Petplan Equine Summer Area Festival Championships: day four
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Four final winners made their step into the spotlight on the ultimate day at the Petplan Equine Summer Area Festival Championships, completing a magical week at the inaugural summer season event.
Petplan Equine Prelim Bronze Summer Area Festival Championship
Winners: Justina Cook with Ideal El Divino, 71.52%
Multi-talented home-bred Ideal El Divino put his best hoof forward inside the white boards today for proud owner, breeder and rider Justina Cook as the combination took a secure hold on the Petplan Equine Prelim Bronze Summer Area Festival title with a supreme 71.52%, leading the 42-strong field.
“I’m really pleased with him,” Justina told us, “we had a little practice at Vale View in the week and we just scored. A shade over 70% - it’s amazing to have done it today, I’m really pleased!”
Speaking about her stunning chestnut twelve year old gelding she explained, “I bred him myself! I have his sire as well, who’s a Selle Francais originally bred for show jumping but turned out to be really good at dressage. His Dam is by Good Times, and I had her as well. So he’s been fantastic since we broke him in. He’s always been very talented at everything, we’ve evented as well and done very well in BE100 and we’ve just started to do BS as well and he won a Discovery two weeks ago. It’s been a fantastic season this year! Really really grateful to be able to get out and do so much.
He’s fantastic, he’s such a lovely horse. He can be a bit explosive and we spent quite a bit of time with explosions, but he’s been really good this year, he’s taken everything in his stride and he loves coming out and doing a bit of everything. I think he was a little bit disappointed there was no jumping today! He was looking around for the jumps!”
Justina trains with Sue Bullock and Amanda Rawson and aced her preparation ahead of her Petplan Equine Summer Area Festival Championships win, “we’ve been having regular training and lessons with them and working on the quality in transitions and things like that. Sometimes he can switch off a little bit, probably when we move up through the ranks I think that’ll come more, we just missed qualifying for the Novice Championships as well! We’ve been working on polishing everything up really.”
We’ll look forward to seeing this super combination back in the arena soon, whether over coloured poles or in front of a panel of judges, with Justina looking forward to the future with her star family member “he’s been brilliant, I’ve got high hopes really and we’ll move him up through the levels and see what happens.”
Kate Hancox, Vikki Hayton and Les Smith were treated to a quality field of 39 combinations with plenty of great test riding contributing to a top ten all over well clear of 67%. Joining Justina on the podium were Hannah Carrick and Kansas NS, and Hannah Iddeson with Mynach Party Fun.
Petplan Equine Prelim Bronze Freestyle Summer Area Festival Championship
Winners: Astrid Holcke with Guardian D’Anthemis, 69.90%
The first class of the final day at the Petplan Equine Summer Area Festival Championships belonged a star of the future in 13 year old Astrid Holcke who won the Prelim Bronze Freestyle with her mother’s Guardian D’Anthemis on an impressive 69.90%.
This is the pairings first season competing with British Dressage and with just six scores on their green record, including a win to quality from the Moreton EC Petplan Equine Summer Area Festival, this will be an achievement to remember. “It was very good, he’s really good at walking and he’s really good at being on beat with the music,” Astrid told us about her test and winning freestyle programme, “we used James Bond music, which is quite good timing with the new film coming out! It’s really nice and it suits him well.The stunning young Haflinger who caught the eye of the judges and those enjoying this fantastic class arrived with the Holcke family from France, his young rider told us “he’s five years old and we got him when he was three,” Astrid told us about her 14.2hh superstar who showed off his divine paces in the lap of honour, defying his age with supreme balance and rhythm.
Astrid told us about what her winning partner ‘Toffee’ is like away from the competition arena and back in his stable, “he’s really kind and he’ll do anything for you, he’s really the sweetest. He’s really good at jumping too and he really likes it, he’s really good at training at home and he also loves food!” Toffee also has scores to his name with Astrid’s sister Heidi in the saddle, including a fifth place in the Prelim Bronze class at the Moreton Area Festival earlier this summer.
School pupil Astrid trains with her mum Emilie Holcke as well as with Katrina Cantrell and Anna Mossman on occasion too and looks forward to a future continuing her riding in dressage with a little jumping on the side, “we’re definitely going to continue with dressage and try and get up the levels and I’d love to continue riding as a hobby.”
Caroline Wall and Averla De Revel impressed in just their second British Dressage season with a reserve champion placing, whilst Pamela Hunt and Silverspring Jagger completed a find podium.
Petplan Equine Prelim Silver Summer Area Festival Championship
Winners: Jade Pascoe with Florence X, 70.76%
Jade Pascoe and her team were all smiles in the sunshine as she took a memorable victory on board Teresa Knapps exquisite grey Florence X in the Petplan Equine Prelim Silver Summer Area Festival Championships. With Moira Richardson, Carol Thornton and Andrea Hussey in the judges boxes, the winning score would be 70.76%, with Jade half a mark ahead of second placed Sandra Macdonald and Faside Je T’Aime, whilst Sara Brown with Sandrea claimed third in touch of the pair on 69.58%.
“It’s been amazing,” Jade smiled after picking up her winners rug and ribbons, “today we’ve waited – we were fourth in –we've waited all day for everyone’s scores to come in! We’ve been competing together since May and actually she’s done the best we couldn’t asked for.”
Speaking about her highlights for her title scoring test she continued, “so our trot and our consistency, we had a little bit of trouble when I first started riding with her being a bit over tucked but I can’t complain at all.”
“So when I first started riding her she was quite challenging trying to get her on the bit with her two front feet in the air, I’d only just really started schooling her in May. We school her three times a week and she’s just got better and better,” Jade, who rides and coaches for a living, told us of the 15.3hh pint-sized powerhouse by Flammen Gold, “she came to me through a client, and it was word of mouth which was good!"
“I’d love to get out and do a bit more at Novice level, and maybe do a bit of music at Elementary,” our winner concluded when asked what was next up for the pair. Whilst Jade and Florence enjoyed another canter in the sun for the bank of photographers, proud owner Teresa watched on who said, “Jade’s done a fantastic job with her, I’m so pleased for her.”
Prelim Silver winner Jade captured the essence of a thoroughly enjoyable Petplan Equine Area Festival Championships for all involved, from in the saddle to behind the scenes: “It’s been lovely. Everybody is so friendly and well organised I can’t complain if I’m honest, it’s been really good.”
Petplan Equine Prelim Silver Freestyle Summer Area Festival Championship
Winners: Sarah Thomas with So Walter, 70.74%
West Yorkshire rider Sarah Thomas danced her way to a convincing victory in the final Freestyle of the 2021 Petplan Equine Summer Area Festival Championships with her homebred So Walter taking centre stage in the Arena UK Indoor.
A shocked Sarah spoke about her 70.74% winning test, “it didn’t go as well as it should’ve done! But obviously somebody saw something different to me!”
“He’s just beginning to grow into himself with his physique,” she said of her own nine year old star by St Malo, “he’s a homebred and I’ve waited a long time for this. He’s out of my mare [Peaktown Mattie] and out of a Hanoverian sire.”
The bay gelding stacks up as our tallest winner at the Championships standing at 18hh and Sarah laughed about hairy moments in their early days together, “we’ve had a few flying lessons in our time and it’s a long way down! I think he’s actually just beginning to grow up.
Summarising her time at the sun-bathed championships, “Well I’ve recently been made redundant, so I’ve had quite a bit of time this summer to put my energies into this. I’ve absolutely thoroughly enjoyed the journey and today is the icing on the cake.” And how will the winner celebrate? “I think there’s a bottle in the lorry!”
Liz Worrall and Jerry Superman placed second scoring 67.68% whilst Debbie Dean and Ballyowens Winston round off our final music celebration of an inspiring week.
British Dressage thanks Petplan Equine for their generous long-term support of the Petplan Equine Area Festival Championships as well as Lauren Fogg and her team at Arena UK for hosting a magical week. Congratulations to all competitors who made the journey to join us from all corners of the country, with special congratulations to our 28 new Petplan Equine Summer Area Festival Champions.