Pidgley and Smith reign supreme at Addington CDI
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Young British rider, Annabella Pidgley excelled with a clean sweep of the CDI3* Big Tour classes, while Sadie Smith and Swanmore Dantina were unstoppable in the Small Tour at Addington CDI in Buckinghamshire (16 – 19 March 2023).
A-level student Annabella (18), riding at only her third senior international competition, strengthened her position at elite level even further producing four superb rides with her mother, Sarah Pidgley’s Gio (pictured above) and Vamos Amigos. Achieving two personal best scores with Gio – 75.957% to take the Grand Prix and 77.787% to win the Special, she also won her first ever Grand Prix Freestyle on her international debut with Vamos Amigos (Vitalis x Hotline).
On the opening day of competition, in front of judges Clive Halsall (GBR) at E, Olivier Smeets (BEL) at H, Kurt Christensen (DEN) at C, Sven Günter Rothenberger (NED) at M and Lars Andersson (SWE) at B, Annabella piloted 12-year-old Gio (Apache x Tango) to a unanimous win. A skilfully executed Grand Prix test displaying great connection, rhythm and enthusiasm was rewarded with 75.957%, bettering their previous PB by more than two percent.
Annabella also claimed third place with Vamos Amigos (71.674%), behind Andrew Gould and his exciting prospect, the 10-year-old stallion Indigro (Negro x Jazz), owned by Tatiana Skillman. Andrew and Indigro, who made an impression at London CDI-W before Christmas, later also took the runner-up spot in the Special, a class that saw Annabella and the delightful Gio’s second win of the week.
“What an unbelievable week at Addington CDI3*,” said Annabella on social media. “Pumpkin (Gio) was simply amazing and I am so proud of how much our partnership has developed. He gave me the most incredible feeling in the ring, which resulted in us winning the Grand Prix with 75.9% and then in the Grand Prix Special we won with 77.7%. Pumpkin really makes my dreams come true and I could not be more proud of my special boy."
Eleven-year-old Vamos Amigos (pictured above), formerly produced and competed for the Pidgley family by Denmark’s Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour, is a new ride for Annabella who took over the reins last September. With just three competitions together under their belt, Addington was the first international appearance for this brand-new combination and Annabella’s debut Grand Prix to music.
Displaying their immense potential, they scored 76.385% to seal the win ahead of runners-up Theodora Livanos and Robinvale (74.175%) for Greece, and the third-placed British combination of Hayley Watson-Greaves and the now 19-year-old, Rubins Nite (73.535%).
“Vamos was also a superstar in our first international competition together,” said Annabella. “We came 3rd with 71.6% in the Grand Prix, which I was so pleased with, as he felt confident in there and I cannot wait for our partnership to grow as we have more time together. Then in the Grand Prix Freestyle, we won with 76.3% and he felt really amazing. Thank you so much to Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour for letting me borrow your fantastic freestyle.”
Sadie sails to Small Tour hat-trick
Sadie Smith and Swanmore Dantina (pictured below), competing at the horse's first CDI, were unstoppable in the Small Tour. Eight-year-old Swanmore Dantina (Dante Weltino OLD x Charatan W), who landed fifth place in the 7YO Final at last year’s Longines FEI WBFSH Dressage World Breeding Championships in Ermelo, where she was also highest-placed mare, brought her abundant elegance and potential to the Addington stage.
The judging panel, comprising Frederico Pinteus (POR) at E, Trond Asmyr (NOR) at H, Isabelle Judet (FRA) at C, Malgorzata Pawlowska (POL) at M and Mariano Santos Redondo (ESP) at B, awarded a PSG score total of 75.206%. A test showing much harmony and expression earned 8s aplenty across the score sheets, with no fewer than five 8.5s, and a 9 awarded for general impression.
The runner-up spot belonged to Rebecca Edwards and her 11-year-old mare Dita Von Teese (Dimaggio x Conteur), on 72.471%, while Davy Harvey and Rossanna (Rubin Royal x Werther) achieved 72.441% to take third place for owner Judy Peploe.
Saturday’s Intermediate I, which was only the second start at the level for Sadie and ‘Dia’, saw them win again – this time scoring 73.029%, before rounding off their week with a convincing win in Sunday’s Intermediate I Freestyle. A magical performance to their Curse of the Ice Queen programme, created by Equidance, raked in plenty of the higher marks including a 9 for music and interpretation, for a total score of 78.240%, with Rebecca Edwards and Dita Von Teese second (75.095%) and Harriette Williams with Creto, third (73.085%).
Sadie, who has produced Dia since a three-year-old with help from Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin, was justly thrilled with her results. “She was amazing! I haven't done many internationals, and Ermelo last year was her (Dia's) first one. I was very, very happy," commented Sadie, who only recently returned to the saddle after sustaining a fall last year.
"I fractured my back at the end of November, in a fall from a young horse, so only started riding again in January," she explained. "Dannie Morgan and Jezz Palmer kept the horses ticking over for me - I've only just got going again. I was second at the Winter Regionals, but had mistakes. At Addington, I felt more on form.
About Grand Prix prospect Swanmore Dantina, Sadie says; "She's an amazing horse. She never lets me down and always gives 100%. She's kind, lovely to ride and she loves to work and learn."
Sadie is based at River Rise Stud in Hampshire where she is producing a string of horses, having formerly worked as a rider-groom for Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin. "Everything I learned when working for Carl and Charlotte, I try to put into it now. It has set me up for what I am doing now, and they continue to help me a lot."
Young British rider Ruth Hole (23) chalked up her first international victory in winning the CDIU25 Intermediate II with Easy VZ (Maestro x Rhodium). Ruth and the 14-year-old gelding, owned by her mother Rachel Murray, headed the class on a strong score of 69.265% to take the win ahead of Camille Audo and Behroez for France (68.382%) and Spain's Sergio Moron Basoco with Farnham L who posted 67.118% on their U25 debut.
Results: top five
CDI3* Grand Prix
1. Annabella Pidgley and Gio, 75.957% (GBR)
2. Andrew Gould and Indigro, 72.761% (GBR)
3. Annabella Pidgley and Vamos Amigos, 71.674% (GBR)
4. Gareth Hughes and Goldstrike L.E, 70.696% (GBR)
5. Anna Ross and Habouche, 70.304% (GBR)
CDI3* Grand Prix Special
1. Annabella Pidgley and Gio, 77.787% (GBR)
2. Andrew Gould and Indigro, 72.872% (GBR)
3. Gareth Hughes and Goldstrike L.E, 71.128% (GBR)
4. Lewis Carrier and Diego V, 70.319% (GBR)
5. Fiona Bigwood and Daytona Platinum, 69.723% (GBR)
CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle
1. Annabella Pidgley and Vamos Amigos, 76.385% (GBR)
2. Theodora Livanos and Robinvale, 74.175% (GRE)
3. Hayley Watson-Greaves and Rubins Nite, 73.535% (GBR)
4. Andrew Gould and Genie, 71.595% (GBR)
5. Daniel Sherriff and Incognito, 70.685% (GBR)
CDI1* Prix St Georges
1. Sadie Smith and Swanmore Dantina, 75.206% (GBR)
2. Rebecca Edwards and Dita Von Teese, 72.471% (GBR)
3. David Harvey and Rossana, 72.441% (GBR)
4. Sarah Higgins and Samuel, 71.735% (GBR)
5. Sarah Rao and Geniaal, 70.735% (CHN)
CDI1* Intermediate I
1. Sadie Smith and Swanmore Dantina, 73.029% (GBR)
2. Sarah Higgins and Samuel, 71.118% (GBR)
3. Harriette Williams and Creto, 70.029% (GBR)
4. Andrew Gould and Amicella, 69.735% (GBR)
5. Emma Jablonski and Higgens van de Uilenhoek, 69.382% (GBR)
CDI1* Intermediate I Freestyle
1. Sadie Smith and Swanmore Dantina, 78.240% (GBR)
2. Rebecca Edwards and Dita Von Teese, 75.095% (GBR)
3. Harriette Williams and Creto, 73.085% (GBR)
4. Sara-Jane Lanning and Hawtins Lirica, 72.365% (GBR)
5. Daniel Bremner and Frederico, 71.800% (GBR)
CDIU25 Intermediate II
1. Ruth Hole and Easy VZ, 69.265% (GBR)
2. Camille Audo and Behroez, 68.382% (FRA)
3. Sergio Moron Basoco and Farnham L, 67.118% (ESP)
CDIU25 Grand Prix
1. Sergio Moron Basoco and Farnham L, 67.863% (ESP)
2. Camille Audo and Behroez, 67.180% (FRA)
3. Ruth Hole and Easy VZ, 67.179% (GBR)
CDIU25 Grand Prix Freestyle
1. Camille Audo and Behroez, 67.875% (FRA)
Photo © Kevin Sparrow Photography
Youth CDI report to follow.