Murray-Brown and Tomlinson prevail at Le Mans CDI3*
- Written By:
British riders were on top form last week at Le Mans CDI in France (13 – 16 February 2020). Sonnar Murray-Brown made a winning return to international competition following time-out with a broken leg, whilst Laura Tomlinson stormed the Grand Prix Special with exciting prospect, Rose of Bavaria.
Friday’s Grand Prix was a competitive affair with the top five all above 70% but it was Sonnar Murray-Brown and Erlentanz (pictured below) who were top-scoring, signalling the first international win for the Gloucestershire-based World Class Podium Potential rider. Sonnar and ‘Erly’, his 13 year old Latimer-sired gelding, produced an elegant, beautifully balanced Grand Prix to take the class on 73.65% ahead of Finland’s Henri Ruoste with Kontestro DB (72.89%) and Denmark’s Anders Dahl with Fidelio Van Het Bloemenhof (71.56%) who completed the top three.
Gareth Hughes and the low-mileage 14 year old, KK Woodstock (Wolkentanz II x Landiosa), owned by Claudine Kroll, were fourth on 71.37% despite a costly mistake in the one-tempis, but the overall picture was super. Laura Tomlinson and Rose of Bavaria were fifth on 70.87%. The 10 year old Bordeaux x Florestan I mare, owned by Wilfried Bechtolsheimer, had a few moments of greenness but she truly looks like a world class horse in the making.
All three Brits opted to ride in Sunday’s Grand Prix Special. Laura and Rose of Bavaria (pictured top) produced a beautifully composed test showing great suppleness and quiet power for a score of 74.34% and a clear lead ahead of Finland’s Henri Ruoste and Kontestro DB (71.74%). Sonner and Erly had a mistake in the one-tempi changes, which was expensive, however 71.53% was enough to secure them a podium place. Gareth Hughes and KK Woodstock presented an excellent picture, but also with an unfortunate blip in the one-time changes, as well as a mistake in the changes on the centre line. This was expensive but the overall quality was awarded 70.85% for fourth.
I’m super excited about her. I’ve never had a horse that’s that powerful and sharp - that’s got the AMG - but is also non-spooky and uncomplicated.
“I’m super thrilled with her,” Laura told British Dressage about Rose of Bavaria, who is affectionately known as Betty. “She’s awesome; very talented and with an awesome temperament, and this was only her second ever Special.
“On the first day she was quite tired and some green mistakes crept in, but we’d had a hold up at the Channel Tunnel and she was just not quite herself,” explained Laura. “For the Special, I adapted my warm up. Normally, Betty's a power rocket but in the Special she still felt a little heavier than normal, though she never let me down or gave up. She’s a fighter which is a wonderful feeling. We had a mistake in the first set of ones, and a mistake behind in the changes on the centre line, so I’m thrilled that we won on that mark with still so much more to come."
Clearly enthusiastic about their future, Laura concluded, “I’m super excited about her. I’ve never had a horse that’s that powerful and sharp - that’s got the AMG - but is also non-spooky and uncomplicated. With Storm Dennis, the indoor in Le Mans was groaning but Betty wasn’t fussed at all. Not having to worry about everything else going on is a nice feeling. I am absolutely delighted.”
In the Small Tour, Lara Edwards and Jazzed Up did a super job for third place in both the Prix St Georges and Intermediate I at this, only their third CDI. Lara and the 11 year old Jazz son who she co-owns with Laura Milner, were just shy of 70% in the PSG, 69.61% in the Inter I, then achieved second place with 73.93% behind the home nation’s Morgan Barbançon and Habana Libre A (74.61%) in the Inter I Freestyle. The British pairing pulled off a well-executed test, dancing to Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off and Luis Fonsi’s Despacito, bravely and successfully riding two-tempis on centre line one-handed.
“Final day in Le Mans and again Mr Consistent [Jazzed Up] pulls off a 73.93% for second place. [There was a] Bit of miscommunication in the left trot half pass but I could never be disappointed with this horse, I love riding him and he always gives me 110%!” said Lara on Lara Edwards Dressage Facebook.
Rebecca Hughes and Ibisco-O, a good-looking 12 year old Spielberg son owned by Adele Rawlinson, presented three solid tests for 68.79% in the PSG, 67.00% in the Inter I and 68.47% in the Inter I Freestyle for ninth, twelfth and thirteenth respectively.
CDI3* - Grand Prix
1. Sonnar Murray-Brown and Erlentanz, 73.652% (GBR)
2. Henri Ruoste and Kontestro DB, 72.891% (FIN)
3. Anders Dahl and Fidelio Van Het Bloemenhof, 71.565% (DEN)
4. Gareth Hughes and KK Woodstock, 71.370% (GBR)
5. Laura Tomlinson and Rose of Bavaria, 70.870% (GBR)
CDI3* - Grand Prix Special
1. Laura Tomlinson and Rose of Bavaria, 74.340% (GBR)
2. Henri Ruoste and Kontestro DB, 71.745% (FIN)
3. Sonnar Murray-Brown and Erlentanz, 71.532% (GBR)
4. Gareth Hughes and KK Woodstock, 70.851% (GBR)
CDI2* - Prix St Georges
1. Corentin Pottier and Gotilas Du Feuillard, 72.324% (FRA)
2. Larissa Pauluis and First-Step Valentin, 70.647% (BEL)
3. Lara Edwards and Jazzed Up, 69.941% (GBR)
9. Rebecca Hughes and Ibisco-O, 68.794% (GBR)
CDI2* - Intermediate I
1. Corentin Pottier and Gotilas Du Feuillard, 71.118% (FRA)
2. Morgan Barbançon and Habana Libre A, 69.676% (FRA)
3. Lara Edwards and Jazzed Up, 69.618% (GBR)
12. Rebecca Hughes and Ibisco-O, 67.000% (GBR)
CDI2* - Intermediate I Freestyle
1. Morgan Barbançon and Habana Libre A, 74.615% (FRA)
2. Lara Edwards and Jazzed Up, 73.930% (GBR)
3. Thamar Zweistra and Hexagon’s Ich Weiss, 73.495% (NED)
13. Rebecca Hughes and Ibisco-O, 68.470% (GBR)
Photo © Les Garennes