Petplan Equine Summer Area Festival Championships: day three
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Intermediate I and Novice took centre stage under the October sun at the Petplan Equine Summer Area Festival Championships, with new champions, familiar faces and eye-catching winners taking the day three titles.
Petplan Equine Novice Bronze Freestyle Summer Area Festival Championship
Winners: Julia Case with Dylasau Dai Harris, 74.35%
The first of the Novice winners on day three of the Petplan Equine Summer Area Festivals Championships was in the Bronze Freestyle. Julia Case and the charismatic Welsh Cob Dylasau Dai Harris danced their way to the top of the podium with a fabulous score of 74.35%.
“It’s amazing,” Julia said talking about how it feels to win a Petplan Equine Area Festival Championship title, “we’ve been working together for three years it’s been a long journey as you can see he’s not easy – he used to scream like a banshee when you arrived at shows, I used to walk him around the car park get on him and go in, we daren’t go in the arenas, he’s come a long way!”
This is the pairs first Championship win, after coming together in 2019, the eight-year-old chestnut gelding started his dressage career with Julia. “It was really good, he did everything,” Julia said after her prize giving in the Lincolshire sunshine, “I was on time to the music. We had one little moment where he was a bit exuberant but it’s quite a big, spooky arena. He really did his mediums today, it’s not a natural thing for him so I was very pleased.”
The winners trotted to a programme created by Equidance, using violin covers of pop tunes, “we use Blinding Lights by the Weekend and some pieces from Taylor Swift, they have a good beat but they’re a little classical too!”
Talking about her champion, complete with bags of character, she continued, “he’s quirky as you can tell! When people see him in the arena they think he’s really sweet and well behaved! But to manage he’s great, he lives alone at the moment so he’s great.”
Social care worker Jane balances professional life alongside her love, “I’m a professional person, I work in social care so this is my hobby. I used to work with horses years ago, I was a groom so I’m reliving what I used to do with other people.” She and Elvis train with Rui Campeao and Jane Bailey who also put together the winning combination’s floorplan. “Hopefully we’ll move up to Elementary this year or early next,” Jane concluded talking about her future plans.
It was all 70% plus podium line-up at the completion of the 25-strong competitive class; Jenny Pudge and Waterlily was our runner up with 73.42% and Rachael Hetherington and Reset Sir Lancelot finish third on 72.13%.
Petplan Equine Novice Bronze Summer Area Festival Championship
Winners: Sasha Good with L’Sierra, 72.08%
Sasha Good proved Sasha Great in the Petplan Equine Novice Bronze as she expertly piloted the young star L’Sierra, owned by Jade Deter, to success in the Petplan Equine Novice Bronze Summer Area Festival Championship. The elegant partnership excelled in front of Martyne Galland, Carol Thornton and Andrea Hussey, scoring 72.08% on route to their win, clearing a strong field by two percent.
“It feels really special,” Sasha said, “I have ridden her since she was four for the place I work for, AJ Sport Horses, so it’s really nice for her to get the result. She’s been really consistent, she’s done three of the Championships and been third in the other two, so she’s really great at competitions.”
At just five years old, Sasha was impressed by the work the young mare, by Glocks Dream Boy and out of a Flemmingh mare, produced today. Naming her highlights from their winning test she said, “her canter, she’s got the most incredible canter, she’s not the biggest horse, so she’s got a really impressive canter. The medium canter especially was quite good.”
“She’s really good at home,” Sasha continued speaking about ‘Lassie’ away from the competition arena, I hack her, she’ll go through rivers, canter round the fields she’s a lovely mare on the ground, she’s so loving.” And what does the future hold for Sasha? “I love producing the young horses, maybe start doing a bit of eventing, I used to event, keep doing the dressage with her hopefully, if she doesn’t sell.”
Sasha concluded by summarising her experience at the inaugural Petplan Equine Summer Area Festival Championships, treated to the best of the weather and the best of the competition at Arena UK. “It’s been a really great experience, everything has been really nice, the stabling and the atmosphere.”
Petplan Equine Novice Silver Summer Area Festival Championship
Winners: Angela Westgarth with Re-Joyce, 71.11%
Hertfordshire-based Angela Westgarth had much to celebrate with her delightful mare Re-Joyce in the Petplan Equine Novice Silver Summer Area Festival Championship as she rose to the occasion to capture the win on 71.11%.
“I was really pleased with her,” Joyce told us about her dancing partner, “she only started competing this year and she has been a little tricky at times. She is quite sharp, she’s by Everdale, so it follows, she can be hot so we have had occasions where back in April/May time where she would just explode in my test. To come here, somewhere brand new and behave beautifully, I was just chuffed with her just for that alone. Just the fact we had a clear round, it was a bit of a surprise to come first.”
Seven year old ‘Joyce’ started life in the dressage arena later in life, “she wasn’t backed until she was five because we brought her at three and put her straight into foal. She has a lovely foal who’s now three. I backed her when she was five thinking we would just sell her, but I ended up absolutely falling in love with her, I adore her, she’s fantastic. She is sharp but also got an amazing work ethic, she tries so hard, and she’s got a real energy to her. So, I think she’s one for the future, she’s just getting better and better.”
Angela runs her own business as a letting agent and property photographer and has a further two star horses in her stable to continue the success back in the arena alongside Joyce, “we’ve got another horse, William, who’s ten and we’ve got her son coming on for next year so it’s quite exciting.” Turning sole focus back to today’s champion, she spoke about her hopes for her mare’s bright future, “as far as I can, I think she’s at least a small tour horse, if not more but we will see. We have qualified for the Novice Regionals next time and Elementary Petplan, so I look forward to that.”
And the experience at the Petplan Equine Summer Area Festival Championships? “It’s been absolutely lovely today, were really impressed with Arena UK but think it’s been beautifully organised, we had an easy journey, nice stable, everything has gone smoothly. Really enjoyed competing her, mainly this summer it’s been really fun.”
Congratulations to Angela, Santha Jimmison (Magnetiet) and Danielle Dickson with Uniquely Bee for taking the top three spots, as well as to all placed riders.
Petplan Equine Intermediate I Bronze Summer Area Festival Championship
Winners: Sarah Heath with Feuertanz, 68.20%
It certainly didn’t feel like autumn had arrived here in Lincolnshire on day three at the Petplan Equine Summer Area Festival Championships; the sun was shining for this afternoon for the first of the Petplan Equine Intermediate I Summer Area Festival Championships and the field produced outstanding results. Competing for the title in the outdoor arena, all riders put their best foot forward to take their chance at the champions' spoils.
Longstanding partners Sarah Heath and Feuertanz took the title with a super score of 68.20% on the board. “It went to plan, to be honest, I was really delighted with it," Sarah said, "he couldn’t have done much more, it is only his third Inter I, so he’s quite green.” She went on to say, “He tried really hard; everything came off. He changes are usually really reliable, that’s his highlight. His trot is developing that was slow to come but he is starting to show his better trot in the test now.”
She shares the partnership with her sister Fiona, and the duo have had him for six years, “We’ve had him since he was four, he’s now ten. He had just been backed when he was four. He was bred by Rosemary Macary, of Onguard Sport horses.”
The pair have grown through the levels together and Feuertanz is a delight to have at home, a one of a kind with family describing him as a 'geriatrics dream': “he is the most genuine horse, he’s fabulous, he just loves life and takes everything in his stride.” Away at shows, he is a complete professional, “He’s fairly level, sometimes he comes of the lorry, and you think ‘oh he’s a bit flat’ and then when he has to do his job he gets on with it. Generally, from one day to another you know what you’re getting, he’s the same whether he has time off, whether he’s in work. He hacks out as much possible, just an all-round nice character.”
It was certainly a surprise win for the pair, who have worked hard to be at the Petplan Equine Summer Area Festival Championships, but they look forward to the future together, “This is a bit of a surprise! He’s starting to do some one’s and piaffe, so he’s basically got to learn passage now then, hopefully we can have a go at a few Inter II’s, I just want to keep enjoying him, make the most of him.”
Petplan Equine Intermediate I Silver & Intermediate I Silver Freestlye Summer Area Festival Championship
Winners: Sian Turner with Loverboy, 69.86% & 74.58%
Strutting their stuff in the Autumn sunshine were Sian Turner and Loverboy who have won the Petplan Equine Summer Inter I Silver Area Festival title with an impressive 69.86%, in front of Joyce Wood, Debbie Wardle and Anita Darkan.
The eleven-year-old bay gelding began his career with Tom Buckland at his base in Gloucestershire, has been with Sian for three years, culminating with this fantastic achievement, their first Championship win. “Robin, or Loverboy, belongs to Sarah Gallop – my trainer and who I work for – she's given me the opportunity to ride and compete him which is really really nice of her!”
“The test was good,” Sian told us about her Inter I round, “it was quite energetic we need to work on bits as always but he was really good. I love riding the changes, he’s really good at those and the extended trots, he just takes you.”
Sian has had the ride on the eleven year old, Lord of Loxley x Abanos Lanciano, on and off for two years, but has taken up the reins more consistently in this time with her goals in the competition arena. Speaking about his star character she concluded, “He’s really good, he’s super chilled and he loves his jumping as well – he's a lovely sweet thing.”
Sarah Fitton and Florenciana 4 placed second with a creditable 69.03%, whilst third was awarded to Julia Walker and Rodhea on 67.89%.
Our last title of the day also belonged our Intermediate I Silver winning duo as they turned their attention towards freestyle competition. Sian Turner and Loverboy, put on their dancing shoes to a film-based soundtrack to claim the Petplan Equine Intermediate I Silver Freestyle title with 74.58%. “It’s amazing I didn’t think it would happen but really grateful to have the opportunity from my boss Sarah Gallop, and my trainer, I just really happy.” The freestyle, composed by Tom Hunt suits Loverboy really well and impressed the judges once again. Sian confirmed, “it rides really well, especially in the trot, he’s big moving trot, so it works quite well, as it has a nice rhythm to it for the changes.”
Katherine Heslop and Spudley scored 67.58% for second, third place belonged to Emma Bond with Drago’s Felix whilst fourth placed rider Sammy Page and Ronaldo IV earn the very best wishes from all the British Dressage and Petplan Equine team, as the 20 year old veteran star hangs up his horseshoes for a happy retirement after these championships following a long and successful career.
Petplan Equine Novice Silver Freestyle Summer Area Festival Championship
Winners: Craig Messenger with Treliver De La Crème, 71.20%
The Petplan Equine Novice Silver Freestyle Area Festival Championships produced a crowd pleasing winner in the form of picture perfect cremello Treliver De La Crème (by Treliver Decanter) ridden supremely by Craig Messenger to a 71.20% victory.
“He has a really good boy, I was really pleased. He was calm, he was collected, and he’s a stallion so I was really pleased that he kept a lid on it and stayed with me all the way,” Craig praised his partner after the prize giving under the bright Arena UK lights. “I’ve had him for about three years now, he’s been young to mature so I’ve taken my time and taken him really slow. He’s a stallion so everything is a little more tricky so we have to manage him at home quite well. I've just taken my time with him, let him develop and I’m now getting him out to let him see the world." With Treliver De La Crème keen to have his voice heard in the post-ceremony interview, Craig said, “he just loves other horses! Anyone would think that stallions don’t like other horses but he loves his friends!”
The winning freestyle programme was produced for Craig by Ros Emery Kay, “my flooplan was made with the help of my Apple Ingleton and my partner Daniel Watson, we made it quite simple because he’s still quite young and weak but it was really good fun.”
Talking about his preparation ahead of the Festivals Craid continued, “so I’ve done some local shows on him to desensitise him and I’ve been working on our transitions a lot. I have training on a regular basis, my partner Daniel is a Grand Prix rider so he works me at home and I train with Charlotte Dujardin as well which has really helped me develop as a rider.” A change of discipline has far from kept Craig out of the ribbons, “I was a jockey previously so learning the sport of dressage has been really different! We’re developing together and were getting a really nice partnership.”
With success at Novice achieved, the future is about building for Craig who spoke about his goals and humbly thanked his winning ride’s owner, “I just want to stay at home for now and develop up the levels. We wanted to come here and develop in the arena, gain some confidence, he’s not been easy to take away from other horses. To come her and win is such a good bonus and I’m so happy for the owner Neil Highams he’s had him since he’s a foal and let me produce him.”
Clare Ashley and Brynmelys Ranaldo put 70.83% on the scoreboard to finish second, with Victoria Bradford and Kenniford Flash Dancer just a handful of marks away in third on 70.64%.
Petplan Equine Intermediate I Bronze Freestyle Summer Area Festival Championship
Winners: Josie Kent with Serious Black, 68.20%
Gloucestershire’s Josie Kent made the journey to Lincolnshire more than worthwhile with success in the Petplan Equine Intermediate I Bronze Freestyle Summer Area Festival Championship, the perfect pairing scored 68.20% in front of Claire Ballantyne, Sue Carson and Alison Duck.
“I was pleased with my test overall,” Josie told us, “it wasn’t perfect, we had some mistakes in it still. But only a few little mistakes so overall I was pleased with the test. He tried for my really hard so there’s nothing more I can ask.”
With freestyles a firm favourite on their debut year at the Petplan Equine Summer Area Festival Championships, we had to cover Josie’s top tune choices and floorplan, “I trot to Austin Powers theme tune, canter to Sing, Sing, Sing and I walk to a jazzy piano type thing. I did all myself, I play the piano as well and I’m quite musical so I really enjoy putting the freestyles together. I tried to make my floorplan as interesting as I could, I did so many attempts to try and get the right one! I’ve got a few slightly brave things in, like extended canter into a pirouette. The trot work isn’t quite so adventurous but it’s nice and symmetrical as a plan and it seemed to go down quite well.
Josie and her 16 year old gelding by Hercorose are familiar faces to followers of the Petplan Equine Area Festival Championship scene having picked up a title at last summer’s rescheduled Championships at Hartpury. “It’s lovely to be back,” Josie said on her return to the top step of the winners' podium, “and the venue is so nice as well! It’s lovely to be back at a big show and have everything up and running again after Covid it’s great to be back out and busy again.”
The partnership of seven years has a small break on the horizon and plenty of celebration after today’s win: “I haven’t planned much for the winter yet; it’s been such a crazy summer! I think we’ll have a short break from competition and then get back to it and get our qualifications done for the winter.”