Meet the winner: Jonathan Canty

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Thu, 02 May 2024 13:13

Jonathan Canty secured his first Championship win at the Petplan Winter Area Festival Championships, read about his success with Fabelwelt. 

Northamptonshire based Jonathan Canty riding 11-year-old Fabelwelt claimed the title in the Petplan Elementary Bronze Area Festival Championship with a score of 69.706%, judged by Cherry Elvin (E), Andrew Bennie (C) and Anne Greenaway (M). 

“Her highlights were the medium canter and medium trot work, sometimes I over-ask and she over-achieves but I was just pleased for a clear round. She loves to work and please, when we halt at the start, I don’t know what’s going to happen for the rest of the test. If I get immobility and she takes a nice breath, I think it’s going to be good!” Jonathan explained. 

In a very closely contested class, this was Jonathan’s first time at a Winter Championships since 2010, and his first ever championship win. The duo qualified for the Championships at Solihull Equestrian's Petplan Winter Area Festival back in February.  Jonathan tells us why he chose to compete in the Area Festivals, “I class myself as a grassroots amateur rider and it’s a fabulous opportunity to compete in the Area Festivals, it fits in well with what I want to achieve with her now.” 

Jonathan has been there since the start with his home-bred mare Fabelwelt, he jumped at the chance of leasing a mare and chose the stallion Furst Romancier, “I wanted a tall mans riding horse, but I didn’t realise how tall I’d end up with! Her dam line has a lot of showjumpers jumping professionally but she’s obviously from a dressage stallion. We didn’t back her until she was five because she was such a big young horse, she took a long time to mature.” Jonathan continued. 

At home, Jonathan describes Fabelwelt as not at all mare-ish, “she really likes her routine, loves going out in the field with her friend. Equally she goes off competing on her own and isn’t clingy to anybody but in the field, if she doesn’t have a pony buddy, she’s coming in!” 

“She loves to work; we do everything with her. She jumps and does it so well we keep contemplating taking her to a one day event! She would go to any discipline, she’s a real creature of habit but loves variety in her work.” 

Having first been introduced to horses by his grandfather and since then has worked in a range of equine disciplines including Racing, Hunting and Eventing. He now works as a Senior Area Sales Manager for NAF and is also a BD List 4 Judge where he’s aiming to continue the judge journey going up the listings. “I have always been interested in judging, the aspect of judging and coaching has always been of interest. What started my initial journey was understanding what we’re looking for, training, accuracy, test riding, it helps me in the ring when I compete myself.”

“Horses are just a major part of your life at the end of the day, they have a big impact. It’s a commitment! I do sometimes struggle to balance, judging, coaching, competing and leave time for leisure but I make it work.” Jonathan explained to us. 

On looking to the future, “In the past I have competed in dressage to music, so this is something I’m mid process on looking at doing. I’m also hoping to qualify for Medium Bronze so that’s the goal!”  

In second place was Chelsea Donovan riding Frankie Zenturio who scored 69.657%, closely followed by Sophie Reason riding Ballygriffin Buddy with a score of 69.118%.