Payne scores hat-trick at first international of 2018
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Last week, British Para rider Julie Payne was unbeatable at Genemuiden CPEDI3* in the Netherlands (8 – 10 February 2018), winning all three Grade I classes aboard Di Redfern’s gorgeous mare, Athene Lindebjerg (pictured last year).
European triple gold medallist, Julie, returned home to Oxfordshire with the knowledge that her 2018 campaign is off to the best of starts, her unbeaten record with Athene still very much intact. They scored 74.94% in Thursday’s Team Test, 76.49% in Friday’s Individual Test and a fabulous 80.38% in Saturday’s Freestyle.
"I just love the competition arena, it's where I come alive," Julie told British Dressage. "I'm so pleased with Athene. She came out brilliantly and despite being a bit 'looky' really focused on me - she's sensitive but she trusts me."
For the Freestyle the British stars rode to their emotive composition made famous by their gold medal-winning performance at the Europeans - the Julie Geraghty masterpiece complementing Athene's ground-devouring stride perfectly. "I loved every single second," said Julie. "Julie Geraghty did such a great job with that music. It's so emotive and just gets to people."
The partnership of Julie and the now 11-year-old Athene Lindebjerg (Gribaldi x Diamant) earned a horde of fans for their outstanding performances in Gothenburg at the Europeans last year where they played a huge part in Great Britain’s gold haul.
Grade I Team Test
1st Julie Payne with Athene Lindebjerg, 74.94% (GBR)
2nd Eveline van Looveren with Feleva, 70.24% (BEL)
3rd Laurentia Tan Yen-Yi with Dior 128, 69.23% (SGP)
Grade I Individual Test
1st Julie Payne with Athene Lindebjerg, 76.49% (GBR)
2nd Laurentia Tan Yen-Yi with Fuerst Sherlock, 70.18% (SGP)
3rd Eveline van Looveren with Feleva, 69.23% (BEL)
Grade I Freestyle Test
1st Julie Payne with Athene Lindebjerg, 80.38% (GBR)
2nd Laurentia Tan Yen-Yi with Fuerst Sherlock, 73.44% (SGP)
3rd Eveline van Looveren with Feleva, 72.50% (BEL)