. Angus Corrie-Deane on Tiny Tempur 66.62%

Class 7: Grand Prix
1. Theodora Livanos on Robinvale 70.8%
2. Kate Cowell on Samba Dancer 70.73%
3. Alice Oppenheimer on Headmore Davina 69.63%
4. Daniel Watson on Aster Butterfly IV 69.6%
5. Emile Faurie on Shilo 69.3%
6. Alex Baker on Dutchman 68.7%
7. Mojca Usnik on Libertino 68.6%
8. Jessica Dunn on LG Alicante Valley 68.23%
9. Lewis Carrier on Diego V 68%
10. Anna Wilson on Feliciano 65.09%

Class 8: Medium 76
1. Zoe Sopp on Vilan 73.33%
2. Alex Baker on Golden Highlight 68.94%
3. Nicola Pearce on Keystone Quartz 68.64%

Class 9: Advanced Medium 98
1. Katie Bailey on River Rise Isabella 74.47%
2. Jessica Dunn on Woodcroft Ferdinand 68.46%
3. Charlotte Lutener on AB Barroco 68.65%

Class 10: Inter 1
1. Katie Bailey on Hillgrounds Wolkenhall 71.71%
2. Fiona Brennan on De Angelis II 69.34%
3. Rowan Bryson on Lazulith 69.12%

Class 11: Inter B
1. Anna Wilson on Distinto 67.78%
2. Kim Seaby on Dutch Class 64.09%

Class 12: Inter I Freestyle Music
1. Martin Schleicher on Diane 70%
2. Sharon Lindop on Spielbanker 68.6%
3. Anna Miller on Adonis B 67.4%

Class 13: Grand Prix Freestyle Music
1. Kate Cowell on Samba Dancer 72.5%
2. Daniel Watson on Aster Butterfly IV 71%
3. Anna Ross on Newton Domino 70.5%
4. Alex Baker on Dutchman 69.8%
5. Dane Rawlins on Espoire 68%
6. Mojca Usnik on Libertino 68.3%
7. Elder Klatzko on Woodlander Little Richard 66.5%
8. Belinda Brereton on Captain Negro C 66.3%
9. Louisa Spencer on Armstrong II 65.8%
10. Caroline Eaton on Neve VIP 65.1%

Class 15: Prelim 15
1. Abbi Jackson on Luna Sea II 72%
2. Jacqueline Day on Nero De Kunhne 68.8%
3. Katie Hughes on Marble Arch VIII 68.2%

Class 16: Prelim 17
1. Abbi Jackson on Luna Sea II 71.46%
2. Sal Tucker on George Gustav 70%
3. Tilly Parrott on Fairley Katrina 66.03%

Class 17: Novice 23
1. Catherine Bloom on SJL Lord Lennox 71.46%
2. Sharon Boyles on Mollycobble 67.5%
3. Emma Stopford and Holme Park Kashmir 68.33%

Class 18: Novice 37a
1. Catherine Bloom on SJL Lord Lennox 71.85%
2. Jayne Turney on Friendship 71.85%
3. Jessica Dunn on Lets Make An Opera M 71.3%

Class 19: Elementary 43
1. Antonia Brown on SJL King 71.03%
2. Miri Hackett on Centauras 70.34%
3. Alison Calvert on Quando 69.48%

Class 20: Elementary 57
1. Maddy Frewin on Total Ecstasy 66.96%
2. Nicole Turner on J’Eton Hit LDS 66.07%
3. Ellie McCarthy on Khaleesi M 65.54%

Class 21: Medium 61
1. Angus Corrie-Deane on Jack Johnson 74.14%
2. Abbie Newbury on First Dance 72.07%
3. Sophia Marston on Solitaire II 71.72%

Class 22: Medium 73
1. Jessica Dunn on Hokita 75.88%
2. Emma Corbett on Tantoni Frascati 74.85%
3. Jacob Denham on Woodcroft Don Diego 74.12%

Class 23: FEI COH team
1. Hannah Wilson on Furst Diamantino 68.03%
2. Charlotte Hill on Fort Knoxx 65.35%
3. Charlotte Calvert on Quando 65.3%

Class 24: FEI Pony Team
1. Gracie Morgan on Ella 72.01%
2. Jessica Pidgley on FB Gangster 70.68%
2. Mette Dahl on George Clooney 70.68%

Class 25: Advanced Medium 92
1. Judy Harvey on SP Bento 70.9%
2. Annabella Pidgley on Belafonte 70.14%
3. Mette Dahl on Florin 146 69.41%

Class 26: PSG
1. Nathalie Kayal and DHI Cleverboy 73.11%
2. Charlotte Lutener and Full Fusion BS 70.22%
3. Nathalie Kayal and Woodcroft St Emilion 69.74%

Class 28: Prelim 15
1. Violet Whitaker on Bronheulog Precious 62.6%

Class 29: Prelim 19
1. Katie Hughes on Marble Arch VIII 70%

Class 30: Novice 22
1. Lizzie Hughes on Breight Said Fred 71.03%
2. Catherine Bloom on SJL Lord Lennox 70.34%
3. Ruth Hole on Hizkia DHI 70.17%

Class 31: Novice 39
1. Sara Lucas on CLS Almero 68.46%
1. Catherine Bloom on SJL Lord Lennox 68.46%
3. Jayne Turney on Friendship 65.77

Class 32: Elementary 45
1. Nicole Turner on J’Eton Hit LDS 64.66%

Class 33: Elementary 59
1. Lucy Amy on Jaliva 73.75%
2. Alison Calvert on Quando 69.22%
3. Nicole Turner on J’Eton Hit LDS 66.56%

Class 34: Medium 69
1. Angus Corrie-Deane on Jack Johnson 74.7%
2. Emily Coller on Ashley 71.06%
3. Kirsten Mayne on Coroyale 70.91%

Class 35: Medium 75
1. Jacob Denham on Woodcroft Don Diego 69.73%
2. Kirsten Mayne on Coroyale 68.78%
3. Emma Corbett on Tantoni Frascati 67.97%

Class 36: FEI COH Individual
1. Hannah Wilson on First Diamantino 64.95%
2. Charlotte Calvert on Quando 64.48%
3. Crystal Robinson Long on Evanti 61.05%

Class 37: FEI Pony Individual
1. Jessica Pidgley on FB Gangster 72.72%
2. Gracie Morgan on Ella 70.49%
3. Sofia Games on Mister Snowman 70.4%

Class 38: Advanced Medium 96
1. Annabella Pidgley on Belafonte 71.32%
2. Mette Dahl on Florina 146 71.01%
3. Teghan Cantrell-Bennett on Woodlander Donna Summer 69.87%

Class 39: PSG
1. Sam Duckworth on LHH Harley 69.04%
2. Daisy Coakley on Affinity Bay 67.72%
3. Jade Porter-Harris on Agfa Click 66.84%