LeMieux National Grand Prix Championships: riders revealed
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The final countdown is on to an extraordinary conclusion to what has been an extraordinary year, with the LeMieux National Grand Prix Dressage Championships taking place on 21 – 22 December. The Championships will be a celebration for us all to bring a difficult and challenging year to an end, as 30 of Britain’s best combinations battle it out for the coveted LeMieux National Champion accolade. We’re really excited to unwrap an early present for you… the rider list!
Six former National Champions, and one champion horse, partnerships who want to lay a claim for a team place, a host of young pretenders keen to make their mark and some exciting combinations who’ve blossomed with the extra training time this year all feature in the entries. We’ve secured five of the world’s best FEI 5* judges to officiate and of course the LeMieux trophies, rugs and rosettes are all primed and ready.
So the scene is set for this festive extravaganza, and the atmospheric Hartpury International Arena will feature Christmas decorations aplenty – but sadly no spectators, as the event will be taking place ‘behind closed doors’ in accordance with our elite sport protocols. However, we will still bring you every second of the action, live and free courtesy of Horse & Country.
But who will feature in the battle for the crown? In the words of our sponsor Robert Lemieux, “We can really look forward to a pre-Christmas treat from Britain’s best dressage combinations!”
Riders and horses in alphabetical order:
Lucy Amy with her own Rudy (bay, gelding, 16.2hh, 11yrs)
Nikki Barker with her own and Viv Gleave’s Durable (bay, stallion, 17.2hh, 12yrs, s. Spielberg)
Nicola Buchanan with her own Half Moon Dark Magic (black, gelding, 17.1hh, 11yrs, s. Dimaggio)
Lara Butler with Ursula Bechtolsheimer and Laura Tomlinson’s Rubin Al Asad (bay, gelding, 17.1hh, 18yrs, Rubin Royal x Wanderbursch II)
Lewis Carrier with his own Diego V (dark bay, gelding, 16.2hh, 12yrs, s. Spielberg)
Kate Cowell with Audrey Lawrence and Christine Richards’ Samba Dancer (chestnut, gelding, 16.1hh, 14yrs, s. Samba Hit II)
Steph Croxford with her own Mr Benn II (black, gelding, 16.1hh, 11yrs)
Liz Dieguits with her own Saskia Hit (bay, mare, 16.3hh, 15yrs, Sandro Hit x Akzent I)
Charlotte Dujardin with Emma Blundell’s Mount St John Freestyle (bay, mare, 16.2hh, 11yrs, Fidermark x Donnerhall) and her own Gio (chestnut, gelding, 16hh, 9ys, Apache x Tango)
Emile Faurie with Theodora Livanos’ Dono di Maggio (chestnut, gelding, 16.2hh, 13yrs, Dimaggio x Santander H)
Paul Friday with Christine Trendell’s Winston Bond (bay, gelding, 16.2hh, 17yrs, s. OOSeven)
Dan Greenwood with Juliet Leighton’s Chevalier O (bay, gelding, 16.3hh, 13yrs, Lord Letherdale x Negro)
Alexander Harrison with his own Diamond Hill (chestnut, gelding, 15.2hh, 9yrs, s. Don Diamond)
Carl Hester with Charlotte Dujardin’s En Vogue (dark bay, gelding, 17hh, 11yrs, s. Jazz)
Megan Ingham with Coral Ingham’s Wanadoo (chestnut, gelding, 16.2hh, 19yrs, Wolkenstein II x Cavalier)
Nathalie Kayal with her own DHI Homerun (bay, gelding, 16.2hh, 15yrs, Hochadel x Mooiman)
Lisa Marriott with her own Valucio (bay, gelding, 16hh, 11yrs, s. Va-vite)
Becky Moody with her own and Julie Lockey’s Carinsio (black, gelding, 16.3hh, 13yrs, Painted Black X Beaujolais) and her own Famke PF (bay, mare, 16.2hh, 10yrs)
Sonnar Murray-Brown with his own Erlentanz (dark brown, gelding, 16.2hh, 13yrs, s. Latimer)
Alice Oppenheimer with Sarah Oppenheimer’s Headmore Davina (chestnut, mare, 16.3hh, 10yrs, Dimaggio x Rubinstein) and Headmore Dirubinio (chestnut, gelding, 17hh, 11yrs, Dimaggio x Rubinstein)
Keith Robertson with his own Boheme Af Sulstead (chestnut, gelding, 17hh, 16yrs, s. Bernstein)
Sadie Smith with her own Keystone Dynamite (chestnut, gelding, 16hh, 13yrs, Dimaggio x Escudo)
Laura Tomlinson with Ursula Bechtolsheimer and her own DSP Rose of Bavaria (black, mare, 16.3hh, 10yrs, Bordeaux x Florestan I)
Hayley Watson-Greaves with her own WG Rubins Night (black, gelding, 16.3hh, 16yrs, Rubin Royal x Limbo)
Amy Woodhead with Emma Blundell’s Mount St John Kom Fairytale (chestnut, mare, 16.2hh, 14yrs, Furst Heinrich x Weltmeyer)
We have two further horse and rider duos to announce in due course – sadly we had the news today that a couple of combinations are unable to take up their place. Watch this space!
Join us from 12 noon on Monday 21 December for the LeMieux Grand Prix, where all 30 combinations will compete in front of Stephen Clarke, Andrew Gardner, Clive Halsall, Peter Storr and Isobel Wessels in the traditional FEI Grand Prix format. We’ll be using the 2009 version with full collectives. The live stream will also incorporate the ever-popular Spectator Judging® app so you can judge from home and pitch yourself against some of the best in the business.
Then, it’s on to the Horse Health Freestyle for those combinations with the best 15 scores, on Tuesday 22 December. Our programme kicks off at 10.45am with the first horse in just after 11.00am and spectator judging will be in use once again. The combination with the highest combined score from the two tests will be crowned the 46th LeMieux National Champion.
Can Carl secure his 11th title, win number four for Laura, a third crown for Emile or will Charlotte get her name on the role of honour for a second time? Will it be a repeat performance for Hayley Watson-Greaves or Lara Butler? Or maybe a completely new name will find a place in the history books in this unique year. Watch with us for two days of world-class dressage performances to find out!
Our generous sponsor LeMieux has three remarkable prizes totalling £1,000 on offer for those who have an eye on the form book. Simply visit their website and predict the winning percentage score in the Horse Health Freestyle Grand Prix. First place will win £600 worth of LeMieux vouchers, while £250 will be awarded for second and £150 for third. The winner will be drawn from all correct entries on 6 January 2021, with the lucky winners notified by post and announced via LeMieux’s social channels.
It’s been a really tricky year for our top dressage riders, with opportunities to get out and compete few and far between. Combinations will have been busy preparing at home for the big occasion, but there’s not much current form to go on – so might it be a duo with some recent ring time who will win through? And will we see some big percentages awarded by the judges? As it’s Christmas, we’re sure they’ll be going all out to secure personal best scores and really set the scoreboard alight. Make your entry today!
Follow the festive fun as we countdown the days and build the Christmas cheer on our social channels - just search British Dressage on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.