Myerscough Premier League: Imhotep steps up to Grand Prix

  • Written By: Helen Triggs
  • Published: Thu, 24 Mar 2022 16:55 GMT

Charlotte Dujardin and Imhotep got their Grand Prix career off to a great start at Myerscough Premier League Show (08 - 13 March 2022) and Becky Moody produced three winning tests.

Charlotte Dujardin & Imhotep

Charlotte and Coral Ingham and Carl Hester’s Imhotep (Everdale x Vivaldi) hold four National Championship titles, winning both straight and freestyle Inter I and Prix St Georges (PSG) championships last year. This was his first outing since the National Championships in 2021 (pictured) and his first competitive Grand Prix. Full of presence and energy, ‘Pete’ has now taken the first step of his international career. And scoring 77.83% at their first attempt, what a way to start!

German rider Kathleen Kroencke and her 14-year-old Hampton Court 2 (Hochadel x Walt Disney) came second to Charlotte and won the Grand Prix Freestyle at their first Premier League show. Kathleen and her husband Nicholas moved to the UK 18 months ago and are based at Cotswold Club Equestrian where Kathleen trains with Spencer Wilton and her parents Dolf-Dietram and Manuela Keller.

Covid, followed by Kathleen’s pregnancy, kept the pair out of the competition arena for a while but now the pair is back and firing on all cylinders. “We’re finding our routine again,” explained Kathleen, who has owned the gelding for six years. “I’ve never done freestyle with him before and he’s only every done three Grand Prix tests in his life.”

Eighteen-year-old Waldessarini has been an exemplary schoolmaster for Sara Rao and his current owner, Ellie Barlow. Ellie’s trainer Sarah Higgins takes the reins from time to time and posted a good win in the Inter I Freestyle. “His difficult floor plan went well – we go from the first halt straight into two tempi changes,” said Sarah. “We were spot on with the music which was good as I’m not good at improvising! We might try an international with him but the priority is getting Ellie up the levels – she’s already gone from Preliminary to Advanced Medium.”

Becky Moody won both her Intermediate I classes with her own homebred Jagerbomb (Dante Weltino x Jazz) He is the current Advanced Medium Gold National Champion and Reserve Champion in the PSG Freestyle.

“The second test was much better than the first even though the scores aren’t that different,” said Becky. “From my point of view it felt easier and more forward so everything had a bit more elasticity and energy.” The pair will be at the Winter Championships at PSG and Inter I levels and Becky hopes to compete in the Intermediate I Freestyle.

Amy Woodhead rode two horses from the Mount St John Stud, both usually ridden by the Stud’s owner Emma Blundell. Mount St John VIP (Vivaldi x Donnerhall) won a Prix St Georges class and Amy reported, “She was very excited to be out at her first show since the National Championships. I’ve been keeping her match fit for Emma. I was pleased with her PSG and Inter I classes. On the last day she was very excited to be doing her freestyle. She had a lovely time doing one-time tempi changes.” NB these are not required at this level!

Amy’s other ride Mount St John Jazz Dance won the Andrews Bowen Advanced Medium 98. The eight-year-old Jazz mare was recently purchased by Emma for herself. Amy has been competing her in Emma’s absence abroad and this was their fifth win out of seven tests. “She’s a little pocket rocket,” commented Amy. “What she lacks in physical size, she makes up for in movement."

Andrews Bowen Advanced Medium 96 winner Alex Ingoe-Topham has often joked that when competing she is the bridesmaid and not the bride. Maybe her recent proposal from fiancé Nathan Connolly has broken that record and hopefully more wins will come her way.

Her ride, Seagry Donna Diva, owned by Louise Hetherington, was originally sent to Nathan to event. However Alex has now been riding the Don Frederic grey mare for 18 months and they will be aiming at PSG by the winter. “She’s such a keen, eager little horse,” commented Alex. “She’s tricky to teach as you teach her something and she thinks she knows it – once she learned her flying changes she did them everywhere! That was the best Advanced Medium test she’s done.”

Young horses and ponies

The top-scoring young horse was Fürst Heinrich x Gribaldi gelding, Full Moon II, homebred by the Bechtolsheimers and ridden to an 87.6 victory in the British Dressage Young Dressage Horse 6yo class by Sarah Rogers. The pair are the current Novice Gold National Champions.

Sarah has been riding ‘Moonie’ since he was three and has established a bond with the characterful, cuddly horse. “It’s hard to walk past him in the stables without paying him attention!” said Sarah. “He was on my aids in the test and listening to me. We’ve developed a strong partnership and every test I’m able to give him more confidence.”

Sarah is training with Carl Cuypers who has played an important part in her development over the last two years.

Kate Cowell had two good wins, taking the KBIS Young Dressage Horse 6yo class with Angie Rutherford’s Blue Hors Zack mare, Zia Zara on 85.6. “I got the ride last year through Carl Hester and I really get on with her,” said Kate. “She’s a gorgeous six-year-old and gained confidence from having another horse in the arena with her. It was only her fourth show.”

Kate won the British Dressage Young Dressage FEI 7yo with her own and Susie Farnon’s Final Reign (Fursten-Look x Lanciano). “I’m having so much fun with him” said Kate. “He did a really nice clear round. He’s definitely a Grand Prix horse in the making and I can’t wait to take him up the levels.”

Last year Becky Moody’s rider Anna Burns piloted Magic Dream to the Preliminary Silver title and they qualified for the Winter Championships by winning the Novice Silver title at Myerscough Regionals. Becky had her first competitive ride on the five-year-old Dutch-bred mare and secured a solid win in the KBIS Young Dressage Horse 5yo with an impressive score of 86.8%. Becky owns the Governor x Swarovski mare with Jo Cooper and is the first ridden horse Becky has ever bought without sitting on first. The then three-year-old was bought during Covid lockdown from a video. “She’s a really special horse and was really cool in the test,” recalled Becky.

The KBIS YDH 4yo class was won by Katie Owens and Sarah and Pete Edmondson’s Quatro II (Quaterhall x Lauries Crusader) with a creditable 81.80. He is nicknamed ‘Ron Weasley’ as he is a bright redhead, and this was his first ever show.

Katie found him for the Edmondson’s at Gamblethorpe Hanoverians when he was three. “In the stable he looked plain and geeky but once I saw him with the tack on, he looked completely different. I immediately contacted Sarah and said "I’ve found your next horse’,” said Katie.

“It’s my first win at a Premier League, it’s a dream come true. He had to go in on his own and he was so grown up. Once he hit the centre line he felt like an older horse.”

Also winning young horse classes were Tyler Bradshaw and five-year-old Mex and Greg Sims and seven-year-old Waverley Fellini.

Gemma Moss and the 13.3hh Day Dream won the KBIS Young Dressage Pony 5yo class, retaining his unbeaten record. They are the current four-year-old national champions. The Dream On gelding was bred by Dawn Watson and both his parents are 17hh. “He’s like a miniature horse and moves like a horse,” said Gemma. “He’s the first pony I’ve produced and he’s one of the best things I’ve ridden.”

Youth riders

Betsy Smetham and Gursonne did their first international last year following her acquisition in December 2020. At Myerscough where they won the Junior Individual test, Betsey felt that the hard work on the basics was paying off as the mare was getting more power in the test and her frame is a lot more developed. ”There were a few little mistakes but once we get the power and consistency, she’ll be really good,” commented Betsy.

The Junior Team test was won by Ruby Hughes and Nancy Scott’s Classic BeeGee with a lovely rhythmic test which scored them just shy of 70%.

Sofia Games and her 11-year-old Steendieks Cadillac gained their first mark over 70% in the Pony Team test and secured their international qualification. ”We’ve taken it slowly with him to establish the basics,” said Betsy who is 13 years old. “He’s quite a character and very outward going.” Betsy takes a 140 mile round trip three or four times a week to ride her ponies who are stabled with Nicky Lickley.

Chloe Vell has trained Gredstedgards Stuntman (Ted) from an elementary seven-year-old to a Grand Prix 13-year-old on her own with monthly lessons from Carl Hester. Their win in the U25 Grand Prix was the start of their campaign to secure a place at the U25 European championships.

“This is his first real competitive season after Covid,” said Chloe. “We’re learning together. There were lots of mistakes in the test but he’s really developing and for the bits in between the mistakes he got some good marks.”

Chloe also took home a red rosette in the TopSpec Medium 75, riding Royal Rendezvous for owner Deborah Docker. The nine-year-old mare is based with Chloe who has progressed her from Elementary to Advanced Medium in the last few months. “She’s had a successful season so far as she’s qualified for the Winter Championships at Elementary Gold.”

Caitlin Burgess won the Young Rider Team test on her 14-year-old Lord Leatherdale gelding, Chocotof, who had a lot of success last year at international and Premier League level. “The first test (Individual) felt easier than normal,” commented Caitlin. “He didn’t get tense and listened. A little bit of tension crept into the second but he still scored over 70% with a few mistakes.”

Annabella Pidgley continues to build her relationship with Olympic medallist Gio, winning the Stübben Intermediate II on 70.69%.

Results: top three
TopSpec Medium 75
1. Chloe Vell and Royal Rendezvous, 69.14%
2. Debbie Halstead and Illadorijke, 69.05%
3. Alex Inghoe-Topham and Seagry DonnaDiva, 68.78%

Andrews Bowen Advanced Medium 96
1. Alex Inghoe-Topham and Seagry DonnaDiva, 67.68%
2. Chloe Vell and Royal Rendezvous, 67.37%
3. Lara Edwards and Florence PFB, 67.24%

KBIS Young Dressage Pony 5YO
1. Gemma Moss and Day Dream, 77.80
2. Charlotte Thomas and Cassini Du Bois, 71.60
3. Margaret Anita Jones and Machno Sioned, 71.40

British Dressage Young Horse 5YO 
1. Tyler Bradshaw and Mexx, 78.00
2. Sarah Higgins and Beau Dimanche, 73.40
3. Lara Dyson and Maestro B, 72.40

British Dressage Young Horse 6YO
1. Sarah Rogers and Full Moon II, 87.60
2. Kate Cowell and Zara, 80.60
3. Paul Friday and Ferguson Himself, 79.60

British Dressage Young Dressage Horse FEI 7YO
1. Kate Cowell and Final Reign, 72.31%

KBIS Young Dressage Horse 5YO
1. Becky Moody and Magic Dream, 86.80
2. Amy Woodhead and MSJ Valentia Roma, 81.20
3. Melissa Chapman and Mind Over Matter, 79.40

KBIS Young Dressage Horse 6YO
1. Kate Cowell and Zara, 85.60
2. Anna Burns and Lancelot BS, 85.00
3. Amy Woodhead and Mount St John Diamonds Are Forever, 83.00

KBIS Young Dressage Horse 7YO
1. Greg Sims and Waverley Fellini, 76.70
2. Dylan Deutrom and King Boy, 74.53
3. Amy Woodhead and Katniss, 69.92

Advanced 102
1. Melissa Chapman and TCE Jubilant Al Sno, 67.35%
2. Lara Edwards and Florence PFB, 65.74%
3. Darren Hicks and Tramontana Grey Eagle, 65.22%

Andrews Bowen Advanced Medium 98
1. Amy Woodhead and Mount St John Jazz Dance, 72.72%
2. Dylan Deutrom and King Boy, 68.64%
3. Sara Gallop and Rock That Tango, 67.85%

Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges
1. Amy Woodhead and Mount St John VIP, 74.07%
2. Sarah Rao and Geniaal, 71.67%
3. Dylan Deutrom and San Marco, 71.03%

Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I
1. Becky Moody and Jagerbomb, 72.75%
2. Dylan Deutrom and San Marco, 69.95%
3. Charlotte Lutener and Full Fusion BS, 68.53%

Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges
1. Dylan Deutrom and San Marco, 70.39%
2. Becky Moody and James Bond, 70.00%
3. Becky Moody and Jack Diamond, 69.95%

Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I
1. Becky Moody and Jagerbomb, 73.14%
2. Dylan Deutrom and San Marco, 71.96%
3. Sarah Higgins and Waldessarini, 69.71%

Pony Individual Test
1. Sofia Games and Steendieks Cadillac, 66.53%
2. Jessica Grogan and Klein Roderijs Gold Fee, 66.26%
3. Abigail Gray and Godrics Campeggio, 65.90%

Children on Horses Individual Test
1. Crystal Robinson Long and Evita Ronia
2. Evie Head and Brouwershaven’s Leonie

Junior Individual Test
1. Betsy Smetham and Gursonne, 65.83%
2. Gracie Morgan and Black Sabbath, 65.49%
3. Megan Field and Bright Time FST, 64.80%

Young Rider Individual Test
1. Caitlin Burgess and Chocotof, 73.24%
2. Jessie Kirby and Windy de la Roche CMF, 69.51%
3. Gemma Owen and Sirius Black III, 66.08%

KBIS Young Dressage Horse 4YO
1. Katie Owens and Quatro II, 81.80
2. Ricardo Montalvo Sanchez and Naverde, 79.40
3. Anna Burns and Sieben Siegel SL, 77.60

Pony Team Test
1. Sofia Games and Steendieks Cadillac, 70.52%
2. Abigail Gray and Godrics Campeggio, 69.75%
3. Jessica Grogan and Klein Roderijs Gold Fee, 65.86%

Children on Horses Team Test
1. Crystal Robinson Long and Evita Ronia
2. Evie Head and Brouwershaven’s Leonie

Junior Team Test
1. Ruby Hughes and Classic Bee Gee, 69.34%
2. Rose Foley and Corchapin, 67.83%
3. Megan Field and Bright Time FST, 65.15%

Young Rider Team Test
1. Caitlin Burgess and Chocotof, 70.20%
2. Charlotte McDowall and Alive and Kicking, 69.12%
3. Gemma Owen and Sirius Black III, 66.08%

U25 Grand Prix
1. Chloe Vell and Gredstedgards Stuntman, 63.08%
2. Sarah Rao and King Ron P, 60.60%
3. Joanna Thurman-Baker and Deseado CCV, 60.00%

Stübben Intermediate II
1. Annabella Pidgley and Gio, 70.69%
2. Emma Hindle and Rosmarin, 69.90%
3. Dylan Deutrom and Sunlit Uplands, 69.26%

Prix St Georges/Young Rider Freestyle
1. Sara Gallop and Rock That Tango, 64.29%

Intermediate I Freestyle
1. Sarah Higgins and Waldessarini, 73.08%
2. Sarah Higgins and Easter Bunny II, 68.67%
3. Sophie Barker and Royal Standard, 66.42%

Grand Prix Freestyle
1. Kathleen Kroencke and Hampton Court 2, 72.92%
2. Matt Frost and Helga, 70.21%
3. Sarah Rao and Alfranco, 69.96%

LeMieux Grand Prix
1. Charlotte Dujardin and Imhotep, 77.83%
2. Kathleen Kroencke and Hampton Court 2, 70.54%
3. Becky Moody and Famke PF, 69.86%


Photo © Kevin Sparrow