Northern spirit at Northallerton

  • Written By: Helen Scott
  • Published: Wed, 16 Dec 2020 08:16

A pure-bred Lipizzaner bought from a stud dispersal sale in Hungary took both the Grand Prix and Inter II championship titles at the British Dressage Northern Show, held at Northallerton EC some six months later than originally planned due to COVID.

Jenny Folman and her own Favory Gazdag, 16, has patiently worked her way up the levels having bought him as an unbacked entire four-year-old after seeing him online.

“He’s in his element now. It’s what he was bred to do and passage is his thing. He’s really come into his own as we are working on the advanced movements and although we are green at the level, he just loves it.”

“We’re very lucky to have had the opportunity to compete here.” said Jenny who works as an accountant and saddle fitter to fund her dressage.

Three hundred and sixty one tests were ridden over four days at the show hosted by Northallerton Equestrian Centre, with most classes supported by local Northern businesses. Twenty Eight champions were crowned, and there were classes from BD Youth squad tests and para dressage, to all levels from prelim to Grand Prix. 

Natalie Widdowson was the dancing queen with her two chestnut boys bagging freestyle titles at Prix St Georges with Gorgeous George and Novice with Ivan III, both with plus 70% scores.
“Both have had their quirks and been challenging,” said Natalie who trains with Becky Moody, “But riding both has made me a better rider. I’ve been obsessed with music for Ivan and I was choosing tracks before he was even in the country – so it’s great to have achieved this.”

Firefighter Sally Walker took the Inter I championship with Wilton. She has spent the year training and doing a lot of test riding.

“His changes were an absolute battle and a year ago I was struggling with tempis, but we’ve just started on the higher level work at inter II and it’s all come together.” she said.
The runner up was Lindsay Hancock with Barachiel, who earned a 1 for a miscommunicated transition, but regained their mojo to take the PSG title.

Melissa Chapman claimed the win and second place in the Advanced Medium with her and her father Michael’s Jubilant Al Sno, a six-year-old stallion by Charmeur x Vivaldi (Romeo) and the Reynolds family’s seven year old Inocencio DHI.

“I bought Romeo as a two-year-old from a video because I liked his breeding, and hope he has what it takes to go all the way. He was very excited in the warm up but pulled off two tests with over 70% so I couldn’t be happier,” she said.

Gracie Morgan (pictured above) and Ella were crowned medium champions, earning eights for their extensions and praise from the judges for their partnership. The pair are on the BD National Academy and are dreaming of a place on the team for the Pony Europeans.

Also dreaming, one day, of a team place is 11-year- old Sophia Longworth who took the Novice title with her Welsh section B Gwithian Percival. They rode early in the class of 35 so had a long wait to see if they could hold onto their lead. They were also third in the Prelim championship.

Izzy Hardy became Elementary champion on Josie Robinson’s Dayton Di Villa Lori. She has just taken over the ride and is getting to know her new partner.
“I’m away at college in the week so Josie rides him and then I pick up when I come home. I’m grateful for the opportunity and was pleased with the tests despite a couple of hiccups,” said Izzy who trains with Hannah Moody.

Welsh sec D cob Cefncoch Crusader, the winner of the Prelim title, may be 19, but doesn’t take to retirement.

“He’s been retired twice, once after tendon injuries which healed and then again with arthritis in his coffin joints,” said his proud owner/rider Kate Sanderson.
“I was looking at him moving in the field just after lockdown and he looked sound, so after talking to my vets and physio I slowly brought him back into work and he’s loving it. He had a meltdown at K and reversed up the school but his marks were still good enough to win.”

“I bought him as my Pony Club horse and have done everything with him. Every ride is a bonus.”

The live stream with free playback is on the Northern Region Website Pages and results at